Changing Transaxle oil

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Weinerneck, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Not necessary to go crazy leveling the car. Have done my trans twice and all I did was jack up both front wheels.
    Even then it was only an 1/8 quart overfilled before it oozed out. Last fill was 35K miles ago. Not rocket science its just a gearbox.
     
  2. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    That trans fluid is ever so slightly darker red, but after working on cars for years and doing many-a-transmission fluid changes, it looks great compared to what I drained out of the better halfs 2010 Ford Escape with 27k miles last week :eek:

    The fluid I drained out is, of course, on the right, new fluid on the left. NOW that is what BAD transmission fluid looks like!!
    Yours was a walk in the park, looking at it. Heck, most shops would still probably put your used fluid up on a shelf and use it as top-off on cars that come in!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. bshef

    bshef Member

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    $9 QT ???? plus $1.82/washer.....WOW
    Toyota Huntington Beach seems lil pricey....
    I was hearing $6 qt.

    Edit...
    2nd phone call...
    Elmore Toyota
    $13.06.qt plus $2.76 /washer

    Edit...#2
    3rd call
    So Coast Toyota
    $13.06.qt plus $2.76 /washer

    PLUS...the parts guy "completely" telling me "this is NOT a procedure anyone other than a certified tech can do!"...
    First you have to Pump it in. plus you have to get it to a certain temperature....etc..etc...
    I had to politely interrupt him and get him back on task asking him...can you just tell me the price of each quart....?

    Looks like $9/qt is the winner winner chicken dinner in my area!
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    I read this a while back, been holding off, but just have to say:

    It's not hard to raise both ends of the car. And you don't have to got nuts on levelling, though it is easy to get it close.

    The main requirement is a level slab. If you're on a sloping driveway then it does get tricky/unsafe, having all four wheels off the ground. But on a level solid slab:

    Raise the front end with a floor jack under the front center jacking point, and settle it down on to safety stands. Then raise the rear to about what you need to get safety stands under, do a prelim check with a level check (say on the lower edge of the door well), adjust till it's a little sloping down towards the front, then settle back down onto safety stands at the rear. That should get it close to level.

    For the rear I put the safety stands under the rocker panel edge, at the proscribed jacking point, per the manual. But for the front I prefer to put the stands under a main rail, further in, just seems more substantial and stable.

    And any time I crawl under, and especially with the whole car raised, first I push under this section of tree stump I have. It's thicker than me, dead simple life insurance.

    Here's a pic of my preferred front end jack stand bearing point. It's actually second generation underbody, and it's a pic from a member here I believe:

    prius_oilchange_06_resample.jpg



    The above is a resampled copy, and sorry for the plagerism. Here's the homepage of the source for that pic:

    John's Stuff - Toyota Prius and more

    On the left side menu, choose: Prius Info>Oil Change
     
  5. bshef

    bshef Member

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    Success!
    85k miles.
    Only one problem....The Tubing.
    I purchased 4' of 1/2" Clear plastic tubing. It fit into the fill-hole nicely.....however....
    The problem was I didn't have a funnel small enough to fit the inside diameter.
    ~10 minutes of head scratching............
    I grabbed an old Dawn dish soap bottle.... filled it with AFT fluid and sloooooooowly poured it into the tube until I had used about 3.5 qts and it started spilling out. This took about 25 tedious minutes and got a little messy.

    The drain plug was VERY hard to get off...didn't wanna budge....sprayed it with liquid wrench....used a regular ratchet with a pipe for extra leverage...ended up busting it free with a breaker bar.

    Fluid was Very dark and the magnetic drain plug had collected a good dime-sized dollop of goopy metal shavings that you can see all over the towel. (see picture I took).
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

    Moderate DIY job.



    [​IMG]
     
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Depending upon the size of your available funnel, perhaps a solution might have been to slit the tubing, force it to fit over the funnel, then use electrician's tape to tightly tape the junction. Hopefully that would provide a leakproof solution for the 10 minutes needed to refill the transaxle.

    In any event, congrats on your success.
     
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  7. bshef

    bshef Member

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    Doh...! NOW you tell me! (smile)
    Yep....that would've done it.
    Live and learn.
     
  8. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Great job! You've just added 100K to the life of your trans. One less thing to worry about! Its so easy. Hard part is jackin' it up and then the funnel. Now to complete the tune up replace the Inverter coolant which is way overdue. Should have mentioned you were going under the car as its really easy if you have the car up already. Just open that big dump bolt on the trans. And then fill it back up with Toyota SLLC and bleed it. Pat has the factory manual section he posted a while ago on how to bleed it. It is super super easy and you will notice an increase in mileage after changing it. Inverter temp management is extremely important to mileage and health of the car. And fresh coolant will help the Inverter pump last longer too. And thats about it for maint!
     
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  9. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    I noticed this in the Chilton manual for the Gen II:

    This is a typical generic paragraph that they inserted, not necessarily specific to the Prius. Still, I think the use factor needs to be taken into account for change periods.
     
  10. bobodaclown

    bobodaclown Member

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    Did the ATF fluid change today.
    Called local dealers to check the price. First price I got at Service was $295. I pointed out it's just a drain and fill. Took my number and said he call back, about 10 minutes later got a call back. He apologized and said the Prius drain and fill is $85+ tax and fees.

    Decided to do it myself from the advice I got here at Prius chat. Got 4 quarts Toyota ATF WS for $7.39 (They matched the price from the Toyota online parts site and the washers were $1.52. So for $34.89 I was out the door to do this service.

    Went to Homedepot got 5 ft of 1/2 clear tubing, cut it to length. and a 3 pack of cheap funnels. Works great on the end of the small funnel from the 3 pack.

    Overall It's pretty easy. Good directions at the beginning of this post.

    Drove up on ramps, then jacked the back end up to level it out.

    I'd add remove the plastic cover at the front of the grill, it's easier to get the hose and funnel down and you get more light. I have the 15/16 upper bolt and the 10mm allen bottom bolt, used a breaker bar to get them loose, I was amazed by the vac that is in the transaxle.

    The bottom drain plug (10mm hex) had no chips or chunks on the magnetic plug, only what I would consider fine powder like residue. The fluid still had a pink color to it. Wiped it down and reinstalled. Torqued to 29Ft lbs. It took a little less than the full 4 quarts.
     

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  11. kerbear54

    kerbear54 Junior Member

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    Just wanted to say thanks to all for the helpful ideas on changing the cvt fluid. I did my car at about 76k and the fluid was dark, very little redness in it, and there was a very fine powder on the drain plug. I don't know why the guys at the parts department at two dealerships both said that this was not a job I should be doing as the transaxle had to be at a certain temp and only a certified tech should do this. This was quite simple to do and it only cost about $40. I had my son help me guide the tubing used for this and I didn't have to remove anything. I reused the washers as they looked pristine, unlike the oil drain plug washer.
     
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  12. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Cool! You just added 100,000 miles to the life of your transmission :)

    I always reuse the washers - Im a grease monkey, been wrenching on cars since I was 14. Dad was a transmission rebuilder so I'd help him in the shop. Ive NEVER had a problem reusing the washers on drain plugs, not one time, ever. Unless they are rubber and torn up or fabric and eaten up, then Ill replace them but otherwise I reuse.
     
  13. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    One can't see the imperfections in the washer after it has been compressed. The washer is designed to mold to the imperfections in the bolt and case.

    Think of it this way... 50 cents worth of washer is holding back $40 of fluid that will take you 1-2 hours to replace if your washer fails.

    How's that saying go, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?
     
  14. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Maybe they confused my FJ Cruiser with your Prius?
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    I've only re-used drain plug washers when it was really inopportune to get a new one. For example, when I checked the transaxle fluid level a day after I'd changed it. Or with engine oil, fresh after a change, when I'd overfilled, needed to drain out a little. If I'm at the parts counter buying oil or ATF, I get the washer(s) too. I know it might be overkill, don't care.
     
  16. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    kerberr54:

    That's the procedure for changing the atf on the Tundra truck. Its uses WS also and you need the Techstream software. Apparently thats the only thing the dudes at the dealer know concerning WS fluid
     
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  17. gatorglenn

    gatorglenn Member

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    Today I stopped at a local Toyota dealer. $43.38 later I had the fluid and two washers. It was a fairly easy job with help. The hardest thing was filling it but with the funnel and tube with someone underneath it was easy to fill.

    My old fluid was pretty dark, I am glad that I changed it.

    Thanks,
    Glenn
     
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  18. mikesarebetter

    mikesarebetter Junior Member

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    Not sure if anyone mentioned it in previous posts but using a marine pump works really slick to pump the oil back in. Forget the messy funnel and tube, not one drop hit the garage floor. I've had one for awhile for the boat but easily would've bought one for this job if I hadn't.
     
  19. kerbear54

    kerbear54 Junior Member

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    I always reuse the washers - Im a grease monkey, been wrenching on cars since I was 14. Dad was a transmission rebuilder so I'd help him in the shop. Ive NEVER had a problem reusing the washers on drain plugs, not one time, ever. Unless they are rubber and torn up or fabric and eaten up, then Ill replace them but otherwise I reuse.[/quote]



    That's been my experience as well in regards to drain plug washers on transmissions. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about the Prius, but Jayman and Patrick stated they have also reused them without issue and I did buy the washers before doing the fluid change just in case. When it comes to oil drain plugs, I toss them in the garbage as I have fumoto valves on all my vehicles. Before discovering the fumoto valve, I did have problems with oil drain plug washers, likely due to some enthusiastic wrenching by a quick lube employee!:(
     
  20. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    My personal practice is to reuse the transaxle fluid drain washers once, and to always use new engine oil drain washers.

    The Toyota repair manual suggests that the washers should be discarded after one usage. Certainly it is the best practice to install new washers.

    I'm glad to see that we have owners on this forum who care enough about their Prius to change the transaxle ATF from time to time. I am not going to criticize someone for either using new washers or not using them. (After all, its not my driveway that the ATF will be dripping on...) :cool:
     
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