Changing Transmission Fluid Without Jack Stand or Ramps?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by jbusta, May 13, 2017.

  1. jbusta

    jbusta Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm aware that it's possible to change the oil/filter without using jacks, but is it possible to also get under there and change the transaxle fluid without jacks? If so, what's the best way?

    I'm trying to do as much as I can without having to use jacks as I live in a strict small apartment and don't have the space/area for it. Thanks in advance
     
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  2. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    I believe you need to jack the front end up to get clearance to remove the plug at the front of the transaxle, and to be able to feed tubing into the hole. It might be possible without jacking, but probably not the first time.

    Can you change a tire at your apartment? If so, you can do this job. Add a jack stand for safety before getting under the car.
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    upload_2017-5-13_13-19-34.png


    Yeah I would raise, and level it. Do whatever it takes. Not doing it makes the job virtually impossible. Ditto for oil changes: I can't imagine doing an oil change without raising the car.
     
  4. jbusta

    jbusta Junior Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. As for not using jacks for the oil change, I've read that many members use 4 pieces of 2x8 in front of the wheels and roll forward on them. Doing so gives a bit more clearance to get under the car. Since I'm fortunate enough to not have my beer go straight to my gut :)D), I think I should be able to slip under there the same.

    I guess I'm wondering how much clearance is needed under the car in order to reach those fill/drain plugs?

    *also: if I use the method of filling from up top (funnel/tube), should i get 3 feet of the 3/8" tubing x 1/4" or x 1/2"? Does it matter? Thanks again
     
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  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The reason that you need to jack up the car is so that you can use a sufficiently long 1/2" breaker bar to loosen the fill plug. If you do not raise up the car you will 1) have trouble finding the fill plug on the side of the transaxle, and 2) have difficulty using a breaker bar. If you don't use a breaker bar you may find it difficult to exert sufficient loosening torque on the fill plug.

    Regarding the tubing, you need a tubing inner diameter that will fit the funnel that you use. I don't know of funnels intended for automotive use that have a 1/4" opening. It would be better to use a larger one since you are trying to add ~4 US quarts.
     
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  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    The reason u need some clearance is getting to the fill bolt on the front side of the trans. You will need a long breaker bar as that fill bolt is really on there and high up on the side.
    Open that first.
    Not necessary to make the car level. I have changed mine 3 times already.
    With just the front jacked up,
    First time I did it I measured what came out and it was 3.8 quarts
    I Putin 4 quarts and some dripped out. You can do the same it's not rocket science. It's basically a manual gearbox.

    Be aware this is the best time to clean the ac ecoil under the dashboard. You will be able to access the ac drip tube since your all the way under the car. It protrudes out the bottom of the car right below the glove box. Hard to see as its only about an inch long. Black rubber. You can buy Koolit on amazon and it comes with the rubber attachment hose. You spray cleaner up into the e box. Makes car smell good and keeps the box free of mold and efficient and keeps drip hose clear. Its what the dealer uses if any complaints about mildew smell in a car. Then buy coil cleaner from Home Depot and spray down the front condenser in front of the rad. Extends the life of the compressor and really helps the ac stay cool.
     
    #6 edthefox5, May 13, 2017
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    I would keep the Outside Diameter of the funnel's tube extension not too big. I'm not sure about second gen, but my third gen the OD of the tube is 14~15 mm (maybe 1/2" ID), and it fits, in the fill hole, but is getting snug.

    Again, 3rd gen, the tube extension on mine is 3', that's sufficient. Maybe start out by getting 4', then trim it if it proves to be excessive.
     
  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Car needs to be level so even using ramps on level ground isn't the best method.

    Just take the fluid to good independent shop who doesn't charge dealer rates for such simple jobs.
     
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  9. Marine Ray

    Marine Ray Active Member

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    fotomoto - noticed in your profile you had a '10 Prius w/solar roof. I just recently purchased one. Why do you sell it? Did you like it?
     
  10. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    No, great car. I bought that particular model on the lot just for the solar roof. It's a GREAT feature for us in hotter climes. Wanted to move up to the plug-in tech which Toyota didn't offer at the time.
     
  11. garglo

    garglo Member

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    I just jack up the drivers side a little, not even lifting the tire, just enough to get to the plugs. Loosen the fill plug first then the drain. Put a pan under it and remove the drain, then the fill plugs. Lower the car but leave the jack in place, and wait till it stops dripping. Raise it to put the drain back in, use a funnel from the top with a hose into the fill hole, lower the car. Add toyota ATF till it start dribbling into the pan. Lift again and pull out the pan, tighten both plugs. Lower the car, you're done and saved $100.
     
  12. Currahee

    Currahee Member

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    I have done both oil changes and trans fluid without lifting the car. It is not ideal but entirely possible. For the fill plug you need a (short) flex ratchet and you'll have to torque it 'by feel' instead of with a torque wrench.
     
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  13. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I do the same just don't do the lifting and lowering not sure what that's accomplishing. I Put it up in the air and leave it there till done but take the fil plug out first.
     
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The point of the repeated lifting and lowering is to have the car level while the old fluid is being drained out and when the new fluid is being added. That's OK if the person doing this considers that part of his fitness schedule.
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    I'd second that. Did the transaxle fluid last fall, just raised the whole thing, simple:

    upload_2017-5-14_11-25-32.png
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i wish beer didn't go to my gut.:oops:
     
  17. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Ah the let it drip till the last bit comes out lol. Jokes on him probably quite a bit stored in the oil pump and passages and filter inlet so you can raise the car up and down till the cows come home won't make a difference. Your so much farther ahead of the game dumping out 95% of it.
    Some much nutty stuff on this site. Its quite funny.
     
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  18. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Again a reminder... Loosen the Fill plug FIRST!

    Nothing worse than dumping all the fluid and then realizing you aren't able to fill it!
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    On the flipside, lol: if you do the drain bolt first, then have troubles with fill bolt, you will succeed eventually: you will be motivated.
     
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  20. jbusta

    jbusta Junior Member

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    Awesome everyone, thanks a lot for the advice. I think I'm going to just invest in some jack stands so I can still do it myself. I found an empty lot right next to my apartment where I should be in the clear.
     
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