My Prime's first transmission fluid change :D

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by thatoneraccoon, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Larry F.

    Larry F. Junior Member

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    Let me tell you a story.
    I am a recent Toyota convert (124K on my 2007, 40K on my 2017 Prime, and I maintain two other Prius' for friends) and have owned 20 BMW's. In the '80's, BMW and Mercedes, sensitive to their reputation for expensive maintenance, decided to include all *required* maintenance under warranty. I don't remember which manufacturer went first, but they jumped in with both feet. BMW dropped their requirement for a break-in engine oil change at 1K miles, and jumped the oil change interval to 15K. Tranny, diff and p/s interval went to "Lifetime Fill". Seriously. My 2007 BMW 328Xi rear diff does not even have a drain plug. Please note that there was no change in engineering or lubrication spec when they kicked up these intervals. What they knew was that their engineering was "good enough" to get the vast number of trannies, diffs and p/s pumps over 100K, and the likelihood of someone successfully suing them for negligence of any sort at that point was zip.
    Moral of the story: Every auto manufacturer has engineering departments and marketing departments.
    Your decision: Which one of them ultimately holds sway over standard practices such as maintenance intervals?
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Yeah when you see the condition of the first drain fluid, even after just a year and maybe 10~15K miles: do you really want to leave it swimming in that stuff? An early change is is so simple on the Prius too, and about $40 for fluid and replacement washers.
     
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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Hummmm, I wonder if the local Toyota Service Center might advertise transmission oil changes by showing samples of the oil after the first 10k miles. Not a Toyota maintenance item, it could be a nice revenue addition.

    Bob Wilson
     
  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I had my Gen3 transmission fluid drain and fill done by a local Toyota dealer. They quoted me $120, but I provided them with 4 qts of OEM Toyota ATFWS and washers, and they charge me only $80 for labor. That's half hour of labor by their rate. Not sure if that would be a big revenue addition for them?
     
    #144 Salamander_King, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    $80 with them supplying the fluid and washers would be a fair price.

    I recall @Tideland Prius got his done for $79 (CDN), maybe a special offer.

    For comparison, do you know how much they charge for just an oil change? It's comparable, just the fluid a bit more costly, but not much.

    It's very easy, arguably easier than an oil and filter change.

    The last step in the attachment says to recheck the level, which is complete overkill.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Our dealer's regular price for synthetic oil and lube (they provide up to 5 qts of synthetic oil and filter) is $69.99, but with a coupon it's only $39.99. For $39.99, it's almost cheaper to take the car to a dealer than DIY. If I can get a dealer to do transmission fluid change with them supplying the fluid and washers for $80, I will never try DIY. Free ice cream & coffee and car wash at the dealer, and records stay in the TOYOTA owner's service log.
     
    #146 Salamander_King, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  7. Blauer Glimmer

    Blauer Glimmer Active Member

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    Nice dealer! We have none of those amenities, but our dealership is across the street from Target, a nail spa, Panera (and 5 Guys, if I'm in the mood to be bad). Since I'm not the DIY type, it's an excuse for shopping, eating and/or pampering (y)
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Yeah, regular price $70, for an oil change with up to 5 quarts synthetic motor oil, plus the oil filter, and a drain bolt washer. That's why I'd say $80 for the transaxle fluid change, with them supplying everything, would be fair/equitable.

    Still, if I had the 4 quarts ATF WS on hand, I'd give it a try. It is really easy.

    Meh, 9 years on, I've got maybe 3~4 isolated service events recorded, doesn't matter: warranty is warranty. Thinking there's some advantage to regular service at the dealership is cargo cult. Well, not quite, since a lot of potential buyers buy-in to the myth, perusing CarFax.

    With our 06 Civic I bought into that myth for a while, even though I'd done a lot of DIY in the past. The same logic: to have a contiguous service record at the dealership. You maybe recall, the car took something like 4.2 liters motor oil at oil and filter change. Dealership routinely dumped in 5.0. I finally woke up, decided to go back to DIY. Also, Honda stipulated oil change only at alternate changes. They treated me like I was deranged when I asked for that.

    Up here it's just coffee, too, lol.
     
    #148 Mendel Leisk, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, I edited my comment to add FREE CAR WASH too. Our local Toyota dealer is over an hour away, but it is in the larger city. They provide free shuttle to nearby stores, so yes I do get shopping, eating, and movie viewing done while I wait for the car to be ready.

    The record is not so much for the warranty. As you said, it is the official record that stays with the car that potential buyer will be able to see if and when I am ready to sell the car.
     
    #149 Salamander_King, Aug 16, 2019
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  10. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    It is better to keep a maintenance book in the car. All the work ever done to the car in one place. 3x5" or 4x6" book is maybe $2. I have done that for every car I have ever owned.
     
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  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I keep a binder of all receipts, plus a text format log. Excerpt:

    ====
    Tuesday, December 4, 2018
    kms: 78553
    * Driver's side rear door repair, By Mountain Highway Collision
    ====
    Friday, December 21, 2018
    km: 78800~
    * drained Oil Catch Can, 20 cc at most. looks like mostly water
    ====
    Wednesday, February 20, 2019
    kms: 79502
    * Software update (Recall R66, Inverter related, 2nd update
    ====)
    Sunday, March 17, 2019
    kms: 80000~
    * Swapped over from snow tires to regular (new Primacy mxm4 tires)
    ====
    Friday, April 12, 2019
    km: 80590
    * changed engine oil and filter
    * drained Oil Catch Can, 80 cc
    ====

    At the beginning of that file I put all sorts of info, VIN, key fob tag number, and so on. TextPad is a nice little text editor, has all sorts of automations. The dates above for example, I just need to type <CTRL>D, and I get long format date.

    Also allows you to save a "workspace", a bunch of files can be held open, in tabbed format, and it remembers where you are in each file, if you have something selected, and so on.
     
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  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    For my own record, I use DriverSide. this Auto Repair Advice, Car Reviews &amp; Values - DriverSide and a separate copy of maintenance record kept on excel spread sheet saved in cloud storage.
    I have long gone paperless for any type of record keeping. I tend to lose them meaning papers when I need them most. Pen and paper logs are obsolete for me. All receipts and papers associated are scanned and stored electronically also.

    Still they don't mean anything when it comes to selling the car to someone, so I like the official record on-line from the dealer when I use them.
     
    #152 Salamander_King, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  13. alinica2001

    alinica2001 Member

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    my two cents here:
    It's not possible in my opinion to darken the oil in such degree in only 2k miles ( see first post ).
    I think Toyota is using a slightly different oil in their factory to fill in the transmission or the transmission is already greased with some darker oil before it's filled in the factory with ATF WS oil which explains this darker color. In both cases, this should not harm in any way the life of the transmission otherwise there should be already a lot of people complaining about transmission failure.
     
  14. jrodz09

    jrodz09 Junior Member

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    So far I am at almost 85k and still haven’t changed the tranny fluid. Haven’t had any issues but I will probably go change it out at the 85k mark lol. Been sorta neglecting my Prime but appreciate seeing all these threads about things I gotta add to my TO DOS.
     
  15. VickyNie

    VickyNie New Member

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    You do a good job.
     
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  16. Larry F.

    Larry F. Junior Member

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    Go back and read my post of August 14. Bottom line is do you want your car/tranny/whatever to last >100K miles? I do, and fluid is cheap compared to rebuilding a DVT.
     
  17. David Rush

    David Rush Junior Member

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    I have a collection of very strong magnets that I salvage out of dead audio speakers.
    Sometimes I am curious about how much ferrous metal is in the oil so I sit the drain pail on a magnet or drop the magnet into the pail and leave it for a week or month.
    Nothing significant stuck to the magnet with Honda oils but the Dodge oils usually attracted a fair bit of material.
    Still to early to change any fluids on the Prime but I expect it will be equal to the Honda.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Honda transmissions in my experience always had a magnet on the drain bolt. And all you needed to remove it was a 3/8" ratchet wrench: the socket head cap screw drain bolt has a 3/8" square recess.
     
  19. Larry F.

    Larry F. Junior Member

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    I used to run magnetic drain plugs on both the engine and manual trannies on my BMW's (20 so far) and Volvo's (8 and done) and had consistent results: Engines: almost no fuzz. Trannies: magnetic fuzz, sometimes LOTS. However, I collect all my oils for recycling in 5-gallon buckets, and when I turn it in, there is a coating of bright, silvery glitter on the bottom, which I am told is primarily babbit material. Makes sense. A healthy engine should have near zero steel-to-steel moving parts (several of the BMW's had aluminum engine blocks), and wear would be taken on the bearing inserts and rings. There are those who want official, quantitative answers, and those can send oil samples off for analysis, to be sure.
     
  20. The Big Sleaze

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    dealer I bought my 2020 Prime LE said all maintenance is included for first 2 years and first oil change is at 10K, and "doing it sooner is just wasting money", and that the A/T fluid is "lifetime".

    Then again, not a single dealer/salesman out of the other 4 I'd asked knew if a Prime could charge the "plug in" without plugging-in (aka "Charge Mode"). None knew which button to push, or even if the car could do it, and always said the others were "lying" etc.

    Used to be a common joke here in Silicon Valley "What the diff between a car salesman and a computer salesman?" Answer: "The car salesman knows he is lying". I don't think that joke works any more, at least not with these new hybrids. :( lol


    But I'd be VERY very careful about changing things like ATF in new car. Heard new CV trannies got real bad rap because many owners were taking to their long time "trusted mechanic" who poured in same stuff he'd been using forever, and it wrecked the CV tranny. Then owner clues in, has ATF changed to correct ATF, then goes crying to dealer. CV use some new special stuff that is totally diff from even latest Dextron/Mercon mark whatever.
     
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