Opps, I screwed up on Transmission (or is it transaxle) fluid change

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by cyberpriusII, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    I meant to change my -- is it transaxle or transmission -- fluid at 60K. Got all the tools, etc. But I then moved to Iowa and left those things back in Oregon.

    I decided I would have Toyota do the fix here in Iowa, but when 60K came, I was nearly broke, so....being short on $$ and cheap, besides, decided to wait until 65K.

    Opps, now I just noticed the car nearly has 75K on it!!

    So, I will take it in before the end of the month, but, just to be clear, probably best to have dealer do this (there is only one choice for dealers around here) and around $100 or so??
     
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Hey, welcome to the midwest!

    I think you'd spend less than $100 on some tranny fluid and the tools (what would you need, a torque wrench and one socket that fits the drain and fill plugs?), and as an extra added bonus, you get to keep the tools.

    There's really nothing tricky about the tranny fluid change....

    -Chap
     
  3. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    Transaxle fluid replacement is nearly as easy as an oil change. You just need to decide on a method to refill the transaxle after draining it. I used a funnel with a long hose and filled it from the top of the engine in front of the inverter down to the fill hole. Shouldn't set you back more than $50 for the four quarts of ATF-WS and two crush washers. That's assuming you or someone else DIYs it. The stealership will not be kind to your wallet - are they ever?
     
  4. blaisep

    blaisep Junior Member

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    Whoa! Slow down there...!

    The drain and filler plugs are the trickiest part of the operation... they are different sizes and you will need a 10mm hex key socket (like what you might use on a bicycle bottom bracket), which you may not happen to have in your toolbox.

    Also, it is critical that you drain and fill with the car *LEVEL*.

    Other than that you're in great shape and FWIW, a lot of people don't change their tranny oil until much later that 70K.
     
  5. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    HI Kris-
    The biggest problem with diy is that damn fill hole bolt on the top side the input side is really really hard to get off the first time you try to take it off. You need a very big breaker bar and it feels like your gonna snap the bolt head off. They really put it on there good. Let the dealer do it. Its not saving any money if you hurt yourself. Pull a muscle bad etc. At least thats how I look it at it.

    I know your a spunky gamer though lol.
     
    #5 edthefox5, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
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  6. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Depends, might need a larger floor jack, jack stands, ramps, etc.
     
  7. Todd Q

    Todd Q Junior Member

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    I will concur that the fluid change is technically as difficult as an oil change. You do need to get the car up off the ground like you are doing an oil change. The drain and fill plugs are different, 24mm for the fill plug and 10mm hex key socket for the drain plug( Transmission fluid change | PriusChat).

    4 qts of the Genuine Toyota Lexus Automatic Transmission Fluid 1QT WS ATF World Standard (4 Pack) is currently $38 delivered, from Amazon. It's a little more than I pay from the Toyota dealer in St. Paul but it's delivered to my door.

    Drain all of the fluid put the drain plug back in, take 2 ft of clear tubing attached to a small funnel and feed the tubing from up above in the engine compartment down to the fill hole of the transmission. At this point it helps if you have someone watch from below as you add fluid just to make sure that everything is still in place and that you're not dumping fluid on the ground and they can tell you when it's full and cannot take any more fluid.

    Technically it's a 2 out of 10, 10 being very technical
    Specialty tools is a 4 out of 10, the tools are relatively common and you will use them again if you enjoy or find it necessary to do this type of work to save $. With the Prius being the star performer that it is you'll highly likely to be able to use them again in 65,000 miles and then in another 65,000 miles, so on and so forth.

    I am changing mine at 40,000 before the snow flies here in MN, so probably a week or two.

    Todd
     
  8. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Tip, it's always a good idea to remove the fill plug first, before removing and draining the fluid out. That way, if for some reason, you can't remove the fill plug, you aren't stuck with an empty transaxle. ;)
     
  9. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    First:

    Ed -- You know how to sweet talk a woman! :love:

    Second:

    I am in a strange town with some " friends," but no "real" friends who know how to fix what you F*U* and give you an IPA afterward if you all know what I mean (and something better than a Grainbelt -- grainbelt.com). So, if I have troubles, I am sort of stuck.

    Third, I would be doing this in a busy apartment parking lot, which is better than on a busy boulevard, but...

    Anyway, I had planned to do this in Oregon. Had everything I needed, including the manual and nitrile gloves :p, wrenches, etal.

    Here, I am a bit of a chicken. And the bit about not being able to get that one plug out sort of has me a bit, well, clucky....I know I could probably gorilla it off somehow, but, it would scare me to be truthful.

    So, taking Ed's advice (not that I do not appreciate the rest of your advice), it's off to the dealer.

    But, as Ed said, I sort of like to do things, myself. So, first of October, since it does not need much in the way of tools, MAF and Throttle body cleaning....yeah, baby steps, but when I got this car, I was clueless on how to change out the cabin filter.

    Thanks and hugs to all of you....
    Kris
     
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  10. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Kris,

    FWIW, when I changed ours in the 09 Prius, I paid the dealer to do it. The labor was not real expensive. Just remind them it is strictly a drain and fill. There is NO flush required. For some reason they always try that up sell. IIRC it was less than $100.00 back then. (Two or three years ago). I think I have a post on here somewhere discussing it.

    Hugs back at ya!

    Ron (dorunron)
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Has it been mentioned: best to have the car raised AND level. Do work safe.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Ok, not to second-guess your decision to go with the dealer this time, just for next time, Archimedes wants you to remember that with a long enough wrench handle (or pipe section over wrench handle), all drain plugs are easy. :)

    There are other places on a car where the longer-handle strategy has to be used more carefully (rusty fasteners that might break, etc.). But I haven't heard of any such problems with beefy Prius drain plugs. You're not likely to break or strip them, you'll just either pop them loose easily or grunt and groan trying, and the difference is nothing more magical than the handle length. (Plus good, snug-fitting sockets, don't go cheap on those.)

    In fact, if you think you might be at an n% strength disadvantage compared to the brawny dude at the dealer, and you see the handle length he's using, you can do the simple math for the handle length you could use to loosen things just as easily as he does. :)

    It is good to make sure one of your long handles is a torque wrench so that when you put things back, you won't overdo tightening them (which is surprisingly easy, if you're using a handle long enough to look casual popping them loose).

    -Chap
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    For years I used a regular 3/8" drive ratchet wrench. The shortish handle made for lots of drama. Then I picked up a cheapie 3/8" breaker bar wrench (swivel joint, non-ratchet): maintenance got easier.

    Then lately, knowing I was going to have to deal with a 24 mm coolant drain bolt, I picked up a really nice Jet 1/2" drive wrench. About the same handle length as the previous breaker bar (18"~), with very solid ratchet drive, and the whole ratchet head can swivel, to get into any corner.

    It was a jaw dropping $60 or so, but makes bolt removal a lot easier. The next stage would be compressor and air tools I guess, but that seems like a bigger step than I wanna take, and I'm getting on.
     
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    When is the car going to be in Oregon again? If for example you are returning during the Christmas holiday, you could do the transaxle ATF change then.

    Regarding the transaxle fill plug, use the correct 24 mm (or 15/16") six-point socket and a 1/2" breaker bar, and you will have absolutely no problem removing the fill plug. The tightening torque is only 29 ft.-lb. If you position yourself so that you are pulling down on the breaker bar, it is very easy to exert the required force.
     
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