Should I Change the Transmission Fluid at 200k Miles?

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Kaufam7, Jan 6, 2022.

  1. Kaufam7

    Kaufam7 New Member

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    I just took my 2014 Prius V to my personal mechanic for a 200k mile checkup. The vehicle looks and runs like it's still brand new! He changed the coolant in both coolant systems but was afraid to change the transmission fluid because of the traditional philosophy regarding standard gasoline vehicles that if a car has that many miles and the trans fluid has never been changed, don't change it or the new fluid can actually cause the transmission to fail. The logic is that a car with that many miles will likely have very dirty, black, and compromised fluid, and the added viscosity of the contaminants is keeping the transmission going. The mechanic at my local Toyota dealer was of the same opinion as my mechanic and several articles and videos I pulled off the Internet. The transmission on my Prius, however, is not the same as the transmission on a regular gasoline powered vehicle. My transmission fluid is still pink, only slightly discolored, and shows no sign of any contaminants. The fluid level was full, there are no signs of any leaks, and the transmission isn't giving me any problems. My inclination is to go ahead and change the fluid and add a quart of Lucas Transmission Additive to account for age. I am hoping to get another 100k+ miles out of this vehicle and can't see continuing to run it on the original transmission fluid. I am an Uber driver and drive about 65k miles per year. Can I get some other opinions about this? Thanks!
     
  2. gromittoo

    gromittoo Active Member

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    A Prius "Transmission" is very different from a traditional "Transmission". There is no "Valve Body" in a Prius "Transmission" that could get plugged up by crud breaking off from a late in life fluid change. The fact that the Prius "Transmission" does not have a filter to replace (it does not need one) is telling. The Prius "Transmission" is more like a traditional Differential, and and should have fresh lubricant every once and a while (IIRC every 120K).

    I would have the fluid changed, as its primary purpose is lubrication, and old fluid won't protect the gears from excessive wear.
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Yeah change it, asap. If you can post pics of the old and new fluid that'd be interesting.

    But play it safe; don't do this:

    Because of this (screen grab from page 501 of Prius v Owner's Manual):

    upload_2022-1-7_6-56-19.png

    There's a transaxle fluid change link in my signature. It has excerpt from 3rd gen Prius Repair Manual, but I believe the procedure is identical for the Prius v.
     
  4. 2010moneypit?

    2010moneypit? Active Member

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    Do not add Lucas! Correct Toyota fluid must be used. Inside of the transmission there are insulators for the wiring if you use the wrong fluid it will damage the coating and cause a short to ground code I forgot what code number it was. But at that point the transmission would have to be replaced.

    I also bought a Prius with approximately 200,000 miles on it and have not changed the fluid yet. It is on my list to do though. I agree with what others have said the transmission is like a differential.

    Have you cleaned the EGR Circuit yet? Very important to do on this generation.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Good point. And at least 100K overdue. First link in my signature has info.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    No!

    As already partially mentioned above, the "transmission" contains two motor-generators, which always contain lots of insulated wire tightly wound around magnetic cores. Preserving the integrity of that insulation coating, to avoid excessive electrical leakage, is critical. Some other fluids have degraded the insulation. So don't put in anything not specifically rated for Toyota-style hybrid transaxles.
     
  7. Kaufam7

    Kaufam7 New Member

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    Thank you very much for all the replies! I am changing the transmission fluid next week and asking my mechanic to save some of the old fluid so I can send comparative photos as requested. I already went to the Toyota dealer and bought 4 quarts of the OEM ATF WS, and I will NOT add any Lucas or other additive. I am also changing the spark plugs tomorrow with genuine Toyota long-lasting plugs which is something I had forgotten about. Although I am having no issues with the current plugs, I figure 200k miles has to have degraded them to some degree. Maybe I’ll see a little higher mileage once everything is done!

    By the way, what is the EGR Circuit and how do you clean it?

    Also, to Mr. Mendel Leisk, you say there are links with instructions attached to some of your posts, but they don’t seem to be coming through for some reason. Just letting you know. Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong place.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone for all the advice. I’ll post pictures of the 200k mile transmission fluid once it is replaced.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    2010 55K Miles Sluggish Transmission Whine | PriusChat
    Are you viewing PriusChat on a phone? If so, signatures probably aren’t displaying, until your turn your phone to landscape orientation. This is a PriusChat Easter egg lol.

    In the interim, here’s the egr and transaxle fluid change links:

    Exhaust Gas Recirculation info

    Transaxle Fluid Change
     
  9. icyrius

    icyrius Member

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    Any idea of this service cost if done at a Toyota dealer?
     
  10. gromittoo

    gromittoo Active Member

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    It is a really easy open the drain plug, drain, replace the plug and re-fill through the fill plug. It is hard to mess up. Anybody who does oil changes can do it for about the same amount of money.

    It is important to use the Toyota branded fluid though. Make sure whoever does it, make sure they use the "WS" version of Toyota Transmission Fluid. Buy the fluid from the dealer, and tell them to use that fluid for the replacement.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    That can be all over the map. A fair price is $80~100. There's owners' reports here of preposterous charges though, $250~300, accompanied by explanations of how complex/tricky the process is. Which is pure BS, as evidenced by the repair manual (per my previous link).

    Any place quoting high prices and claiming it's very complicated are best avoided.
     
  12. Brian1954

    Brian1954 Junior Member

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    I checked with two local Toyota dealerships yesterday and was quoted $200 and $140. I have a $10 discount coupon, so it it will cost me $130 plus tax. I have it scheduled to be done next week.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    I checked local dealership price for liters of Toyota ATF WS last December: $11.60 CDN apiece (you need 4), and the fill/drain bolt washers were maybe $3 CDN apiece (robbery...). Labour's on par with an oil change.

    I think they're charging more purely cus it's unusual. At our nearby dealership parts department, all the supplies would be about $42 USD.

    upload_2022-1-15_9-54-35.png

    To DIY, it's best to have the car raised and level. Very simple method of delivering the new fluid is a funnel with tube extension.
     
    #13 Mendel Leisk, Jan 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  14. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    Always remove the top bolt first in case you can't get the bottom one out.
    Very easy job.... need a funnel with 3' hose attached to it. Make sure the hose goes inside the trani.... Fill from the left side of the engine compartment.
    I have done this five times.
    And I don't use the Toyota fluid.
    Your can do it yourself for under $20.00
    Maxlife WTS at Walmart.
    I have also used 10 w 40 Walmart motor oil. Works fine.
    Holds 4 quarts.
    It's just like a 4 speed manual transmission. Just a bunch of gears...
     
    #14 Tim Jones, Jan 16, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
  15. gromittoo

    gromittoo Active Member

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    I am curious as to why you need two washers. I only bought 1 washer last summer when I bought the Fluid. I have yet to replace the fluid (it is 16 degrees outside in Philly), so if I need a 2nd washer, I want buy it.
     
  16. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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    There are 2 bolts.Each has a washer.
    Use the same one on the top.
    I reuse them.... it's up to you.
     
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  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    What Tim said. :)
     
  18. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I am not in upstate NY, but my dealer has charged $90 twice and $110 once. No idea what was different.
     
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    To be fair, seems like the ATF WS is harder to come by through US dealerships, and somewhat more expensive. Checking on Amazon.ca it's VERY expensive.
     
  20. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Senior Member

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