Suitable substitutes for the Toyota ATF-WS transmission or transaxle fluid?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Rocketboy235, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. Rocketboy235

    Rocketboy235 Junior Member

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    Hello,

    I currently own a Prius 2010 with over 230,000 miles (and still going strong) on it and the transmission fluid has not been changed since. I am thinking about changing the transmission fluid even though normally we're not supposed to (Toyota normally expecting people to not use the car after 200,000 miles).

    I have found out that I need 3.5 quarts of fluid and that I need the genuine Toyota ATF-WS transmission fluid. However, I was wondering if it is okay to use alternatives that are pretty much compatible with the Prius engine and if so, what kind of third party transmission fluids could I use?

    I did a little research beforehand and someone suggested the Valvoline Maxlife as it is similar but I am not so sure. Thanks for your help guys!
     
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  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Why use a substitue? You can get the original on Amazon or Wal-Mart website
     
  3. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat (y).

    Why not use the ATF WS(n).

    For what I have seen, the cost difference isn't significant, so why not use the fluid it came with?
     
    #3 Raytheeagle, Aug 27, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  4. Rocketboy235

    Rocketboy235 Junior Member

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    So I am aware of that but one of the main factors is mostly price. I see that I have to pay about $10 per Quart whereas the Valvoline Maxlife apparently charges $20 for a gallon/4 quarts. Just curious if alternatives do exist since just want to make an informed purchase without having to pay more than necessary (if possible). Thanks.
     
  5. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    The one alternative I have seen used is the Eneos CVT fluid (helped a member put that into their 2010 awhile back). He got it from Art's Automotive in Berkeley.

    But that price is the same as the ATF WS on Amazon currently.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Up here I'm paying $9 something (Canadian) for litres of Toyota ATF WS, through a nearby dealership.

    You're overthinking this, lol.
     
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  7. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    I think Amsoil has two, one at even more cost, but may provide a mechanical breakdown warranty....
     
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  8. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    In their bulletin T-SB-0006-11, “World Standard Automatic Transmission Fluid,” Toyota writes:
    • The use of Genuine Toyota ATF-WS is recommended.
      • The use of additives or aftermarket fluids that are considered compatible or substitutes may result in shift concerns and damage to the internal transmission components.
      • ATF-WS is NOT compatible with T-IV or Dexron ATF.
    I realize Toyota wants to sell their product, but for any substitute, I’d be concerned about two things:
    • Does it have all of the characteristics—which might include some unusual ones, like dielectric strength or compatibility with electrical insulating materials—that are needed when the fluid is used in a hybrid transaxle with high-voltage motor generators?
    • If you’re planning to drain and refill the transaxle, rather than flush it (which may not even be possible), are the old and new fluids compatible? Even if the new fluid would be suitable for filling an empty transaxle, might it react in some way with the remaining Toyota ATF-WS fluid?
    Valvoline’s product information sheet for MaxLife Multi-Vehicle ATF does say it is “Suitable for use in,” among many others, “Toyota WS,” but it also says, “Valvoline does not recommend MaxLife Multi-Vehicle ATF for use in most continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).”

    For the modestly-higher price, compared to the cost if anything were to go wrong, I’d buy the Toyota ATF-WS fluid (from a dealer, so you’re less likely to get a counterfeit product). I wouldn’t buy a substitute unless the seller could state in writing that it is suitable, not only as a replacement for Toyota ATF-WS in general, but also specifically for use in a Toyota P410 hybrid transaxle.
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    This is something you do once or twice in the car's lifetime, the Owners Manual emphatically warns against using anything but, the transaxle is more-or-less the most expensive component on the car. Go with an iffy alternative fluid, one that as likely as not costs MORE? Hell yeah! :ROFLMAO:
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    You mean once or twice if in different ownership than yours:p.

    Seeing as though it has been done twice and there is less than 75 k km's, yours should last a long time ;).

    Probably longer than the HV battery(y).
     
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  11. FireFighterHill

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  12. FireFighterHill

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    And if you are going to the trouble to change the transmission filter I recommend dropping the pan, cleaning it out good, and adding a rare earth magnet to collect fine particles. There is no filter.
     
  13. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    This is Gen3 land where it is a simple drain and fill;).

    Nothing to take apart and clean.
     
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  14. FireFighterHill

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    There is no pan on the bottom that can be dropped?
     
  15. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Nope;).

    Design change on the Gen2 and on where it is a simple drain and fill.

    Video of the job is #10:

    Nutz About Bolts Prius Maintenance Videos

    Makes life very easy (y).
     
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  16. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    not trying to be a smart nice person, how/where did you find toyota not expecting people to use the car after 200k miles?
     
  17. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    It's only $20 savings if you go with oem, since the ATF is good for the life of the car then $20 more will be a wise investment and will go a long way.

    By the way, did you log all those miles yourself?
     
  18. Rocketboy235

    Rocketboy235 Junior Member

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    Ok, when I said that, what I meant was that Toyota isn't going to say, replace your transmission fluid every 250k miles (for example). I think it's a bit unrealistic to say that the transmission fluid will last 500k miles but is definitely made to last quite a while which might be why Toyota decided to omit the specific details on when to replace it.

    Actually, my dad logged pretty much all of those miles (he commutes a lot as you can tell) and I just recently got the car a few weeks ago (a hand me down after he got himself a newer Prius). I hope to try to get this Prius to get past 300k miles just for fun :) (and hopefully while keeping the costs low). I heard some Prius can last well over 300k miles which is pretty dang good.
     
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  19. danlatu

    danlatu Senior Member

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    I use the valvoline on both prius' and my ridgeline

    Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 12.33.09 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 12.31.48 AM.png
     
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  20. Rocketboy235

    Rocketboy235 Junior Member

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    Thanks! I guess I might as well just stick with the Toyota ATF-WS then.

    Yeah, I know it sounds silly how I asked but hey, was just curious and it didn't hurt to ask. At least now I know that there really isn't any known good alternative.
     
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