Transaxle fluid substitution?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by NewHybridOwner, May 2, 2019.

  1. NewHybridOwner

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    Going to get my all-season tires reinstalled tomorrow at the local tire store that also does routine maintenance jobs, so I asked them to lube the brake slides and check the transaxle fluid while they have it up in the air. I asked the counter guy whether they do have the Toyota WS fluid if it needs topping up, and he said "that's up to the mechanic" (or something like that).

    If it does need topping up and they use generic non-Toyota fluid, is that a problem?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes, bring them a quart.
     
  3. NewHybridOwner

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    Why didn't I think of that and order some online? Now I'll have to go and pay the stealership price.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's not likely to be low, ask them if you can return it.

    to tell you the truth, i wouldn't trust the local tire store to fumble around with the tranny fill plug.
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I don't know, see trouble brewing:

    1. The transaxle very very likely will not need a top up. The fluid does diminish in the normal course of use, unless there was a leak in a seam or seal. I would just leave it alone. The fill and drain bolts are socket head cap screw, require a male 10 mm hex socket, have specific torque values. It's recommended to replace the washers when the bolt comes off. They'll likely just slam it back on with an air wrench.

    The fluid attracts water too: the less you mess with it, the better.

    2. There are some very specific gotcha's with Prius brakes; I would strongly recommend not letting a generic tire place near them. The caliper pins have O-rings that can be swelled by the wrong lube, the rear brake caliper piston alignment is very finicky, and if the driver's door is opened while a caliper is off (and the battery is not disconnected) there's a good chance you'll pop out the piston.

    I'd strongly recommend you just have them do the tire swap.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    especially when you have to talk to the kid at the desk, and not the mech.
     
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  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    +1
     
  8. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    [QUOTE=
    I asked the counter guy whether they do have the Toyota WS fluid if it needs topping up, and he said "that's up to the mechanic" (or something like that).
    RUN RUN RUN FAR AWAY FROM THIS CLOWN!
    I just ordered 5 qts for $43 for Original Toyota WS Prius trans fluid. Free shipping.
    It's not worth the risk of any other fluid.
     
  9. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Wouldn’t recommend a tire store to do engine related work especially on a car that uses a dipstick and twist cap for ATF. Oh wait, this car doesn’t have it.
     
  10. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Is this a carry over from the redline d6 thread back while ago? Man that thread was one of my favorites.
     
  11. NewHybridOwner

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    But 30K-mile required maintenance does include checking the transaxle fluid. (I replaced the engine air filter and cabin air filter myself.) I have no means of raising the car enough -- and level -- to get under it and check the fluid level myself. Are you recommending taking it to the stealership?
     
  12. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    No need to level, jack front up and just take under panel off. You’ll see the drain and fill bolts then inspect.
     
  13. NewHybridOwner

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    Don't remember where I read it, but I've definitely seen it stated that the transaxle fluid must be checked when the car is level.
     
  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    o_O
     
    #14 Grit, May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a stealership isn't necessary, but i would go somewhere with a friendly and knowledgable mechanic.

    and i would want her to say, 'i only use products spec'd by the mfg.'
     
    #15 bisco, May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  16. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    o_O
     
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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    don't get me started on polosi:p
     
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  18. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    At least yours was caused by AI auto correct, hers is not ;)
     
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I would skip the transaxle fluid check, think that's mostly Toyota lawyers talking. If there's no visible leakage, it's good.

    What I would do is change the fluid, but that's for another thread. Suffice to say you can't really change it too early, a change now would be good. Then leave it, at least 60K, maybe one more.

    Also, engine and cabin filters: I would just check their condition, change if needed. It depends a lot on your environment; if you're somewhere in the dust bowl frequent filter changes would be warranted. We're on the west coast, and 8.5 years on (albeit only 80K kms), still on original cabin and engine filters. Engine filter in particular looks almost new.
     
  20. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    No, it's a reply to the original post.

    I use an older jack,after I get it high enough to put the jack stands under it, I lower the jack and put 2x4 on it and raise some more.
    Then I go to the back and when I get it high enough, I shove my ramps under the wheels. Then wood on the jack again, and
    raise some more and then shove the ramps under the wheels.
    It's the HARDEST part of doing anything on the Prius, for me. I don't want to spend $100 for a new jack.

    I'll have to do it in just under 4000 miles to do the trans again.
     
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