Transmission fluid change DIY

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by A617, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Eddy Connelly

    Eddy Connelly Member

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    I was more concerned about the change at such mileage causing more harm than good rather than my ability to do it, but from what I'm gathering it seems only beneficial to git er done!
     
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  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I did our 2010 for the first time at 140 k miles. Now at 172 k miles and going strong ;).

    It’s never too late(y).
     
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  3. kevelev

    kevelev Junior Member

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    How about the fluid itself? Should I go with Toyota brand or are there others that work? I use AMSOIL Signature series for my engine, and they make two options for the Prius transmission. Anyone use it before?
     
  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Toyota brand

    I am sure AMSOIL is a fine fluid, I just doubt they test it to behave with 550 volts running through it.
     
    #44 JimboPalmer, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  5. j12piprius

    j12piprius Junior Member

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    I changed the transmission fluid a week ago at 69,000 miles with Valvoline Maxlife, which was $22.88 at Walmart.
    The old Toyota fluid was totally black, and the process was easy, so I'll probably change it again in a year or two.

    [​IMG]
     
    #45 j12piprius, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  6. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    +1.

    For how many times you’ll do this in the cars life, why not use the manufacturer recommended fluid;).
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Did you read this, page 563 of Owner's Manual:

    upload_2018-6-26_9-46-44.png

    The grammar's a little jumbled, but the message is pretty clear. Toyota doesn't say this for all the fluid, either, so I would consider this serious.

    May or may not be hyperbole. The alternative fluids may or may not be just fine. But why risk it?
     
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  8. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Mendel, it looks like your quote goes beyond just a recommendation.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    My sense: the more adamant the warning, the more the question "so what else can I use" arises. :rolleyes:
     
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  10. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    The difference in cost for the Correct fluid from Toyota and a generic brand is $2-3.
    So why NOT use the Toyota fluid?
    How long does it take you to drive 100,000 miles? I put on 5-600 miles a week.
    So about 4 years for me. And 3 months for oil changes.
    It's just not worth it for me to save just a few dollars.
     
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  11. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    How's was the last oil change on it? Originally I was going to buy the sign series 0w-20 but it was out of stock on eBay when I was using the 20% off coupon with $75 or more purchase. So I went with redline 0w-20 instead.
     
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  12. Siward

    Siward Member

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    I have been hanging out on PriusChat for while, and I have seen any reported transmission problems. Makes me wonder whether I should change my transmission oil.
     
  13. Jon Watkins

    Jon Watkins Active Member

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    Changed the transaxle fluid in the wife’s 2015 two today. 38k miles. I’m a huge believer in preventative maintenance. It took longer to get the car on jackstands than it did to drain and refill. Used the Toyota WS fluid. Found it online at Amazon for 4 qts for $36. Saved me a trip to the stealership. I refilled it from above using some clear plastic hose I had used to change the transmission fluid in my Miata.

    Even with the limited amount of mileage the fluid was really dark..almost black.

    One weird thing happened...when I restarted the car all was good but when I put in R to back out of the garage I got an orange triangle with an exclamation mark on the MFD and a message to put it in P. Turned it off and tried it again in D and had the same thing happen. Didn’t get the triangle in P, only when I put it in D or R. Got out my code reader and had no codes. Started it again and the triangle didn’t come on when I put it in D or R. Drove it for about 20 miles in mixed traffic and no triangle or message. Told the wife to keep an eye on it just in case.

    Fluid was definately full as it took a little more than 3.5 qts before it started spilling out.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Did you need to unplug any sensor connectors, say for access?

    It could be there's some additional step involved, it's a little different than third gen. I don't think anyone's bit the bullet, got a tech info subscription and got the kosher instruction.
     
  15. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    What code reader do you have?

    You’ll need something like Techstream paired with a J2534 protocol harness (like Mini vci or vxdiag) to read some codes.

    If you get a dash light, there is a cause;).

    Good luck and keep us posted (y).
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    You can have a check engine light for something trivial, a momentary loss of communication, say if you reconnect something but the pins are not quite touching for a split second? I think I had this after my second intake manifold remove/install. CEL was on, persisted for maybe 5 start ups, then gone, for good.
     
  17. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Active Member

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    Is this really for CVT?
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I would stick with Toyota ATF WS, considering the Owner's Manual warnings, against using anything else. This is the only fluid they are so adamant about. Their guidance on coolant is pretty strict too, but they do allow that alternate coolant would be acceptable, as long as they meet a (long) list of criteria...

    Also, there's an element of conflation, in the testimonies saying "I drained the stock (Toyota ATF WS) fluid, and it was totally black, so I'm putting in this whiz-bang alternative fluid. You could drain the stock fluid eight-o'clock-day-one and pour in that alternate fluid, and a year later I'd wager it too would be dark.

    And this is a point I love to harp on: an early change of the fluid, say at the one year mark, is very worthwhile, at least judging from drained fluid appearance. I've done three drain-and-fills, and the first one, at the one year mark, was by far the darkest. The next one was modestly darker, the last, was pretty much a waste of fluid I think.

    And, I'm not clever enough to use alternate fluids.

    This is one more reason I never by used: I don't want to inherit someone's "experiment".
     
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  19. alanwagen

    alanwagen Member

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    Weber State University has some great Prius videos. But from what I understand, temperature has a large bearing on transmission fluid levels...
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    The video is discussing a wide array of Toyota transmissions, traditional automatics I think. The Prius transaxle is more akin to a manual transmission. I've never bothered to check the level, since it involves jacking up the car, levelling it, and removing the fill plug. I fill the transaxle after drain, till it starts coming back out, install the fill bolt, and then just keep an eye on it for leaks, whenever I have the car up for an oil change. If you filled it correctly, and there's no leaks, it's fine.
     
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