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well from what I've read. Doing a full fluid flush is bad because it might cause some stuck piece of trash in the trans to dislodge and stick somewhere else that could damage the trans..


To me though, it just seems like it would be the same as just changing the engine oil filter and topping the oil off..

but then again engine oil goes through a lot more punishment then trans oil.

maybe the reason they recommend the 100k service is just to change out the filter and get whatever metal shavings and sludge there might be out of the pan? And that the actual fluid still in the trans is still good?
 

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My service guy has seen cooked trans fluid at 45-60K. He recommended changing it before 45K. Granted those are likely work trucks and farm trucks heavily used and abused.
 

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Ya i dropped my drive shaft a several thousand miles ago to change the third and final U-joint and i looked at the little bit of trans fluid that came out and it was still redish maroon colored
 

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My feelings towards tranny fluids is that no matter what the vehicle is, it should be changed every 30k miles. and that is flushing the system, not just draining it, you can do more damage draining 3 quarts out and leaving the other 12 or so of dirty oil in there and mixing it with 3 quarts of fresh fluid. I am a mechanic at a import shop where all we work on is toyota honda and subaru. all of our clients vehicles get a full tranny flush every 30k, and we have plenty of toyotas and subarus with 300k miles or better on the completely original tranny, where changing the fluid is all that has been done. you couldnt believe on many vehicles how burnt the fluid is after only 30k miles. and to put all the flushing rumors aside, flushing can be harmful for your tranny if you use the wrong machine, there are two types of flushing machines, one that the flusher has its own pump that sucks the old fluid out and pumps the new fluid in, which can harm your tranny, and the other which uses the transmissions pump to push the old fluid out and sucks the new fluid in. The machines that use the vehicles tranny pump is much more expensive, but cannot harm your tranny because it is using the same pressures that the tranny run at all the time. So yes you can harm your tranny if flushing using the wrong machine, but the one that i use all the time, which uses the vehicles pump will not harm the car at all. so make sure your mechanic has the right one! and for our trucks to see if the tranny is full, with the vehicle running and on level ground once it is hot, take out the small allen head bolt and it is a overflow bolt that has a tube that goes into the tranny and when the fluid is high enough it will come out and when it stops trickling out, it is full. any other questions feel free to ask. good luck
Jon
 

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Had my tranny and torque rebuilt by the only shop in the southeast certified to rebuild torques. They run the tranny from a tranny stand to see how it performs. The manager told me straight up not to flush the tranny. That's what caused my tranny to accelerate it's issues. All six sensors had stuff all over them. Metal/fiber shavings were magnetized to the sensors which caused the failure. He stated by flushing advance the stage of these sensors.
 

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sounds to me like someones just trying to generate more business for themselves by spreading misinformation...

Ya sure.. Go against your Toyota Maintenance manual, It was simply printed as a recommendation to only be followed at your leisure. Feel free to maintain your vehicle however you see fit or however some mechanic, who had nothing to do with the engineering that went into your vehicles transmission, tells you to service and maintain your vehicle..

I'm sorry, I forgot that It's Dilbert that comes up with these damned maintenance manuals and that the only thing there good for is starting my fires when I'm having a shin dig out in the woods with my other country corn fed redneck friends who don't own anything newer then an 89..
 

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Mickey, if your tranny was flushed with the wrong machine, then sure that could have accelerated your problems, thats why i said there are machines that you should use and machines that you should not use. and i am not trying to generate business for myself, if i was then maybe i would have said where i work and a phone number to reach me at to have this done. I am just giving out information to clear things up. The reason that toyota doesn't have you change the fluid more often is to keep the cost of maintenance down. I have a inside man who works in the engineering department in California for toyota of north america and told me all the manufacturers are doing this now. He told me that alot of people when they go to buy a car or truck, they look at the cost of maintenance over the years they will own the vehicle, and if they prolong the oil changes or how often the tranny has to be serviced or things of that nature, it will keep that cost down and it will look more enticing for someone to buy the vehicle. He point blank told me that prolonging the oil changes and other services like the tranny is bad for the components and will make them fail sooner, but toyota just does it to look good in the public eyes when doing price research. For example, in around 2002, toyota started prolonging their oil changes in their service schedules for this reason, and they have very bad sludging problems and had a big recall to the dealers about doing the oil changes back to where they always have been, around 3k miles, now hey are trying to get around this by using synthetic oil. You dont have to listen to what i say, but after the shop being in business for 30+ years and have never lost a tranny that we have serviced since day one, i think we might be doing something right.
 

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I agree with the above. It is a HUGE selling point to have such long service intervals. Thing is that tranny interval exceeds the factory warranty and is toward the end of extended warranties, and is actually longer than alot of people hold the truck. This makes it hard to quantify the accelerated wear and tear from a 90K service interval vs. 30-45K. Tranny works fine for the 80-100K and 5 years most people own the truck. Then when the next buyer has it and has problems at 150K and above, the logical conclusion is it's normal wear and tear or abuse from a previous owner, when if maintenance intervals had been shorter the component might have lasted 250K instead of 150.

Toyota like many manufacturers is making a calculated gamble and extending it out as long as they can to make the cost of service look good without creating the likelihood of a failure early enough to make an obvious quality issue. Rather than finding the compromise that makes it last as long as possible while keeping cost reasonable, they're basically writing it off as a 100-150K trouble-free item and telling you to do enough to at least get that.

I've already asked about tranny flushes and dealers are very reluctant to do it before 100K because they are scared to deviate from the manufacturer interval and then have to deal with a malfunction while the truck is still well within the warranty period. One way or another I will find someone to do it for me at 40-45K, just like on my last truck. This has to be a 10-12 year vehicle for me and I would rather do the maintenance than rebuild or replace major components.
 

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agree, mfgs. are creating longer service intervals and some of them are not good. Like 100K on a set of spark plugs - way too long, more like 60-80K tops. I just bought yesterday a hyundai santa fe new 2011 and the recommended 'normal' oil change interval is 1 year or 7,500 miles whichever comes first for conventional oil, but some dealers say WI is 'severe' use area (maybe like in winters?) and the oil change should follow the 'severe', not 'normal', maintenance schedule at 6 months and 3750 miles. So, I am going to split the 2 and be like Toyota vehicles and do 5-6 months oil changes and 5,000 miles and I should be fine with regular non-synthetic oil. They do however in the owners manual state with the 3.5L V6 in the 2011 Hyunda Santa Fe to change transmission and coolant every 5 years and 60K and thereafter every 30,000 miles for both for some odd reason. By the way, so far, so good with the Hyundai santa fe replacing the toyota 09' corolla. Was concerned about gas mileage going from 35-36 mpg corolla to expected 26 mph hwy on santa fe, but on our trip 3 hours and 135 miles back home in the V6 santa fe, we averaged 29 mpg according to the computer readout - awesome mpg so far!
 

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Notice how for the severe use transmission flush is at 60,000 miles which is end of factory power train warranty. Coincidence?
Now my dads F150 has 300,020 miles on it with the rear differential only checked once, so maybe something to it.
But he changes trans fluid at 55-60,000 miles like I did with my previous F150. We had dip sticks though to check level, see fluid color and smell.



I don't like this low cost to own as reason for no service.
I did tranny flush at 39,000 miles. I can't imagine doing flush at 100,000 miles.
I agree with the above. It is a HUGE selling point to have such long service intervals. Thing is that tranny interval exceeds the factory warranty and is toward the end of extended warranties, and is actually longer than alot of people hold the truck. This makes it hard to quantify the accelerated wear and tear from a 90K service interval vs. 30-45K. Toyota like many manufacturers is making a calculated gamble and extending it out as long as they can to make the cost of service look good without creating the likelihood of a failure early enough to make an obvious quality issue.
 

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I attached procedure for checking the fluid level... suggest you check the condition by opening the check fill when the transmission is 99 -111 degrees F. It should trickle out. Mine was very dark brown almost black at 50K, so the whole forever transmission fluid is complete BS!!!! I had the same issues no dealers would touch it and the Toyota dealerships closest to me have completely incompetent technicians and service writers (In Tampa FL area) so I'm hesitant letting them do any service other than an oil change or replace a tire (teenager stuff). I was doing the drain and fill method and wanted the dealership to verify the level... said it would take them all day (Sun Toyota)... Wrong few hours to cool tops!!! Anyway if your under 100k mi I would do a full replacement through the transmission cooler lines, if your over 100k mi drain and fill the pan 4 quarts at a time (I did this twice and it made very little visual difference, so I opted for the flush) Mine shifts like its brand new now at 58k... don't wait for 100k miles to service if you can. I rarely tow a boat and work trailer 7,000lbs. The area I live in is heavy stop and go traffic and its FL so its hot as F*** most of the year. These transmissions run hot 180-200 degrees normally... when I towed 220-230. Thats what I attribute the fluid be wore out so early.
 

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Had the Toyota dealer do a power flush on my 2001 Sienna minivan about 12 years ago. They said the fluid was "dark". Nothing but trouble after that. After numerous trips to reputable independent transmission shops finally got it fixed. All the shops did not recommend power flushing a transmission. Said that procedure would break loose contaminants and these particles would lodge in critical places and give trouble. They were right.
I still drive my 2008 with 165K miles on it, tow my camper from time to time and have never and will never have the transmission flushed. My owner's manual does not recommend any service for the transmission. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
 

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Only problem I have ever had with any transmission over the years has been after a flush through transmission lines . After it went into limp mode and I took it to a transmission specialist they had to change a couple solenoids in the transmission. They said it was due to the flush disturbing settled soil in the bottom of the pan and filter and other parts and that they should always be drained and the pan cleaned and a new filter before adding new fluid .I would never recommend flushing to anyone after that experience .
 

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My experiences with sending my used ATF to a lab for analysis was, you are wasting your time, fluid was like new. Blackwell Labs.
 

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It is a sealed unit . Good for 100,000 mile. Then dealer does the fluid swapping.
Originally, I was under the same impression many years ago. My step dad went in to Toyota at 100k to do the fluid, and that truck never shifted right after that. On mine I am having Toyota do it every 45,000 miles, no flush chemical, whether they say it needs it or not. I can tell you that at 45,000 miles, the fluid came out a lot darker than they were expecting.
 

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I've not done this on the Tundra, but beyond the normal 50K pan drop/clean and refill (incomplete) the only way I would 'flush' transmission fluid would be to disconnect an oil cooler or tap into one of the external lines. One hose into an empty bucket, one hose in the bucket of new fluid. Start the car, let it idle, and suck in new fluid until the fluid that comes out is the same as the clean new fluid. Reconnect, top off and good to go. If I towed, or had heavy duty use, I would change at 50K, but will likely wait till 100K and do a pan drop, filter change. If the trans fluid looks gnarley, I will do the 'flush' as I described above.

Many of these places that use 'flush' machines force the fluid through the system, often BACKWARDS. That is what creates most of the issues and guaranteed return business..... YMMV
 
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