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Old 06-04-2019, 02:19 PM #1
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Original tranny fluid at 205k miles: would you change it?

One family 2007 SR5 4wd V6 4Runner. Went through a period of the infamous shudder after 150k miles. Very oddly, did its first synthetic engine oil change around 200k miles, and the shudder has not returned once.

I know Toyota WS is a "lifetime" fluid. And I know about the shudder fix additive.

The dealer will exchange the full fluid for about $200+ (wouldn't bother doing this job myself since the fluid value is close to $100). Wondering if others have changed out the original after 200k, and what the results were.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:08 PM #2
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a lot of people talk about changing fluids on here...i wouldnt touch it unless there was something noticably wrong in it's current performance. if it isnt broken, dont fix it, especially to a toyota. i still might pull the trigger on gear tcase and tranny fluid change from the dealer eventually but i havent because everything works so damn smoothly right now. and i wheel my truck weekly. my truck has 140k miles though too
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:20 PM #3
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I personally would do a full fluid exchange if it were mine...BUT I know many are gun shy and are hesitant to do that which I do understand, but at the very least I would do a drain and fill.

The way I look at any of the mechanical components that has fluids, especially a lubricate, it will be better the have new fluid over old fluid that has lost any of it's properties, would you ever not change your engine oil??

I say this over and over, there's no such thing as a lifetime lubricate, all lubricates lose some if not many of the lubricating properties the longer they are used in a friction/heat environment.

That all being said maybe you should take a sample of the transmission fluid and send it off to be tested, if it passes with flying colors, don't change it, if it fails then you will have to make the choice too do it or not.

I'm not sure if I have read of anyone having the transmission fluid tested but I think it's a good idea, it will answer many questions many here have on this subject, if you do this please post the results!!
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:33 PM #4
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I think it would be just fine to do a fluid exchange. I had mine done at 150k. I talked to the mechanic at the dealer because I was concerned but he said they do it occasionally with vehicles over 200k and that they wouldn’t be hesitant until you were in the 250k-300k range.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:26 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
I personally would do a full fluid exchange if it were mine...BUT I know many are gun shy and are hesitant to do that which I do understand, but at the very least I would do a drain and fill.

The way I look at any of the mechanical components that has fluids, especially a lubricate, it will be better the have new fluid over old fluid that has lost any of it's properties, would you ever not change your engine oil??

I say this over and over, there's no such thing as a lifetime lubricate, all lubricates lose some if not many of the lubricating properties the longer they are used in a friction/heat environment.

That all being said maybe you should take a sample of the transmission fluid and send it off to be tested, if it passes with flying colors, don't change it, if it fails then you will have to make the choice too do it or not.

I'm not sure if I have read of anyone having the transmission fluid tested but I think it's a good idea, it will answer many questions many here have on this subject, if you do this please post the results!!

I am not sure I have ever understood the sealed forever transmission idea. While trans fluid will/can last a long time I think AuSeeker is right here. Speaking as a person with a degree in aerospace engineering, who has spent many years in and around the firearm industry as well, it strikes me that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that no fluid is made to last forever.

The simple laws of thermodynamics over a time of, cycles of heat and cold, natural condensation, natural wear and tear, suggest that there's a limit to any lubricity material.

Toyota may be right that flushing systems might not be needed. Perhaps there are a lot of these quick-change places that unnecessarily talk people into flushing systems, and they may in fact do more harm than good. But to suggest that the alternative is never change seems extreme.

I would think the best alternative is draining and refilling. Some do it a few times in a row.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:40 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinmo24t View Post
a lot of people talk about changing fluids on here...i wouldnt touch it unless there was something noticably wrong in it's current performance. if it isnt broken, dont fix it, especially to a toyota. i still might pull the trigger on gear tcase and tranny fluid change from the dealer eventually but i havent because everything works so damn smoothly right now. and i wheel my truck weekly. my truck has 140k miles though too
Why bother changing your engine oil? If it ain't broken don't fix it!

In all seriousness OP, do a drain and fill FFS. I understand the concerns with using a fluid exchange machine (even though it's not a flush but I understand the confusion/paranoia) but a drain and fill is completely harmless.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:41 AM #7
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Originally Posted by ac1617 View Post
Why bother changing your engine oil? If it ain't broken don't fix it!

In all seriousness OP, do a drain and fill FFS. I understand the concerns with using a fluid exchange machine (even though it's not a flush but I understand the confusion/paranoia) but a drain and fill is completely harmless.
lol, i hear you. i think knowing my luck - ill take the thing in for the refill (i really will probably do this at some point) and they will either tell me they found something else i 'cant' ignore or my 4x4 system or tranny wont work 100% perfect as it does now. i just try to be careful fixing problems that arent there or over complicate things (can you blame me? i spent a lot of time in the vw/audi scene and subaru wrx...hency my current Toyota, that calls for lifetime transmission fluid lol.) to each their own.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:49 AM #8
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Change the oil.

Lubricated for life, or sealed for life is a myth.

Best is to do a full fluid replacement, aka a so-called “flush”. Approx 12 quarts and is done by opening the oil cooler lines.

I did a 4 quart drain and refill, plus pan drop, magnet cleaning, screen, o-ring, and gasket. Will do a full flush when I have more time.

206,000 miles 4.0 V6 5 speed transmission.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:12 AM #9
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Toyota rips you off with that service because their “exchange” is only about 3-4 quarts of fluid. If I were you I would replace the filter yourself and exchange all the fluid via the transmission cooler lines up front. You basically run the vehicle until it fills a jug with one gallon of old fluid and then you pour in a gallon and so on until you have replaced all 14 quarts of fluid. It’s also pretty easy to check if it full or not. You from cold run it for 5 min and then unscrew the check plug while the vehicle is running and any excess fluid will drain out putting it at the correct level. If none comes out just add some and then try again.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:12 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardbird View Post
I am not sure I have ever understood the sealed forever transmission idea. While trans fluid will/can last a long time I think AuSeeker is right here. Speaking as a person with a degree in aerospace engineering, who has spent many years in and around the firearm industry as well, it strikes me that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that no fluid is made to last forever.

The simple laws of thermodynamics over a time of, cycles of heat and cold, natural condensation, natural wear and tear, suggest that there's a limit to any lubricity material.

Toyota may be right that flushing systems might not be needed. Perhaps there are a lot of these quick-change places that unnecessarily talk people into flushing systems, and they may in fact do more harm than good. But to suggest that the alternative is never change seems extreme.

I would think the best alternative is draining and refilling. Some do it a few times in a row.
I can't cite a source but I read a while back that calling a fluid "lifetime" excuses manufacturers from paying a fluid disposal fee imposed on imported vehicles. So it's much easier to understand if "lifetime" really means "long enough that we won't have to fix the transmission when the fluid craps out or pay this environmental tax to get rid of the used fluid."

What you and others have said is right and it's simply common sense - no fluid, no matter what it's made of (and there's no evidence that WS is anything special) can indefinitely sustain its lubrication and protective properties, especially in a complex, high-heat mechanism like a transmission.

And besides, Scotty says change it and, in his inimitable way, explains why.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:22 AM #11
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I agree with the above statements. A fluid exchange would be best IMO. But at least a drain and fill. Whatever you do, don't do a flush.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:24 AM #12
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Original tranny fluid at 205k miles: would you change it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johns06yota View Post
Toyota rips you off with that service because their “exchange” is only about 3-4 quarts of fluid. If I were you I would replace the filter yourself and exchange all the fluid via the transmission cooler lines up front. You basically run the vehicle until it fills a jug with one gallon of old fluid and then you pour in a gallon and so on until you have replaced all 14 quarts of fluid. It’s also pretty easy to check if it full or not. You from cold run it for 5 min and then unscrew the check plug while the vehicle is running and any excess fluid will drain out putting it at the correct level. If none comes out just add some and then try again.


The dealership I took mine to confirmed that it was the full 14 quart exchange not just a drain and fill. But I guess that could be different elsewhere.


2006 Toyota 4Runner Limited 4wd

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Old 06-05-2019, 11:27 AM #13
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The dealership I took mine to confirmed that it was the full 14 quart exchange not just a drain and fill. But I guess that could be different elsewhere.


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That's what mine was a well, a full exchange.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:18 PM #14
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I can't cite a source but I read a while back that calling a fluid "lifetime" excuses manufacturers from paying a fluid disposal fee imposed on imported vehicles. So it's much easier to understand if "lifetime" really means "long enough that we won't have to fix the transmission when the fluid craps out or pay this environmental tax to get rid of the used fluid."
This 100%, lifetime doesn't literally mean the fluid is good for unlimited miles as some believe, it means the lifetime of the powertrain warranty.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:22 PM #15
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lol, i hear you. i think knowing my luck - ill take the thing in for the refill (i really will probably do this at some point) and they will either tell me they found something else i 'cant' ignore or my 4x4 system or tranny wont work 100% perfect as it does now. i just try to be careful fixing problems that arent there or over complicate things (can you blame me? i spent a lot of time in the vw/audi scene and subaru wrx...hency my current Toyota, that calls for lifetime transmission fluid lol.) to each their own.
You keep moving parts lubricated to PREVENT wear/problems, you don't lubricate parts to fix wear/problems.
It's illogical to wait until the transmission starts to slip to replace the fluid, the same way you don't wait for your engine to start knocking before changing the oil. Damage has already been done at that point.
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