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Old 05-26-2020, 01:12 PM #1
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Transmission fluid (ATF) change (using the cooling line) 5th gen 4runner.

I did my Transmission fluid (Toyota WS ATF) change using the cooling line this past weekend.
Primarily I used info that was posted in 4th gen section (big thanks to OP (46Runner) for a write up and for all info there!), here is the link: ATF Exchange (using the cooling line)

Couple things to note for 5th gen owners:

1) I have spent some time making sure I am selecting the correct (return) line to be used for the drain of old the fluid… in my 2013 4runner (and I would believe it would apply to all 5th gen) possibly best connection for that is located near the top of the engine bay next to radiator expansion reservoir (see attached picture below). I have disconnect rubber house at that connection and attached 3/8" ID vinyl hose to the metal tube for the drain (I have also plugged the rubber hose for the duration of the process-not sure if that is needed or not).
Toyota actually marks that return line with blue paint (that is the one you want for drain!) and marks the line going from transmission to radiator with red-which is very nice indication of what each line means.

2) I have used "gravity feed" method to fill the transmission with new fluid instead of “Fluid pump”, I have routed 3/8" vinyl hose from the engine bay to the fill location on the transmission (make sure the vinyl house is not touching part of exhaust system) and attached small funnel on the top (see picture)- that made the fill process very easy and fast!

I was surprise to some degree of the color of smell of the old fluid- my truck has 77K, but the fluid looked great (IMHO)… it was just slightly discolored and had smell of the new fluid…

I guess I was expecting worse, considering that I use my truck off road and for towing… I think I should have waited until at least 100K or even longer to do that… I guess that is the price I have to pay for my OCD… LOL

Hopefully, above info will be beneficial for all 5th gen owners that are planning to do Transmission fluid change.
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Transmission fluid (ATF) change (using the cooling line) 5th gen 4runner.-return-line-connection-jpg  Transmission fluid (ATF) change (using the cooling line) 5th gen 4runner.-gravity-feed-jpg 
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Last edited by progress4m; 05-26-2020 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:39 PM #2
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Good stuff

I just wanted to point out you did the swap at the RIGHT time.. if the fluid has already burnt out and you do a late swap, could lead to transmission problems later on.

I did my first trans fluid swap at 60k miles, and it was still ok with minor burn in. I dropped the trans pan and swapped the metal filter mesh while I was there... Quite surprised how much debris was on the pan magnets!

In the end I would say the fluid swap is a must if you use the truck heavily or off-road.. or even if you plan to keep it a long time and want some peace of mind
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:42 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borfoo3 View Post
Good stuff

I just wanted to point out you did the swap at the RIGHT time.. if the fluid has already burnt out and you do a late swap, could lead to transmission problems later on.

I did my first trans fluid swap at 60k miles, and it was still ok with minor burn in. I dropped the trans pan and swapped the metal filter mesh while I was there... Quite surprised how much debris was on the pan magnets!

In the end I would say the fluid swap is a must if you use the truck heavily or off-road.. or even if you plan to keep it a long time and want some peace of mind
When you say swap, does that mean the same as a flush (full)? Or is it an exchange?

On previous cars, I have always flushed the trans at 30k. Was thinking about doing it with the 4runner as I have gotten the temps beyond 220F a few times.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:00 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyKevin View Post
When you say swap, does that mean the same as a flush (full)? Or is it an exchange?

On previous cars, I have always flushed the trans at 30k. Was thinking about doing it with the 4runner as I have gotten the temps beyond 220F a few times.
It's not a full flush, as you don't get 100% new fluid by the pan drop method. Basically you are unbolting the transmission pan along with any fluid in it and whatever drips out... some of the previous fluid is still in the transmission internals.. so guess it's more like a partial flush. This is how I prefer to do it for my cars just to allow some break-in and not shock the system with new (heavier) fluid

I also got the temps beyond 220F several times. Hence why I now have a trans cooler on. I plan on doing 60k fluid changes + metal filter mesh. No need to worry about it too much.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:26 PM #5
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I was in the same exact situation as you and used the same technique. Took my sweet time doing it to minimize mess. I changed my 2015 camry's at 60K because it had some real nasty slippage between 3rd,4th, and 5th gear. OEM ATF is not lifetime. I am now a believer that no lifetime fluid is actually good for a lifetime as advertised.

I used the cheapest synthetic I could find and that was Valvoline Maxlife ATF from walmart.

Gravity-fed system is simply the cleanest and easiest method. Used the same funnel and hose for rear diff and probably gonna use the same for transfer case and front diff as well when the time comes. Don't worry friends, I clean the hose out real good to avoid cross contamination.

As for the 4runner I did mine right around 75k and wished I had done it at 60k instead. 4runner definitely shifted w/ less hesitation between gears.

And as for the Camry, it definitely cured the nasty slippage between 3rd,4th,5th. I was ready to overhaul the trans because i let the idea that lifetime fluid shouldnt misbehave that soon.

Maxlife ATF has been in both vehicles for roughly 10k and its been running great w/ no problems.
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Old 08-18-2020, 10:56 PM #6
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5th Gen Fluid Guide: Beginner Fluid Maintenance

I do mine every 50k. To each their own. Here's a diagram I found on the Toyota website and I drew on the flow direction and best place to drain from. Hope this can help anyone else that maybe wants to do it from a different connection.

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Old 09-11-2020, 11:44 PM #7
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Thanks for the write up and pictures. The original DIY thread from the 4th Gen forum was easy to follow. I just did my tranny fluid exchange at 81k on my '14 SR5 and the initial 4.5 quarts I got out was near black. So glad I did this job, wish I had done it sooner though. The temperature check was easy, the overflow streamed out some fluid, then trickled until I plugged it back up. In all I put in 13 quarts of the ATF WS fluid.
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Old 05-31-2024, 07:10 AM #8
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Anything wrong with using the sending line (trans->radiator) instead? I can just as easily disconnect that line and point it straight into a bucket.
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Old 05-31-2024, 10:45 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jzgte View Post
I was in the same exact situation as you and used the same technique. Took my sweet time doing it to minimize mess. I changed my 2015 camry's at 60K because it had some real nasty slippage between 3rd,4th, and 5th gear. OEM ATF is not lifetime. I am now a believer that no lifetime fluid is actually good for a lifetime as advertised.

I used the cheapest synthetic I could find and that was Valvoline Maxlife ATF from walmart.

Gravity-fed system is simply the cleanest and easiest method. Used the same funnel and hose for rear diff and probably gonna use the same for transfer case and front diff as well when the time comes. Don't worry friends, I clean the hose out real good to avoid cross contamination.

As for the 4runner I did mine right around 75k and wished I had done it at 60k instead. 4runner definitely shifted w/ less hesitation between gears.

And as for the Camry, it definitely cured the nasty slippage between 3rd,4th,5th. I was ready to overhaul the trans because i let the idea that lifetime fluid shouldnt misbehave that soon.

Maxlife ATF has been in both vehicles for roughly 10k and its been running great w/ no problems.
We have 360K miles on the transmission in our 2014 and have used Valvoline Maxlife since the first fluid change. I always get a good chuckle out of the posters here who only use Toyota WS. It just highlights their fear factor because they donít know anything technical.
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Old 06-02-2024, 10:37 PM #10
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You certainly can, but if you use the return line then you'll also be flushing all the old fluid in the radiator/trans cooler. No sense leaving all the old fluid in there IMHO.
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Old 06-03-2024, 11:27 PM #11
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OEM trany fluid alternative

I already used it once ut cannot remember the name of the alternative to Oem fluid, help me out fellas
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