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Old 09-26-2023, 11:40 AM #1
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2015 4Runner TRD - Transmission Drain/Refill Experience

2015 4Runner TRD ( 71.2 K miles)

This past week-end, I drained and refilled my transmission.

1. Used a scanner to monitor transmission temperature.
2. Used a Motive fluid pump to make life easier
3. Used a 15/16 inch short socket ( fits better than the specified 24MM- I have both; the 24mm is too loose).
4. Torque wrench
5. Toyota WS fluid
6. Toyota gaskets for bottom two plugs ( the fill plug has a rubber O ring which was fine to re-use).

Drained 3 quarts. Added 3.5 quarts , ran up to temperature , and opened the level plug to drain off excess while engine idling at temperature. My suggestion, do not refill the exact amount drained, you have no way of knowing whether the original fill was correct.

While the drained fluid was darker than new fluid, it was not super dark and smelled fine ( lol if that matters).

Since the job was super easy ; I plan to repeat every 30K miles .

Very easy job.

My two cents- do not substitute for any other fluid than the OEM Toyota WS.
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Old 09-27-2023, 09:32 PM #2
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To Drain & Fill or Not to

Nice post, thanks for sharing your experience.

Personally I donít like the drain and fill strategy because after your 4th drain and fill at 120k miles a little over half of the ATF still has 60k miles of use. However, itís certainly better than not doing any ATF maintenance.
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Old 09-28-2023, 08:16 AM #3
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Yeah, if it was mine and fluid never done until this first drain and fill, I would do 2-3 more within a month and then start the every 30K miles.
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Old 09-28-2023, 10:41 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdruss View Post
Yeah, if it was mine and fluid never done until this first drain and fill, I would do 2-3 more within a month and then start the every 30K miles.
I do not disagree, good suggestion .
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Old 09-29-2023, 12:46 AM #5
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The theory is you’re not removing all of the beneficial clutch material that is suspended in the old fluid when you do just a drain and fill or two
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Old 09-29-2023, 10:14 AM #6
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just a guess, but magnets inside probably completely full of shavings
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Old 09-29-2023, 05:29 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNB View Post
2015 4Runner TRD ( 71.2 K miles)

Drained 3 quarts. Added 3.5 quarts , ran up to temperature , and opened the level plug to drain off excess while engine idling at temperature. My suggestion, do not refill the exact amount drained, you have no way of knowing whether the original fill was correct.

My two cents- do not substitute for any other fluid than the OEM Toyota WS.
Actually, you do have the ability of knowing whether the original fill was correct. You bring it up to temp and pull the level plug.

You provide no evidence supporting the use of OEM Toyota WS, just opinion. In contrast, we have 340K miles on a 2014 SR5 using Valvoline Synthetic ATF except for the factory fill. Have always done full fluid exchange with filter replacement. I doubt you will ever see that many miles.
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Old 09-29-2023, 05:47 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CutthroatSlam View Post
Actually, you do have the ability of knowing whether the original fill was correct. You bring it up to temp and pull the level plug.

You provide no evidence supporting the use of OEM Toyota WS, just opinion. In contrast, we have 340K miles on a 2014 SR5 using Valvoline Synthetic ATF except for the factory fill. Have always done full fluid exchange with filter replacement. I doubt you will ever see that many miles.
Approximately what interval for your full fluid exchanges? Curious for my own maintenance plan.
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Old 09-29-2023, 06:09 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1000MPH View Post
The theory is youíre not removing all of the beneficial clutch material that is suspended in the old fluid when you do just a drain and fill or two
I know you are just sharing the theory and not necessarily defending it. My comments below arenít directed towards you.


Iím familiar with this theory and it seems to have some merit in certain circumstances. However, a brand new transmission doesnít slip and it has little to no clutch material suspended in the fluid. What it does have is new/unworn clutch packs. So, is swapping all the fluid and experiencing slipping an issue with the fluid or was the ďoverly dirtyĒ fluid masking the real issue of worn out clutch packs? Beyond normal wear and tear from use, guess what causes clutch packs to fail?! Lack of lubrication from contaminated fluid!

This theory also seems to only really apply if someone does not follow maintenance schedule and waits until well after recommended fluid exchange mileage(s).

Unfortunately there isnít a recommended change interval for ĎRegular Conditionsí. In my opinion this is a miss on Toyotaís behalf. The maintenance manual recommends ATF fluid replacement every 60k miles if operating under ĎSpecial Operating Conditionsí such as towing, top-car carrier, or heavy vehicle loading. Of note, the manual never suggests a drain and fill, only full fluid replacement.

My 2 cents, get your fluid fully exchanged every 60k miles.
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Old 09-29-2023, 06:34 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmnorm2 View Post
Approximately what interval for your full fluid exchanges? Curious for my own maintenance plan.
I did the first change at 120K because the owner’s manual said you never have to change it. I’ve done it at 50K to 60K intervals ever since.
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Old 10-02-2023, 10:18 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CutthroatSlam View Post
Actually, you do have the ability of knowing whether the original fill was correct. You bring it up to temp and pull the level plug.

You provide no evidence supporting the use of OEM Toyota WS, just opinion. In contrast, we have 340K miles on a 2014 SR5 using Valvoline Synthetic ATF except for the factory fill. Have always done full fluid exchange with filter replacement. I doubt you will ever see that many miles.
Not sure why you feel the need to be confrontational? I am the original owner since mile 5, I am pretty certain Toyota's assembly line in Japan uses the WS specified Toyota fluid. I stand by not relying on filling what was drained.
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Old 10-02-2023, 10:20 AM #12
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just a guess, but magnets inside probably completely full of shavings
FWIW- The fluid I drained at 72K miles was much cleaner than I expected , and smelled fine ( not burned at all). I observed no particles or shaving in the drained fluid, nor anything on the drain plug. I am the original owner of the truck. I've drained , as well as flushed, my cars transmissions since 1985 , and this was the cleanest I've seen at this mileage. Could have in my estimation been postponed until 100K miles.

Last edited by GNB; 10-02-2023 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-02-2023, 01:24 PM #13
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I use aftermarket motor oil, gear oil, and power steering fluid but I prefer to use WS-ATF if possible.
I bought a few cases of WS when I could get it for $7/qt. Now itís over $12 if i can get to a discount dealer. I might use price as a factor when I run out of my stock.
Itís good to get evidence, even if it may be considered anecdotal, that MaxLife has worked well. There seems to be plenty of people on both side of this.
Now should I be looking at red cap or gold cap?
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