Change Transmission Fluid & Filter: How Difficult?

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Thread: Change Transmission Fluid & Filter: How Difficult?

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    Slacker zippy the pinhead's Avatar
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    Default Change Transmission Fluid & Filter: How Difficult?

    I have a 2004 Sequoia SR5 with the towing package.

    With other automatic transmission vehicles I've owned, I have always had the transmission fluid and filter changed about every 12,000 miles or so.

    Normally this runs around $100, parts and labor included.

    I've noticed that my Sequoia rides a little higher than my old Mazda. It looks like I could get under it and access the transmission oil pan pretty easily.

    I'm wondering how hard it is to change the transmission fluid and filter on the Sequoia. I seem to remember some Toyota service guy telling me that it's a pain to do this at home, as the pan does not use a gasket, but rather RTV (silicone adhesive)???

    Do any of you perform this maintenance at home?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead
    I have a 2004 Sequoia SR5 with the towing package.

    With other automatic transmission vehicles I've owned, I have always had the transmission fluid and filter changed about every 12,000 miles or so.

    Normally this runs around $100, parts and labor included.

    I've noticed that my Sequoia rides a little higher than my old Mazda. It looks like I could get under it and access the transmission oil pan pretty easily.

    I'm wondering how hard it is to change the transmission fluid and filter on the Sequoia. I seem to remember some Toyota service guy telling me that it's a pain to do this at home, as the pan does not use a gasket, but rather RTV (silicone adhesive)???

    Do any of you perform this maintenance at home?
    No need to do the filter at regular intervals. The filter is a screen in the pan, so the pan does need to be removed. A drain and refill at regular intervals should suffice. Can be done for the cost of 4 qts fluid. ($20)
    ~Glenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead
    I have a 2004 Sequoia SR5 with the towing package.

    With other automatic transmission vehicles I've owned, I have always had the transmission fluid and filter changed about every 12,000 miles or so.

    Normally this runs around $100, parts and labor included.

    I've noticed that my Sequoia rides a little higher than my old Mazda. It looks like I could get under it and access the transmission oil pan pretty easily.

    I'm wondering how hard it is to change the transmission fluid and filter on the Sequoia. I seem to remember some Toyota service guy telling me that it's a pain to do this at home, as the pan does not use a gasket, but rather RTV (silicone adhesive)???

    Do any of you perform this maintenance at home?

    since the tundra/sequioa share the same engine and transmission i would replace the fluid around every 30k and when you do this i would suggest a flush..The trans fluid change point is around 30k however i have 104k on miles mine and never changed intill just now..I highly suggest doing a flush because just changing the fluid in the pan is not enought..A flush would run around $110 dollars but worth it in the long run if you tow ,etc ... I currently dont tow anything with my tundra used mainly as a sport truck.To do the flush you need to get into the trans cooler location on the front grill and take out 1 qt of fluid at a time from the cooler hose..

    ps the screen trans filter is a waste of money toyota mentioned to me it's metal mesh and can be cleaned apond removal of the pan so dont change it ..

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    DW
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    Thumbs up Pan drain at your 12,000 mi. intervals is excellent idea

    Mine, too, is a 4.7 Tundra. Same transmission as the Seq. Your A/T oil change intervals of 12,000 miles sounds great. The transmission has an internal screen; otherwise no filter. The fluid change is much easier than an oil/oil filter change. Get the trans. warm, remove the plug and drain the pan. Replace with about a gallon of fluid (the 2003 & newer vehicles like your and mine use T-IV Toyota ATF, ONLY). I don't like the idea of only a screen, so I put a Magnefine in-line filter on (goes on the trans. hose going into the radiator on the driver's side). With your 12,000 mile intervals for oil pan drains, you would then replace the in-line filter every 2nd or 3rd change. And, even for towing (I also tow--a car hauler) if your fluid stays 'red', you don't need to mess with a total transmission oil change, assuming you maintain your 12 to 15,000 mile intervals. Now, having said that, I likely WILL do a total filter change and go thru the pain of dropping the pan at 90,000...just to check on the amount of 'grey matter' in the pan bottom. Mine has 34,000 miles, and the transmission shifts smoother now that when the pickup was new. T-IV is apparently darn good fluid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DW
    Mine, too, is a 4.7 Tundra. Same transmission as the Seq. Your A/T oil change intervals of 12,000 miles sounds great. The transmission has an internal screen; otherwise no filter. The fluid change is much easier than an oil/oil filter change. Get the trans. warm, remove the plug and drain the pan. Replace with about a gallon of fluid (the 2003 & newer vehicles like your and mine use T-IV Toyota ATF, ONLY). I don't like the idea of only a screen, so I put a Magnefine in-line filter on (goes on the trans. hose going into the radiator on the driver's side). With your 12,000 mile intervals for oil pan drains, you would then replace the in-line filter every 2nd or 3rd change. And, even for towing (I also tow--a car hauler) if your fluid stays 'red', you don't need to mess with a total transmission oil change, assuming you maintain your 12 to 15,000 mile intervals. Now, having said that, I likely WILL do a total filter change and go thru the pain of dropping the pan at 90,000...just to check on the amount of 'grey matter' in the pan bottom. Mine has 34,000 miles, and the transmission shifts smoother now that when the pickup was new. T-IV is apparently darn good fluid.
    Magnefine in-line filter on

    where do you find something like this? sort of intrested in doing this mod too

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    Supporter tundrabrad's Avatar
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    Tundra V8 w/ 4 speed auto transmission with 29,000 miles. I have chosen to drain and refill every 15,000 miles. 4 quarts is about right - I added a can of BG ATC on the dealers recommendation this time.

    I run a Magnefine as well. Here is where you get them:

    http://www.emergingent.com/subpage1Magnefine.htm

    Get the 3/8" fittings.

    Brad
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    Factory Options/Accessories:
    Limited Slip Differential * RS3200 Security System * Towing Package * 17" Limited 5 Spoke Alloy Wheels * All Weather Floor Mats * First Aid Kit * Cargo Net * Wheel Locks * Aluminum Skid Plate * Auto Dimming Mirror * Fog Lights * Bed Extender

    Mods/Additions:
    Sylvania SilverStars * RhinoLiner * OBX Fire Extinguisher * Westin Signature Nerf Bars * Bullring Retractable Tiedowns * Snuglid Tonneau Cover * Coleman 400 watt Power Inverter * Magnafine transmission filter * Hellwig Anti-Sway Bar * SuperPlug

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    I appreciate the responses and the good advice. I think I'll be getting one of those Magnefine filters ASAP.

    Tell me this: when is the opportune time to install the Magnefine Filter? When the fluid is being changed at the pan?

    To install that filter, do I need any special tools, like a pipe/tubing cutter?

    When you say "get the 3/8 fittings," you mean the "smart fittings?"

    Too, am I correct to assume the replacement fluid goes down the A/T fluid level pipe inside the engine compartment?

    Would it be smart to measure exactly how much comes out from the pan, and replace an equal amount? What happens if I put in too little or too much?

    BTW, my parts supplier-- http://www.rockauto.com-- lists a transmission gasket for my Sequoia: Fel-Pro, 19 holes, #TOS18685, measuring 15-15/16 by 10-1/16. Clearly this is for the transmission oil pan, no?

    Finally, if I install the Magnefine filter, would it not be smart to drop the transmission oil pan and clean the metal screen first?

    Sorry for all the questions... I want to make sure I understand precisely.

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    Supporter tundrabrad's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Here are my thoughts for what they are worth:

    when is the opportune time to install the Magnefine Filter? When the fluid is being changed at the pan?
    Anytime - You just cut a piece out of the inbound (to the trans cooler in front of the radiator) rubber hose the same length as the filter - you will lose a little bit of fluid but you can just top up - make sure the filter is pointed the right way and you are cutting the right hose. It's the one nearest the right front wheel on the Tundra.

    To install that filter, do I need any special tools, like a pipe/tubing cutter?
    You will need a sharp knife to cut the rubber hose and a screwdriver to tighten the hose clamps.

    When you say "get the 3/8 fittings," you mean the "smart fittings?"

    No 'smart fittings', just order the Magnefine with the 3/8" ends to fit the rubber hose. Hose clamps are included.

    am I correct to assume the replacement fluid goes down the A/T fluid level pipe inside the engine compartment?

    Yes, use a funnel with plastic accordion hose attached - available at any autoparts store for a couple of bucks.

    Would it be smart to measure exactly how much comes out from the pan, and replace an equal amount? What happens if I put in too little or too much?
    My experience is almost exactly 4 quarts will drain - buy five to be sure. I use an empty 5 quart Mobil 1 jug (buy at wallmart) to measure what comes out just to be sure. Immediately check the dipstick after the drain and refill with the truck running in Park and after shifting through all the gears, P, R, N, D, 2 and L. Get the fluid level between the 'cold' notches on the stick - not enough? add more (carefully) too much - you get to use the drain plug again! You want the level between the notches - check again when hot - fluid should be between the 'hot' notches.

    BTW, my parts supplier-- http://www.rockauto.com-- lists a transmission gasket for my Sequoia: Fel-Pro, 19 holes, #TOS18685, measuring 15-15/16 by 10-1/16. Clearly this is for the transmission oil pan, no?
    That would be my guess - but if it's my truck I buy a factory gasket - Rock Auto are good people - I would just go factory. But then I wouldn't choose to drop the pan and change the filter or the gasket until the truck has high mileage - We just did this to my son's Corolla at 76,000 miles and there was very little debris in the screen. Didn't need doing IMO...

    if I install the Magnefine filter, would it not be smart to drop the transmission oil pan and clean the metal screen first?
    Not in my opinion...leak potential is very high if not properly resealed

    Here is a photo with the trans pan off:

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...cat/all/page/2

    Here are some pix I just took of the install on my truck:

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...at/6223/page/1

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...at/6223/page/1

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...at/6223/page/1

    Hope all that helps!

    Cheers,

    Brad
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    Menifee CA

    2003 Tundra SR5 Access Cab 4X2 - Stratosphere Mica

    Factory Options/Accessories:
    Limited Slip Differential * RS3200 Security System * Towing Package * 17" Limited 5 Spoke Alloy Wheels * All Weather Floor Mats * First Aid Kit * Cargo Net * Wheel Locks * Aluminum Skid Plate * Auto Dimming Mirror * Fog Lights * Bed Extender

    Mods/Additions:
    Sylvania SilverStars * RhinoLiner * OBX Fire Extinguisher * Westin Signature Nerf Bars * Bullring Retractable Tiedowns * Snuglid Tonneau Cover * Coleman 400 watt Power Inverter * Magnafine transmission filter * Hellwig Anti-Sway Bar * SuperPlug

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    Quote Originally Posted by tundrabrad
    Here are my thoughts for what they are worth:

    when is the opportune time to install the Magnefine Filter? When the fluid is being changed at the pan?
    Anytime - You just cut a piece out of the inbound (to the trans cooler in front of the radiator) rubber hose the same length as the filter - you will lose a little bit of fluid but you can just top up - make sure the filter is pointed the right way and you are cutting the right hose. It's the one nearest the right front wheel on the Tundra.

    To install that filter, do I need any special tools, like a pipe/tubing cutter?
    You will need a sharp knife to cut the rubber hose and a screwdriver to tighten the hose clamps.

    When you say "get the 3/8 fittings," you mean the "smart fittings?"

    No 'smart fittings', just order the Magnefine with the 3/8" ends to fit the rubber hose. Hose clamps are included.

    am I correct to assume the replacement fluid goes down the A/T fluid level pipe inside the engine compartment?

    Yes, use a funnel with plastic accordion hose attached - available at any autoparts store for a couple of bucks.

    Would it be smart to measure exactly how much comes out from the pan, and replace an equal amount? What happens if I put in too little or too much?
    My experience is almost exactly 4 quarts will drain - buy five to be sure. I use an empty 5 quart Mobil 1 jug (buy at wallmart) to measure what comes out just to be sure. Immediately check the dipstick after the drain and refill with the truck running in Park and after shifting through all the gears, P, R, N, D, 2 and L. Get the fluid level between the 'cold' notches on the stick - not enough? add more (carefully) too much - you get to use the drain plug again! You want the level between the notches - check again when hot - fluid should be between the 'hot' notches.

    BTW, my parts supplier-- http://www.rockauto.com-- lists a transmission gasket for my Sequoia: Fel-Pro, 19 holes, #TOS18685, measuring 15-15/16 by 10-1/16. Clearly this is for the transmission oil pan, no?
    That would be my guess - but if it's my truck I buy a factory gasket - Rock Auto are good people - I would just go factory. But then I wouldn't choose to drop the pan and change the filter or the gasket until the truck has high mileage - We just did this to my son's Corolla at 76,000 miles and there was very little debris in the screen. Didn't need doing IMO...

    if I install the Magnefine filter, would it not be smart to drop the transmission oil pan and clean the metal screen first?
    Not in my opinion...leak potential is very high if not properly resealed

    Here is a photo with the trans pan off:

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...cat/all/page/2

    Here are some pix I just took of the install on my truck:

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...at/6223/page/1

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...at/6223/page/1

    http://www.tundrasolutions.com/photo...at/6223/page/1

    Hope all that helps!

    Cheers,

    Brad

    Thank's brad

    for your reply on this topic it has been very helpfull but can i ask one favor can you take a picture showing your added on filter at daytime and where the location is.Thank's

    ERik

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    Quote Originally Posted by tundrabrad
    Here are my thoughts for what they are worth:

    [...]
    Many thanks for the detailed reply. The pictures will be especially helpful.

    Tell me this: what is a can of "BG ATC?"

    BTW, I don't tow anything (as of yet... who knows about later); I got the towing package mainly for the running boards and the transmission oil cooler.

    Do you know of a source besides the dealer for the Toyota transmission fluid?

    Thanks in advance...

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    Quote Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead
    Tell me this: what is a can of "BG ATC?"

    Do you know of a source besides the dealer for the Toyota transmission fluid?
    BG Products are generally highly thought of and are only available through car dealer parts counters:

    http://www.bgprod.com/bgprofessional...cts/dline.html

    ATC Plus is a transmission fluid additive - could be nothing more than snake oil but their LSII limited slip additive sure made my LSD happy!

    Toyota T-IV ATF is proprietary and is only available through Toyota dealers. Toyota has not certified any other ATF as compliant with the T-IV spec. Amsoil synthetic says it meets the spec but you void the warranty if you use it...or anything other than T-IV. T-IV is not synthetic and I would dearly love to replace it with a synthetic equivalent.

    Brad

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    Default Brand new to Tundra

    I am thinking about purchasing a 2002 TRD Tundra 4WD. It has the towing package and 31K miles +/-. When I put in forward the truck does not move until I apply gas and then there is an audible thunk. Do you think having the transmission fluid changed will remedy the situation? Also, why are the spark plugs only rated for 30K miles? I spoke with the dealer and they wanted $129 to replace the spark plugs and something like $481 to perform the 30K mile checkup. Do these prices sound fair?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stone32812
    I am thinking about purchasing a 2002 TRD Tundra 4WD. It has the towing package and 31K miles +/-. When I put in forward the truck does not move until I apply gas and then there is an audible thunk. Do you think having the transmission fluid changed will remedy the situation? Also, why are the spark plugs only rated for 30K miles? I spoke with the dealer and they wanted $129 to replace the spark plugs and something like $481 to perform the 30K mile checkup. Do these prices sound fair?

    Spark plug's on the tundra are very easy to replace and takes me less then 1 hour to do just make sure there gapped right.I wouldn't pay a dealership on the 30k mile checkup because really there not doing very much to in term's of a check up and there services are very minimal in the amount of work performed so do it yourself if you dont mind working on you truck...Also changing the Transmission fluid would possibly get raid of the thunk but in term's of the new fluid helping raid that it's a give or take aneswer on that.Good luck on your service but i would do most of these things myself and save money. The only time i would use dealership level is on my timing belt install and the water pump and tensioners install(they can do the hard stuff the easy stuff i am performing )..

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    Quote Originally Posted by stone32812
    I am thinking about purchasing a 2002 TRD Tundra 4WD. It has the towing package and 31K miles +/-. When I put in forward the truck does not move until I apply gas and then there is an audible thunk. Do you think having the transmission fluid changed will remedy the situation? Also, why are the spark plugs only rated for 30K miles? I spoke with the dealer and they wanted $129 to replace the spark plugs and something like $481 to perform the 30K mile checkup. Do these prices sound fair?
    I would take it to the dealer to have the tranny checked and fluid flushed (all 16 quarts). Factory warranty is good to 36k and if there's a problem at least they checked it. Not knowing past history if previous owner towed or not and in OD could be issue with tranny. the '02 is regular fluid so you could put Mobil 1 or Amsoil synthetic in at that time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stone32812
    When I put in forward the truck does not move until I apply gas and then there is an audible thunk. Do you think having the transmission fluid changed will remedy the situation? Also, why are the spark plugs only rated for 30K miles? I spoke with the dealer and they wanted $129 to replace the spark plugs and something like $481 to perform the 30K mile checkup. Do these prices sound fair?
    I wouldn't consider buying this particular Tundra without the trans issue fixed. The Tundra trans is very smooth as truck trans go and a 'clunk' is a bad sign. Fluid might fix it and it might not, if it doesn't the remedy will be very expensive - the drivetrain warranty extends to 5 years and 60,000 miles assuming the problem isn't due to abuse. Have the current owner/(motivated?) seller take the truck to the dealer and get the problem fixed. Otherwise have him discount the truck about $4000 because that's what the fix could potentially cost. There are lots of used trucks on the market - check the TS classifieds and Ebay just to get an idea. Don't buy a truck with problems!

    $129 to install $1.29 spark plugs, gotta love it...all you need is a 10mm socket, a 14mm spark plug socket, some extensions and about an hour to change them yourself. Toyota put the cheapest NGK's in the Tundra initially. Put Denso Iridiums in and you are good for 60-120,000 miles.

    You have to decide if you have the time, tools, skills and desire to work on your own truck. Or, you will be forced to pay someone $50-70 per hour to work on it for you...

    Haynes makes a great manual for the 2000-02 Tundra, BTW.

    Good Luck!

    Brad
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    2003 Tundra SR5 Access Cab 4X2 - Stratosphere Mica

    Factory Options/Accessories:
    Limited Slip Differential * RS3200 Security System * Towing Package * 17" Limited 5 Spoke Alloy Wheels * All Weather Floor Mats * First Aid Kit * Cargo Net * Wheel Locks * Aluminum Skid Plate * Auto Dimming Mirror * Fog Lights * Bed Extender

    Mods/Additions:
    Sylvania SilverStars * RhinoLiner * OBX Fire Extinguisher * Westin Signature Nerf Bars * Bullring Retractable Tiedowns * Snuglid Tonneau Cover * Coleman 400 watt Power Inverter * Magnafine transmission filter * Hellwig Anti-Sway Bar * SuperPlug

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