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Check tranny fluid condition.

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Pucks18, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Mar 3, 2020 at 10:43 AM
    #1
    Pucks18

    Pucks18 [OP] Panic mode

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    Bought a new truck a couple months ago. The trannny fluid is perfectly red on the dipstick, almost like its brand new, should i mess around with replacing it, or just wait till i hit 160k miles? I'm at 134k. Or is looking at the color on the dipstick not actually checking it? I'm surprised how clean the fluid is, same with the coolant, it is also very clean. I'm assuming it was serviced at a non dealership shop cause nothing is on toyota owners showing it was done.
     
  2. Mar 3, 2020 at 11:07 AM
    #2
    Zebruaj

    Zebruaj New Member

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    I'd leave it be if its still red, doesn't smell burnt and shifts fine. It was probably just recently serviced. Drive it and enjoy it.
     
  3. Mar 3, 2020 at 11:37 AM
    #3
    Mustanley

    Mustanley New Member

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    I just did a drain and fill on mine after owning it for 3 years and putting 50,000 miles on it. No idea when it had serviced prior to me purchasing it. The fluid that came out looked perfectly clean and smelled no different than the new Toyota fluid I refilled it with.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2020 at 1:15 PM
    #4
    SouthPaw

    SouthPaw The headlight guy

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    Personally, as easy and cheap as they are to do a drain and fill, I would do it.
     
  5. Mar 3, 2020 at 1:23 PM
    #5
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Leave it alone. Maybe just do a drain and fill every 10k miles which takes about 4.5+/- quarts.

    The Dex/Merc is so cheap at $14 and its easier than an oil change. You’ll feel the shifts are smoother right away even if your drained fluid looks good. I’ve been on a fluid drain and fill regimen every 3-4k miles since 2018. The fluid prior was brand new looking from a 2016 ‘flush’ done properly by a shop.

    The shifts definitely improve in smoothness even when it doesn’t look like it needs changed. Having the proper level helps, as well.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2020 at 1:53 PM
    #6
    Tiamat

    Tiamat New Member

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    Man that’s like a flush every 1.5/2 months
     
  7. Mar 3, 2020 at 2:11 PM
    #7
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I only drive about 7k miles a year. Truck sits just under 170k on the OD right now.

    I’ve only done 3 ‘flushes’ by others since new. Now that I’m doing the services I just do a simple drain and fill which is about 4.5 quarts. Cheap and easy on a 2002.
     
    FrenchToasty likes this.
  8. Mar 3, 2020 at 2:26 PM
    #8
    PCJ

    PCJ New Member

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    I would change it. I believe in changing all fluids, filters, spark plugs and belts and doing any preventive maintenance it may need when I buy a used vehicle. It gives you a starting point for future maintenance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  9. Mar 3, 2020 at 5:05 PM
    #9
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol The "Mangler"

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    Too many

    That's my motto as well. I consider it level setting. Plus I enjoy learning how to do it and it's relatively inexpensive.
     
    FrenchToasty likes this.
  10. Mar 4, 2020 at 6:27 AM
    #10
    Pucks18

    Pucks18 [OP] Panic mode

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    @Professional Hand Model ok. Got any tips on how to make sure you put enough fluid back into the tranny? I remember doing a drain and refill on my camry and it was really confusing with the whole cold and hot mark. When it was cold it was underfilled and when the engine and tranny warmed up it was at the correct level for hot. Kinda confusing.
     
  11. Mar 4, 2020 at 6:42 AM
    #11
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Start by warming your engine and checking fluid while hot making sure its between the hot hash lines.

    1) Drain and measure contents.

    2) Refill (edit* via dipstick tube) with same amount.

    3) Check fluid level as you did prior to draining.

    4) Add or delete as necessary.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
    Pucks18 [OP] and Mustanley like this.
  12. Mar 4, 2020 at 6:46 AM
    #12
    Mustanley

    Mustanley New Member

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    Use a 5+ quart container (I use the Mobile 1 oil jugs with the liter and quart marks and a clear viewing indicator) and drain while the trans fluid is cold. Then add back the same amount of new ATF through the dipstick tube with a long, skinny funnel. It should be very close to 4.5 quarts, at least it was for me. Check your fluid level later when it's at operating temp as outlined by the procedure in the manual.
     
  13. Mar 4, 2020 at 10:09 AM
    #13
    tundrainsc

    tundrainsc Happy Tundra 1st Gen

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    How many miles did it have when you got it? I have similar decision to make on my 2006 double cab.
    But, I am almost sure my transmission has never been serviced with 162k on it. Wish I could get a look at the color of my fluid. No dipstick on this model. If mine is red and not smelling like burned I would not touch it.
     
  14. Mar 4, 2020 at 10:47 AM
    #14
    Mustanley

    Mustanley New Member

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    Bought it with 212K on the ODO
     
  15. Mar 4, 2020 at 11:24 AM
    #15
    RR60

    RR60 New Member

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    What is everyone using.?
    On Amazon I see Toyota brand for 16 a quart.
    Or Valvoline DEX/MERC for 13 a gallon. But concerned with mixing the two. Should I be?
     
  16. Mar 4, 2020 at 11:36 AM
    #16
    Festerw

    Festerw New Member

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    03/04 is Type IV I believe. Mobil 3309, Castrol Transmax Import, both meet the spec. Valvoline Maxlife ATF says compatible but isn't certified.
     
  17. Mar 4, 2020 at 2:10 PM
    #17
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Been using Dex/Merc with great success for almost 2 years and 15k miles. Highly recco!


    upload_2020-3-4_17-9-47.jpg
     
    PCJ likes this.
  18. Mar 4, 2020 at 4:33 PM
    #18
    tmac58star

    tmac58star New Member

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    You can also disconnect the fluid return line to the cooler and route it into a big container. Run the engine for awhile and then stop. Add some fresh fluid...run engine again, repeat until the fluid coming out of the return line is new, bright red and clean. Reconnect return line, run engine for awhile and check/adjust fluid level. Used to do this on my old Ranger from decades ago...much cleaner than crawling underneath with a pan, wrench, etc.
     
  19. Mar 5, 2020 at 6:41 AM
    #19
    Mustanley

    Mustanley New Member

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  20. Mar 5, 2020 at 5:11 PM
    #20
    TX-TRD1stGEN

    TX-TRD1stGEN I'm not taking a knee

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  21. Mar 6, 2020 at 4:27 AM
    #21
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I was jealous he scored the last 6 quarts of pure DEXIII left in the world. Wonder if he is still working on that Timing Belt job?
     
    TX-TRD1stGEN likes this.

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