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Skyvisions
Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 12924
Experience:  Toyota Master Diagnostic
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2006 Sienna: the necessity to change the transmission fluid

Customer Question

I've been doing some research on how to maintain my 2006 Sienna. I ran across a website where there was some disagreement regarding the necessity to change the transmission fluid. Some were saying it should be done annually..drain and fill with ATF. It was easy to do, easier than changing the car's oil. Others said it was not necessary until the car was at 100,000 miles. Who is right?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  KALAMYKID replied 3 years ago.

KALAMYKID :

If yuy want to have to rebuild your trans at around 120,000 miles, do not change it. If you want the trasn to last a long time and not have a problem, change it every 40,000 miles. Trans fluid is like any other oil, it will break down with heat and time.

KALAMYKID :

Would you be willing to take a chance on blowing the engine up by not changeing the oil but every 30,000 miles? Why take the risk on the trans by not changing the fluid.

Customer:

Sorry, I was waiting for a certain expert tI had worked with before to answer. I did not realize this went out to "other" experts.

KALAMYKID :

Would you like me to opt out so he can help you?

KALAMYKID :

The other two experts you have worked with are not online right now.

Customer:

yes, please...I will wait for my other expert

Expert:  Skyvisions replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for choosing JustAnswer and allowing me to help you resolve your Toyota questions!

 

Thank you for requesting me. Refresh my memory on this van if you would please. How many miles are on it as I recall it was a recent purchase and there was a problem with the camber or something in the front alignment, hope things worked out okay with that. Have you done anything yet with transmission fluid or do you know if it was changed by the previous owner?

Skyvisions

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My mechanic installed a new strut...alignment is now fine.

 

My mileage...it just turned 40,000. I have no clue if the transmission oil was ever changed before. In all likelihood it was not. The car was not Toyota certified when I bought it. And I haven't touched the transmission....yet.

 

However, i did change the engine oil...it took me a while to find the location of the filter. But, once I did, I had no problems.

 

I understand I will need a 10 mm hex wrench for the transmission plug. I have never changed the transmission oil before but I understand it is no different from changing the oil and am willing to do it if necessary.

 

But I only want to do it if necessary...what does Toyota say about when and how frequent the transmission oil should be changed?

Expert:  Skyvisions replied 3 years ago.

Forgot to ask is this a AWD (All Wheel Drive) or just front wheel drive?

 

Skyvisions

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Front wheel only
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 3 years ago.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to automatic transmission fluid servicing on this particular transmission fluid type which is T-IV. If you're capable of changing the oil yourself and you obtained at around 40,000 miles my recommendation would be to drain and fill the transmission fluid every 30,000 or every two years. 60,000 miles would be the absolute limit. At which point you would do a flush instead of a drain and fill. At this point I don't recommend doing the transmission complete fluid flush unless for some reason the fluid looks unusually brown or gray in color Or has a distinct burnt odor. You'll need a 10 mm Allen had or hex wrench to break the drain plug loose. Use Toyota fluid only and make sure you replace the aluminum washer on the drain plug. You'll need three or 4 quarts depending on how long you allow to drain. The later model transmissions use world standard (WS) type fluid and Toyota's interval for that fluid is 100,000 miles personally even on that synthetic transmission fluid I would go to know more than 70 or 80,000 miles. Nobody drives under ideal conditions these days. Let me know if you have any other questions regarding this issue. In the future if you ask for me skyvisions, in the question I will get back to you and is less likely that anyone else will try and answer the question. I normally monitor most evenings unless I am on vacation or taking a couple days off.

 

Skyvisions

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You mentioned two schools of thought but did not explain the two schools and which you believe in and why. I would be interested in knowing that.

 

As for my car....I now have 40,000 miles on it but you recommend drain and fill every 30,000 which means I am now 10,000 over the suggested limit. If I understand you correctly, you are recommending that I change my transmission fluid now and when I get to 60,000 I should have the transmission completely flushed instead of drain and fill. And when I get to 90,000 drain and fill again. Is that right?

 

As I have never drained and filled transmission fluid, I have some questions...

1. where can I find the aluminum washer?

2. what should I drain the transmission oil into? Can I use the same container that I use for the engine oil?

3. how do I dispose of the fluid? Can I go to the place I dispose of my oil and pour it in the same tank?

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Forgot to ask....where do I pour in the new transmission oil?
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 3 years ago.

The dipstick is by the battery and should be redish orange. Pull the dipstick out and it goes in the tube. Put 3 quarts in then check it running in park then top off to the hot marks as needed. There is no separate differential fluid.

 

Skyvisions

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
You didn't answer the previous set of questions...from 7:16 pm
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 3 years ago.

Sorry did not see that on the scroll.

 

1. where can I find the aluminum washer?

 

Your local dealer should have plenty of these in stock when you get the fluid.

 

2. what should I drain the transmission oil into? Can I use the same container that I use for the engine oil?

 

You can drain the oil into the same drain pan you use for engine oil it does not matter if they mix.

 

3. how do I dispose of the fluid? Can I go to the place I dispose of my oil and pour it in the same tank?

 

Disposal of the fluid depends on your city ordinance. If you found some place that will take your old engine oil just add the transmission oil in with it it doesn't matter if it's mixed when they recycle it.

 

Skyvisions



Edited by Skyvisions on 2/20/2011 at 1:42 AM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One last question you missed....

 

As for my car....I now have 40,000 miles on it but you recommend drain and fill every 30,000 which means I am now 10,000 over the suggested limit. If I understand you correctly, you are recommending that I change my transmission fluid now and when I get to 60,000 I should have the transmission completely flushed instead of drain and fill. And when I get to 90,000 drain and fill again. Is that right?

Expert:  Skyvisions replied 3 years ago.
I said unless the fluid is really dark or has a burnt odor I would just drain and fill now. Then continue to drain and fill every 30,000 miles. If the fluid looks excessively dark gray or brown I would have the fluid flushed now then drain and fill every 30,000 miles after that. Let me know if this clarifies everything for you.

Skyvisions
Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 12924
Experience: Toyota Master Diagnostic
Skyvisions and other Toyota Specialists are ready to help you

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