When I bought my 07 Camry new, the sales rep told me the World Class fluid must be changed at 100k. My owner’s manual doesn’t list this service. Because I live in a mountainous and really hot area I thought it may be prudent to change the fluid a bit early at 80k. When I arrived at the dealership he looked at the fluid on the dipstick (yes, I have a tranny dipstick in my I4) and said it didn’t smell burnt and seemed OK. He then told me that since I bought my Camry, Toyota has changed its mind about Camry tranny oil change and decided it never needs to be done.
Can anyone confirm this, or confirm that the service DOES need to be done?
LOL any Toyota mechanics out there?
I personally would have serviced the fluid and filter at 30K, or even earlier. But that’s just my preference.
Replace the filter . . . IT IS A FILTER, NOT A WASHABLE SCREEN, NO MATTER WHAT ANY TOYOTA PARTS GUY TELLS YOU
Replace pan gasket
Correct fluid level . . . using only the correct ATF from the Toyota dealer, about 5qts, if I recall
FWIW . . . I just looked at the 2007 Camry maintenance guide online, and sure enough, it states to service the trans at 120K if you are towing. Otherwise, forget it. Seems a little bit risky to me.
As a former Benz master tech, here’s some information to think about. When Benz came out with their first fully electronic trans in 1996, they also said it had lifetime fluid. Years later, they changed their mind about that . . .
I totally agree with the post above. At this age & miles you can do the above and then another drain and refill X 2 in the next 2000 miles to refresh most of the ATF.
All new cars state that there is no set interval to change the ATF, but to check the condition of it periodically. That is code for “we don’t want to scare you with the cost of maintenance, but you might want to be smart about it”.
I once read that the transmissions in Toyotas in recent years were running at cooler temps than their predecessors. If that’s true, then it would take the fluid much longer to break down.
Cooler trans fluid temps will definitely allow you to go further between changes (see the chart below) - but I cannot vouch for how hot Toyota transmissions operate.
Fluid Temp VS. Transmission Life Expectancy
175°F = 100,000+ miles
190°F = 90,000 miles
210°F = 55,000 miles (Pressure Drops)
230°F = 25,000 miles (Valves Stick)
250°F = 17,000 miles (Varnish Forms)
270°F = 4000 miles (Seals & Clutches Burn)
300°F + = TRANSMISSION FAILURE
“When I arrived at the dealership he looked at the fluid on the dipstick (yes, I have a tranny dipstick in my I4) and said it didn’t smell burnt and seemed OK.”
WOW - you have Superman for a service writer! He can see there’s been no breakdown of the very molecules in the fluid! And super smelling! He can tell the fluid’s not burnt, even though by the time there’s any evidence that the fluid is bad the damage has ALREADY been done! Amazing!
The only advice I will offer is that you need to tune out anything a service writer or manager says to you. There’s a few good ones here and there but the gambling odds are seriously stacked against you as to actually meeting one.
The phrase “stuffed with more carp (sic) than a Thanksgiving turkey” applies in most cases.
The car makers themselves often make a lot of erroneous recommendations. One of my favorites was the one from Subaru of America about when to change automatic transmission fluid.
“when it’s black and smells really, really bad”.
At that point Elvis has left the building…
If the car is driven conservatively, think somewhere between 60 & 80 K would be a common-sense compromise for an auto-transmission service exactly as described by db4690 above. It’s not that difficult or expensive of a project. No harm done to do it more frequently, as long as it is done correctly.
The folks at Toyota – I’m speculating here is all – probably think of two things when they say not to service the transmission; first, that anytime the transmission is mucked-about with, there’s a chance an error will be made by the person doing the mucking-about, like they’ll use the wrong fluid, or overfill, or under fill, or create a leak, and if they do make a mistake, the transmission will fail earlier than if they just left it alone. Since the transmission will fail at some point down the road anyway, and that point is likely 150 K or more miles, better to leave well enough alone. When it eventually breaks, it can still be fixed. As long as the fluid level is ok, and the car will work in all the gears, best compromise is to not service the transmission. I can sort of see that point.
Second reason, again speculating, Toyota has a bit of a conflict of interest. Car buyers read magazines like Consumer Reports when choosing a car, and the buyers pay a lot of attention to the “total cost to own” column. This includes not only the sticker price, and depreciation, but the cost of routine maintenance as suggested in the owners manual. Toyota Marketing might well feel it is best to error on the side of fewer recommended maintenance procedures, to keep Toyota’s car near the top of the list, with the least cost to own. I can see this might make sense from the Marketing department’s point of view, but the philosophy probably doesn’t serve the car owner quite as well.
I recommend a transmission service at every 60K service, if for no other reason than trans fluid is cheap but transmissions are expensive. What could a service possibly hurt?
If your car specifies World Standard and not T-IV, be sure to use it.
Lots of cars have the “lifetime”/synthetic fluid in them now but I still change at 30,000 regardless. Costs a little over $100 if you have someone do it or $40-50 if you do it yourself.