2015 Toyota Highlander AWD 3.5 V6 Maintenance

Nah. I’d have to have the appropriate stone and some experience doing it. Probably easier to get the new washer than the expertise.

I avoid any fluid maintenance other than oil changes by getting a new car every 3 years. A bit costly, but worth it to me.

I happen to have the appropriate stone

Sometimes you have to dress the old crush washer, because the vehicle HAS to go and failure and/or delay aren’t an option

It’s not that hard to dress the old crush washer so that it will once again do its job

And it’s sometimes quicker and easier than getting another crush washer

Note . . . this is usually only necessary when you find out the hard way that the new part doesn’t come with a new crush washer

Ford comes to mind :smirk:

Mine (2013) has a dipstick. It may have been the last year. If you pull the plug and drain the fluid, you’ll only be replacing part of the fluid. I figure if I change it at shorter intervals now, I’ll at least have “newish” fluid.

I believe you are supposed to check the trans fluid at a certain temp. I’ve read a scan tool is preferred, especially on the models with no dipstick. But…I don’t see how I can go wrong if I put back the same amount that I drained out. Unless the level was wrong from the factory. Too late now if the factory level was wrong anyway. I’m already over 100k miles!

Well that works, too! I don’t currently own anything with less than 120k miles lol.

I assume if you filed both sides of the washer level, it’d be good to seal?

I’m thinking belt sander… Hold my beer and watch this! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I change the rear differential fluid on my truck every 30K. Years ago when I used the truck to go camping in Colorado which involved fording fairly deeps streams, I’d change both the front and rear differential fluid at the end of every stream crossing day. It’s inexpensive and not a very big job.

At this point my wife and I don’t put more than 5K miles per year on the car.

Oh wow. So basically 3 oil changes and you trade ‘er off?

6 oil changes, then a new one

Uh . . . doesn’t that generally up being one of those “epic fail” youtube videos? :beers:

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I make it a point to never to be filmed while consuming the spirits. I think that’s the best policy.

But yeah, I doubt too many great things have happened after uttering that phrase.

I wish I could link that “ether inflating a tire” video I saw lol.

I had this same question when I got a 2009 Toyota with the advertised “sealed” transmission using WS fluid that never needed changing. I talked to multiple Toyota dealers and independent transmission repair shops and they all said wait till 100K miles to changes it.

I got it changed at 100K miles. Sure it was a little dirty, but it convinced me that waiting till 100K was OK. The car now has 160K on it and the transmission is fine.

The reason for checking level at a specified temperature is because the fluid expands with temperature. If you opt to drain and replace, consider measuring the volume of the old fluid after it cools to ambient temperature, refilling with the same amount at the same temp. Alternatively, if you have a scale with sufficient resolution and repeatability you can match what comes out and goes in.

Yes, I understand the concept. I don’t think there’s enough volume difference between hot fluid drained out and cold fluid added back to even be measured, though. Consider how you’re supposed to check the level on a Toyota with no dipstick. I believe you remove the side plug in the trans and eyeball the stream of fluid coming out at a certain temp. I don’t remember the exact wording, but the process doesn’t seem like it would entail millimeter accuracy.

Luckily, my vehicles still have dipsticks, so you can check the level after you add the fluid back anyway. Which also doesn’t involve millimeter accuracy…

I traded in a '10 Prius w/ 150k. Used Mobil 1, changed every 10k and the engine was in great shape. Don’t go over 10k but it’s good for 10k. You can change trans at 100k but I didn’t and wasn’t having any problems. NEVER changed diff. at all. You don’t mention if you do towing w/ this. If you do, everything is working harder and heating up more, so wearing more. If you aren’t towing, I wouldn’t change diff but 100k for transmission is OK as pointed out but whether it’s necessary I have my doubts, a change only really changes part of the fluid unless they take part of the tranny apart (highly doubtful). Don’t have a transfer case, so no opinion there.

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Thanks @JoeMario. That information helps a lot.

Thanks Jim. I’m skeptical too about whether it’s all necessary if the vehicle is used for light, normal load duty only. Knowing how terribly most people look after their cars, I would expect to see a lot of problems related to these sealed units by now, and angry people wanting to know why they were advised not to change the fluid when it could have saved the transmission. I’m just not seeing the evidence. I had a 1997 Corolla that racked up almost 300k miles and was still running fine when I got rid of it. Transmission was never touched after 89k miles when I got it. I also had a 1994 Olds Cutlass that made it to about 250k miles before the trans started acting up. I never did a thing to the transmission from about 50k miles when I got it.

I think we’re moving towards less and less maintenance on vehicles and much higher intervals between services, and the old school guys just aren’t ready for it. I don’t really blame them because I don’t really trust the car manufacturers either! Look at all the recalls and sudden extension of warranties. But largely, the big picture is much less maintenance in the future due to advances in metallurgy and fluids.

Replacing a differential/transfer case? Or replacing the fluids?

Follow what is in your owners manual. Dealer service departments are always trying to increase their bottom line at gullible customers expense. I’ve been through the same thing many times over the years and my vehicles never had any problems.