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Change trans fluid in 2012 Toyota Sienna?

We recently abandoned the idea of being snow birds and became frogs, moving to the Villages, FL area. I started taking the Villages newspaper and was surprised to find Car Talk weekly. That took me back many, many years to when I listened to Klik and Klack, the Tappet Brothers on NPR radio out of Boston.

Thinking I had near 100,000 miles, I made an appointment to take our 2012 Toyota Sienna in for an oil change, tire rotation, and have the engine coolant replaced. As I only had 94,000, I declined the engine coolant change, but I was told that the 100,000 maintenance included replacing the transmission fluid.

I searched the maintenance manual and could only find direction to replace the automatic transmission fluid at 120,000 miles if “Driving while towing, using a car-top carrier, or heavy vahicle loading”.

Question: Should I have the transmission fluid changed, and if so when. We did make 3 Mass to FL trips when we were snow birds, but our travel is now restricted to local travel or occasional airport or tourist type trips.

Thanks for the memories, and a great column.


Have the transmission fluid changed when the coolant is done, at 100,000 miles. Many posters here would say you are overdue by 34,000 miles! It doesn’t hurt to change it (NOT flush it!) and install a new filter as well. After 3 trips and 100K, the Sienna deserves it.

I would say that he is overdue by 64k miles.


I changed the trans fluid in my 2005 Accord EX V6 at intervals between 30,000 to 45,000 miles. When I traded it in at 186,000 miles, the used car manager at the dealership said he was surprised at how well the engine and transmission performed with such high mileage. I’m convinced that it aged so well because I changed fluids as often as I did. BTW, I changed engine oil at 7000 to 7500 miles.

Here’s the truth on transmission flushes.


Toyota came out with their WS (World Standard) tranny fluid a little over 10 years. It WAS supposedly a lifetime fluid. Do NOT let it go that long.

Every 50k is a good rule of thumb. The WS fluid is a high quality synthetic fluid (aka expensive) fluid. But it still needs to be changed over time.