Dropping and adding WS ATF in Mexican Sienna

toyota
sienna

#1

On my 2009 Mexican Sienna, the ATF on the dipstick did not look good enough to suit me. Toyota recommends WS World Standard for that year. I did a lot of reading on it. Most folks, as on this board, said they do not believe it will last the life of the car, unless transmission failure means the end of the life of the car. [sarcasm]

I am going to quote some things I found online. In both cases, I have no personal knowledge that they are correct, and no one should take what I am posting as true, unless they verify it for themselves.

One person posted that WS is said to be a lifetime ATF, because the car companies will have to pay a large environmental charge if that ATF has to be changed. So, they decreed that it does not have to be changed. Any comments from those who know more than I do?

A BMW owner said his car also specified WS. At 80,000 miles he took it in and asked to have the ATF changed. The dealer REFUSED to do it, as opposed to recommended it was not needed. Sometime later, he again requested it be changed, and again they REFUSED.

At 150,000 miles, the transmission failed and they did not refuse large amounts of money to replace it.

I am not trying to change anyone’s opinion. But, I am going to say I am convinced that WS needs to be changed, just like any other ATF does. Make up your own mind.

I had some time ago, bought 5 quarts in McAllen, and finally got around to dropping 4 quarts and adding 4 quarts. But, that method requires several changes.

Last week, I went to Cordoba to see my beloved niece, who has become a reporter for a large local newspaper. There is a Toyota dealer out on the big boulevard coming into town from the high speed highway.

My brother-in-law told me they were stealing almost one car a day. His old Nissan turned up missing a few months ago. So, I asked him to get me a taxi and left my car parked inside a fenced area at his house. To go there, cost around two dollars USD (35 pesos). The return trip cost maybe 25 cents US more.

The parts guy was, as is common in Mexico, very polite and friendly. I told him I wanted 12 bottles of WS, and he did not bother to tell me it was a lifetime product. By the time he got it, a person I think is a mechanic, wearing a white shirt came up and advised him where to get it. They gave me a sealed box of 12 quart bottles.

I was sort of distracted so when he rattled off how many bottles it took from empty, I failed to note it.

The 12 were genuine Toyota sourced, and were made in the USA. Total cost 1491 pesos, at 17/dollar, that was around $88 USD, or around $7.30 USD per bottle. I think I paid a lot more in McAllen.

When I got time (writing for newbies here) I pulled it up on my Rhino Ramps, heavy duty plastic ramps. I put jack stands underneath on both sides. And, put a large rock behind the rear wheel and set the parking brake. The first time I did this, I used an Auto Zone oil drain pan. Alas, the ATF didn’t fall down. It went sharply to one side and I had a mess. With no kitty litter stuff to throw down. Blechhh!

I don’t know where that spilled ATF went. But, when I got spray cleaner and the kitty litter stuff, there was no sign of it on the concrete floor.

So this time I took a 4 liter yogurt bucket. My wife helps feed her old uncles, around 82 and 90 years old. So, every week for years we got a new bucket, now numbering in the hundreds range. We give them to anyone who asks and still have piles 6 feet high.

I put on an old shirt because the first time I got blitzed and my shirt was filled with oil. My son-in-law had given me a gallon container of something that looks like Goop with sand added, and it took it right out of the shirt.

This time with all my precautions, I think I spilled maybe two large drops.

The 4 quarts I took out this time, which had previously included 4 quarts of new ATF, still looked pretty bad. I will drive it a few days, and then hit it again, probably after a 100 mile round trip to Tehuacan. I will keep going until it looks reasonably clean. I can change it myself a large number of times for what it would cost me to have a mechanic do it.

I had to rough-guess on how tight to make the plug, because I don’t have a 10mm Allen socket for my torque wrench. I will correct that at the first chance.

Oh, so what did I do with the old stuff? Cousin V. is a builder. When I give him used motor oil, normally Mobil-1 EP, he uses it to mix with gasoline in his Stihl chain saw. The ATF he uses in building. With concrete work, there are a lot of beams made, and they do it with forms. They coat the boards with oil or ATF before pouring the concrete in them. Then, the forms will come off easily. The builders usually use oil, but what I would call burned oil. Used beyond any reasonable time until it looks and smells like it was burned. And, when they put it in the motors it was 20W-50. Gross! But, it is perfect for coating forms.

They do know concrete here even if they know little about car oil. After the big 19 Sept shaker, which caused my wife to go into shock, I asked him if my house would survive an 8+ earthquake directly underneath the town. He said the Federal engineers who produced designs for safe housing construction said it would. He liked working for me because I will pay extra for better construction and most people can’t afford it. I told neighbors if we ever have a bad one, and their house goes down, if mine is still okay, they are all invited to use my house as a refuge. In a dire emergency, we could temporarily house a couple hundred people in extreme survival mode, which is still better than sleeping in the open on the ground. My wife does not believe our house would survive, which may be why she went into shock.

The dentist really freaked out when I told her I thought earthquakes are fun. :smiley:


#2

Interesting. Last time I posted, Firefox would not complete a posting and I had to use Chrome. This one went right in.


#3

My brother has a 2008 Toyota HIghlander with an automatic which also requires WS

I’ve been servicing the fluid and filter every 30K. The dealership doesn’t give me any lip when I buy the fluid.

Idemitsu also makes a WS-compatible fluid, but I believe it’s no cheaper

As for that BMW owner . . . when the dealer refused to service the transmission, why didn’t he just go to another dealer?

I kind of suspect his automatic transmission may be the kind without a dipstick, where the fluid is pumped in from the bottom. Perhaps the dummies at the dealership either didn’t have the machine, or weren’t comfortable using it . . . ?

If that was me, I would have LOUDLY said “So are you telling me my money isn’t good enough for you?”

I would have made sure there were plenty of other customers within earshot

And then I would have said “Well, then I’ll just take my car to somebody who actually does want my business. Congratulations on losing a customer. I’ll be sure to tell all my friends and relatives how I was treated here.”

Toyota does have a service schedule for WS fluid . . . but the footnotes say it’s only for towing and other conditions which are considered severe service. Otherwise, it’s supposedly lifetime fluid . . . yeah, right :smirk:

Basically, any automatic transmission I’m working on is getting serviced as per the severe service maintenance intervals.


#4

I agree absolutely. When I drained the second four quarts, it still looked pretty bad. The dipstick looked much better already but when I put my finger in the 4 liter bucket and pulled it out, it still looked pretty yukky, which I realize is not exactly a technical term.

Unless this 2009 gets wrecked, I do not expect to ever buy another car. But, if I did, I will not accept any car which is designed by idiots so I can’t change the ATF.

As a modified version of the old saying goes, anyone who designs a car so the ATF is hard to change, is not my friend.

As you say, it is my money they are messing with, not theirs, once the warranty is up.

I can understand why he let it go. One assumes that the studly mechanics actually know what they are doing, especially on a luxury car like that. As a former extremely militant political activist I am not timid when I am sure I am correct. But, in areas outside my experience, I am not always sure I am correct.

To future readers, I want to say, if you have a nice car, and it uses “lifetime” ATF, don’t be buffaloed by a dealer or mechanic or anyone else who tells you it is lifetime. Several of us here, highly experienced mechanics, and lowly inexperienced alike, :smiley: tell you do whatever it takes to get that yukky stuff out of your transmission. It is your car, not theirs, once the warranty is up.