High Mileage transmission fluid

I am looking for an answer to the following: I have a 1998 Toyota Rav 4 Auto. Last I can remember all the fluids being changed was the 80k maintenance check. I now have 158k miles on my car and just happened to look at the transmission fluid. BAD… Dark. Spoke to several people I thought would give me the same answer but instead I got 2 completely different answers.

1 said Do not change the fluid, it is already broke down and will cause more damage changing. Run it till it quits.

2nd said get it in for a transmission maintenace NOW!!! Please help. Otherwise it drives like a dream and I don’t want to have to look for a new car soon.

confused in PA


Yes, get it changed now.

Some people don’t want to change it because they are afraid you will blame them when the transmission falls apart. If your transmission falls apart after you change the fluid, it was already on its last leg. Change it ASAP, and consider dropping the pan and cleaning the filter.

After this, get it changed every 30,000 miles.

Agree; you are long overdue, but better late than never. After that, I agree you should change fluid & filter every 30,000 to 40,000 miles.

You have a very durable vehicle that will go 300,000 miles easily WITH GOOD CARE!