Rav 4 atf world std

Took my 2006 Rav 4 (100K miles) to the Toyota dealer to correct a recall item and was informed that I needed to replace the transmission fluid, filter and on and on and it would cost me $350K. I generally take my Rav 4 to an independent garage because I don’t trust the Toyota dealer. My guy tells me the book says you don’t change ATF in Toyota’s. Being confused - I went on the internet to research the topic - now I’m really confused. The World Std ATF is good for 300K miles and if it has to be changed it has to be accomplished by a specially trained specialist with at least 600 years experience. If done incorrectly the Transmission will self destruct and cost 15K to replace. Can you set me straight as to the best course of action.

Good one!

That “don’t change” transmission fluid is an old wive’s tale. Change it on a regular interval and your transmission will have a long life. Anyone who tells you different is full of beans. That tale has caused countless transmissions to end up on the scrap heap far too early. Transmission fluid life has improved but all of it gets dirty over time. That’s why you change it.

+1 to missileman’s comment.

Additionally, it appears that inflation has taken place in the OP’s neck of the woods, all out of proportion to what has taken place in all other parts of The US.

yes, $350,000 ? I doubt it.
600 years experience ??

The last quote I had for that type of service was $110 for a Toyota.

I think the original post was a feeble attempt at humor-the keyword being feeble

Is your RAV4 FWD or 4WD? If 4WD and the cost was for replacing fluid in the transmission and transfer case, then the price might be “reasonable”. I put it in quotes because dealer costs are often high, but it it might be reasonable from that viewpoint. If it is FWD, the the price is clearly outrageous and you should never go to that dealer again. If you live in an area with high cost of living like San Francisco, New Yor, or Washington, D.C…, prices will be higher because they have to live there too. Get more written quotes and make sure they include the transfer case if 4WD and filter replacement.

“dealer costs are often high, but it it might be reasonable from that viewpoint”

Can’t we all at least agree that $350k is way too much to pay for a transmission fluid change?
Even if that price includes the trans filter, it shouldn’t cost more than…$200k.


I had to reread the OP’s post at first to see it was a spoof. It looked valid when I just skimmed it quickly.

I don’t believe it IS a spoof. It’s a legitimate question asked with a tinge of humor.
I think missileman has provided good advice.

I just have to mention some things . . .

Genuine Toyota WS fluid is EXTREMELY expensive. Far more expensive than the old T-IV. In fact, I think it’s far more expensive than the other synthetic atfs out there, such as Mercon LV, Dexron 6, etc. I believe it was between $15 and $20 per quart at my local dealer . . . ! Do the math, and the fluid alone is already over $100. Add a pan gasket, filter, labor, tax, and that’s quite a pricey maintenance

I’ve never worked on a RAV4, but in 2006, some of Toyota’s transmissions had no dipstick and had to be filled from the bottom. I’m not sure if that is the case here. Perhaps somebody that owns a 2006 RAV4 can shed some light on this

If that is the case, the correct procedure involves pumping in the fluid, hooking up the scan tool, and checking fluid level at a certain temperature. 45 degrees celsius comes to mind, because lots of manufacturers have you check at that temperature

And since it involves hooking up a scan tool . . . if only to check atf temperature . . . the dealer will charge considerably more, versus an older vehicle with a conventional dipstick

All that being said, Toyota has a nasty habit of not mentioning a transmission dipstick in their owner’s manuals. And the picture in the book with the hood opened does not show it. It shows all the other stuff, but not the transmission dipstick. Yet in many instances, the car will in fact have a dipstick.

I have an 05 4runner, 07 Lexus and a 14 Highlander…all of them have the WS (World Standard) fluid that says it’s good for the life of the vehicle…and on all of them I change it every 50k miles. Transmissions are too expensive to gamble with. That tranny fluid is expensive. You can buy comparable fluid from auto parts stores…but it’s just as expensive as the Toyota fluid.

I take mine to a transmission shop. Dealer wants $400 to replace the fluid…this place charges about $250. This place is where several dealers sends their transmissions to be fixed…this includes the a couple local Toyota dealers.


If the “comparable fluid from auto parts stores” is just as expensive as genuine WS atf, you might as well head to the dealer to buy it, I would think

My 2005 Camry uses T-IV atf, but my brother’s 2008 Highlander uses WS atf. Interestingly enough, I believe they both use the same transmission

Maybe Steve can shed some light on this, if he’s been following this discussion

As for me, whether it’s T-IV or WS, I buy the atf from the dealer, but I go elsewhere to buy a wix filter kit. It’s far less expensive than the Toyota filter. Never mind that the dealer usually doesn’t have the filter in stock, and it’s outrageously expensive. And they call it a screen . . . BS, in my opinion. And you have to buy the gasket separately. Wix is good enough for me. I’m quite sure I’m not shortening my transmission’s life

To be honest, though . . . I’m sick and tired of hearing the Toyota parts guys’ whole routine “Why do you want to buy the replaceable screen? Our shop mechanics NEVER replace them. They clean them and reuse them, and we don’t have it in stock anyways.”

If I want to be preached to, I’ll go to church . . . :wink:

If the "comparable fluid from auto parts stores" is just as expensive as genuine WS atf, you might as well head to the dealer to buy it, I would think

I agree.

Since I have 100K miles on my 2006 Rav 4 it is recommended that I change the ATF whether or not its guaranteed for 300K miles.

I’m not sure if we are seeing more feeble attempts at humor, or if the OP really doesn’t understand the issue, but–at the risk of falling for some sarcasm–I will say the following:

When someone at the dealership throws around the phrase “the fluid is good for 300k miles”, that is essentially meaningless. Even when your transmission self-destructs (perhaps next week), the fluid will still exist. “The Fluid is good for 300k miles” should not be interpreted to mean that the transmission is guaranteed for 300k, because that is absolutely not the case. Once the powertrain warranty expires, the OP will pay the full freight for a transmission overhaul.

If you want a transmission that endures for the long term, you should change the trans fluid every 3 or 4 years–regardless of the type of fluid that is used in it.

Apparently, some sarcasm is good for the brain of both parties involved.

My '05 Camry calls for T-IV but the parts guys always swear it is an error and it should be WS. I have moved on and use Valvoline Max-Life synthetic which is usually around $20 per 4/qt and probably a better fluid. My shifting has improved. It says it is “compatible” with a long list of cars, mostly because they don’t want to pay the hefty fees to get it approved. I am planning to use it in my Hyundai too since my research on the bobistheoilguy forum shows that it is probably better than the Hyundai fluid too.


The parts guy you talked to is wrong. Officially wrong, for what it’s worth

All the Toyota technical information I’ve ever come across states plain as day that the 2005 Camry gets T-IV. I’ve paid to log onto the Toyota technical website a few times over the years, by the way

In all the times I’ve payed to log onto that website, not once have I come across a tsb stating that WS should be used, instead of T-IV.

Over the years I’ve come across several tsbs which are supposed to correct incorrect information in service manuals, owners manuals, etc. But not what you’re talking about

Not only that, but ASFAIK . . . and I may be wrong . . . unlike some other synthetic atfs, such as Dexron 6, WS is supposedly not backwards-compatible. At least that’s what I’ve read on the Toyota websites

Maybe there is some “open secret” that your car is supposed to get WS, and everybody not working at a dealership is not aware of this. But I highly doubt it

Warning, I do believe special equipment is necessary on this one. I recall some months ago someone posted a youtube or video on the proper equipment and training needed to do it right. I believe temperature was a main issue to make sure it wasn’t under or over filled. Its not just a simple drain and fill. I can’t find the youtube on it but maybe a search here will reveal the video. I think one of you pros posted it.

I just had my Pontiac done and think it was $138 for the Dex6 and filter. No dipstick and needs to be pumped in from underneath. Seems to me the fluid was about $12 a quart though for the full synthetic. I do it every 30K or so. The Acura is fussy too for temp and being level but I just put in exactly was was drained out.