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The seeming demise of the “old school parts house”

No fight wanted here, thanks for the welcome back.

If I’d have investigated beforehand and known it was an aluminum crush washer on the transmission drain bolt, I probably would’ve replaced it the first go round. I mistakenly assumed it was like most oil drain bolts - most, the Toyota included, have a rubber gasket that I don’t replace. I’m not certain if you can replace them or have to replace the entire bolt. Either way, I never get a drip with those. I replaced the crush washer with a fiber gasket (all that I could get my hands on), and there’s no seepage now. I think in the next 50k miles I’ll drop the pan and change the filter. The things supposed to be sealed for life, but I’m only 44. Hopefully I’ve got a lot of life left haha. Probably have the correct alum washer on hand this time.

Probably should start a different thread, but has anyone used a different atf than Toyota’s WS on a model that required it?

I don’t do Toyotas, but you could ask this question for practically any brand vehicle. it wouldn’t do much good to know if anybody used different fluid. I’m positive there are many folks out there that have.

Is it a good idea? Absolutely NOT.

  1. Fluid isn’t that expensive, even the correct fluid.
  2. It isn’t changed that frequently.
  3. Transmission problems are a pain & EXPENSIVE.

I’d say, “who cares what others have used/tried, go with genuine as specified when it comes to ATF.” It doesn’t cost. It pays.

Always had mine done at the dealer.

Not Toyota . . . they typically used nylon or fiber

But others have used rubber . . . think GM, Mopar and Ford

On those, they do want to sell you the entire bolt. But you can buy the seals separately, but the parts stores usually charge a pretty penny for them. Sometimes it makes economic sense to buy a large quantity of them online, added to something else you were going to get anyways

I have also gotten lots of seepage and leaks re-using those, but unless you’re also a professional mechanic, my sample size is considerably larger than yours

Don’t take this the wrong way, but your posts make you sound like you’re several decades older than that. turns out I’m a little older than you.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a senior citizen . . . we’re all going to be there some day :smiley:

Yup . . . I’ve used Idemitsu fluid which is compatible with atf and ONLY with atf, so I’m not talking about some “multi-import” fluid. And I’ve also used those “multi-import” fluids . . . I believe it was Castrol. No problems with either of those fluids. But I’ll say this . . . it wasn’t cheaper than the genuine Toyota WS fluid

The gasket failed on a bicycle pump. I took it out, took it to the True Value. The replacements were singles in little plastic bags. The guy took it out and let me try it. They have a lot of stuff loose too, selling by the each. They lost money on that sale.

If you poured a few ounces of ATF into that bike pump it might have brought it back to life. I never knew anyone stocked replacement parts for bicycle pumps but found the ATF worked many years ago when bikes were my primary transportation.

Agreed. Which is why I used the Toyota fluid. It isn’t a cost issue, I’d just rather not have to go to the dealer to get the fluid. I have read Valvoline Maxlife has been used instead in those transmissions, but I’m chicken to try it. Obviously some oil company bottles the fluid for the manufacturer (to the manufacturer’s specs). Then Toyota puts their label on it. I wish there was a “Valvoline WS” or something similar that I could get locally. I have no issue using oil company branded Dex III in my older GM’s. Have had no problems there. And I don’t use Toyota brand engine oil, just an oil that meets their spec. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there’s no Toyota approved substitute for the WS fluid. So I’ll stick with it.

I asked the dealer about doing it when I bought the fluid. They said on the “sealed for life” transmissions, they only pull the drain plug and change the fluid, at around 100k miles. I asked about the filter - and they said it was internal and it would cost too much in labor to take everything apart to get to the filter. Pretty sure most transmission filters are internal, but I didn’t comment. You have to take off a plastic air foil thing underneath the engine compartment and drop the trans pan. Not a huge problem, pretty much the same as most filter changes except for the plastic air foil / splash guard doohickey that’s held on by a few plastic rivet deals and some 10 mm bolts. Anyway, after what the dealer told me, I decided I could easily pull the plug and refill with new fluid for less than they’d charge. I didn’t change the filter, but I plan to next time. Probably should’ve done it this time, but at least I did as much as that particular dealer would’ve done. I wonder if they would’ve replaced the crush washer or just torqued the hell out of it? :laughing:

Thanks for the tips.

Funny I come across older on here. My wife accuses me of acting like a third kid.

I’m definitely not a pro mechanic. I have changed my own oil since I started driving, and I’ve changed the oil in my wife’s vehicles since we’ve been married. I change it in my lawn mower, and I changed it in all of the 6 motorcycles I owned at one time or another. I used to change it every 3k miles. You know, now that I think about it, I’ve spent a lot of time changing oil :thinking:. I do 5k miles now. First time I’ve come across an aluminum crush washer though. Nice to have a drain bolt on the trans, though. First vehicle I’ve owned that had one.

I’m not familiar with the Idemitsu fluid. Sounds harder to get than the Yota swill?

Napa often carries it in stock. I’m pretty sure autozone, pep boys and o’reilly’s does not carry it. Besides that fluid, they seem to also carry many other fluids that the other guys don’t.

I sometimes get it as a matter of convenience, if I’m getting a bunch of stuff at napa, anyways

I don’t like to spend hours racing from one parts store to the next. If I can get everything in one location, so much the better

You’ve never owned a Ford with an automatic trans? Many of them have drain plugs

Ever owned a GM truck? If so, do you recall that some of them have a perfectly dome-shaped “dent” in the pan? That is where they decided to flip a coin. Most of them were produced without a drain plug. But a lucky few got the drain plug. Kind of like teasing you with what they could have done, if they weren’t penny pinchers.

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This is exactly where I install a drain plug at the first pan drop. Even if you decide to drop the pan on subsequent service intervals, it is by far more pleasant experience when it’s essentially empty…

Yes. Valvoline Maxlife is one. But it’s just as expensive as the Toyota WS.

Around here we have a couple of small chain parts stores. Towers - I think has 3 stores.

Sanel Brothers - although starting next month they’ll be Sanel NAPA. Still locally owned. The people that work there are very knowledgeable. Far better then anyone working at ADAP or Pep-Boys.

We use to have Robins, but they were bought out by Fisher. But the people who use to work for Robins are still there working for Fisher.

The last time I had a bike pump apart about 60 years ago, it was a leather plunger so yeah ATF might work but replacement, like worn shoes, might be better.

Yes it has become harder to source individual parts and supplies as we moved to a cheap throw away base. In 68 I got a windshield wiper motor relay at the Pontiac dealer. Now you buy the whole thing. Lots of parts the same way. If they are getting the motors from Taiwan, they aren’t as likely to also order a box of the internal parts, like they would have when they were made in Indianapolis. Maybe some of us chose this but I think for most of us it was forced on us.

I order OEM oil filters on line. When I do, I also order a bag of the crush washers and replace them at each oil change. So I always have them on hand at a reasonable cost.

I will qualify my “use only Genuine factory ATF,” a bit.

I have several GM cars and 2 of the older ones specify Dexron III, but GM no longer makes it. They’ve superseded it to the newer Dexron VI fluid.

In my old Impala I used Castrol Transmax Dexron VI because I could buy it on sale at Advance for only about 5 bucks per quart.

I did a little research first. What I learned was that in order to use the Dexron name the company that makes/sells the fluid has to be licensed by GM (as indicated on the bottles) and the fluid MUST meet their specifications, unlike other fluids that say it can be used in cars specifying Dexron and then proceed to list other applications, too, that sound quite suspicious to me…

Not all companies that sell magic universal fluid are licensed by the car manufacturers. Also, note that the Transmax says it is strictly for Dexron VI fluid applications.

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I owned a 2013 f150 for a short time (17k miles). That’s the only Ford I’ve owned. I’ve owned several GM trucks (and own a 2005 Sierra now), but I’ve never found the lucky drain bolt. I do have the quarter flip dent. I owned a 98 Dodge also, sans drain plug. Had several manual trans vehicles (I miss those), that of course had drain and fill plugs. So was pleasantly surprised to see the drain plug on the 2013 Toyota. I think a year or two after 2013, they stopped putting in a dip stick…? Seems to be the trend on current vehicles.

For vehicles with an automatic transmission dipstick it’s pretty easy to extract fluid (just about as much as draining from below) through the tube, provided a filter change isn’t involved. Cake walk.

It’s much, much, neater (can go directly into gallon jugs), quicker, and I can easily determine the exact amount removed to quickly measure a replacement volume.

I have a manual transmission.

They don’t. A standard part worked. I remembered later that it was an o-ring.

Some GM vehicles use ATF for their manual trannies.

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Please excuse me. I am making a mental note to avoid making that error in the future. And it may be helpful if you just ignore me if I comment on other’s posts.

I found the same info you did. Apparently, Toyota hasn’t licensed anyone else to make the WS fluid, although there are several brands that say they’re suitable for use in transmissions requiring the WS fluid. The other fluids are probably fine, but I didn’t feel like gambling. I know the Toyota fluid will work, obviously. If I were to use something else, and have transmission issues later (whether actually caused by the fluid or not), I’d be kicking myself.

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