Transmission Filter ? If the parts guy at the Dealer doesn't know what it is - do I need to replace

I have a 2001 Toyota Tundra Limited 4WD TRD…I got it new, and it has been fine ever since. I’m pretty religious about oil changes every 4K or so and doing the major services.

It’s time for the 120K service (I live in Alaska, so use the ‘special operating conditions’ suggestions due to gravel, snow, towing, and general abuse. I am bringing it to my local garage since I’m 2 hours from a dealer - but was planning to get the parts from the dealer on a trip to town this week.

There was no problem getting the oil filter and spark plugs, But the local garage wanted $75 for the ‘transmission filter’ and $200 for the flush (not including new fluid). when I called the dealer parts dept - they couldn’t find a transmission filter. I found it online and it looks like an entirely new pan for the transmission and not a canister filter.

I can’t remember what I did when I last flushed the transmission at 60K.

My questions are
-should I just get the flush done at the dealer the next time I’m in town? They only charge $150 and I won’t need a filter…
-should I get the flush done at my local place and just not replace the filter?

My local place wants $650 for the whole service including parts
the Dealer wants $750 for the service not including parts

Thanks for any advice! My transmission works great (as does the rest of the truck) and I want to do what I can to keep it that way!


I would have to trust the dealer on this one. It may be like my car, only 50% of the fluid can be changed without crackong the housing and draining it all. The flush in my understanding pulls the sediments off the trans filter because of a reverse flow of fluid.

I have no experience w/you make/model, but on my Ford truck, the xmission filter can be cleaned and re-inserted. It is not necesssary to buy a new one each time. You may be talking to the wrong person at the dealer. Instead of the parts counter, ask to talk to someone in their shop about the xmission filter. You may can just clean and re-use it.

I’m a a little concerned when you use the term “flush”. Some shops use this term to describe a sort of short-cut way to service the xmission. A proper service usually involves dropping the pan, cleaning/replacing the filter, and replacing the fluid. Sometimes if there is a concern about the quality of the fluid that remains after the first proper service, this is done once, and a week later done again. That procedure can also be called a “flush”, but that is a proper flush, not a short-cut flush.

My philosophy:

If the pan is being dropped, the filter (or screen, or WHATEVER you want to call it) gets replaced.

I looled on Rock Auto and they list all kinds of filters for your truck and none of them are a pan replacement. They range from less than $5 to $25. Most importantly, use nothing but the correct Toyota brand fluid.

So far, you’ve taken very good care of your transmission.

Drop the pan, replace the filter, reinstall the pan, and then do a transmission fluid exchange.

This will change all the fluid in the transmission and in the cooler lines.


Third option would be to find a transmission specialist. That’s where I go. All he does is transmissions. And almost most of the dealers in the area send them their transmission work.

If you have never serviced the transmission in the past, I agree with Tester, except that the Toyota filters are a stainless steel screen and are very expensive, and they can be cleaned and reused. I would clean and reuse. I would also point out that Tester said “fluid exchange” and not flush. Small difference but if the mechanic hooks up a machine that had a built in pump instead of using the transmissions pump, then it has been known to damage the transmission.

4.7 motor for 4wd has a340 trans? Lots of pics online. It’s easy but messy to drop pan and look at filter. Than, put pan back on and add new fluid. You could do it at home. Might even have enough clearance to do it without ramps. Why not buy some Toyota fuid and go for it?

If @transman were here, he’d probably tell you to drop the pan and change the filter, if it has one.

I can’t tell you how man times a guy at a parts counter has steered me wrong.


I believe the parts counter guys might steer you wrong for a few reasons

They probably never were mechanics, so they might not know where on the vehicle a particular part is located
The manufacturer INSISTS on calling the filter a "screen"
The manufacturer also INSISTS that this screen doesn’t need to be replaced

If the counter guy actually knows what you need, he’ll swear up and down that you’re the first guy that’s actually tried to buy this “screen” from him. Everyone else just cleans and reuses the screen, or they don’t even drop the pan (for those vehicles with a drain plug). ACCORDING TO HIM . . .

And if you ask why this “screen” isn’t in stock, he’ll tell you it’s not in stock because nobody ever asked for it.


BTW . . . I didn’t mean any offense to anybody that actually does reuse those “screens”

It’s just that I’ve been wrenching for awhile and I have this to say

Toyota’s “reusable screens” and Chevy’s trans filters look the same to me . . . like filters

Ok, here’s my “part’s guy” story. Well, “parts girl” story. My first auto-repair experience of any consequence is when I took a “auto repair for dummies” class at a local high school. The first class night, the instructor told me to hold out my hand, then he put a wheel bearing on my palm, and then a big dab of grease, and told me my instruction tonight was to work the grease into the bearing while I listened to what he said. I knew then this was my kind of class!

Anyway, the instructor had arranged with a local parts store so the students could go there and get a discount. The instructor’s main goal though was to make sure the student’s didn’t get the wrong part and get discouraged right off the bat. If you said you wanted the discount, the parts store knew you were in the class, and they took special care to make sure you got the part you needed.

Well, I went to the store, asked for the discount and a u-joint for my Ford truck. The next class I removed the drive shaft and tried to replace the u-joint, but the one they gave me woulnd’t fit! The gal at the parts store had made a mistake. And the instructor really gave that gal a hard time I guess, because the next time I went, to get the correct u-joint, the gal was practically in tears, apologizing. So much, she made sure it was the correct u-joint, and she gave me an extra discount! I always obtained my parts there from then on.


One of my colleagues calls ALL women “Gal”

To their face

So far, it hasn’t caused any problems that I’m aware of

Sometimes I cringe when I hear him talking to women

I expect the word “gal” is a local custom in the USA. Its use varies from one area to another. In small town western Colorado it was common when I lived there 20-30 years ago, and as far as I know to this day it remains common for people to refer to town-women they know as friends as “gal”. Here in the San Fransico Bay area though, it would be very unusual to hear someone say: “I was taking a stroll the other evening and I saw that gal out watering her garden again.” Using “gal” to refer to a female-friend in the SF Bay area would be frowned upon by most I expect.