Transmission fluid change question on camry or rav 4 2015 year

toyota
rav4

#1

I want to either buy a 2015 camry or rav 4. they have the same engine. I do my own oil/filter, trans fluid/filter, anti-freeze etc… The problem with new cars is they don’t have a trans dipstick anymore to check or fill the trans after dumping the fluid. I read that Toyota says that the trans fluid is World Standard and will last 500,000,000,000,000 miles before changing (which I say is bs). They say to check the level, you have to take off the wheel housing on the driver side and open some 15/16" nut/bolt. Then you put in some special tool to measure the fluid. they also say to put fluid in it, you have to take it to Toyota and pay 1,000,000 to have the service done and don’t do yourself. has anyone done this themselves? do you just get a grease gun and fill it up with fluid and fill till it is full and backs out?? sorry for the sarcasm but I like to do my own work and don’t want to take it to the dealer as I change my trans fluid at 10K or less and filter at 50K. I won’t buy the car if I can’t do this myself. It can’t be that hard/tricky can it? thanks for your help.


#2

I saw a 2011 trans (which is like the 2014 and 2015 I believe) says to pull the wheel well plastic out, take out a bolt/nut and fill the fluid in that hole. Sounds right but I need someone on this site to agree or confirm please. thanks so much.


#3

Your vehicle has a stand-pipe cap that has to be removed to check the transmission fluid level in the stand-pipe.

If fluid runs out when the stand-pipe cap is removed, the transmission is full, and the stand-pipe cap is reinstalled.

If the transmission fluid is low, a tool that looks like an up-side-down J is used to fill the transmission until the fluid runs out.

BUT! This doesn’t indicate the condition of the transmission fluid like a dip-stick does.

So that’s why more pro’s are using transmission fluid exchange machines.

Tester


#4

It’s not just Toyota, you can’t check the fluid in any of them any more. DYI ATF changes are getting to be a thing of the past as well.


#5

Once you get used to the idea, its not so bad having someone else do it for you. I just gave up on my Pontiac without a dip stick and to fill it again it has to be in the air and level. It cost me about $120 for the whole job with synthetic fluid. I didn’t get dirty at all. I’d recommend just having someone else do it. Its only every 30K so shouldn’t come up that often unless you are on the road a lot. Its just another one of those changes we have to get used to.


#6

Change your trans fluid every 10,000 miles? That seems quite excessive to me.

When cars had manual transmissions, there was never a dipstick. You had to crawl under there, pull out a plug or the speedometer drive gear, stick your finger in the hole and feel for fluid. If it was low, you somehow had to pump some in there until it was full. No one ever complained about that, but now that some automatics have gone to that system it’s a big deal.

Every automatic transmission has a way to drain the fluid and add new. If you’re willing to spend the money buying fluid every 10,000 miles having to remove a wheel is a small price to pay, I think. Come to think of it, if you change fluid every 10K, you’ll probably already have the wheel off to do the 5K tire rotation.


#7

My new Sonata is the same way. Has warranty up to 100K miles, but I keep them longer. I have decided to have it changed at the dealer at 50-60K miles as a stop gap. I will have to pay and that would be the first. The more difficult part is giving up control. It feels so much better when I pour the clean fluid out of the container; Alas, life is short.


#8

@oilman:
Tens of millions of customers have bought Toyota vehicles without transmission dipsticks and were told no fluid change needed, or change at 100K miles. Aren’t you curious how their transmissions are holding up?


#9

I do not understand why anyone would want to change their own fluids on a new vehicle while the warranty is in effect. It just does not cost that much to have the dealer do the scheduled maintenance and have records to show that it was done. Some dealers will even offer a few changes free. Also where I live getting rid of old fluids is next to impossible. If OILMAN sticks to that reason for not buying a vehicle he really limits the selection.


#10

AutoZone, O’Reillys, Wal Mart, etc will accept old fluids free of charge. Wal Mart will accept up to 5 gallons on a single trip.

As to fluid changes, I think that 10k miles intervals is excessive and odds are if the trans fluid was changed every 30k miles then a fair number of car owners would not be sitting there crying in their beer over a failed transmission at 100k or more miles.


#11

In Minnesota, most places that sell oil will collect old oil. Also the counties all have recycling programs that accept used oil. I just store mine in gallon containers and take it to the recycling center when I have 15 gallons or so.


#12

“I do not understand why anyone would want to change their own fluids on a new vehicle while the warranty is in effect. It just does not cost that much to have the dealer do the scheduled maintenance and have records to show that it was done”

Good points . . .

But let’s be realistic

Most manufacturers nowadays specify that atf is “lifetime” or have extremely long service intervals. What it means is that the atf will will most likely not be serviced “for free” and/or while the vehicle has new car warranty in effect

That attitude of lax maintenance was already begun, while the car was young and had warranty. By the time warranty is expired, those lazy maintenance attitudes will continue, and there may be expensive consequences down the road


#13
I do not understand why anyone would want to change their own fluids on a new vehicle while the warranty is in effect. It just does not cost that much to have the dealer do the scheduled maintenance and have records to show that it was done.

I don’t understand why someone WON’T do their own oil changes if they can. The cost of the dealer doing the maintenance vs me doing it is 5-10 times more…maybe even higher. I got 2 FREE oil changes on my new Highlander. The last one was at 20k miles. Dealer pointed out my engine air filter and cabin air filter would need changing soon. They offered to me at the discounted price of $110. I bought a Denso (EXACT same filter that is used in my engine) engine air filter and a Wix cabin air filter and did it myself for under $40…Took me all of 10 minutes for both.

Also where I live getting rid of old fluids is next to impossible.

I just go to my town dump…they have a big drum for old oil. And any place that sells oil also will take your used oil.


#14

I’ll play devils advocate for a moment, largely because I believe the question is valid and never addressed.

Suppose I, random-public-customer, buy a new vehicle, and the dealership says I never need to change the transmission fluid, and the manufacturers maintenance schedule says I never need to change it, and I don’t tow. I plan to keep the car about 100K miles and then trade it in.

  1. Why should I change my transmission fluid every 30-40K miles, or even ever?

  2. What percentage of the public operates this way and never has a problem?


#15

Most do, I bet. If sale at 100k is planned, the vast majority of these ‘lifetime’ transmissions will make it.


#16

I change my own oil and the trans fluid on the Acura that is under warranty. But its a matter of taking the drain plug out but not the Pontiac. Its a matter of convenience instead of making an appointment and driving to the dealer and waiting.

As for why do all these things if you’re going to trade anyway? I guess its just a matter of pride, concern with taking care of your stuff, not wanting to dump a poorly maintained car on someone else, upbringing, doing the right thing regardless? Another reason to be very careful about buying a used car instead of a new one I guess. Maybe it was my dad’s influence but I just can’t fathom spending $40-50K on a machine and not taking care of it. I also wax my appliances and polish my exhaust tips. Just like having to report issues with your house when you sell it, I think people should have to provide a written report of how they maintained their cars when they trade them. Buyer beware.


#17

This might be of help.

http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/345


#18

In NY, anyone who sells oil has to take it for recycling. In my town it is even easier, I just have to set it at the curb in an oil jug or one marked “used oil”.


#19

In NY, anyone who sells oil has to take it for recycling. In my town it is even easier, I just have to set it at the curb in an oil jug or one marked “used oil”.

That sounds like a big mess waiting to happen. How many of those jugs get run over or kicked open?


#20

Used motor oil is collected by our recycling service but only once have I spotted a plastic container next to a recycling bin. I take my waste oil to work in a five gallon container. Only one out of ten homes here place the recycling bins out on collection day, these people have no interest in recycling.

Thirty years ago I lived in an apartment and witnessed people putting drain oil and car batteries in dumpsters. I would imagine it is still going on today.

Less maintenance required on vehicles results in less pollution.