My 1992 4-cylinder Camry has black transmission fluid and also appears to have a pint too much, according to the dipstick. I’ve driven the car for 3 years with no transmission problems. Should I do nothing? Should I have the tranny flushed? Should I drain what I can from the drain plug and replace with official Toyota fluid? Is this synthetic tranny fluid? Of course, I was too dumb at purchase, 3 years ago, to check the tranny fluid.
I would use Toyota transmission fluid. I would drain it and replace the filter and refill. Then drive it at hwy speeds. This will get the fluid out of the torque converter. Then drain it again and top it off. This is the only way to get mostly new fluid that I know of.
Few automatic transmissions survive “black transmission fluid”…But changing it can’t hurt…I would also drop the pan after draining and change the filter…
It is a shame that few people know they should change the transmission fluid for automatic transmissions on a regular basis. Get in the habit of checking the fluid often (at least two or three times a year and changing it every two - three years. It is a lot cheaper than a new transmission. For some reason (maybe they like you paying for new transmission) the manufacturers and dealers don’t seem to make much effort to inform owners. I guess that may be because most people will be past the warranty by the time your find out.
I’d do whatever your manual says to do. (For a Honda, you’d just drain and replace the fluid three times, but I don’t know what Toyota calls for.) In any event, I agree with Caddyman that your transmission may not last much longer, unfortunately.
Drain and refill, drive for a week then drain, drop the pan and clean it and clean or replace the filter and refill. The drain and refill every 30k after that. My daughters 03 Corolla had black fluid, almost black anyway, after 75k miles. I did the above. It now has 160k and is running fine, no transmission problems. Fluid still red after change at 150k miles.
My 2002 Sienna has 183,000 miles on it. From the start, I would drain 3 quarts via the drain plug, and add three quarts, sort of when it enters my mind. Fluid color is perfect. Seems to run and shift okay. I got this idea from Tom and Ray column at the time. Haven’t had the pan off.
@Irlandes… Be glad you have a drain plug most pans do not, I wish I did…LOL… With that said, I would drop your pan and get a new filter in there, and clean the pan itself… At this point who know what kind of junk is in there
Sears and jiffy lube are training establishments for wannaby mechanics.
I own a 94 camry and it take Dexron trans fluid which is cheaper that the toyota fluid. I bought my camry used from a neighbor and the trans fluid was dark, i had a fluid exchange done and the trans still work well with 238K on it.
“Sears and jiffy lube are training establishments for wannaby mechanics.”
You have to start someplace. My nephew started at a JL before moving to a higher paying job. The JL I use has fairly stable help, and the owner does train the techs well. I know that not all JLs are run the same, and I am fortunate to have a good one near me. I’ve been going there so long that they typically don’t try to upsell me anymore.