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Discussion Starter #1
Shop recommended a fluid flush for my transmission since I'm at 155K miles. Showed me fluid sample - it looked, let's say, "medium purple" whereas new fluid is red. Wondered if anyone had anything to say about whether or not the fluid should be flushed in these sealed transmissions. I've heard that you're not supposed to do it, but I would also imagine that new fluid should have better lubricity and viscosity...
 

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They're not sealed, you should have a dipstick and drain plug.
At that mileage, a flush is risky. A few drain and fills spaced out a week apart will replace most of the fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They're not sealed, you should have a dipstick and drain plug.
At that mileage, a flush is risky. A few drain and fills spaced out a week apart will replace most of the fluid.
I guess I'll have to look at it again. I thought it was sealed and the shop said it was. But I'll check again.

I've never understood why a transmission would more likely fail with fresh fluid than with keeping the old fluid. Can you or anyone else explain this in at least reasonable detail?
 

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The first person to tell me that was a dealer who recommended that I NOT do a full power flush and fill on my vehicle because it would clean stuff off too quickly, clog up the filter and starve the transmission of fluid. Personally, I think it's an old mechanic's tale. That said, drain and fill with each oil change for the next 3 oil changes will be more than adequate and can be done for nothing other than the cost of fluid and a new crush washer. Or, if you pay someone to do oil changes, probably about the same price. Just don't do it at a quick-change type chain shop and make sure to use Toyota speced fluid. You will be amazed at the difference in shifting when you switch from medium purple to a slightly brown-tinted red.
 

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I just take one of the hoses off going to the radiator and run it into a gallon jug.
Start the engine and let it pump out 2-3 quarts. stop engine, Refill and do over until it pumps out
nice and red. 10 quarts or so. You could drop the pan and get 4 quarts that way and by the way there is
a filter up there. Lots of rumors saying there is no filter or that it never needs changed but there really is one. Mine was so clean at 60,000
that i should have left it be. Maybe 100,000 would be a good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just take one of the hoses off going to the radiator and run it into a gallon jug.
Start the engine and let it pump out 2-3 quarts. stop engine, Refill and do over until it pumps out
nice and red. 10 quarts or so. You could drop the pan and get 4 quarts that way and by the way there is
a filter up there. Lots of rumors saying there is no filter but there really is. Mine was so clean at 60,000
that i should have left it be.
Should this filter ever be changed?
 

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Transmissions with high miles on them will have some clutch material that have been shed circulating in the system. This material acts as friction "agents" allowing the the clutches to work. To get an idea of how much is circulating it is best to drain and fill initially to see how the transmission functions . I have an old volvo with 220k miles and I rarely do a flush for this reason, just an occasional drain and fill. The filter in the sienna is actually a strainer and apparently does not need changing. Some owners including myself do change it and there are discussions here in this forum for that. I also installed a Magnefine transmission filter , a true filter so to speak , just because.
 

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The "filter" on my 2009 looked the same as anything I found in a Chevy or ford trans. Those flushes push or pull fluid through the trans yes ? I would never do that but maybe letting the trans pump it's own fluid out is similar.
FWIW I did this to a 1999 sable with 150000 on it. The trans fluid was black. This might have been the first time it was changed. I was concerned it wouldn't work after but I drove it another 80000. Had to scrap it for structural reasons but the engine and trans still worked fine.
 

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Just do a fluid change and add a magnafine filter.. Do the fluid change yourself not very hard I did mine on our 08 and I am disabled.
 

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I sure could use some good advice. I just bought a used 2006 sienna xle with 233,000 miles on it. The transmission is slow to find and engage a gear only when I'm slowing down, almost coasting at very low speeds. Maybe that's the way it is though. Anyway, I drained and refilled the transmission one time. Now I want to replace the filter and refill, not doing a flush, unless it should be done. Need advice there. I would do it myself using the hose going to the radiator method. First I'll see what the new filter does to it. Does anyone know if those filters are a paper media type or screen? I ran the old fluid through a white sheet cloth and didn't see anything other than some minor foam. Like maybe moisture because it dried up and went away over night on the cloth. This vehicle lacked information on maintenance and it showed a lack of concern for it. If I put a Magnefine filter on it will that catch the clutch material and make it inoperable? Like I said I didn't see any of that material but it may be so small you can't, I don't know. The magnetic plug looked pretty clean. I just had a mechanic replace the timing belt and all the other stuff that goes along with it and paid $1265 for that. The belt ,pump, pulleys were all original. I'm surprised they lasted that long. The belt was showing a lot of wear. I have my hands full trying to catch up on this one. Hopefully it will keep going without any major expenses. Thanks for any input. I have studied the whole flush or not to flush idea and its just confusing now. Thanks for you input. Oh I really like how well made these vehicles are!
 

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Would be best to avoid the flush i would say. Is the fluid full, auto transsmissions can act odd if they are low. Although
i was probably 1 quart low and it was no different. I did have a car once that was down a quart and wouldnt do anything.

As for the filter,
The one i put in looked the same as any other trans filter i have seen. Paper i suppose.
These look like paper to me and it was probably made by one of these suppliers.
 

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Ever since I had the transmission replacement 6 years ago due to partially clogged transmission filter, starved the front pump, then surged forward and chipped the gears, the metal debris landed in differential bearing, grinding noise upon deceleration developed shortly. After swapped an used transmission, I've been doing full flush of transmission fluid and magenfine filter replacement annually. Knock on wood, the van has been driven exceptionally fine, very smooth shifting, upon acceleration, just seeing the rpm moving up and down without feeling any jerk and the speedometer continuously climb quickly. It is only a investment of $50/case from stealership, well worth
 

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Would be best to avoid the flush i would say. Is the fluid full, auto transsmissions can act odd if they are low. Although
i was probably 1 quart low and it was no different. I did have a car once that was down a quart and wouldnt do anything.

As for the filter,
The one i put in looked the same as any other trans filter i have seen. Paper i suppose.
These look like paper to me and it was probably made by one of these suppliers.
Thanks for information. I thought it might be a paper looking filter. I'm going to change the filter and not do the flush. I've already drained out 4 quarts so it's better than it was. Then with the new 6 quarts going in with the filter change it will be even better, close enough. Its leaving in some of the old fluid at least. Just in case it needs it. Bronzemaxwell commented and said his filter was clogged up and caused the transmission to fail. Well, I have to make a decision on where to buy the filter and gasket. The fluid I can get at the stealership for less than $6 a quart, so I'm good with that. I'll price compare their filter price with an OEM I can find on line . Thanks for responding again. BR
 

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Ever since I had the transmission replacement 6 years ago due to partially clogged transmission filter, starved the front pump, then surged forward and chipped the gears, the metal debris landed in differential bearing, grinding noise upon deceleration developed shortly. After swapped an used transmission, I've been doing full flush of transmission fluid and magenfine filter replacement annually. Knock on wood, the van has been driven exceptionally fine, very smooth shifting, upon acceleration, just seeing the rpm moving up and down without feeling any jerk and the speedometer continuously climb quickly. It is only a investment of $50/case from stealership, well worth
Valuable information for me. Thanks. Oh, hey, did you buy a used Transmission ,like from a salvage yard maybe? What did you pay for that and the install? Just in case I have to go that route. Verse's buying remanufactured one. I'm hoping i don't have to go that route. Moneys funny enough already. My wallets laughing at me. BR
 

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I think my van's felt paper transmission was partially clogged before I bought it, my symptoms was after driven highway speed, stopped at traffic light, when the light turn green, stepped on gas pedal, the rpm went up, but vehicle wouldn't move forward until about 5 second later, and jumped forward hard.
I did drained and refill, as well as full flush transmission immediately after I bought it, but in my case, not enough, my symptoms persisted until I changed my felt paper transmission filter, all symptoms went away, but then shortly transmission differential bearing began grinding, the van was still driving smooth and fine, so I took my time, waited, then found a $500 used 65k miles wrecked donor, final total cost closed to $1000 after fluid, new cv axle seals, rear main seal, front pump seal, etc, and some tools, DIYed it at home garage with no lift, took me span of 2 weeks with a few hours per day after work, summed up to be about 24 to 30 hours of labor. The van since has been driven close to 80k miles, still on the road, full transmission fluid flush yearly and shifts perfectly fine.

Everyone situation vary, but I would not invest heavily on these decade plus old vehicle.

If I've replaced my transmission filter on day one, I could have spent much less on parts and repair, but oh well, I did gain more knowledge on repair skill.
 

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I think a better question is how many people here have AWD vs FWD?

I bought my 2008 with only 83k on it, but the transmission has been geting steadily worse in terms of not finding a gear when it needs to. I plan to do a drain/fill once the weather warms up here in new england, and I hope that'll do something, but I would love to know from folks who also have the AWD version if there's a preferred method for doing so.
 

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I think a better question is how many people here have AWD vs FWD?

I bought my 2008 with only 83k on it, but the transmission has been geting steadily worse in terms of not finding a gear when it needs to. I plan to do a drain/fill once the weather warms up here in new england, and I hope that'll do something, but I would love to know from folks who also have the AWD version if there's a preferred method for doing so.
'06 FWD. Mine was doing the exact same thing 30k miles ago. The fluid was a light pinkish color with definite brown tinge to it. I did a drain-and-fill and it was remarkable how much better it was. I intended to do it at every oil change, but then I forgot to buy fluid. I need an oil change in the next 1000 miles, so I plan to do it again this time because it seems to be a little more sloppy again.
 
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