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Discussion Starter #1
So I changed out the ATF in my 04 Sienna today, it was an easy change.

First I purchased 8 qts of Toyota Type T-IV ATF fluid $5.36 ea and a new compression washer $2.57.

Next Purchase a 10mm Hex socket $3.99 and a open drain pan $4.99 at an auto store.

I did not want to use my normal Oil change drain pan because it is a closed pan and I wanted to see the condition of the fluid.

Locate the ATF Drain plug, place the drain pan under the plug and then proceed to remove the plug

I drained out 4qts of fluid

I let the fluid drain out for a good 1/2 an hour

When finished, I replaced the metal compression washer with the new one and installed the drain plug.

The Drain plug was torqued down to 36 ftlbs, note the compression washed will squeeze down at about 35 ftlbs so you will re torque again once the compression washer sets.

I removed the ATF dip stick and placed a small funnel into the fill tube.

I proceeded to fill 4 qt of the ATF fluid. Be sure to pour slowly as it will take a bit to get all the fluid in.

When finished, I put the dip stick back in, checked for leaks and started the van.

I let the van run for a minute, then proceed to change through all the gears, keeping the break on.

I went through all the gears several times to ensure a smooth operation.

With the van running, I checked the fluid to make sure it was filled correctly.

I then did a short test drive. I noticed shifting did improve.

When I got home, I re checked for leaks and re checked the fluid level.

Since draining via the plug only gets less the 1/2 the fluid I will repeat this process in a week or two.

See photos below, the last photo shows the old fluid left, vs. new fluid right. It also shows the old compression washer.

I noted in the bottom of the pan after moving the fluid to storage containers, there was a little bit of metal shaving, very fine, but no big chunks of metal.
 

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Great write up! Thanks for sharing!

Unfortunately, I will be trying to post a "power door motor and cable replacement" thread in the next few weeks.
 

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What's the mileage reading of your Sienna while you were doing this? Toyota recommends to do this at 60K, and I am trying to validate the it maintenance schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My mileage was 32,744 and the fluid was 5 years old ie never changed from factory.

Look at the before and after colors of the fluid. You can see from stock fluid mine was getting dark.
It was still "red" and had a sweet smell to it.

I have only done normal driving with the van no towing yet or anything like that.

We always drive fewer miles then average, so for all my maintenance its always a time vs millage issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The 36ftlbs was taken from the 2004 Toyota Sienna Factory Repair manual.

You can get access to Toyota's technical information system TIS (techinfo.toyota.com) and download the repair manuals for a lot cheaper they buying the paper ones.. Access is $10 per day but if you have a fast internet connection you can download a model year in a few hours...
 

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JeffG said:
The 36ftlbs was taken from the 2004 Toyota Sienna Factory Repair manual.
Thanks again JeffG! I didn't know about that site but I'm definitely going to subscribe! I stopped by Autozone and picked up a 10mm hex socket earlier tonight so I'm all set for my tranny juice change. ;D
 

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Just a small update: I changed the ATF last week and now I'm going to change it again to do somewhat of a "flush." I picked up the ATF at the dealer earlier today and saw a tech standing around. I asked him, "do you happen to know the torque spec on the Sienna tranny plug?" He said he didn't know but he'll go look it up. I waited for about 10 minutes, walked over to the service bay viewing area and there were 2 techs looking through their computer, trying to find the torque specs. He saw me standing there and he said "sorry, we can't find the torque specs anywhere!" He said to just tighten it down real good, with a long-handled wrench.

Pretty strange that the dealership wouldn't have the specs for this. ???
 

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Most places probably don't bother to properly "torque" the nuts on anything anyways. They just crank it until it doesn't move. It's a lot faster than trying to "look it up" somewhere. And there's no real way to prove it was done properly or not....
 

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I originally tightened to 36 ft/lbs (with brand new crush washer) and I was getting a slow drip. I bumped it up to 38 ft/lbs and the leak was a little slower but still there. I think I ended at 40 or 42 ft/lbs to stop the slow leaking.
 

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Even with expensive digital torque wrenches, there is an error range of +/- a few percent or ft/lbs.
I'm not sure of the ratings on the truly "professional" quality torque wrenches....???

YMMV. 8)
 

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JeffG said:
I noted in the bottom of the pan after moving the fluid to storage containers, there was a little bit of metal shaving, very fine, but no big chunks of metal.
I wonder whether the "shavings" were actually metal? From my experience changing the tranny fluid in my sienna I thought that the drain plug is magnetized to pick up the metallic bits or shavings floating about. I had very fine particles stuck to the end of my plug.

Great post for people to see that there is not much to this job! (at about half of the dealer cost, at least in canada)
 

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I changed my atf last night. I'm at 50,000 miles and about 3 1/2 years on the original fluid (time flies). We've done a fair amount of towing so I really wanted to get this done, I've been putting it off.

After doing it I don't know why I put it off, it's super easy.

I bought 4 quarts of ATF from my Toyota dealer, for about $20 US. (More on that later).

I jacked up the driver's side front of the van a bit, made it much easier. My drain plug was on super tight, nothing a breaker bar couldn't solve. Luckily I had the correct size hex socket.

I took a just-emptied windshield washer fluid gallon container, and added graduation marks to it. I took it in the house and using a graduated pitcher, filled it a quart at a time and marked the container with a Sharpie. I then poured the old ATF into this to get a more precise measure of what I took out.

Turns out I got 4 1/2 quarts out. So I need to run to the dealer this morning to get another quart of ATF to top it off. I'd suggest buying 5 quarts to start with, just in case.

I also used s funnel like below to fill thru the dipstick tube. This is an easy job, I will probably do it again at my next oil change to complete the "redneck transmission flush".
 

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Something else to add... I'd also recommend picking up a new crush washer when you get the ATF. I've tightened my transmission drain plug well beyond what I feel is prudent, and it's still dripping.
 

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I bought some drain washers. but they're special order for some reason. ???

So now I have to wait until I do the fluid.

How come no one is changing the tranmission filter/stainer??
 

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Dave in WI said:
Something else to add... I'd also recommend picking up a new crush washer when you get the ATF. I've tightened my transmission drain plug well beyond what I feel is prudent, and it's still dripping.
My dealer supplied me with a simple aluminum non crushing washer. The o.e. is the single use type that crushes flat. I still use a new washer each time but I'm sure you could cheat and use the aluminum ring more than once. They are also cheaper.

cheers,

shineysideup
 

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I just did my ATF drain and refill for the first time. Van is almost 5 years old, and I just broke the 30K mark, no towing, don't use the van too much. Anyway, the fluid was dark, but not burnt. I reused the same washer, but to make sure there were no leaks, I coated it with non-hardening ultra black gasket maker and torqued to 36 ft-lbs. No leaks!
 
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