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Hi. I'm new here, but have the same question about ATF level.

I bought used van in December 2013. Previous owner did nothing about transmission, so I first did drain & refill, then did drain & refill with dropping pan. It was WOW... How dirty it was.
I put the same amount of ATF that I drained, but I read ATF level higher than top notch on the dip stick with engine running.

Is that okay, or should I do another drain & refill to adjust ATF level to between two notches?
What year is your Sienna? If it's not a sealed transmission, you are ok to leave a little bit more fluid in the system. It won't hurt anything.

Regards, JC.
 

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What year is your Sienna? If it's not a sealed transmission, you are ok to leave a little bit more fluid in the system. It won't hurt anything.

Regards, JC.
What do you mean "sealed"? I thought that was a marketing ploy. Are some year trannies more sensitive to overfilling than others?

fyi with the right piece of semi-stiff tubing you should be able to siphon some fluid out of the dipstick/filler tube.
 

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Hi JC,

Mine is 2007 XLE. I bought van with ~92k mileage, and did ATF drain & refill right after.
Here's the ATF dip stick level while engine is running.
Is it okay?

DSC_0180.jpg

Thanks
 

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Hi JC,

Mine is 2007 XLE. I bought van with ~92k mileage, and did ATF drain & refill right after.
Here's the ATF dip stick level while engine is running.
Is it okay?

View attachment 4721

Thanks
It's hard to tell from this photo. There is a bead of ATF along the bottom edge of the stick, that reduces to nothing around the high marks. Then some wetness on the stick just a bit above the high marks. Did you wipe the stick before inserting it for the reading?

Thanks. john
 

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It's hard to tell from this photo. There is a bead of ATF along the bottom edge of the stick, that reduces to nothing around the high marks. Then some wetness on the stick just a bit above the high marks. Did you wipe the stick before inserting it for the reading?

Thanks. john
Hi John,

Yes, I did wipe the stick before reinserting. ATF level is ~1/4 inch above top most notch while engine is running. When I check ATF with engine cooled off, ATF level is ~3/4 inch above the top most notch.
I read some threads that ATF level should be checked while engine is running. But then I wasn't sure if ATF level should be between top 2 notches (there's "HOT" marking) or not... I don't know what the bottom 2 nothces with "COOL" marking is for.

Thanks
 

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Yes, the ATF is supposed to be between the two top notches when the engine is fully hot. Since the fluid expands when heated, it should never reach the upper mark at any temp from cold to fully hot. So it sounds like you have a bit more fluid in there than you are supposed to.

Will it cause problems? Supposedly if there is too much fluid it can cause churning and foaming of the fluid, or something like that -- something that is not good for operation. I'm sure there is a bit of overhead built into the specs for fluid level ... but I personally wouldn't want to take the chance. However you don't have to drain the fluid from the pan again --- if you can get a piece of small diameter plastic tubing that will fit down the dipstick hole you can simply suck some fluid out using a small fluid pump or the gravity siphon method.
 

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Yes, the ATF is supposed to be between the two top notches when the engine is fully hot. Since the fluid expands when heated, it should never reach the upper mark at any temp from cold to fully hot. So it sounds like you have a bit more fluid in there than you are supposed to.

Will it cause problems? Supposedly if there is too much fluid it can cause churning and foaming of the fluid, or something like that -- something that is not good for operation. I'm sure there is a bit of overhead built into the specs for fluid level ... but I personally wouldn't want to take the chance. However you don't have to drain the fluid from the pan again --- if you can get a piece of small diameter plastic tubing that will fit down the dipstick hole you can simply suck some fluid out using a small fluid pump or the gravity siphon method.
I've overfilled my 98 Sienna's tranny before. I think he'll probably be ok. If you are worried then yes, get a fluid pump to remove some of the fluid out.

Regards, JC.
 

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Hi, I am in a similar situation. I recently purchased a 2007 awd sienna with 99,800. Trans fluid does not appear to have been changed. Did you ever do a drain and fill with ws fluid? Did you notice an improvement in operation?
 

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Hi, I am in a similar situation. I recently purchased a 2007 awd sienna with 99,800. Trans fluid does not appear to have been changed. Did you ever do a drain and fill with ws fluid? Did you notice an improvement in operation?
What's ws fluid?

When I did my full flush at 90k miles I didn't notice a huge difference in operation -- maybe the tranny shifting became a bit smoother. It is, however, preventative maintenance to prolong the life of your transmission, whose replacement costs far more than the cost of a few flushes over time :)
 

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What's ws fluid?

When I did my full flush at 90k miles I didn't notice a huge difference in operation -- maybe the tranny shifting became a bit smoother. It is, however, preventative maintenance to prolong the life of your transmission, whose replacement costs far more than the cost of a few flushes over time :)
WS is "World Standard" Transmission fluid. Toyota switched from Type IV to WS a few years back. All of the newer models use it.

I don't buy into what the dealer says. If you want to keep your van problem free then the fluid needs to be changed at regular intervals. I also change the strainer and clean the pan on mine. I have a magnefine in line filter as well for extra protection. I have 275,xxx km on it and it runs like a brand new transmission. This van could easily run to a million KM, but I doubt I will keep it that long.

Regards, JC.
 

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I just read this entire thread and I wanted to clarify how to test the ATF fluid level. You should check the level with the transmission hot.
1) Start the engine add let it run for several minutes.
2) Starting with the shift lever in the park position, move it through each detent, reverse, neutral, etc down to 1. Stop at each for 30 seconds.
3) Reverse the process to return to the park position. This will pump fluid into all the places it can go.
4) Then, while the engine is still running, pull the dip stick, clean it and put it in and pull it out to get a good reading.
If you have done this correctly, you should not get a false high reading.

To flush the transmission,
1) First drain and drop the pan.
2) Clean the pan, the magnets, and replace the screen.
3) Remove the transmission fluid return line from the radiator. If you do not know which one, remove both. Add some cheap Home Depot tubing to connect them to a drain pan.
They are located on the driver's side of the radiator near the top.
4) Replace the pan and the drain plug.
5) Put an ATF funnel into the dip-stick tube and add 4 Quarts of ATF. You now have clean ATF in the pan.
6) Start the engine. The transmission's internal pump will pump the clean fluid through the rest of the transmission, the torque converter, and into your drain pan.
7) When you have about 3 Quarts pumped out, stop the engine and pour 3 more fresh Quarts into the dip-stick tube.
8) Repeat until you have clean ATF pumping out the line to the radiator. I usually pump 12 Quarts through.
9) Put the lines back onto the radiator.
10) Fill the transmission and check the level as shown above.
 

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Thanks John and JC,

Looks like, I overfilled ATF then...
The only tranny issue I could feel with my 2007 Sienna is this=> When I slow down and turn right without stopping at intersection, tranny hesitates to down shift into gear for a second.
I sometimes feel "kick" (or catch up?) when gear engages during turn. So I developed a habit to shift into 4th gear before making slow turn.
I did drain & refill right after I purchased the van, so I don't recall doing the same thing or not.

I may try your technique to get some ATF with narrow tube with hand vacuum pump when I have a chance.

Thanks
 

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When I checked the ATF level yesterday while engine is running, it was just above the top notch of "HOT" marking. So I didn't do anything...
I guess ATF level does go down over time...
 

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The cold marks are for a mechanic walking up to an unknown vehicle and not knowing if there is any fluid in the pan or a drastically overfilled pan BEFORE he starts it up. It gives some quick visual indication that it's within the safe zone and OK to proceed. But no, it's not for typical use.
 

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That's a bit hypocritical of a reasoning, wouldn't you say? If the purpose of those marks is there to make sure the car has a minimum amount of fluid to start the engine without damaging the tranny, then why wouldn't the standard fill procedure after a drain be to fill to bottom cold mark before warming up the engine? Seems a bit safer than "put in as much as you drained out" ... what if you started with an overfilled tranny? Or with an underfilled tranny?
 

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I just use Dex/Merc Maxlife since it is approved by even toyota WS fluid which is the newest and the best fluid from Toyota today. YOu also can put Toyota WS in T-IV tranny since it is backward compatible just like Dexron VI and III, NIssan S with older D and K. But WS is more expensive and they last forever just like T-IV unless you tow a lot. If you see on the deepstick it said, NO NEED to replace the ATF under normal condition. But I just drain and refill every 60k miles and at 250k miles still shift smoothly with Valvoline Dex/Merc Maxlife which is full synthetic.
 
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