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I thought that I would add some information for the 1st gen (1998 - 2003).
My manual shows a drain plug and fill plug for the differential unit.
I have the drain plug....but the location indicated for the fill plug is covered by the LH Side Bearing retainer......which has a "bump" there....
I DID find that draining the differential got a nice amount of fluid out.....after having drained and removed the pan.
I also verified that.....as I have read a number of places.....the differential is filled when you fill the transmission.
I put the transmission pan back in place......left the drain plug out of the differential....added new ATF until I saw some fresh ATF running out the differential drain location.
Here is a picture that shows the differential drain location......like the transmission pan plug, it takes a 10mm hex bit to open.
The picture is taken from under the vehicle.....pointing forward......so the differential drain plug faces the rear of the vehicle.


Here is a picture of the Beck/Arnley Transmission filter kit.
It came with a rubber pan gasket.
The filter, both the OEM and the replacement had a nylon like screen for a filter....so it does not have much of a filter in it.



This picture shows the new filter in place.....arrows indicate the 3 bolts, 10mm socket, that hold it in place.
You can see the nylon screen filter through the window in the filter case.
Torque specification for the filter bolts is 8 ft/lbs


This picture shows the pan with the "fuzzy" magnets and OEM cork gasket.


Here the pan is wiped down and the rubber type gasket is in place.
The pan is held on by 17 bolts that take a 10mm socket.
Torque specification for pan bolts is 69 in/lb.....NOTE INCH pounds.

The drain plug torque specification is 36 ft/lb



This is what the new, Redline D4 fluid looks like next to the fluid that was in there.....with just over 30K miles on it.
The 2003 Sienna calls for Dexron III fluid for Transmission and Power Steering.


I installed a auxillary transmission fluid cooler and took this picture that may help if one wants to do a cooler line fluid exchange......the picture was taken with the radiator fans removed so the transmission cooler line routing is nicely visible.
Fluid flows OUT of the transmission through the hose that is on the passenger side......and into the passenger side radiator cooler connection.
Then the fluid flows out of the radiator cooler through the connection on the driver's side......and INTO the transmission through the hose on the driver's side.
In the picture.....it flows out of the radiator mounted cooler, through the auxillary cooler and then back into the transmission.......not shown, I installed a Magnefine filter in the cooler line.....which I do recommend....it filters to 30 microns, has a bypass in case the filter element becomes clogged and it also has a big magnet to catch ferous particles.


Frikking webshots. All those pics are gone. :(
 

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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.
Good write up. The pictures are appreciated too. My neighbor always drains a quart of old fluid and adds a quart of new fluid then drives his vehicle for two weeks before following with a pan drain. He reasons that the detergents in the fresh quart will help to clean and suspend more sludge that will be drained out during the main drain.
 

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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. ???
I was looking for the oil filter part number spec for my 2006 Sienna. I could not find it in the owner's manual or on line. On line I did find references to 5 different part numbers for Toyota oil filters but I found no information to explain the different numbers and letters identifying them.
 

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Thanks. This is going to be one of my little winter projects. I guess it helps to warm up the transaxle first?
The temperature is not as important as getting the dirt, sludge, etc. stirred up and back in solution so it can be drained out with the fluid instead of lying in the low places in the pan, lines, and valves.
 

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Strangely enough, every Toyo I've owned or maintained has come with way too much Tranny Fluid as measured by the dipstick. This was true on a '91 Camry V6, '92 Camry I4, '98 Corolla, '04 Sienna, and a '07 Camry. If you get a chance, walk over to a dealer lot and pull the tranny dipstick on a new Camry or Sienna. Chances are that the fluid level is very high on the indicator (well above the Max line).
You should check the fluid level with the engine running after shifting the transmission thru the gears with your foot on the brake. Checking it without the engine running is incorrect as the fluid drains out of the valves and lines into the pan and will show a over filled condition.

Why engine oil is checked with the engine off but transmission fluid is checked with the engine running is one of those strange things in life. Are there any readers that know how that came to be and why there can't be marks put on a transmission dip stick to allow checking the transmission fluid level without the engine running?
 

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Just did a drain and fill on my 07. Thanks for this thread and all the pictures and info on torque specs. Made my job a lot easier. I have 97K mi and the fluid was as dirty as the dirty fluid in the photo of the two jars earlier in this thread.

On a side note, I asked the parts person at my local dealer which AT fluid I should use and told him the make and model and he referred to a chart and replied "type IV". He said that if you have a dipstick then it is type IV if not then it is a sealed transmission and it would use type WS. I said that my owner's manual stated I should use type WS and that I did have a dipstick. He looked puzzled and asked to see the manual. We then both went outside and I quickly pointed it out to him. He then suggested we check the dipstick. The dipstick had a sticker which stated that "Under normal driving conditions you should never have to change your transmission fluid." He went back into the garage and consulted several techs and came back out and said "do you remember what color the head of the dipstick was?" I said, yes it is black. He then said then that indicates type WS fluid. If it was red or orange it would use type IV. We then went back out to do a double check. Indeed it was black and he looked it over very carefully. He then pointed out to me that very faintly near the notched end of the dipstick were the letters "WS" laser engraved on the dipstick. So I went with the WS and he said that WS is compatible with the Type IV but that the type IV should not be used in a type WS transmission. He also said he would make a note in his chart that some 07s are to use type WS..... :-[

Just goes to show that you have to be certain of the type of fluid you need for your particular vehicle, and not to always rely on the word of the parts guy.
So the rule is verify and do your own research. Good advice.
 

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After reading through this very helpful thread and completing my own drain and fill on my 2006 LE - yielding about 4.5 qts out the drain - my conclusion is that they just aren't that consistent with the factory fill amounts. Why should there be such variation in the volumes out the drain hole?

I've always thought my tranny fluid was a little high on the dipstick reading; maybe that 4.5 qts I got out confirms that it was high. It's frankly a bit hard to tell exactly where that fluid level is on the dipstick. Anyway, I put 4 qts back in and it looks about right on the high mark to me now.
TIP: To check the level of hard to see almost clear fluid on a dip stick, roll it over onto a clean rag or paper towel and compare the oil stain on the rag to the marks on the dip stick.
 

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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
I only see a drop on the tip of the stick. The stick itself looks like someone sprayed it with some black paint. Clean it up to bare metal. Crank the engine and while your foot is on the brake shift thru all the gears then back to park. With the engine running, wipe the dip stick clean and reinsert it all the way down until it is seated. Pull it back out and look at the level. If you do only have a drop on the tip, you should immediately add enough transmission fluid to get it up to the full mark. Drive it a bit and then check the color of the fluid. If it is not mostly pink, you should do a partial drain and refill.
 

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You should check the fluid level with the engine running after shifting the transmission thru the gears with your foot on the brake. Checking it without the engine running is incorrect as the fluid drains out of the valves and lines into the pan and will show a over filled condition.

Why engine oil is checked with the engine off but transmission fluid is checked with the engine running is one of those strange things in life. Are there any readers that know how that came to be and why there can't be marks put on a transmission dip stick to allow checking the transmission fluid level without the engine running?
For my 2010 Honda civic , the engine must be shut down and the dipstick read within the first 60 seconds , something like that , after shutdown. Go figure!
 

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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.
I would not do it at 60k. The manufacturers are under pressure from the EPA to reduce every vehicles projected lifetime usage of petroleum products. That is the reason for the push for extended service intervals.

I'd stick to the old standby 30-35k miles, and keep my transmission happy a lot longer. Trans fluid is a lot cheaper than a transmission R&R.
 

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You should check the fluid level with the engine running after shifting the transmission thru the gears with your foot on the brake. Checking it without the engine running is incorrect as the fluid drains out of the valves and lines into the pan and will show a over filled condition.

Why engine oil is checked with the engine off but transmission fluid is checked with the engine running is one of those strange things in life. Are there any readers that know how that came to be and why there can't be marks put on a transmission dip stick to allow checking the transmission fluid level without the engine running?
The trans oil drain back to the sump so it is almost always over the limit if you check it with the engine off and if it has been sitting for a while. With the engine running the trans pump is also spinning so that the trans fluid is being circulated through the trans and torque converter. There is normally too mark on the dipstick. One for when the tran is cold (first start up less than 5 minutes of running) and one for Hot after the trans has warm to operating temperature. ATF volume varies based on the temp of the ATF, so for a Hot trans the fluid will expand, whereas for a Cold trans the fluid will have contracted.

Depending on what type of oil system your car have you will look at the engine oil dipstick either with the engine off or with it running. On most cars with a "Wet Sump" the measurement is taken with engine off, whereas if you have a "Dry Sump" system the measurement is taken with the engine running.
 

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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....???
Torque wrenches are dependent on the user of the wrench. Mechanical torque wrenches have a compression spring internal to the wrench. If you don't back off on the spring pressure (reset wrench to zero) after use - IOW for storage .. the wrench can easily be thrown out of calibration.
Typical torque values - engineering wise have a +/- range and the nominal torque is what is provided.

As for Oil plugs the crush washer is supposed to crush and seal - perhaps op had wrong crush washer??
 

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I am in the middle of doing a drain and fill. Only about 3.1 quarts came out. It should be 4 quarts? So am I a quart low? 3 came out but I am going to put back in 4.
 

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I'd put in 3, start the engine and use the dipstick to measure fluid level and add as needed.

If you start with too much then you're going to have to pull the drain plug again to get some out ... that's more work.

I don't think low fluid can do any harm to the tranny while the car is stationary.
 

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I drove to kragens yesterday morning to get crush washers and drove back home to do the drain and refill. 15 minutes there and back. I checked the level with it running and hot. It was at the cold mark. So a quart low?

This morning I looked under the van to check for leaks. Drain plug looks good but about 5 inches toward passenger side I see some fluid on the ground! About the size of a quarter. Not coming from the plug. I set a plastic lid under it to catch it. Not sure what it is.

I started up the van to check the level cold. It is sitting maybe a centimeter below the minimum cold mark.
 

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Looks like light orangish fluid. Definitely not transmission fluid. Think it’s coolant. Probably have a small leak near the thermostat.
 
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