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Disclaimer: First time posting a DIY. This was done on a 2011 Sienna XLE AWD.

Tools/supplies Needed:
10mm socket
6mm hex socket
24mm socket
Funnel with tubing or fluid transfer pump
Jack and jack stand
Scan tool capable of displaying ATF temperature - I have a ScanGuage II which I had to program (easy to do with instructions on their website) to read the ATF temp.
Toyota part # 90430-12008 (drain plug crush washer) (likely special order, I got mine the next day - I think I bought 3 for about $5)
Toyota part # 90430-18008 or 90430-A0003 (fill plug crush washer)
3ish quarts of transmission fluid spec'd for Toyota Type WS. I know there are going to be a lot of people that say to use nothing but that, but I'm using Red Line ATF D6. Up to you.
optional: graduated bucket

Step 1:
Drive car to heat up the fluid - my fluid was in the upper 160s when I did the drain. This is optional, but I wanted to get the most fluid possible to drain.

Step 2:
Jack up the car and remove the driver's side front tire.

Step 3:
Use your 10mm socket to remove the panel towards the front back of the wheel well. I did not remove the clip, only the 2 10mm bolts, then the panel swung away.
IMG_1158.jpg

Step 4:
Use the 24mm socket to remove the transmission fill plug. Note that there is a crush gasket on this plug that *should* be replaced, unfortunately, I did not have this gasket as I didn't foresee this. As I plan to do additional drain and fills in the near future, I will replace it next time. In the above picture, the plug is already removed.
IMG_1160.jpg

Step 5:
With the optional graduated bucket underneath the plug (and for me, with the engine not running, because again, I wanted to drain the maximum amount of fluid), remove the transmission level check/drain plug using a 6mm hex tool.
IMG_1157.jpg

Step 6:
Once the fluid is done draining, use the same 6mm hex tool to remove the red level check tube while keeping your bucket in place. If you look up into the pan through the plug you removed in step 5, it will be very obvious what to do. Once you remove the tube, slowly lower the van to about level as this will drain additional fluid. (Winner's tip: don't crush your bucket or whatever you're using to catch the fluid as your humble author did. Be sure to use a low-profile fluid catching system of some sort (the one pictured, while very nice for such projects because it's translucent and the graduated marks are on the outside, was too tall for the job. Thankfully, it sprang back nicely.)
IMG_1165.jpg IMG_1164.jpg IMG_1159.jpg IMG_1162.jpg

Step 7:
OK, this step will be controversial - do at your own risk: With the plug and tube removed, I then started the van and quickly shifted through the gears - P-R-N-D and back twice and promptly shut off the van. In all honesty, this probably only netted at most another pint drained.

Step 8:
Replace level check tube (note that it seems like your going to crank it in forever, and you start to get nervous that there isn't a stop at the end of the hole, but trust me, it eventually stops. Also, loosely (hand tighten) replace the drain plug with fresh crush washer.

Step 9:
This is where YMMV: Through all the draining, I got about 2.5 quarts (maybe a tad less) in my graduated bucket. Adjust this step accordingly depending on how much you got. Using your funnel with tube or transfer pump, replace approximately what you removed from the van. This whole process will result in a small amount of wasted fluid, but whatever.

Step 10:
Make sure that your van is level (likely will involve lowering the van slightly using the jack). Using your scan tool, determine if the ATF is in the proper level check range of 108-113F, if it is, with the van running, shift through the gears, allowing each gear to fully engage P-R-N-D (I did this twice), then remove the drain plug (with something to catch the fluid in place). A little bit of fluid will likely drain out.

Step 11:
With the van still running and your drain bucket still in place, slowly add more fluid to the fill hole until transmission fluid drains out of the pan.

Step 12:
When the fluid coming out is at a very slow trickle, replace the drain plug and shut off the van.

Step 13:
Replace the Fill plug. I couldn't find the torque specs for either plug. I did the drain at 29 lb-ft and didn't even use a torque wrench on the fill as I didn't have a replacement washer - I just got it good and snug. If anyone wants to chime in with the actual specs, it'd be appreciated. [EDIT: Thanks to TomB985 - 30 lb-ft for drain and 36 lb-ft for fill plug are the factory specs]

Step 14:
Replace the panel that covers the transmission, replace the wheel (76 lb-ft). and drive off.

That's it. I was hoping for more fluid draining out, but that's ok. Mine is an AWD, so the total capacity is 7.1 quarts. I plan to do this procedure 2-3 more times in relatively quick succession, then just do a 1 time drain and fill at each oil change, which I do at 10k. I know many of you believe this is overkill. Essentially, I don't believe in lifetime fluids, so I'm playing it safe, and maybe wasting some money along the way. The van currently has 38k miles on it and I don't tow, so I'm firmly in the camp of "over-maintaining" the van.

Here are a couple of pics of the old fluid - seemed in decent shape, but definitely darker than the stuff I put in (also in pic, my reward for a job well done):
IMG_1173.jpg IMG_1168.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So what was the condition of your old fluid in your opinion at 38k was it dirty?
We were thinking the same thing - I took a couple of pics to try to capture that. See the bottom of the post.
 

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To flip the pictures I usually use Windows photo viewer and there are two little circles with arrows that flip the photos for you until you have it the way you want. Then you just re-save the picture.

Regards, JC.
 

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To flip the pictures I usually use Windows photo viewer and there are two little circles with arrows that flip the photos for you until you have it the way you want. Then you just re-save the picture.

Regards, JC.
Yeah, they're oriented correctly on my computer, it's only when I uploaded them that they got flipped. Something about the actual forum site. Weird.
 

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Just wanted to say outstanding post bullfrog! My van has 83K and I'm planning on doing this service now that I got the door cable replaced. Your detailed photos make it easy!

Factory spec shows 30 lb-ft for the drain plug, and 36 lb-ft for the fill plug. :)

I sold my Scangauge last year with my Excursion, so I don't have a good way of measuring transmission temperature. So I plan on accurately measuring what I take out and putting that much back in the transmission. I see why you did Step 7, but I would NOT do that again. Running the pump without fluid in the pan could cause permanent damage. You probably didn't hurt anything by quickly doing it once, but I would highly recommend against doing so in the future.

Once again, THANKS!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just wanted to say outstanding post bullfrog! My van has 83K and I'm planning on doing this service now that I got the door cable replaced. Your detailed photos make it easy!

Factory spec shows 30 lb-ft for the drain plug, and 36 lb-ft for the fill plug. :)

I sold my Scangauge last year with my Excursion, so I don't have a good way of measuring transmission temperature. So I plan on accurately measuring what I take out and putting that much back in the transmission. I see why you did Step 7, but I would NOT do that again. Running the pump without fluid in the pan could cause permanent damage. You probably didn't hurt anything by quickly doing it once, but I would highly recommend against doing so in the future.

Once again, THANKS!!!
Thank you for posting those torque settings - very helpful. I completely agree with you on step 7 - I wouldn't do it again that way, especially with how little additional fluid I got out of the system.

A word of caution on not using a scan tool - you won't know if you've lost some fluid in the past 83k that should technically be replaced (or, for that matter, if the factory fill was right, though after 83k, that's sort of moot). You may want to, at a minimum, get a cheap IR thermometer from Harbor Freight or the like (or borrow one) and see what the pan temperature is to measure it.

I'd love it if a WS thermal expansion chart was published at some point, I'm not sure how useful it would be in a practical application, but I'd just be curious. Everyone states as gospel (and I'm sure that there's truth here) that ATF expands significantly at higher temps, I'd love to know how much at various temperatures.
 

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A word of caution on not using a scan tool - you won't know if you've lost some fluid in the past 83k that should technically be replaced (or, for that matter, if the factory fill was right, though after 83k, that's sort of moot). You may want to, at a minimum, get a cheap IR thermometer from Harbor Freight or the like (or borrow one) and see what the pan temperature is to measure it.
You make a good point. My rear differential was underfilled from the factory resulting in a $1,500 repair just out of powertrain warranty. I have a bluetooth OBD interface and the Torque app, and I'm working on getting it to read the transmission temperature. Unfortunately I'm hexidecimal stupid, so I don't know how to convert the X-gauge commands. I have an IR thermometer, but I don't know if I would trust external pan temps enough to adjust the fluid with.
 

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Great write up,I would think this procedure should cross over to the FWD? I want to do mine every 25,000 like my last mini van that i had no transmission troubles with.What scanner did you use?

Sean

2012 LE
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great write up,I would think this procedure should cross over to the FWD? I want to do mine every 25,000 like my last mini van that i had no transmission troubles with.What scanner did you use?

Sean

2012 LE
Yep, same procedure for FWD. I used a Scangauge II. You have to program it to read the ATF temp, but it's very easy with instructions on the Scangauge website If you have an Android phone (not iOS), you could download the Torque app and I believe it would work too. I'm an iOS guy, so I've never tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
notice i see few rusted on the chassis, i think you gotta fix it before it get start to eats from the bottom up...
The joys of Western Pennsylvania driving.
 

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I did the same for my wife's Sienna yesterday. Hers has 83,000 miles on it, and this was the first transmission service. We use the van to tow the boat, which is right at its 3,500 lb weight limit.

I tried doing this with the transmission cold and only got around 1.8 quarts out. I ended up starting it up and running it through the gears twice to get more out, I just couldn't see replacing only 25% of the fluid. The transmission showed no signs of slipping, and I was able to get a total of 2.5 quarts of fluid out by doing it this way. The fluid was almost black...I'm no expert on modern transmissions, but that has me a little concerned with the fact that we've been towing without monitoring the transmission temps.

I'll be doing this again with a hot transmission when I do the oil change in another month, and then probably again a month after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did the same for my wife's Sienna yesterday. Hers has 83,000 miles on it, and this was the first transmission service. We use the van to tow the boat, which is right at its 3,500 lb weight limit.

I tried doing this with the transmission cold and only got around 1.8 quarts out. I ended up starting it up and running it through the gears twice to get more out, I just couldn't see replacing only 25% of the fluid. The transmission showed no signs of slipping, and I was able to get a total of 2.5 quarts of fluid out by doing it this way. The fluid was almost black...I'm no expert on modern transmissions, but that has me a little concerned with the fact that we've been towing without monitoring the transmission temps.

I'll be doing this again with a hot transmission when I do the oil change in another month, and then probably again a month after that.
Sorry to be the "RTFM guy," but I think the recommended change interval when towing is 60k. Sounds like it's good that you're getting the old stuff out.

Were you able to get the Torque App to read the ATF temp?
 

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Sorry to be the "RTFM guy," but I think the recommended change interval when towing is 60k. Sounds like it's good that you're getting the old stuff out.
Ha ha...I'm normally the RTFM guy. :D

Here's what it says:

2011 Sienna Mainteance Guide said:
Perform these service items only if you drive primarily under the conditions indicated.
We probably have around 2,000 miles on the van with a trailer behind it. With 83,000 miles on the van we're not even close to "primarily" operating under special operating conditions. The overwhelming majority of miles on the van are on trips of 25 miles or longer. We've lived in two relatively remote areas since owning this thing, so we don't do many short tips. :)

bullfrog23414 said:
Were you able to get the Torque App to read the ATF temp?
I think I got it working this morning in the garage. Unfortunately I loaned one of my cars to a friend and it had my bluetooth interface inside, so I haven't gotten the chance to try it on a road test.
 

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Excellent DIY, definitely a sticky. Still a few thousand miles befire I tackle this. On the VW I have done the temp check using an infrared gun, measuring the temp at a few different points on the pan.

Curious....why didn't you clean the pan and replace the tranny filter!!! lowering the pan would also show how the magnets look like.

Can you do this with Van on the ramps. Also is it necessary to remove the wheel?
 

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Excellent DIY, definitely a sticky. Still a few thousand miles befire I tackle this. On the VW I have done the temp check using an infrared gun, measuring the temp at a few different points on the pan.

Curious....why didn't you clean the pan and replace the tranny filter!!! lowering the pan would also show how the magnets look like.

Can you do this with Van on the ramps. Also is it necessary to remove the wheel?
Honestly, I've never dropped a tranny pan, so I'm a little hesitant to do that. I would assume that the process is essentially 1) unbolt all the bolts; 2) pry it apart carefully; 3) clean it and replace the filter; 4) replace pan with a fresh gasket? Does anyone put any sealant on the gasket before reassembling, or would the gasket hold on its own?

It looks like Amazon sells the filter/gasket set for $15.50 and the Rock for ~$13 + shipping. I may consider this at a future drain/fill. 38k miles is probably a bit early for me. TomB985 should definitely consider this though considering the condition of his ATF.

You *might* be able to access the fill plug with the wheel on and turned fully to the left, but I think it would be a struggle - probably more trouble than it's worth.

As far as ramps go - you'd likely get a decent drain using ramps as the drain plug is on the left rear of the pan (the 'left' part of that is why I had to lower the Sienna after I removed the plug in order to get a good drain. However, everything I've read is pretty adamant that the van needs to be on level ground when you are checking the ATF level - which makes sense as the incline would cause more fluid to go to the back of the pan and flow over the top of the check tube, thus draining out more than the optimal amount of fluid.
 

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Honestly, I've never dropped a tranny pan, so I'm a little hesitant to do that. I would assume that the process is essentially 1) unbolt all the bolts; 2) pry it apart carefully; 3) clean it and replace the filter; 4) replace pan with a fresh gasket? Does anyone put any sealant on the gasket before reassembling, or would the gasket hold on its own?
Spot on. Thats all there is to it and you don't need a sealent around the gasket.

The risk of not cleaning the pan is that if there are metal shavings stuck to the magnets, you contaminate the new oil with those. Besides without eyes on the magnets, you really don't know the condition of the oil. The other option is to send it for analysis.

If you tackle the pan cleanup, here are a couple of tips...

  • NEVER use any power tools when tightening/loosening these bolts.
  • When bolting back the pan, hand tighten all bolts.
  • if everything is absolutely dry (it won't be because when you lubricate the new gasket with tranny oil, some of it rubs into the bolt holes), then go with the recommended torque setting. If you have any oil residue on the bolts, then set the torque to atleast 2 settings below (e.g. recommended 31, you set it to 29) otherwise there is a fair chance you will end up stripping the bolts.
 
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