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evening gentlemen. so my fj has 168k miles and the only maintenance that has been done is changing the oil and filter. truck is an 07 automatic 2wd. I joined the forum recently and have been surfing around the maintenance posts. I have learned that there is much more to maintaining an fj than just oil and filter.

I am scared to take my truck in for a transmission fluid full flush as there are some posts that say that a flush will make the transmission slip. There is also a video on youtube explaining fluid colors that says if the fluid is black and you do a flush the transmission will slip. He says that cars with black fluid should just change the fluid that drains and not do a full flush. On the other hand there are also some posts here that say the fluids are different now and those stories of transmissions slipping happened to old cars that used the less sophistacated fluids of the past. i dont want my truck's transmission to fail i just spent money painting her :(.

I have also learned that the maintenance for a 4wd fj is diffrent than a 2wd fj but i'm not clear on exactly whats different. I want my truck to last me many more years so what do the experts think i should do? what other things do i need done to my 2wd fj to keep her running in tip top shape?
 

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First thing to do is go to the Toyota.com website, find the "Owners" tab, and under the Resources section, download both the Owner's manual and the Warranty and Maintenance Guide. The Maintenance Guide will provide the maintenance schedule, and tell you what needs periodic attention, regardless of mileage.

Additionally:
1. Change the coolant;
2. Change the engine and cabin air filters;
3. Change the spark plugs;
4. Change the PCV valve;
5. Inspect and if necessary replace the serpentine belt;
6. Flush the power steering fluid;
7. Flush the brake system;
8. Drain and replace the transmission fluid in the transmission pan, and repeat at least 4 times at 2-3 month intervals.

This is only a partial list, depending on how badly the vehicle's maintenance was neglected by the previous owner.
 

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I would add if the fluid is black/burnt it could cause a "slipping" feel when changed due to the new fluid cleaning every bit of loose shavings, grime and buildup that is causing friction. If this is the case your trans is most likely damaged anyway. Black fluid doesn't mean your trans is bad though. All trans fluid has a strong smell even when new. With your mileage I would do a pan drain and refill every oil change after around three of these changes the majority of your fluid would be changed. I did a full exchange on mine at 50k mi and plan on doing pan drain fill with my oil changes from now on. This is only one fools opinion...
 

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First thing to do is go to the Toyota.com website, find the "Owners" tab, and under the Resources section, download both the Owner's manual and the Warranty and Maintenance Guide. The Maintenance Guide will provide the maintenance schedule, and tell you what needs periodic attention, regardless of mileage.

Additionally:
1. Change the coolant; Done
2. Change the engine and cabin air filters; Done
3. Change the spark plugs; doing friday
4. Change the PCV valve; doing friday
5. Inspect and if necessary replace the serpentine belt; looks good
6. Flush the power steering fluid;
7. Flush the brake system;
8. Drain and replace the transmission fluid in the transmission pan, and repeat at least 4 times at 2-3 month intervals.

This is only a partial list, depending on how badly the vehicle's maintenance was neglected by the previous owner.
Ty for the checklist. I think its great you took the time to write it up for me. :cheers:

I would add if the fluid is black/burnt it could cause a "slipping" feel when changed due to the new fluid cleaning every bit of loose shavings, grime and buildup that is causing friction. If this is the case your trans is most likely damaged anyway. Black fluid doesn't mean your trans is bad though. All trans fluid has a strong smell even when new. With your mileage I would do a pan drain and refill every oil change after around three of these changes the majority of your fluid would be changed. I did a full exchange on mine at 50k mi and plan on doing pan drain fill with my oil changes from now on. This is only one fools opinion...
Not doing the transmission fluid change in my friends garage so i have taken it to a couple places. Toyota says i shouldn't change it now because its too over due. Another garage told me they would change the filter but instead of replacing the fluid that drains out of the pan they would reinsert the old fluid because my transmission should be so beat up it would only work with the extra friction the old fluid provides. That i should run her as it is until the transmission gives. They told me that since I trailer my boat with her the damage is too much and if i switch to new fluid, which is thinner, its gonna slip.

I would think a little new trans fluid would do more good than harm but then again i am no expert mechanic. what do you guys think?
 

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(snip)

Not doing the transmission fluid change in my friends garage so i have taken it to a couple places. Toyota says i shouldn't change it now because its too over due. Another garage told me they would change the filter but instead of replacing the fluid that drains out of the pan they would reinsert the old fluid because my transmission should be so beat up it would only work with the extra friction the old fluid provides. That i should run her as it is until the transmission gives. They told me that since I trailer my boat with her the damage is too much and if i switch to new fluid, which is thinner, its gonna slip.

I would think a little new trans fluid would do more good than harm but then again i am no expert mechanic. what do you guys think?
You need to get that transmission fluid changed, ESPECIALLY if you are going to be towing and subjecting the fluid to additional heat load.

However, there is a lot of (anecdotal) evidence about severely neglected automatic transmissions failing soon after a complete fluid change, presumably because of "solvent action" of the new fluid loosening built-up deposits that then circulate with the fluid and clog solenoid valves, etc.. Do you know for certain that the transmission fluid has never been changed? If it has never been changed, by 168K miles the fluid will be in extremely bad shape, dark and foul-smelling.

If you don't change the fluid, the transmission will ultimately fail, especially under the additional heat load of towing. If you do a total fluid flush, you might be at risk of the "post flush" failure.

That's why the suggestion of changing ONLY the 2.5 - 3 quarts in the transmission pan, running for a few weeks, again draining the pan & refilling, etc. and repeating this process 4-5 times. If the current fluid is black, it's going to be difficult to determine by appearance if there is additional gunk in the fluid due to solvent action loosening built-up wear debris.

I'd suggest taking a few hours to read all the threads here on "shuddering transmission problems", "DIY transmission fluid flush", etc. Numerous members have performed fluid changes on neglected transmissions, many with total success.

Perhaps member Jimmee can chime in, I believe he is associated with a transmission repair business and can give some recommendations.

If towing any substantial load or distance, you do need to add a transmission cooler.
 

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You need to get that transmission fluid changed, ESPECIALLY if you are going to be towing and subjecting the fluid to additional heat load.

However, there is a lot of (anecdotal) evidence about severely neglected automatic transmissions failing soon after a complete fluid change, presumably because of "solvent action" of the new fluid loosening built-up deposits that then circulate with the fluid and clog solenoid valves, etc.. Do you know for certain that the transmission fluid has never been changed? If it has never been changed, by 168K miles the fluid will be in extremely bad shape, dark and foul-smelling.

If you don't change the fluid, the transmission will ultimately fail, especially under the additional heat load of towing. If you do a total fluid flush, you might be at risk of the "post flush" failure.

That's why the suggestion of changing ONLY the 2.5 - 3 quarts in the transmission pan, running for a few weeks, again draining the pan & refilling, etc. and repeating this process 4-5 times. If the current fluid is black, it's going to be difficult to determine by appearance if there is additional gunk in the fluid due to solvent action loosening built-up wear debris.

I'd suggest taking a few hours to read all the threads here on "shuddering transmission problems", "DIY transmission fluid flush", etc. Numerous members have performed fluid changes on neglected transmissions, many with total success.

Perhaps member Jimmee can chime in, I believe he is associated with a transmission repair business and can give some recommendations.

If towing any substantial load or distance, you do need to add a transmission cooler.
I have a hard time believing what I am reading in these posts regarding a flush.....the fluid that is in the transmission has probably lost most of its lubricating qualities...you need to do a full exchange, i.e., all 12 quarts out using a machine. Do not let the mechanic run any surfactants or chemical flushes...just WS rated Toyota fluid....a lot of people clear up transmission shudder by putting new fluid in....While you are at it, install a cooler and external filter...the Toyota tranny only has a mesh screen.
 

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Nah, It all depends on how much gunk is sticking around in there. Very little and you're golden change it all, full exchange. Trans fluid is a great cleaner though. If there is gunk deposit in the trans bright new cherry red fluid is going to loosen most of it. It's going to float around start clinging together and end up clogging one or more of those tight passages the fluid is supposed to flow through.
 

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Read this article before you decide what to do.....I had a good laugh regarding that comment above about putting back in the old fluid...the stupidity of some mechanics out there knows no bounds...as if the goop that is now in your transmission is the only thing preventing it from total failure...effing hilarious!

Transmission Flush Myths- Busted! | DSMtuners

I do my own flushes, with a 2 gpm 12 volt fluid pump from Harbor Freight....the job only takes about 5 minutes and replaces all of the fluid in the pan and most importantly, the torque converter. Only use Toyota WS.....and while you are at install an external filter....
 

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Read this article before you decide what to do.....I had a goog laugh regarding that comment above about putting back in the old fluid...the stupidity of some mechanics out there knows no bounds...as if the goop that is now in your transmission is the only thing preventing it from total failure...effing hilarious!

Transmission Flush Myths- Busted! | DSMtuners
I agree that some of the "mechanic's" advise is absurd, but for every "Transmission Myths Busted" post, you can find 10 posts relating to high-mileage transmissions, neglected-but-operating-properly, that failed very soon after a fluid change.

In truth, I was also skeptical of how fresh new fluid could cause an old transmission to fail until it happened to me.

Here is my story. I bought a used 1997 Toyota Camry for one of my sons as a DD to and from work. The vehicle had been owned by a elderly woman for many years, and was in generally good condition with about 130K miles. The engine was clean and sludge-free internally, but there was no indication that the transmission had ever been serviced. Regardless, transmission function was flawless. After he had it for about 6 months, I decided to show him how to R&R coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. The transmission fluid was black and foul smelling. The transmission was refilled with the proper type of name-brand fluid. Within a week the transmission began to show signs of distress: while stopped in gear, idling, there was detectable internal shuddering from the transmission, as if a clutch was slipping. This became worse and worse over the next few weeks until the vehicle eventually became undrivable. Nothing had changed as far as environmental conditions, daily driving distance, etc.

So do I have "proof" that the fluid change triggered the transmission failure? No. Do I find it suspicious that a perfectly functioning transmission, never serviced and filled with black, foul-smelling fluid, failed almost immediately after a fluid change? Yes.

Therefore I would be cautions the next time I was faced with a similar situation.
 

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I agree that some of the "mechanic's" advise is absurd, but for every "Transmission Myths Busted" post, you can find 10 posts relating to high-mileage transmissions, neglected-but-operating-properly, that failed very soon after a fluid change.

In truth, I was also skeptical of how fresh new fluid could cause an old transmission to fail until it happened to me.

Here is my story. I bought a used 1997 Toyota Camry for one of my sons as a DD to and from work. The vehicle had been owned by a elderly woman for many years, and was in generally good condition with about 130K miles. The engine was clean and sludge-free internally, but there was no indication that the transmission had ever been serviced. Regardless, transmission function was flawless. After he had it for about 6 months, I decided to show him how to R&R coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. The transmission fluid was black and foul smelling. The transmission was refilled with the proper type of name-brand fluid. Within a week the transmission began to show signs of distress: while stopped in gear, idling, there was detectable internal shuddering from the transmission, as if a clutch was slipping. This became worse and worse over the next few weeks until the vehicle eventually became undrivable. Nothing had changed as far as environmental conditions, daily driving distance, etc.

So do I have "proof" that the fluid change triggered the transmission failure? No. Do I find it suspicious that a perfectly functioning transmission, never serviced and filled with black, foul-smelling fluid, failed almost immediately after a fluid change? Yes.

Therefore I would be cautions the next time I was faced with a similar situation.
Doing the changes with the intervals you suggested in the first post. Can i use another atf or does it have to be toyota ws?
 

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Did you just do a pan fill? or a complete flush? Did you change the filter as well? you say name brand so I am assuming you did not use the Toyota fluid....so many variables....Did you recheck the level after letting it run and get up to temp? I am wondering if you used the wrong transmission fluid.....can happen, that is why I only recommend Toyota fluids for the tranny...engine is a different matter.
 

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When I did my full exchange I used Valvoline full synthetic WS. Other than Toyota it was the only ws fluid I could find on hand at parts stores in my area. Local Walmart sells it too. A member said the walmart brand is ws also, I have no experience with it.
 

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Off the top of my head, those older model transmissions use an older style Dexron type fluid and I am not sure if the newer WS fluids are backwards compatible...the newer WS fluid for example is not backwards compatible with an older Toyota transmission that calls for the T-IV fluid...apparently the newer one is less viscous. So moral of this story is use the recommended fluid otherwise you will void your warranty.
 

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Many years ago, 1974, I had what was then an older jeep mail van that the trans fluid was burnt and the tranny slipping. A simple change didn't help but on my pappy's advice I drained and filled with kerosene, moved it back and forth a few times and drained, it was black so filled with kero again moved through the gears again drained still pretty dark so a 3rd time and it looked better. Filled with AT fluid and it started to go better and after awhile she was running good enough to use for a week and a final drain and fill with AT fluid. Note; I didn't leave the driveway with the kero and back then all those fluids were cheap.
 
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