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Hi all, has anyone here changed the transmission fluid and is there a service interval for that? I know that lexus say its life time but define life time. My car has 89000 on it and I think a change of fluid and filter for that matter would be a good idea at this point. Any advice welcome, thanks. 

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Vlad I had a really good chat with the lead Tech mechanic and we agreed a 3 flush method, based on Nick's posting on the SC forum. I asked for photos to be sent as the work progressed.

Just make sure he knows what he is doing . "Lexus Specialist" is a broad term that may include some chancers ! . even Lexus main dealers have these in situ at some locations . Be warned ! One cycle wi

You are obviously a  merchant banker by profession ............................................... ooops did I spell that right ?

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Hi Derek , I used to have an IS250 /2006 and if you read my past post about fluid changes in that transmission . I also changed it in my recently acquired SC430 facelift which has a nearly identical set up . There are some good videos on you tube as well .if you are thinking of doing it yourself , but be aware its not for the amateur as transmission temperature needs to be monitored for correct level . You need to do the fill cycle afew times as you are only replacing a few litres every go . I also have a post about my SC on Lexus World where I detail the procedure .

 A760E.pdf

Tr Fill.pdf

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Hi Derek. Your Lexus dealer Will do a transmission fluid service but you have to ask for it. You may have to almost argue the point. Stockport Lexus did my is250 and I think it cost 180 all in. Only about 2.5 litres was exchanged. However there is a thread on here about that oil change where its stated that there's a place in Chorley I think that will totally drain and refill at a good price. 

Personally I'm going to have the gear oil changed again on next service along with rear diff oil change.

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2 hours ago, Mr Vlad said:

Hi Derek. Your Lexus dealer Will do a transmission fluid service but you have to ask for it. You may have to almost argue the point. Stockport Lexus did my is250 and I think it cost 180 all in. Only about 2.5 litres was exchanged. However there is a thread on here about that oil change where its stated that there's a place in Chorley I think that will totally drain and refill at a good price. 

Personally I'm going to have the gear oil changed again on next service along with rear diff oil change.

You need to do it 3=4 times to cycle enough fluid so that it remains red on your last cycle . usually 4 times is enough , but its vital that the people doing it know what they are doing otherwise the final fluid level will not be correct at the temperature range required . this will cause jerky changes etc . 

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Thanks guys, yeah I'm deffo going to have it done at a local independent Toyota specialist ,then I can rest easy knowing I probably won't have to do it again.  Would normally tackle this sort of thing myself but as it only needs doing every 70 or 80k I'll let him do it. Thanks 

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6 minutes ago, Derek Kane said:

Thanks guys, yeah I'm deffo going to have it done at a local independent Toyota specialist ,then I can rest easy knowing I probably won't have to do it again.  Would normally tackle this sort of thing myself but as it only needs doing every 70 or 80k I'll let him do it. Thanks 

Just make sure he knows what he is doing . "Lexus Specialist" is a broad term that may include some chancers ! . even Lexus main dealers have these in situ at some locations . Be warned ! One cycle will only  change 2-3 litres so 4 cycles is what I have found is necessary . If they are not willing to do this amount ........... dont bother in the first place . Get them to watch fays video ......... 

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There's been quite a bit said on this forum re transmission oil change. Somewhat gentle arguments for and against. There are those who have the time and tools and space etc to do this drain and fill not just once but 3 or 4 times. Then there are those who don't have the time etc etc etc. 

Like I said earlier it's worth searching this forum for the threads related to this as one of them states a garage that does the Full drain with the proper vacuum equipment. 

How much is the Toyota garage quoting you Derek? 

A suggestion. Depending on how many miles a year you do then get the job done once a year. I do about 3k a year so I'll get the drain and fill done with its service. 

Oh. There are plenty on here whose cars have done 200k miles without a transmission fluid service. Interesting. But like I've pointed out in one of the threads. Our Aisin boxes can't be so different to the one fitted in the Ford Mondeo titanium x sport ecoboost. Ford state a gearbox oil change every 5 years or is it 3 I forget or 37.5k miles. Oh its an Aisin 6 speed auto in the Ford with a oh so similar model number. 

 

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1 hour ago, Mr Vlad said:

There's been quite a bit said on this forum re transmission oil change. Somewhat gentle arguments for and against. There are those who have the time and tools and space etc to do this drain and fill not just once but 3 or 4 times. Then there are those who don't have the time etc etc etc. 

Like I said earlier it's worth searching this forum for the threads related to this as one of them states a garage that does the Full drain with the proper vacuum equipment. 

How much is the Toyota garage quoting you Derek? 

A suggestion. Depending on how many miles a year you do then get the job done once a year. I do about 3k a year so I'll get the drain and fill done with its service. 

Oh. There are plenty on here whose cars have done 200k miles without a transmission fluid service. Interesting. But like I've pointed out in one of the threads. Our Aisin boxes can't be so different to the one fitted in the Ford Mondeo titanium x sport ecoboost. Ford state a gearbox oil change every 5 years or is it 3 I forget or 37.5k miles. Oh its an Aisin 6 speed auto in the Ford with a oh so similar model number. 

 

This procedure is not hard to do ...but is easy to do wrong or incorrectly by a non conscientious mechanic. There is so much complacency in the motor trade . We ex aircraft engineers on the other hand read the book and do the job in accordance with the servicing procedure ............. DO IT RIGHT the first time . I would recommend doing this every 50 K or there abouts from my experience of seeing the fluid that comes out . Im not sure I would recommend the full vavumn flush as this can cause problems in the clutches in the transmission , so I would stick to the approved Toyota procedure ..................

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Just quick note - RWD IS250 has Aisin A960E gearbox (not A760E, only AWD IS250 has A760H).

2006 SC as well has different gearbox from IS250 - A761E (although both are 6-speed auto).

Besides above details, as well consider that Lexus does not recommend and won't do full fluid replacement. Only the places specialising in gearboxes does it.

The other thing to consider - automatic transmission fluid last a lot longer than manual transmission oil, so doing it every year in my opinion is waste of money.

Actually, I was looking to replace all fluid on my old IS250 (192k miles) but only because I started getting solenoid errors (indication of fluid needing the change). Again my opinion, but do not change the fluid just for sake of it - if you have no problem don't look for one. And there are reasons for that e.g. procedure is not completed perfectly and fluid is under-filled or overfilled, it could destroy gearbox. 

So my advice - do the fluid change, but only if you have reason to do it. This is not manual gearbox and this is not engine oil which needs annual or frequent change.

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1 hour ago, Linas.P said:

Just quick note - RWD IS250 has Aisin A960E gearbox (not A760E, only AWD IS250 has A760H).

2006 SC as well has different gearbox from IS250 - A761E (although both are 6-speed auto).

Besides above details, as well consider that Lexus does not recommend and won't do full fluid replacement. Only the places specialising in gearboxes does it.

The other thing to consider - automatic transmission fluid last a lot longer than manual transmission oil, so doing it every year in my opinion is waste of money.

Actually, I was looking to replace all fluid on my old IS250 (192k miles) but only because I started getting solenoid errors (indication of fluid needing the change). Again my opinion, but do not change the fluid just for sake of it - if you have no problem don't look for one. And there are reasons for that e.g. procedure is not completed perfectly and fluid is under-filled or overfilled, it could destroy gearbox. 

So my advice - do the fluid change, but only if you have reason to do it. This is not manual gearbox and this is not engine oil which needs annual or frequent change.

Yes all your version numbers are correct , but they are essentially the same as to the servicing procedure . 

Prevention is better than cure !!

Why is there such an aversion to preventative maintenance .??................ getting away with the minimum seems to be a trend amongst "experts"  on Lexus boards.

ah well ...never lost an aircraft or a Lexus ................... everybody do what they want .......its a free world !

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Lots of good advice here guys. My transmission seems to be in perfect working condition. This was to make sure it stays that way. Didn't realise the mondeo use a similar transmission to ours ,I actually considered a mondeo but was put off by bad reviews about transmission problems. 

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1 minute ago, Derek Kane said:

Lots of good advice here guys. My transmission seems to be in perfect working condition. This was to make sure it stays that way. Didn't realise the mondeo use a similar transmission to ours ,I actually considered a mondeo but was put off by bad reviews about transmission problems. 

The IS 250 /SC430 2006(facelift) transmissions are ultra reliable so dont worry . , especially if you look after it 😁

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18 minutes ago, nicnac said:

Yes all your version numbers are correct , but they are essentially the same as to the servicing procedure . 

Prevention is better than cure !!

Why is there such an aversion to preventative maintenance .??................ getting away with the minimum seems to be a trend amongst "experts"  on Lexus boards.

ah well ...never lost an aircraft or a Lexus ................... everybody do what they want .......its a free world !

Yes... I agree that procedure overall is the same, but just wanted to note it, in case the capacity of the oil or some other details would differ. For example if you want to replace all fluid at once, then you will need new gasket and new fluid filter... and at that point it becomes important that you actually order the parts for the right gearbox... isn't it?

As for preventative maintenance I agree... where it makes sense. However, you would not change your engine pistons, rings or head-gasket as a "preventative" maintenance would you? Sure if they broken and if they need changing, and if it makes economical sense you will do it, but not as a preventative maintenance. Same here - automatic transmission fluid isn't a scheduled maintenance job, it does not need frequent changing and doing it incorrectly may cause catastrophic failure. As such - if you have no issues with gearbox, you don't need to create ones yourself.

Now where I agree - "life-time" fill is non-sense, gearbox fluid will require changing eventually and you need to change it when you have a reason for it. It is doable, it is possible to do it all at once and it could help to extend life of the gearbox, but this is not something you should do as scheduled or as a "preventative" maintenance.

So the final question - how do you know when to do it? There are few things which could indicate it - early shifts, late shift, harsh shift, higher fuel consumption, car being in wrong gear for no reason e.g. staying in 5th on motorway... and perhaps eventually faults coming from solenoids (as they are sensitive to viscosity of the fluid). The above is official list from workshop manual and in such case fluid "refresh" or change is recommend. 

In the end that is just my opinion, but if you don't have one of above issues then there is no point risking it. 

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2 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Yes... I agree that procedure overall is the same, but just wanted to note it, in case the capacity of the oil or some other details would differ. For example if you want to replace all fluid at once, then you will need new gasket and new fluid filter... and at that point it becomes important that you actually order the parts for the right gearbox... isn't it?

As for preventative maintenance I agree... where it makes sense. However, you would not change your engine pistons, rings or head-gasket as a "preventative" maintenance would you? Sure if they broken and if they need changing, and if it makes economical sense you will do it, but not as a preventative maintenance. Same here - automatic transmission fluid isn't a scheduled maintenance job, it does not need frequent changing and doing it incorrectly may cause catastrophic failure. As such - if you have no issues with gearbox, you don't need to create ones yourself.

Now where I agree - "life-time" fill is non-sense, gearbox fluid will require changing eventually and you need to change it when you have a reason for it. It is doable, it is possible to do it all at once and it could help to extend life of the gearbox, but this is not something you should do as scheduled or as a "preventative" maintenance.

So the final question - how do you know when to do it? There are few things which could indicate it - early shifts, late shift, harsh shift, higher fuel consumption, car being in wrong gear for no reason e.g. staying in 5th on motorway... and perhaps eventually faults coming from solenoids (as they are sensitive to viscosity of the fluid). The above is official list from workshop manual and in such case fluid "refresh" or change is recommend. 

In the end that is just my opinion, but if you don't have one of above then there is no point risking it. 

You replace the transmission oil to limit the amount of partical build up in the oil . On an aircraft engine you do periodic spectrometric oil analysis program and chip detectors to monitor the wear in the parts r=that ends up in the fluid and magnetic plates in the sump . These particals will eventually end up acausing further wear and solenoid problems . SO if you replace oil in transmission at a reasonable interval then you minimise the wear internally . End of story ! Jeez ...this is worse than a Trump conference !

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27 minutes ago, nicnac said:

Why is there such an aversion to preventative maintenance .??................ getting away with the minimum seems to be a trend amongst "experts"  on Lexus boards.

Sealing up the transmission was a way to stop the fluid absorbing moisture as it essentially becomes a sealed system - the pressure valves being filtered. Manufacturer thinking is that period fluid change actually increases water content/contamination into the fluid, especially as if you just to a pan drain and refill you are only replacing 1/4 of the total fluid.

Toyota/Lexus do recommend replacement every 60k miles if you are on a heavy maintenance schedule (taxi, only ever short journeys) but never if on a standard schedule.

Wear is minimal, good for 200k miles on the original fluid so whilst replacing fluid will reduce wear for most owners and vehicle lifetime it isn't a concern.

 

Personally I'd probably replace at 100k miles if you intended to keep the vehicle for a number of years.

For transmissions with a dipstick, maybe a pan drain/refill at 60k and then every 20k miles. Especially on something known to have issues, like the series I RX300.

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4 minutes ago, ColinBarber said:

especially as if you just to a pan drain and refill you are only replacing 1/4 of the total fluid.

Thats why you do the cycle 3-4 times  with a cycling through the gears in between fills . You will see the cherry red instead of the dark brown when you have done enough cycles . All done with the car level on 4 stands . 

On the SC I also dropped the sump and replaced the pan filter and cleaned the magnetic plates. at 52K ............... If you saw the oil and the magnets .......... in person ............you ALL might take my advice ...................... but its up to yourselves ...mine is good for another 50 k !!!

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12 minutes ago, ColinBarber said:

Sealing up the transmission was a way to stop the fluid absorbing moisture as it essentially becomes a sealed system - the pressure valves being filtered. Manufacturer thinking is that period fluid change actually increases water content/contamination into the fluid, especially as if you just to a pan drain and refill you are only replacing 1/4 of the total fluid.

Toyota/Lexus do recommend replacement every 60k miles if you are on a heavy maintenance schedule (taxi, only ever short journeys) but never if on a standard schedule.

Wear is minimal, good for 200k miles on the original fluid so whilst replacing fluid will reduce wear for most owners and vehicle lifetime it isn't a concern.

Personally I'd probably replace at 100k miles if you intended to keep the vehicle for a number of years.

For transmissions with a dipstick, maybe a pan drain/refill at 60k and then every 20k miles. Especially on something known to have issues, like the series I RX300.

not much to add to above ... I agree that fluid eventually will need changing and perhaps ~100k miles is most logical estimate if we wanted to associate it with mileage.

Besides - Mondeo comparison is absolute red herring. Mondeo is FWD car and uses trans-axle transmissions... there are no similarities between Mondeo and IS250, besides some Mondeos having 2.5l V6, but even then it is transversally mounted... 

3 minutes ago, nicnac said:

Thats why you do the cycle 3-4 times  with a cycling through the gears in between fills . You will see the cherry red instead of the dark brown when you have done enough cycles . All done with the car level on 4 stands . 

Isn't that waste of rather expensive AT fluid, not to mention environmental impact. If you actually dropped the pan - isn't it better to replace all fluid at once.

+ like for aircraft, for cars engine/gearbox cycles matter much more than actually mileage. Hence I am kind of reluctant to put mileage or certain period on maintenance.

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12 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Isn't that waste of rather expensive AT fluid, not to mention environmental impact. If you actually dropped the pan - isn't it better to replace all fluid at once.

No ................its not a waste .Its not that dear either around £7 /litre which is no more expensive than other oils you use . 

You cannot put all the fluid in at once ( except by the vacuum pump ). The only fluid in the sump is a few litres . the rest is in the torque converter valve body etc . so by changing the filter with the sump of you are only replacing part of the fluid . You still need to cycle it through when back together to cycle the old fluid back to the sump . I think the system has around 13 litres .in all 

It only takes a couple of hours to do ............ whats the problem ......

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That valuable info (honestly).

Although, it still does not change my opinion about overall maintenance schedule. I do support preventative maintenance and I do agree that AT fluid needs changing eventually, but at the same time I prefer to keep balance between keeping the car in good order and not wasting money on unnecessary maintenance... especially if it could end-up hurting the car more. So I leave it at that...

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your cars your decision ! 

I never believed in doing the bare minimum when it comes to maintenance /ant det .

Perhaps its my background...............never wanting to see an aircraft that I had signed over "Fit to fly" falling out of the sky on airtest .

All I can do here is advise those who want to be advised ....................... the rest is up to them .!

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Car is not an aircraft, car systems are not as critical and even then - I don't believe you inventing your own maintenance schedules on the aircraft. Replacing AT fluid after 100k miles when manufacturer states "it is sealed for life unit" is not doing bare minimum, that is going above and beyond of the recommendation. But replacing it annually is a different matter. If we compare that to aircraft then I tend to believe you would replace whole gearbox after 100k... no non-sense with fluid changes if schedule requires new part!

As such it is a question of finding the right balance of following the official recommendation and only improving it where it is strictly necessary or when required. Not just doing it for sake of doing it. 

What about the coolant then? Lexus recommends their pink long live coolant to be replaced at 100k, then 60k thereafter - are you suggesting that is bare minimum as well and for sake of "preventative maintenance" to do it annually? 

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Sorry, I must admit - you never said to do it annually, but even 50k doesn't sit right with me. Even, unsealed manual gearboxes recommends 40-60k and automatic transmissions are much different and fluid itself is not the same. 

+ you have mentioned yourself, that doing it wrong creates a risk and fining the trusty specialist, because the process is quite specific and should be strictly followed. This means finding good specialist at reasonable price may not be the easiest, especially when Lexus themselves refuses to do it except of 1L "refreshes". 

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ive had my auto fluid drained and refilled in all 3 of my Lexus's including this "sealed" one in my GS300 and all were fine with no issues. ive put around 15k-20k on this one since then and shifts fine. i'm intending on doing another round after about another 15k miles. i'm more proactive not reactive. but thats me

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7 hours ago, Linas.P said:

Car is not an aircraft, car systems are not as critical and even then - I don't believe you inventing your own maintenance schedules on the aircraft. Replacing AT fluid after 100k miles when manufacturer states "it is sealed for life unit" is not doing bare minimum, that is going above and beyond of the recommendation. But replacing it annually is a different matter. If we compare that to aircraft then I tend to believe you would replace whole gearbox after 100k... no non-sense with fluid changes if schedule requires new part!

As such it is a question of finding the right balance of following the official recommendation and only improving it where it is strictly necessary or when required. Not just doing it for sake of doing it. 

What about the coolant then? Lexus recommends their pink long live coolant to be replaced at 100k, then 60k thereafter - are you suggesting that is bare minimum as well and for sake of "preventative maintenance" to do it annually? 

I have posted my advice for those who asked for it . !! so you do it your way and ill do it mine . And Derek can do it either way he likes ! End of story ........... just like Trump!

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