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I had my automatic gearbox serviced in August last year at an Automatic Transmission Specialist and have done about 2000 miles since.They changed all the filters and used a Mobil fluid which they assured me was the equivalent to Type IV Toyota fluid. The reason I had it serviced was because as far as Im aware it hasnt been serviced before and being a 1993 was long overdue.

Recently on occasions when accelerating I can hear a whining type noise coming from the gearbox whilst it is changing gears.It is not doing it all the time,only occasionally.Infact I had the car serviced a few weeks ago and asked the mechanic to listen for any noises and he drove about 10 miles and it behaved perfectly. The noise is very intermittent and some days behaves perfectly and another it will make a noise while accelerating but not all the time.When driving at speed it always drives perfectly.

I have read on here and the USA lexus forum that you MUST ONLY USE TOYOTA IV FLUID but my question is WHY???

Today I phoned 5 different Automatic Transmission Specialists who are all members of Fedauto(Federation of Automatic Transmission Engineers) and asked for details of price/fluids used to service a lexus transmission and every person said it was not necessary to use genuine toyota fluid as their alternative fluids are to the same specifications as toyota fluids( fluids used were Petrochemica/Total/Mobil). I was also told that the lexus type gearbox is used in other cars and they have been using alternative fluids when servicing/rebuilding them with no problems at all.

Do you think using non toyota fluid could have damaged my gearbox and if so how could I complain to the specialist garage who serviced it when all of the experts I have spoken to say that genuine toyota fluid is not necessary??

I hope this doesnt come across as rude to the forum members who insist you MUST use genuine toyota fluid but I have read all the comments on here about it and yet transmission specialists tell me something different-am I missing something and who is right??

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Andy

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I had my automatic gearbox serviced in August last year at an Automatic Transmission Specialist and have done about 2000 miles since.They changed all the filters and used a mobil fluid which they assured me was the equivalent to Type IV Toyota fluid. The reason I had it serviced was because as far as Im aware it hasnt been serviced before and being a 1993 was long overdue.

Recently on occasions when accelerating I can hear a whining type noise coming from the gearbox whilst it is changing gears.It is not doing it all the time,only occasionally.Infact I had the car serviced a few weeks ago and asked the mechanic to listen for any noises and he drove about 10 miles and it behaved perfectly. The noise is very intermittent and some days behaves perfectly and another it will make a noise while accelerating but not all the time.When driving at speed it always drives perfectly.

I have read on here and the USA lexus forum that you MUST ONLY USE TOYOTA IV FLUID but my question is WHY???

Today I phoned 5 different Automatic Transmission Specialists who are all members of Fedauto(Federation of Automatic Transmission Engineers) and asked for details of price/fluids used to service a lexus transmission and every person said it was not necessary to use genuine toyota fluid as their alternative fluids are to the same specifications as toyota fluids( fluids used were Petrochemica/Total/Mobil). I was also told that the lexus type gearbox is used in other cars and they have been using alternative fluids when servicing/rebuilding them with no problems at all.

Do you think using non toyota fluid could have damaged my gearbox and if so how could I complain to the specialist garage who serviced it when all of the experts I have spoken to say that genuine toyota fluid is not necessary??

I hope this doesnt come across as rude to the forum members who insist you MUST use genuine toyota fluid but I have read all the comments on here about it and yet transmission specialists tell me something different-am I missing something and who is right??

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Andy

HI

When the various mechanical parts of the any vehicle are developed and tested before they go into production the engineers resolve the best oils ,fluids etc to best aid these components during their working life and it is those engineers based on the results of their tests on the aids used who dictate the specification.

Now it may be that various oils and fluids come from the same source before being badged with the car makers name but should anything go amiss with a engine or gearbox and a non specified oil or fluid as been used then if the car is in warranty that will be void and if it is'nt in warranty repairs carried out by Lexus on a vehicle that subsequently fail and it found that the specs for fluids and oils have not been adhered to after the repair Lexus will not take reponsibility for the repair failure.

Now one might think that this is a way of making sure that Toyota sell more of their badged fluids and oils but it is,nt it is a way of guaranteeing that they know exactly what they are dealing with when a mechanical part fails and all the testing in pre-production and the information gathered from that testing makes it far easier than scratching their heads and wondering whats caused the problem.When you have a car as well engineered as the Lexus then it is only fair to you and the car that you treat it with the respect it deserves and follow the specifications for all the life of the car .With regard to atm workshops saying this or that its not their car and as professionals I would expect them to follow manufacturers specs .

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It may have cost me £120.00 for the genuine Toyota Type IV fluid when I changed mine last year but after 5000 miles I have had no problems with the transmission (other problems with a BMW525 yes) but certainly no whine from the transmission.

I looked at other fluids when mine needed doing as the Toyota price for the fluid is horrendous in the UK (but very cheap in the USA so if you have someone coming over from there :whistling: ) but decided to go for genuine as I could not find a definitive answer as to whether other "compatible" fluids were exactly that.

I concluded that £120.00 worth of fluid was going to be cheaper than £40.00 of brand X if I then needed another £500.00 on a secondhand transmission a few miles down the road.

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"but very cheap in the USA so if you have someone coming over from there"

But pack it well! Imagine your clothes with a layer of.......if leakage occurs!

Reminds me of a story of a Citroen SM V6 'short' engine being carried back from USA, as HAND luggage! (Pre-security days.......sigh!)

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I had my automatic gearbox serviced in August last year at an Automatic Transmission Specialist and have done about 2000 miles since.They changed all the filters and used a mobil fluid which they assured me was the equivalent to Type IV Toyota fluid. The reason I had it serviced was because as far as Im aware it hasnt been serviced before and being a 1993 was long overdue.

Recently on occasions when accelerating I can hear a whining type noise coming from the gearbox whilst it is changing gears.It is not doing it all the time,only occasionally.Infact I had the car serviced a few weeks ago and asked the mechanic to listen for any noises and he drove about 10 miles and it behaved perfectly. The noise is very intermittent and some days behaves perfectly and another it will make a noise while accelerating but not all the time.When driving at speed it always drives perfectly.

I have read on here and the USA lexus forum that you MUST ONLY USE TOYOTA IV FLUID but my question is WHY???

Today I phoned 5 different Automatic Transmission Specialists who are all members of Fedauto(Federation of Automatic Transmission Engineers) and asked for details of price/fluids used to service a lexus transmission and every person said it was not necessary to use genuine toyota fluid as their alternative fluids are to the same specifications as toyota fluids( fluids used were Petrochemica/Total/Mobil). I was also told that the lexus type gearbox is used in other cars and they have been using alternative fluids when servicing/rebuilding them with no problems at all.

Do you think using non toyota fluid could have damaged my gearbox and if so how could I complain to the specialist garage who serviced it when all of the experts I have spoken to say that genuine toyota fluid is not necessary??

I hope this doesnt come across as rude to the forum members who insist you MUST use genuine toyota fluid but I have read all the comments on here about it and yet transmission specialists tell me something different-am I missing something and who is right??

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Andy

In addition to the comprehensive answer given by ambermarine I would add a equally important reason for using the recommended oil - peace of mind. If the recommended oil had been used you wouldn't now be wondering whether that is the cause of the problem you are experiencing. Of course it is entirely possible that there is no connection between the fluid and the whine... Personally, given how critical these items are, I would stick to the manufacturer recommended ones. Quite recently I had experience of how little known the Lexus is - I was having the car recovered to the dealer to replace the starter motor and the recovery service mechanic felt he wanted to start the car rather than have it recovered. He correctly diagnosed a starter motor problem which he felt he could temporarily resolve by fidling with the starter motor. After a fairly thorough search (that did not involve taking everything apart) he had to give up because he just could not find the starter motor! (yes, the recovery service was one of the two major national ones and the mechanic was not a teenage newbie either) I know we all want to save money but there is also the saying that: "I'm too poor to buy cheap things..". Personally, if this was my car I would start by changing a.s.a.p. to the correct fluid - given the robust build of the car you will probably get away with it.

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I remember a motoring type programme some time ago when a team of mechanics were set a challenge to remove a Lexus LS400 starter motor as quickly as possible, one hour spent looking for it and two getting to it! Put it this way I wouldn't have fancied putting it back together after they had hacked their way in.

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Its always best to use the genuine fluid in my opinion, but having spent many many hours researching this I found quite a lot of evidence that Mobil are the ones who appear to make the Toyota fluid as they do for other Car manufacturers who use the AW gearboxes. AW are a sub division or joint venture between Toyota and Borg warner as they were.

Some guys who appear to know what they are talking about are adamant that T-IV is just Mobil 3309 rebadged as is the case for Volvo genuine fluid that is alledgedly the same as T-IV used in the same AW gearboxes.

Now I know that doesnt clear things up much but it might be worth finding out if the Mobil ATF was 3309 or another Mobil type which wont do the job as 3309 will. So in summation, the Mobil needed to be 3309.

I hope that makes sense.

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When I decided to change my transmission fluid my intention wasnt to use a cheap alternative fluid. I live a mile from the Cheltenham Lexus Dealership so phoned them for details/price to change the fluid.When I phoned, the service department were unavailable so the receptionist said they would call me back soon.One day later the service manager called me back.I then asked him for price etc on changing filters/fluid-he told me that as far as he was aware the automatic gearbox on LS400 was a sealed unit and couldnt be serviced.He said he would talk to a technician and call me back-he never bothered calling me back. At about the same time as this I was aware that Lexus Cheltenham had mis diagnosed a faulty gearbox problem on an LS430 which resulted in it being totally clapped out(due to water entering gearbox from radiator). With the level of service that Lexus Cheltenham seem to offer I wouldnt let them service my lawn mower let alone my car!!

I then phoned Lexus Swindon who are reasonably close to me to get a price from them.Their level of service seemed pretty poor too. The receptionist said the service department were unavailable to speak to me until the following week. She said she could give me a price for service work but I could not get through to her that I ONLY wanted the gearbox serviced and not the whole car.She kept quoting me silly prices for servicing the whole car (plugs,air filter etc etc). I then decided to give up on Lexus and go to an independent specialist who obviously know a lot more than Lexus seem to know??

The price I paid for the service was £158 (including fluid/filters), so not a cheapskate job in my opinion?

Thank you abs66 for details on the correct Mobil 3309 that should be used. I will speak to the people who changed the fluid to confirm it was the correct fluid that they used.

I will speak tomorrow to Gas & Go, an independent Lexus specialist in Swindon( which was recently recommended on here) to ask their opinion as they are ex Lexus mechanics and sound like they know what they are doing.

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No probs Andy, let us know how you got on finding out.

I have not managed to find anyone selling Mobil 3309 any cheaper (in UK anyway) than the Type T-IV so all seems a bit price fixed to me, no wonder companies call the UK "Treasure Island" !!

I did try seeing if Mobil would supply at decent prices if we bought in bulk but got passed around different importers on mainland Europe with out getting any price info what so ever, I suspect the tie up with the main car and gearbox manufacturers stops them selling it cheaper than the branded ATF's.

I do wonder if as a club we would be able to negotiate a better deal with a US supplier, I don't know what other people think on the matter, always interested in hearing other peoples opinions as I dont have a clue about all the ins and outs of import taxes etc. No doubt we would be screwed over by some government department somewhere lol.

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One possible oil is http://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-60163-fuchs-titan-atf-4400-automatic-transmission-fluid-for-japanese-cars.aspx

It needs to meet T-IV, JWS3309, JASO 1A

This has been endlessly debated on Saab and Volvo forums, and those guys usually end up putting Toyota T-IV fluid in their Aisin Warner gearboxes without any issues. The real issue is that Dexron III is too 'slippery' and needs the friction modifiers that are part of the JWS3309 specification.

As for me, I have a load of Fuchs Titan ATF 4400 and intend to use that when I flush my gearbox.

Found some Mobil 3309 here at a good price http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mobil-ATF-JWS-3309-Automatic-Transmission-Gear-Fluid-1L-/140583158887?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item20bb68c467#ht_1656wt_1139

Richard

Good spot on the 3309 on eBay, thanks.

I've seen all the stuff on the Saab and Volvo forums they seem to have had similar issues with main dealers putting in dexron and wrecking the gearboxes. They also use Mobil 3309 and Volvo guys say their ATF fluid is just re-badged Mobil 3309 like the Toyota T-IV. I'm not so sure the 3309 is any cheaper than type T-IV Toyota fluid when factoring in the postage, might email him and see if a deal possible.

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Hi everybody, as a retired engineer I have done lot of research into this over the last week as it seems to be very difficult to purchase atf fluid for the ls430 at a reasonable price.

I have examined the specifications for Toyota type T-1V, Mobil 3309, and most importantly Mannol Jas 315 type 1A which is badged as JWS 3309.

All the specifications are the same, the only difference being in the price which as the Mannol JWS 3309 is very cheap compared to the other two.

I have also contacted Lexus and Toyota and the answers they have given me would suggest that there is no reason why this can not be used in their vehicles, the only proviso is that if used on a warranty vehicle it would void the warranty.

Saying that, drivers with vehicles under warranty should not have to top up their vehicles anyway if they did their would be a serious problem with that vehicle and it would have to go back to the supplier.

I have also contacted Mannol and they assure me that their transmission fluid can be used in all Toyota and Lexus models.

The warranty issue is slightly irrelevant for the reason already stated, the same thing applies to also anything you purchase that carries a warranty.

Aisin Warner also state that the Mannol fluid can be used in their gearboxes.

There appears to be quite a lot of scaremongering on this issue and owners of Lexus vehicles need to make their own decision on what type/make of fluid they wish to use.

If you read this thank you for your time.

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I think scaremongering is a bit strong. There are plenty of examples, both on these forums and others, where owners haven't used the correct fluid, such as a standard dexron fluid, and their transmissions very quickly started to misbehave.

If T-IV is recommended/mandated then I'd recommend that advise is followed. Obviously a direct equivalent can also be used, such as the OEM Mobil 3309, and owners should do their own research to make sure what they are using is compatible.

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I did a fair amount of research before buying Mobil 3309. Many examples of transmission failure have been reported by not using the correct one. I think it's the same on all Lexus cars, the correct type is stamped on the end of the dipstick. Mine clearly says T 1V

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I would totally agree that owners should do their own research and make their own judgements on what type of fluid to use.

and Phil is correct when he states that the type is stamped on the end of the dipstick, but any manufacturer of any goods has a vested interest to sell you one of their products i.e. transmission fluid, it is the same with any part that is used on any vehicle or for that matter any goods that they sell.

As an ex member of the commercial industry I have first hand experience how corporations sell products.

As long as the part in question meets the specification that is required that part may be used.

Also there may have been a misinterpretation of what I was stating in my previous comment it would not be good for a mix of say T-1V and Mobil 3309 or Jas 315 type 1A. I was simply making a comment that if any member was doing a complete atf change and not just topping up or changing the fluid as per the capacity stated in the LS 430 handbook it would be ok to use a substitute of the same specification.

If you look at the design of any automatic transmission gearbox you will actually find common parts in all of them one example is clutch plates the in the LS 430 are the same as the plates Audi and dare I say it, Ford.

Also if you look at some of the horror stories that you read about the LS430 after it has done a few miles with regard to their gearboxes are they any better than any other manufacturer.

I would be grateful for any comments on this article.

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Having commented earlier to the question I can only re-iterate my earlier comments, with the addition of the peace of mind factor

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Hi, further to my other comments regarding the type of atf used for the LS430 gearbox.

There are an awful lot of myths and misconceptions published over what atf to use in a particular gearbox.

First, vehicle manufacturer do NOT produce their own transmission fluid, they order it to a particular specification from the same place as everybody else, an oil or fluid processing plant and then rebadge it, in the case of Toyota, to JWS 3309, who rebadge it Toyota Type T-1V.

Second the atf specification is not laid down by the vehicle manufacturer, who uses a particular model of gearbox in their cars, it is actually laid down by the gearbox manufacturer for pretty obvious reasons, which In the case of the LS430 which uses the Aisin Warner A650E model gearbox happens to be JWS 3309 and NOT Toyota Type T-1V That is the title Toyota decided to give the fluid they use and sell...

Now, any fluid which meets that specification would be absolutely ok to use, that is the reason why the suppliers that stated their fluid was ok on Andy of Cheltenham comment were correct.

The fact is an awful lot of Lexus and Toyota dealers use Dextron III, the reason? Dextron III is produced to JWS 3309.

Mobil actually put the Spec number on the fluid Mobil 3309 it is also on Motul fluid and Mannol fluid.

I would suggest that anybody that is not clear about what fluid to use should contact Aisin Warner for clarification

The conclusion to this is that any fluid that meets the JWS 3309 spec. is ok to use in the A650E gearbox therefore it is ok to use it in the LS430.

So the owners of the Lexus LS430 might want to have a rethink on buying very expensive atf..

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Toyota T-IV transmission fluid is made to the specification JWS 3309. Some people insist on 'Toyota' being on the label but this is unnecessary. As long as the fluid you buy is to JWS 3309 spec, you will be safe. Mobil 3309 is fine to use, as is Comma ASW (3309). Both are the exact same fluid as the Toyota labelled T-IV, but cheaper. You can get both on e-bay or at an accessory shop. Dexron 3 used by some dealerships is NOT exactly the same. The latest Dexron VI spec is probably ok, but personally I would only use a bottle of atf that has JWS 3309 printed on it. Then I know for certain that it is safe for my Aisin -Warner gearbox.

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Just been looking at what atf to buy and notcie in the Handbook under "Specifications - Automatic Transmission " Fluid capacity drain and refill 1.9L (2.0 qt. , 1.7 Imp qt.) "

"Type T-11 or equivalent".

Surely this can't be right?

Always assumed it would need about 7 litres and read on this thread someone used 12L !

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Stuart, when you drain the fluid from the gearbox on these cars only just over 2 litres comes out. That means that a lot of old ATF remains inside. You can do a full flush by detatching a hose and pouring in fresh fluid and at the same time pump it through by cranking the engine, but you have to be careful using this method! Poeple have put through (not IN) up to 12 litres this way so that they have guaranteed fresh red ATF throughout the whole gearbox. I usually just drain mine a few times now and then to keep the fluid fresh. I also only use fluid to 3309 spec i.e. Toyota type IV (supercedes type II) or Mobil 3309 or Comma 3309. My autobox is always as smooth as butter.

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I paid £63.00 for 5 litres of Toyota Type IV ATF at my local Toyota dealership ( Mid - Cheshire) recently. I don't consider this a bad price, as the Mobil equivalent on E-bay was very nearly the same price.

Paul

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See Genuine toyota ATF Dextron 111 from Shop Toyota £9.36 a litre with free delivery on thE bay.

3 litres should do me, but 1200 mile drive before its booked to be changed. Pity, I'd have liked it done before the drive.

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After all the advice on ATF fluids stating that Lexus specifically recommend a certain grade fluid for an LS, why would anyone buy Dexron III? Beats me.

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After all the advice on ATF fluids stating that Lexus specifically recommend a certain grade fluid for an LS, why would anyone buy Dexron III? Beats me.

Ooops! sorry if I seem to be going against advice - Unintentional.

I assumed that older model cars which stated in the manual "fluid type T-II or equivalent" meant Toyota Dextron 2.

Was I wrong?

If not, my trying to get to grips with this issue suggested Toyota labeled Dextron III must be an "equivalent" but no info as to if 3309 compliant. The price is what caught my eye.

Yet to buy, so I guess I can try to engage my brain once again around this issue in due course.

ps What specific parts in an auto box vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in terms of the material used?

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Stuart, auto transmissions vary in design and therefore need differing fluids to meet their particular specifications. Different additives and friction modifyers are employed depending on the type of valve operation, clutch bands, friction plates, torque converters, etc, that are used in autoboxes . That's why it's important to stick to the ATF recommended by the manufacturer. You can use a fluid that is out of spec for your car, but you run the risk of ending up having poor gear changes. Toyota type T-IV is recommended for our cars and supercedes type T-II (which is no longer available). It's actually made for Toyota by Mobil and is known as Mobil 3309, available on ebay. Hope this helps.

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