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2017 RZ Camry just had an Auto oil change (flush carried out at a proper auto shop including filter change)


Novicebutnice
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Greetings everyone,

For some reason changing the Auto oil isn't in the service schedule, but my former mechanic and OTT self was never satisfied with that idea.

So at 61,000km and 3.5 years I decided to have the oil changed, and it was going to be changed properly.

As most people here know if you just drain and refill the auto and refill, you only change about half the oil (the other half is in the torque converter)

So I decided that if I was going to have it done, it was going to be done properly (I understand everyone has budgetary constraints) including a flush and having the pan filter changed.

Since the car is under "extended warranty" I opted for genuine ATF, and genuine pan filter.

Costs (nearest whole dollar):

2 bottles of Genuine ATF $150 (needed 3, but I couldn't obtain another one, and I found out on the day AFTER they had started on my car)

1 Pan filter $150

additional trans-fluid for the flush (final refill was with the genuine oil only) + trans pan gasket + flush and labor in general = $264

Total = $564

Using non-genuine probably would have cost circa $420 from memory ($280 for tans oil and filter change, and circa $140 for the flush)

Seeing the burnt oil that was in the car (sample shown and kept), and knowing that it has completely fresh oil + filter = priceless :-)

Result: The shifting is smoother, though it wasn't bad before changing it (it just feels that bit more refined, and to sound corny... like new)

I would recommend this (as best as your budget allows), as it is cheaper than a new/ re-built transmission  :-)


Regards

Stephen

Edited by Novicebutnice
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You are on the right track particularly if you are going to be a long term owner. 

There have been quite a number of posts about changing the ATF in the Aurion Forum. I understand that quite a number of members are using Penrite LV ATF which is a full synthetic ATF conforming to the WS specification. When last on special at Repco, price was $36.90 for 4 litres. There has been a bit of a debate whether the ATF filter needs to be replaced as Toyota refers to it as a strainer and does not specify a replacement interval. Aftermarket ATF filters appear to have a paper element and a service replacement interval. Fortunately, I retained the original part so at some future stage it will be refitted to the transmission. 

Now having said that, your Camry will presumably have a different transmission [U660E in the Aurion] but the servicing principles are the same.

Regular transmission servicing is an excellent preventative maintenance measure. 

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5 hours ago, Novicebutnice said:

2 bottles of Genuine ATF $150 . . . 1 Pan filter $150 . . . .

Struth ! Not cheap. Having said that, once every 60K kms is much cheaper than a new auto transmission. Well done for looking after your car 😉

Edited by ZZT86
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Good stuff Stephen. Glad it all went well. 

So you reckon the fluid was burnt even at 61k ?? Did you buy the car new or used ?

I would expect the fluid to be slightly darker than new fluid but not burnt at that stage in its life. Can you post up the fluid sample you have please ?

When I did my trans service, my car had clocked up around 120K if I recall, and the fluid I drained was the original factory fill fluid and it wasn't even close to being burnt. Infact, It would've happily kept on going for many more kays. The fluid was a darker shade of red from original to be honest, but, I flushed it anyway as you already know using the Penrite LV ATF. It's been running flawelessly to date. The Penrite LV is compatible with WS so don't be afraid to use it in the future. You will save a bomb and have the added benefit of fully synthetic protection.

Also, as Ashley mentioned, the so called "filter", in our opinion doesn't need to be replaced unless the fluid was really really bad. It's only a strainer and designed to catch larger material. If you reached that stage, then you may as well kiss the trans goodbye anyway. The pan magnets catch all the fine material and any residual stuff from the casting process. I think you could get away with just leaving the original filter/strainer. I plan on puting mine back in on the next pan drain and ditching the aftermarket rubbish paper filter. That kit was a true waste of money. It came with a lesser quality filter and a crappy cork gasket. In hindsight, that was a bad move installing it. It's holding up ok for now, but next time around I will put it all back to factory, with a Genuine Toyota pan gasket.

 

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On 9/14/2021 at 4:26 AM, Tony Prodigy said:

Good stuff Stephen. Glad it all went well. 

So you reckon the fluid was burnt even at 61k ?? Did you buy the car new or used ?

I would expect the fluid to be slightly darker than new fluid but not burnt at that stage in its life. Can you post up the fluid sample you have please ?

When I did my trans service, my car had clocked up around 120K if I recall, and the fluid I drained was the original factory fill fluid and it wasn't even close to being burnt. Infact, It would've happily kept on going for many more kays. The fluid was a darker shade of red from original to be honest, but, I flushed it anyway as you already know using the Penrite LV ATF. It's been running flawelessly to date. The Penrite LV is compatible with WS so don't be afraid to use it in the future. You will save a bomb and have the added benefit of fully synthetic protection.

Also, as Ashley mentioned, the so called "filter", in our opinion doesn't need to be replaced unless the fluid was really really bad. It's only a strainer and designed to catch larger material. If you reached that stage, then you may as well kiss the trans goodbye anyway. The pan magnets catch all the fine material and any residual stuff from the casting process. I think you could get away with just leaving the original filter/strainer. I plan on puting mine back in on the next pan drain and ditching the aftermarket rubbish paper filter. That kit was a true waste of money. It came with a lesser quality filter and a crappy cork gasket. In hindsight, that was a bad move installing it. It's holding up ok for now, but next time around I will put it all back to factory, with a Genuine Toyota pan gasket.

 


Hi Tony,

I'm not sure if you would call the below burnt (I only put it into the bottle this morning, and so this is my first proper look at the oil)

I was looking forward to trying a different oil, the place uses Valvoline full synthetic, but I'm glad that I didn't.

Simply from the point of view of seeing how the transmission is with new genuine oil, I can now say that the shifting is smoother than before the oil change (it wasn't harsh, but I can tell the difference). 

If I had gone straight to a non-genuine oil, it would have led me to the conclusion that the non-genuine oil is better than the OEM oil (because of the smoother shifting)

I bought the car brand new (Oct 17 build from memory, and purchased in Feb 18)

My car doesn't have an Auto cooler, but does have an auto fluid heater (or is it heat exchange unit??), so perhaps that may be why it was fairly dark considering the "low" km's

I don't do any towing, and whilst I drive it spiritedly at times, I wouldn't have said that I drive it "hard"

@ 2:39 to the right of the radiator hose (for the auto fluid heater)
 


 

20210917_125317.jpg

20210917_125323.jpg

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On 9/13/2021 at 10:20 PM, ZZT86 said:

Struth ! Not cheap. Having said that, once every 60K kms is much cheaper than a new auto transmission. Well done for looking after your car 😉

From what the Ashley has said on this car the filter doesn't need to get replaced (I'll remember that for the future), and I might go non-genine oil if the car is still under "extended warranty" when I have the ATF changed again.

But it is definitively cheaper than a new transmission :-)

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On 9/13/2021 at 6:37 PM, campbeam said:

You are on the right track particularly if you are going to be a long term owner. 

There have been quite a number of posts about changing the ATF in the Aurion Forum. I understand that quite a number of members are using Penrite LV ATF which is a full synthetic ATF conforming to the WS specification. When last on special at Repco, price was $36.90 for 4 litres. There has been a bit of a debate whether the ATF filter needs to be replaced as Toyota refers to it as a strainer and does not specify a replacement interval. Aftermarket ATF filters appear to have a paper element and a service replacement interval. Fortunately, I retained the original part so at some future stage it will be refitted to the transmission. 

Now having said that, your Camry will presumably have a different transmission [U660E in the Aurion] but the servicing principles are the same.

Regular transmission servicing is an excellent preventative maintenance measure. 


Thanks Ashley for that info, to be honest I was surprised at the high cost of the filter, especially if it is a serviceable item (and why Toyota had only 1 in stock in Sydney).

I was looking at the Valvoline which is full synthetic as well, but for at least this first fluid change I'm glad that I went genuine.

Because I can feel the difference in the shifting compared to before, and if I had gone straight to non-genuine I may have come to the conclussion that the better shifting was due to the non-genuine oil being better than OEM.

My car doesn't have an auto cooler, but has a ATF fluid heater?

@ 2:39 to the right of the top radiator hose
 

 

20210917_125317.jpg

20210917_125323.jpg

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Over the years there was an ongoing discussion about whether the Toyota WS ATF at the dealership was semi-synthetic or full synthetic. What is certain is that the ATF is manufactured and supplied to Toyota by an oil company. I have come to the conclusion [rightly or wrongly] that the WS ATF started off as semi-synthetic and later changed to a full synthetic.

I have done a bit of reading into the WS specification and then compared to the specification sheets for the various brands of ATF complying with the WS specification. I found that the Penrite LV ATF [low viscosity] had the slightly better LV specification so this is what I use. 

Anyway, good decision to stay with the genuine Toyota WS ATF and to have a flush to totally replace the ATF.

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15 hours ago, Novicebutnice said:

I was looking forward to trying a different oil, the place uses Valvoline full synthetic, but I'm glad that I didn't.

Thanks for the thorough update Stephen. As long as the fluid is compatible with WS, it's ok to use. Believe me when I say I am OCD when it comes to any cars. If the chosen Penrite LV was not up to snuff, I would've used the factory WS. The advantage of using the fully synthetic fluid is that is offers better protection and can last longer than a mineral based fluid. 

15 hours ago, Novicebutnice said:

If I had gone straight to a non-genuine oil, it would have led me to the conclusion that the non-genuine oil is better than the OEM oil (because of the smoother shifting)

Genuine or not, new fluid will improve the transmissions behaviour due to the improved fluid dynamics new fluid will offer.

15 hours ago, Novicebutnice said:

My car doesn't have an Auto cooler, but does have an auto fluid heater (or is it heat exchange unit??), so perhaps that may be why it was fairly dark considering the "low" km's

I wasn't aware the Camry's had a fluid heater. It just seems contrary to what has been standard practice to try and keep the fluid as cool as possible to extend it's life and that of the transmission. Hmm. Very strange. I'd love to know why Toyota though they need to add a fluid heater instead of a cooler. I can't get my head around that.

I suspect this is why your fluid has degraded prematurely, hence a shorter service interval being required. The fluid that came out of my Aurion at 120K was in much better shape and lighter in colour too.

 

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15 hours ago, Novicebutnice said:

From what the Ashley has said on this car the filter doesn't need to get replaced (I'll remember that for the future), and I might go non-genine oil if the car is still under "extended warranty" when I have the ATF changed again.

But it is definitively cheaper than a new transmission :-)

I think every 60K for the Camry is definitely warranted. 

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13 hours ago, ZZT86 said:

@Novicebutnice  dribble a few drops of the used stuff on that paper towel you got right there for us to get a look of the colour. Looks a bit cherry red on the sides of the bottle which is a good sign.

Yep. Cherry is a good sign. When it teters on the side of brown, you know it's bad bad.

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14 hours ago, campbeam said:

What is certain is that the ATF is manufactured and supplied to Toyota by an oil company. I have come to the conclusion [rightly or wrongly] that the WS ATF started off as semi-synthetic and later changed to a full synthetic.

Hmm. I was under the impression the WS was a mineral fluid from what I'd read in the past Ash. Have they since changed the formula ?

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1 hour ago, Tony Prodigy said:

Hmm. I was under the impression the WS was a mineral fluid from what I'd read in the past Ash. Have they since changed the formula ?

WS is a Toyota specification for ATF which was released in 2002. In the past, mineral or semi-synthetic oils may very well have been used to meet the standard.

Current aftermarket ATF meeting the WS specification are described as full synthetic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Automatic_Transmission_Fluid#2002_-_WS_Fluid

https://aisinaftermarket.com/uploads/fslqkiuy_ATF-0WS_TDS.pdf

https://totachi.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/TDS_ATF-WS-1.pdf

https://penriteoil.com.au/assets/pis_pdfs/ATF LV (Full Syn) .pdf

I had previously viewed this YouTube video. Factual enough for me to remain using the aftermarket Penrite ATF LV.

 

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4 hours ago, campbeam said:

I had previously viewed this YouTube video. Factual enough for me to remain using the aftermarket Penrite ATF LV.

Yep. Looks like it's a big con job by Toyota. Flash point on the older fluid is actually higher therefore better than the so called "new" formulation. Go figure.

Toyota have others make it for them, call it "Genuine Toyota Fluid" then sell it to us for four times it's real value. That's a big lie right there.

I'll stick to my Penrite LV all day long thanks. Not to discourage anyone else using WS fluid either. It's purely your choice.

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I am sure that I have previously viewed this YouTube video which appeared in my suggested viewing list today.

The 26 minute mark on relates to the WS specification fluid. Good point is made about the aftermarket fluids and what specifications that they claim to be compatible or complying with. Had to check and Penrite only mentions Toyota WS specification only and not any other Toyota specification.

 

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