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Old 09-01-2015, 03:49 PM
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'04 Camry Transmission Capacity

  #1  
Old 05-06-2013, 06:24 PM
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Default '04 Camry Transmission Capacity

I’m looking for a sanity check on something my dealer told me. I think it’s time to change my transmission fluid, so I went to the dealer to see how much it would cost, if they did it. I have a 2004 Camry with an automatic transmission. My owner’s manual says its “drain and fill” capacity is 3.7 quarts.
The service rep told me that drain and fill would do virtually no good since the 3.7 quarts does not include the oil in the torque converter (which is not mentioned in the owner’s manual). He said that the 3.7 quarts is only about 30% of the total oil. Doing the math, that says my transmission (including the torque converter) contains over 12 quarts. He says the only sensible solution is to do a professional fluid flush, which costs $200.
I’m not savvy enough to say the guy is wrong or not telling the truth. But 12 quarts like a hell of a lot of oil for just one transmission, and it does not make sense that Toyota would not give me a way to drain it all myself and from one spot. It also says that I can’t change the fluid myself – I have to take it to him. Is he right?
 
  #2  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:12 PM
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In order to get ALL the trans fluid replaced by new the only way is to pump in new fluid and allow the old to flow out of the trans. Toyota trans are no different in this design then other auto makers.

Typically 2/3 of the fluid is in the torque converter. If 3.7 quarts in the pan then 12 quarts seems reasonable plus need to add addition new fluid that mix with the old when forcing the old fluid out.

The torque converter is a fluid coupling between the engine and trans and contains a lot of fluid.

What trans does the car have? Typically there is a sticker on the door with the model number such as U241E, U140E.

A flush can be expensive but is cheap in the long run as worn out trans fluid is the No 1 cause of trans failure.
 
  #3  
Old 05-07-2013, 11:40 AM
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Thank you for clearing that up. It's a U241E.
 
  #4  
Old 05-07-2013, 12:40 PM
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Total fluid capacity is 9.1 quarts plus add a few quarts for flushing out the old fluid.
 
  #5  
Old 05-08-2013, 02:36 PM
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Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 05-09-2013, 01:01 AM
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I am not a mechanic, but I do a lot of my own repairs when I can. Is this something I could do myself and save the $200 for the dealer? What kind of special equipment does it require?
 
  #7  
Old 05-09-2013, 09:56 AM
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Does the trans have a dipstick? Some newer trans don't making achieving the proper fill level more complicated.

If the trans has a dipstick the following method can be used to change the trans fluid.

If the trans has a dipstick the fluid type should be stamped on the blade. Might be Type T-IV which is a Toyota product. Best prices are on the internet and check Ebay. Might be looking at $80 for 12 quarts with shipping but shop around for price and shipping charges. Not sure if there are now cheaper compatible aftermarket products but HIGHLY suggest you stick to the Toyota brand!

If the fluid type specified is something else use that fluid.

No special equipment.

The process involves finding the return trans fluid line going to the trans from the fluid cooler on the radiator. Fluid is pushed from the trans to the cooler by the trans fluid pump then back to the trans and into the pan.

Once found, disconnect the line at the trans and route into a suitable container to catch the fluid that will be coming out. You could add an extension rubber hose to more easily route the fluid into a container.

Drain and refill the trans pan with new fluid and have extra fluid standing by. No need to fill the trans to exact amount, just add as much as drained out by estimating.

Have someone start engine while you watch the old fluid flow into the container. If the pan holds 3.7 quarts suggest you might allow 2.5-3 quarts to flow into the container. You want to pump out the fluid not enough the fluid intake screen in the pan start drawing air from low fluid. Better to pump out less as can always add more.

Stop engine and add more fluid to trans. Based on what was pumped out you can estimate how much to add.

Repeat the pump out process above until the fluid coming out of the return line looks like new fluid which may take 10-11 quarts.

Once done, reconnect the fluid cooler line to the trans and top off fluid level in trans this time making sure the fluid level is accurate on the dipstick.

The final fluid level is checked with engine at idle and fluid hot. Before checking the fluid the first time, move the gear selector from Park to Low and back (engine running).

The dipstick should have a hot and cold mark. The cold mark can be used if fluid cold (engine running) however the hot mark is more accurate. Use the cold mark to get a ball park level then recheck when fluid hot.

Don't overfill the trans thus work up to the achieving the proper level.

As to which is the correct line to disconnect, don't know. Suspect it would be the lower line on the trans (closer to the top of the pan).

If you want to a complete job, the pan should be removed and cleaned of debris along with cleaning of the two magnets placed on the bottom of the pan.

The pan does not use a gasket but a form-in-place sealant. Permatex makes a good sealant, see below:

Gasket Makers : Permatex® Ultra Black® Maximum Oil Resistance RTV Silicone Gasket Maker

Or a conventional gasket may be available on the aftermarket.

You only need clean the pan once if never done before but it is just good practice not mandatory.

You might be able to save at least $100 dollars.

If the trans does not have a dipstick things get more complicated.

If you decide not to do the job yourself highly suggest going to the dealer. Even though they may charge more then the independent oil change places they do know what they are doing and will have the correct equipment and fluid.
 

Last edited by toyomoho; 05-09-2013 at 10:09 AM.
  #8  
Old 05-09-2013, 04:32 PM
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What a great response!!!

Thank you very much, Joey!! I decided to wait another 30,000 miles because the fluid still looks pretty good, but I will save this procedure and use it when the time comes.
 
  #9  
Old 04-08-2014, 08:49 AM
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Default DIY Trans Fluid Change

Bite the bullet and have the Dealer do the flush !
It's the Only Way to Completely Replace All of the Fluid!
&&& Dont Ever Use Sealant on the Pan Gasket !!!
It is Dissolved by the Trans Fluid
And Will Contaminate All of the Trans Fluid
Which will Result in Plugged up Valve Body and Solenoid Parts !!!
The Factory Doesnt Use It and Neither Should You !
( I'm Speaking from Experience here ! )
 
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