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Changed Differential Oil 2001 Camry

Old 06-25-2011, 03:15 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4
Default Changed Differential Oil 2001 Camry

These are the steps I took to change my differential fluid on my 2001 Camry with a 4cylinder engine an automatic transmission:

Changed out the differential fluid last night. < 2qts Dextron III. The tools I needed were a 10mm allen head (fits on ratchet), 17 mm combination wrench, and some 5/16" plastic tubing for filling purposes (3 ft).

I first put the car on ramps, e-braked, and blocked the wheels. I first worked under the car: I placed a collection pan underneath the differential and took out the plug. It started draining. I then removed the fill plug on the back side of the differential, about halfway up, with the combination wrench. Once I removed the fill plug, the differential drained much faster (air was allowed to enter), and it was quickly emptied. I then replaced the drain plug, but not the fill plug.

Next I removed the wheel blocks, let up the e-brake, turned on the key, placed the car in neutral, and pushed it off the ramps. I had to do this because the car has to be level to fill the differential again. I was able to do the remaining work to the car on the ground and on a level surface.

To fill it, I placed the 5/16" tubing in the fill hole - which I could then attach a small funnel onto the other end that threaded onto the end of a quart size fluid container. I added fluid that way until I could hear it dripping out of the fill hole into the collection pan underneath it. Once it stopped dripping (30 seconds), I replaced the fill hole plug and tightened it up. That's how it happened. Job well done. Cost = 2 qts of Dextron III.
Old 01-22-2012, 09:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: US, Georgia
Posts: 91
Question Actual differential capacity

Originally Posted by greyghost View Post
Changed out the differential fluid last night. < 2qts Dextron III
The owner's manual for my 1998 2.2L states that the differential capacity is 1.7 qt. I've drained and filled mine twice now. On both occasions, I couldn't get that much in there. One time I got only 1.6 qt. before it ran out the filler hole and another time only 1.4 qt before it ran out the filler hole. The fill plug was removed during the draining step to allow for maximum air flow. The vehicle was level during filling.

Any clues as to why the lesser amounts? Has anyone else experienced this? Is it because some fluid remained in there when the front end is elevated on jack stands or ramps during the draining step?
Old 01-23-2012, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,746

There will always be some fluid clinging to the gears and other parts.

If the bottom of the diff is not level, some fluid will not be able to drain out.
Old 01-23-2012, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: US, Georgia
Posts: 91
Red face

Originally Posted by toyomoho View Post
There will always be some fluid clinging to the gears and other parts.
Thanks. Yeah, I kinda thought about fluid clinging, but never thought that it'd amount to as much as 3 oz. (i.e. the difference between 1.6 qt. and 1.7 qt.). Oh well.
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