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Should I change my transmission fluid?

I bought a 2010 Toyota Corolla with 172k miles. It's 11 years old, and the fluid has never been changed. Am I gambling by changing it now? 

11 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Okay. This one is tricky. It haven't missed any service intervals because the transmission on those are supposed to be "maintenance-free"- meaning you're not supposed to have to change it for the life of the car. This is how many modern cars are. It doesn't have a dipstick, so you can't even check the fluid. I think you should drain and fill it, just to be on the safe side. It's hard for me to believe that tranny fluid never needs changing, even if it is a synthetic fluid. To be fair, I have seen a few (2009 and 2010s) with over 200K miles on them that seem to be running and shifting fine, that have never had a fluid change because they were serviced at the dealer. That should say something. It will be black in color, but since it's a sealed system, and it is synthetic, who knows? the fluid could still be effective. Change it as insurance. 

  • car253
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes.  You need to change it now.   Just drain and flush like others said.   

  • 2 months ago

    Do a drain and fill. Don't flush it. Flushing is what causes the dirt caught in the ATF filter to get into the valve body and cause failure. You do need to change your ATF. I'll bet it's brown or black by now.

  • Rita
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Just when you should change out your transmission fluid will vary depending on what kind of transmission you have, what vehicle you drive, where you drive, how you drive, and how much your drive. But for a very rough estimate, for an automatic transmission, you ought to change your fluid every 50,000-100,000 kms.

  • 2 months ago

    NO NO NO NO NO NO! It is REQUIRED to keep the TRANS going much longer! ONLY TRUST a TOYOTA DEALERSHIP as they use the EXACT RIGHT filter, gasket and FLUID! And many do it TWICE to inure that as much of the OLD DEAD fluid is removed!!! I LOVED my two BENZ CARS! They BOTH had a DRAIN PUG on the torque converter to get nearly ALL the old fluid OUT! >>>>>thankfully NOW most so called DOMESTIC CARS are using German ZF trannies and steering systems, the SAME as BENZ, BMW AUDI and VW use! KIA and LINCOLN and HYUNDAIO do TOO! So in Realty there is NO SUCH THING as a FULLY AMERICAN car! Teh FORD EDGE i HALF FORD and HALF AUDI! The FUSION is half FORD and HALF MAZDA! The most PRESTIGIOUS names of TRANNIES are found NOW under nearly ALL hoods! ZF of Germany and AISN WARNER of JAPAN!>>>ANYWAYS you should change the TRANS FLUID every FIVE years or so are even TWICE at 100,000 miles if never done before! ALL AUTO FLUIDS age, just like the OIL does! The TRANS coefficient of friction goes SOUTH and BRAKE FLUID turns BROWN abnd turns into LIQUID SAND PAPER and coasts the owner a THOUSAND or so to replace the the ABS pump, the MASTER cylinder the HOSES and METAL BRAKE LINES m, and FROZEN CALIPERS! BRAKE FLUID takes in the HUMIDITY from the AIR! it is an ESTER compound and eh=when it is DARK BROWNM< the PARTICLES sift put of the FLUID and it becomes TOXIC and DEAD and loses it's BOILING POINT! NOW there is SYNTEHTIC BRAKE FLUIID from ATE GIRLING that lasts MUCH LONGER and PORSCE brake fluid, RACING TYPE that does the SAME THING! >>>there USED to be a WIVES tail that c hanging the TRANS FLUID would RUIN the TRANS! TODAY it is a DIFFERENT STORY! The FLUIDS are s]designed to take up the WEAR and the trannies last MUCH MUCH LONGER! I repaired a BENZ trans TWICE, on the CAR without removing it, it is That Easier and WELL DESIGNED! Other cars are made to last ONLY to about 100,000 miles and use the CHEAPEEST parts they can find in production! GM was FAMOUS for this Many shops STAY ALIVE just replacing the defective BRAKE LINES and HOSES that ROT AWAY after about ten years or so and RUIN the BRAKES! ENOUGH of y diatribe! >>YES change the fluid but ONLY at the DEALERSHIP where you get an EXTENDED WARRANTY and they use the FACTORY FLUIDS and NOT UNIVERSAL (read WRONG) type of TRANS FLUID! There is not even universal OIL these days as SPEC NUMBERS on them CHANGE every years as to WHICH cars you can use OIL IN without damaging things! E.g. AUDI need ONLY 902/505 OIL and BMW needs only LONG LIFE, LL-02 oil ONLY or the VALVES will get ruined! Gm needs ONLY DEXOS or better oi ONLY! and ALL are OPURE SYNTHETIC OILS with SPECIAL chemistry to protect SEALS and PUMPS and LINES and HOSES for nearly EVER! BYE NOW!>>>>I ONLY USE German TRANS FLUIDS as they are somehow PURER and more consistent! PENNZOIL uses mostly German based fluids as well! NEVE VALVOLINE< you can LOST performance EASILY! IF you are BRAVE, allow the VALVE BODY to be DROPPED and spary it with BRAKE VLEANER to get the JUNK Out of it! This will ALSO allow more draiining of the TRANS FLUID above the V BODY! I HEARD 9 do NOT know) that OLDER hand made AMERIOCAN cars with anutomaitcs ahd DRAIN PLUGS ont eh TORQUE CONVERTER< like BENZ cars have TODAY! It si SAD that thigns are made to only get to about 100,000 miles and then to SELF DETRUCT! Using the FULL SYNTHETIC fludis from Germany is a GREAT DEAL! under the name of ROWE and PENTOSIN! Toyota uses PENTOSIN FLUID in the COOLING SYSTEMa nd MAYBE even the steering and TRANS as well! The WEAR of AUTOMAITCS is NOW taken up by the FLUID< as DRAINING IS RECOMMENDED! DRAIN and FILL as teh best way, but you MAY need to do it three times to get MROe of the OLD FLUID OUT! Otherwise you are only geting about HALF of the old stuff out! The FLUDIS have various COEFFICIENTS of FRICTION and there is NOSUCH THINGS a s UNIVERSAL TRANS FLUID! And not COOLANT< or even STEERING FLUID< just liie many OILS now are COUNTRY and MODEL specific!  MANY caras now use a ZF German tranniy with NO DIPSTICK! They use a FILL PLUG on the TRANS PAN ANd youse a PUMP with a BENT ED ND on it to FIL the trans back up! WHen it OVER FILLS it wil LEAK out the fixture! USE ONLY GENUINE GERAMN trans fludis and NEVER VALVOOINE refined from ASH JUNK FLUID! USe OPENTSOIN or what the DEALERHISP HAS and ASk if it is VALVOOINE! NEVER USE ANYTHIGN fromthem! I SUED THEM and won a NEW ENGIEN Long ago! It is the WOPRST fake OIL on the NMARKET! 

  • 2 months ago

    Change it.  You will be better off.

  • 2 months ago

    Most likely it has a tranny filter so change that. 

    Whatever fluid comes out - obviously, you’ll have to drop the transmission pan- measure it and add the same amount in (If you don’t know how to check it). 

    This is called a drain and fill. 

    It will take about 3 quarts... roughly...

    But the transmission holds like 9 quarts so do this drain and fill 3 times, about two weeks apart. 

    Change the filter once in the beginning 

    When the pan is off clean the magnets and don’t forget to put them back 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Drain and fill only.  Do NOT flush.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Have it changed, meaning drain, change filter/screen, new pan gasket,  refill.  DO NOT HAVE IT FLUSHED with one of those machines:  that is unsatisfactory at any time on any car, but could really stir-up trouble in a transmission that has been neglected so long.

  • 2 months ago

    That's like not changing the engine oil for 60K miles.  On the one hand, you are abusing the car.  On the other hand, it's a Toyota.  Those things tend to go fine for 250 or 300K , even if they are abused.  I'd probably base my decision on how long I plan to keep the car.  3 years or less?  Just keep the fluid topped off.  5 years or more?  Have it changed at the dealer.   But be careful.  ONLY pay for the tranny fluid change and make sure you look up any recalls before you get there... 

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