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[Solved] Bad Automatic Transmission Oil?


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Hi everybody, i've been keeping an eye on this thing, but now i just can't hold anymore, since i've checked the transmission oil. Rough shifting between some gears.

TM: U441E

Fluid Type: Toyota Genuine ATF Type T-IV 

KMs: 100.000KM ≂ 62.000 Miles

The car wasn't new when i got it (about 10 years ago), so, i don't know if some trick was performed on it to dodge the total KMs, but this is what i've got for now and i've never cared that much about the total KMs just until recently.


I'm not touching my transmission (without some concrete knowledge) or leting anybody put their hands on it, because i'm not ready to let it become a full scrap, i'm planing on milking this car a little longer before i canlet it go.


This car has been serviced by many people (when it was in my possession) but they never touched the transmission, as long as i recall, and once to a very expensive auto-shop for restoration (accident on the driver's side), which made the car even worse (electric problems, and suspension) but i've managed to fix most of it later.


Here's what i've got.

The car was resting for about 4 hours and was parked in a leveled surface, but dipstick seems to be way over its limit.

I've managed to siphen about 3ml of fluid from the transmission by using a flexible hose and the syringe to get a better look into it, it doesn't look too bright, but doesn't look too dark either, you still can see the redish color from it.


As i've said before, i'm assuming the transmission was never touched, but it seems overfilled and the transmission is now shifting roughtly when i full throtle without stop and the car seems to loose power and moves backwards when i let the brake out in traffic jams or a when going at low speed without throttle while on bridges or hills.

2 Answers
Posted by: @komodoris

but doesn't look too dark either,

Your ATF looks terrible. You can't even see through it!


Here's what new fluid looks like


holy me, so... should i leave it?

Please read the FAQ

@MoutainManJoe i've read it already and googled around, the most common answer is "don't". It's not like i'm gonna do it right after somebody tells me it's time, i'm just asking for your personal opinion after seeing my situation. If i move forward with the idea, i'll post an update.

What I can say for sure, (as the FAQ states) is that if you leave THAT fluid in there, the transmission will fail soon. Stop looking for internet opinions and see a transmission expert. 

@MoutainManJoe thanks for the feedback.


Is the transmission fully warmed up when you're checking that? My '79 Pontiac will read over-filled with the engine off and the transmission's cold. It needs to be at operating temperature, idling in park in order to be accurate. The ground needs to be level. The dipstick has the conditions for checking stamped into it.

The fluid in my 1999 Ranger needs to be above 50 degrees F in order for the dipstick to be somewhat accurate. It reads best at operating temperature. 

Read your owner's manual and follow what it says in order to check the level. 

That fluid's more black than maroon red. Changing that fluid may cause more harm than good. 

This post was modified 10 months ago by Justin Shepherd

hi there, i also tried while running and no significant changes on the level, it's always above the hot marking.