Help 2006 Toyota Sienna burnt T-IV fluid

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Jun 3, 2005
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At around 53000 miles back in January I checked the fluid on my wifes Sienna before a big road trip and the fluid was black. I did 3 drain and refills of the transmission with the reccomended T-IV fluid. Now with about 64000 miles on the van the fluid is almost black again and the transmission is clunking (dead spot)if you let off on the gas pedal and then try to increase speed going about 30 mph in what appears to be fourth gear. This fluid was quoted by Toyota to be a lifetime fluid on the dipstick but I'm wondering if leaving it in there for 53000 miles could have damaged the transmission? We live in a very hilly area of Pennsylvania and the van spends most of its time going from one hill to the next. What is the expected life of the Toyota T-IV fluid?
 
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In my limited experience I'd say the expected life of the T-IV fluid is about 20-30k miles. I bought a Toy highlander last year and the fluid was a dark brown color, so I took it to a trans shop that dropped the pan, changed the filter, and refilled with new T-IV fluid. Has been doing just fine, no clunking like you have had, but I need to do a full refresh on the fluid now. I'm going to try the cooler line method of replacing the fluid that is in there now.. When I bought the Highlander, it had 74,xxx miles, well it now has close to 90k, so its due for a few things... :)
 
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I have an 08 sienna and live in a extemely hilly area. The Smoky Mountains. My toyota disappointment (ie sienna) is just turning 20K. I was planning on 50K changes on the 'lifetime' transmission. I may need to shorten that oci.
 

robd

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It only clunks when the fluid gets warm. When the van is cold it shifts and drives just fine.
 
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Hmmm... that's interesting.. in any case, you need to get all of the fluid in there replaced ASAP. Don't go for any kind of a flush at all, just new fluid. I doubt you need to replace the filter either, because they normally use steel mesh screens. Generally I'd stick to 20-30k fluid exchanges... or if you have a trans pan drain bolt, you can drain/fill about every 10-15k or so.
 
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The lifetime fluid is Toyota World Standard(WS) fluid and that is a sealed transmission i.e. no dipstick. If your dipstick says T-IV on toyata manual says to inspect the fluid every 30k miles and it should stay red. If it doesn't then they say to change it. I would do another 3-4 transmission drain and fill. Drain then fill then drive the car for 5 minutes, put it in all the gears and repeat the procedure 3 times. See how that works for you.
 
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Might want to try the Amsoil ATF fluid for your app. The stuff is bullet proof........ I have been using this ATF for years and it really holds up. I ran the Amsoil ATF in my Dads mini van for 85K. It still was pretty red and no debris in the pan or pan filter. The Magnifine was spotless as well. It broke in on the Amsoil fluid as well. My Dad bought it with a bad trans from a charity. If your fluid is breaking down that quickly you need to look at something that is top notch.
 
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Flush it out. Valvoline, Castrol, Mobil1, Pennzoil, Amsoil, Amalie.....make great ATFs that you could use.
 
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Like deven said, the T-IV fluid is not lifetime rated, it's the WS fluid from Toyota that has that distinction. Plus 1 for switching over the Amsoil, they make very good stuff.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mgm13
Deven- not all Toyotas requireing type WS are sealed. My 06 Avalon has both a dipstick and a drain plug.
Agreed. My daughter's Scion TC also has a dipstick and plug. OP........Are you sure it is suppose to have T-IV, or should it be WS? I also agree to.....( when in doubt get it out ). Amsoil is a very good choice for a much better T-IV replacement.
 
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yikes, I guess I know now why the stealership insisted on changing the tranny fluid at 35k miles. I am at 56k now and will check the fluid when home this weekend.
 
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The Amsoil site said use their ATF not there NEW WS rated fluid. I looked it up for 2006 Sienna. 2006 TOYOTA SIENNA VAN 3.3L 6-cyl Engine Code 3MZ-FE FILTERS Oil Filter: EAO57 Absolute Efficiency Oil Filter: [1] Oil Filter: 51348 WIX 51348 Oil Filter [1] Air Filter: 46673 WIX 46673 Air Filter Trans Filter: 58010 Cabin Filter: 24569 Cabin Filter: 24883 WIX 24883 Cabin Air Filter 1. AMSOIL advises Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) filter change recommendations NGK PLUGS & WIRE SETS PLUG PRERIUMIRIDIUM IFR6T11 ^ NGK4589 WIRESET WIRESET Direct Fire Ignition [1] 1.No Wires Req'd TRICO WIPER BLADES Blade Class Driver Passenger Rear NEOFORM T16260 T16190 T16160 EXACTFIT T261 T191 T161 WINTER T37260 T37190 T37160 LUBRICANTS & FLUIDS Engine Oil Grade 1......API* SAE 0W-30 Synthetic Signature Series Oil SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil SAE 5W-30 XL Synthetic Motor Oil All Temps......5W-30 Automatic Transmission,U151E.....TIV Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid Automatic Transmission,U151F.....TIV Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid Differential, Rear AWD model.....GL-5 Above -18°C......90 SAE 80W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Severe Gear 75W-90 SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Severe Gear 75W-110 Differential, Rear AWD model.....GL-5 Below -18°C......80W-90, 80W SAE 80W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Severe Gear 75W-90 SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Severe Gear 75W-110 Transfer Case,.....GL-5 Above -18°C......90 SAE 80W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Severe Gear 75W-90 SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Transfer Case,.....GL-5 Below -18°C......80W-90, 80W SAE 80W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Severe Gear 75W-90 SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube Fluids Power Steering Fluid.....AF3 Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid Brake Fluid.....HB Series 500 High Performance DOT 3 Brake Fluid CHASSIS LUBRICATION 0 Fittings, 0 Plugs CAPACITIES Engine, with filter..........5.0 quarts[1] Cooling System, Initial Fill..........12.0 quarts AMSOIL Antifreeze and Engine Coolant Automatic Transmission, U151E Initial Fill..........3.7 quarts[2] Automatic Transmission, U151F Initial Fill..........3.8 quarts[2] Automatic Transmission, Total Fill 5 speed U151E..........9.3 quarts 5 speed U151F..........9.5 quarts Differential, AWD models Rear..........1.9 pints Transfer Case,..........1.9 pints 1. After refill check oil level. 2. With engine automatic transmission operating temperature, shift through all gears. Check fluid level in PARK and add fluid as needed. TORQUES Oil Drain Plug.....33 ft-lbs Transfer case Fill Plug.....36 ft-lbs Drain Plug.....36 ft-lbs
 
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 Originally Posted By: robd
...and the transmission is clunking (dead spot)if you let off on the gas pedal and then try to increase speed going about 30 mph in what appears to be fourth gear...
And it only does this when warm? Anyone know if this transmission engages the TCC in 4th (and warm) and holds it when you let off the throttle? If so, this clunk could be the engine flopping back and forth.
 
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Does this one have an aux cooler on it? MY sister's 2000 does and the fluid stays very red and looks good for a long time. Get some new fluid in there, either consecutive drain and refills, or a complete drain, refill, cooler line flush. See if the clunking goes away. If not, it may need attention at some point. You can identify the noise better if you lock out OD on the shifter and just use the first few gears perhaps and see if it happens still. New fluid usually makes a noticeable difference in shifting, esp if the old fluid was really degraded and viscosity was sheared down.
 
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Go for the Amsoil via flush. If it does not help the shifting, no fluid will. Also consider AutoRx before a fluid change, unless current fluid is really bad.
 
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If it does not have a trans cooler or a small one I would get a nice big one and install it. heat is the enemy of a trans. I would also change to a synthetic fluid. They have the ability to handle the heat better as well.Mobil 1 or Amsoil.
 

robd

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It does not have a cooler I can see. Also to reply to type of fluid, manual says type T-IV and dipstick says under normal use no need to change fluid.
 
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 Originally Posted By: robd
It does not have a cooler I can see. Also to reply to type of fluid, manual says type T-IV and dipstick says under normal use no need to change fluid.
Well, that begs the question..."Which type of ATF do you have in that rig"? From what I can find on google, the 06 Sienna still uses the type T I-V fluid. Both of our 06 Toyotas ( Corolla and Tacoma ) use the type T I-V fluid as well. But I've seen others post that their 06 uses the WS fluid The part that confuses me is that your dipstick implies the use of WS fluid, to me that's weird. Both of our dipsticks clearly say type T I-V on them.
 
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As I said trans fluid cooler. Around $40. If it had had one from the factory you may not have been having these problems.Change over to synthetic fluid. The easiest would be Mobil 1 from Walmart.
 
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