Replace Sealed Transmission Strainer?

Messages
78
Location
Phoenix, AZ
2011 Toyota 4Runner, 114000 miles, which is occasionally driven on the border line of special operating conditions. ATF drain and fill is recommended every 60,000 miles, so I recently exchanged 3 gallons of fluid, first by drain and fill and then by pumping out 2 quarts at a time, topping off, repeat and finish by setting fluid level at a specified fluid temperature. No issues there, and the transmission shifts better.

There are three (3) ways non-metallic material is captured in a sealed transmission, (1) very fine particles remain suspended in the fluid, (2) some particles cling to the pan and (3) large particles that would bind up close clearances are captured by a large surface area strainer. In addition, there are no less than 4 magnets spaced in the pan to catch metal.

Here’s the question: The 4Runner Warranty and Maintenance Guide and factory manual does not recommend replacing the strainer, cleaning the magnets or cleaning the pan at any time or mileage, so I didn’t do any of that. Drain and fill is the only recommendation. If I want to do more, I suppose I could wait until 180,000 miles to inspect and back flush the strainer with used ATF, clean the magnets and pan. What is your experience with Toyota sealed transmissions in regards to the strainer and cleaning magnets? Do nothing for a lifetime of ownership, typically 300,000 miles?
 
Messages
7,439
Location
Roanoke Virginia
I’ve replaced strainers before actually just replaced it in my Toyota recently. Maybe good to check it every now and again but I’ve seen them last a very long time. Ours has 279,000 on it and we plan to keep it so we went ahead and replaced it since the pan gasket was leaking I had to take the pan off anyway so it was fine. I cleaned the magnets didn’t replace those they were clean for the most part. I think you would be fine waiting and yes they don’t recommend doing it ever but I don’t agree with some of the things they recommend so really it’s up to you but I think at 180,000 would be fine cleaning it and everything.
 
Messages
54
My ‘11 Highlander has no dipstick (U760E transmission). I have pan drops and filter/strainer replacements done every 50K miles now. The car has 173K miles and shifts smoothly, and the mechanic who did the most recent trans service at 170K said that there was essentially nothing in the pan or on the magnets after he drained it. I’ve been using Amsoil low-viscosity Signature Series ATF since 30K pan drop.
 
Messages
1,498
Location
Indiana
I didn't know the trans was sealed.
I'm not sure how they do it, so anybody that could explain I'd appreciate knowing. GM had a patent (long expired) on a balloon-like diaphragm affixed to the "breather" that would accomodate the internal air expansion with temperature, but not allow air exchange or fluid expulsion. AFAIK never took it to production.
 
Messages
54
The Toyota “sealed” transmissions aren’t actually “un-openable”—they just don’t have a convenient dipstick/fill tube for easy servicing, and the service recommendations don’t include any fluid changes under “normal” operating conditions. The fill plug is in the side of the transmission case, and has to be accessed by removing a portion of the left front fender liner.
 
Messages
7,456
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Our 2013 GS350 has almost 77K; I have the filter strainer. I will probably get lazy and do a spill and fill, then do the strainer later.
Depends on how lazy I am...
If I were you, at 114K on the clock, I would replace the strainer and be done with it for the next 100K miles.
 
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