Originally Posted by mute
Hi i'm new on here i just bought a 2004 is300 automatic. Car is great engine is strong transmission is fine just that when checking the tran fluid it comes out black. i was warned about before purchasing but for the price i got it it is well worth it if i need to fix it. But i just want to knpw a couple of things
1. should i replace the fluid?
2. where should i go to replace the fluid?
3. How did it turn black?
4. If i dont replace am i still risking the transmission?
As you do not know the history of the vehicle, then replace it. You are at more risk to do nothing.
Firstly, consider the following. If replacing AT fluid in a vehicle that has never been serviced before, mileage will be important. There is a sudden cleaning effect that can cause more problems in higher mileage vehicles. Use caution!
The Lexus service interval on a first gen car is 60,000 miles. It can also be an indicator of a pre-existing problem. Do not do a flush, just change the fluid. New ATF fluid will clean the system sufficiently with out cleaners or chemicals. As you do not state the mileage, I would assume that however far past the service interval you are, proceed with caution. If close to it, do not worry too much.
Secondly, it is black or darkened because AT fluid transfers heat from metal components, this heat in turn, causes the fluid to oxidize. This is basically the fluid loosing it ability to perform its job properly and requires changing.
Excessive heat is the number reason for transmission failure in North America.
Change it at any service provider you feel confortable with. As you are not under warranty, just make sure your service provider is professional. If not there is also a DIY on this site on how to do it yourself.
Thirdly, make sure you use Toyota Type Tiv fluid. It is one of the best AT fluids in the market.