Cvt fluid

Discussion in 'Toyota Camry Hybrid' started by CHAU Sopheakneakren, May 5, 2012.

  1. CHAU Sopheakneakren

    CHAU Sopheakneakren New Member

    Hello, I would like u ask you that, What type of cvt fluid suit best for my Toyota Camry hybrid 2009? And I also would like to know about the price of that product. Thank you
  2. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Only one oil is recommended by Toyota . It runs about $10 a qt. and is a very easy change for DIY types. It holds 4 Qts.? Toyota will do it for around $100?. It is not really a CVT transmission it is called a inverter, or trans-axle. Lots of electrical wires and I believe a electric mtr. is involved and the inverter is cooled with antifreeze and water. Toyota does not recommend a time to change this oil but must folks that own a Prius do it every 50 thousand miles. H
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  3. KenSoren

    KenSoren Member

    I just had the power window switch recall done on my 09 TCH and had Toyota check the water pump to see if it needed service. Ended up having the pump replaced plus they came back recommending the CVT service for $250. It has 52k miles on it and Toyota does recommend service at 100k miles. So I declined their recommended CVT for $250 and Throttle body service for another $150 or so, but I did get the water pump replaced under the power train warranty.

    Good advice for all TCH owners is to watch for the coolant level in the overflow tank dropping for no reason - that's a sign that the water pump is going out.
  4. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    I suspect the folks quoting the tranny fluid change don't understand that it is just a drain and fill rather than the more involved process for a modern auto tranny.

    Easy DIY. writeups are available on priuschat and elsewhere with pictures.
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Assuming it's the same as Prius, yes, it's a simple drain and fill. And unlike a conventional automatic, most of the fluid comes out when you drain.

    With Prius there's a drain and fill bolt. When filling you simply keep pouring in 'till it starts coming back out, then let it settle down before reinstalling the bolt. Do have the car level when doing this.

    With the 3rd gen Prius you need 4 liters (or qts), and will you use all but a cup or two. You should also replace the washers on the plugs. For me the fluid was about $9 per liter (Toyota WS-ATF), and the the plug washers an extortionary $2.75 each.

    You'll need some method of getting fluid down to the fill hole, deep in the engine bay. A funnel with 3 foot of hose is one simple/effective method.
  6. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Do major oil brands offer less pricey equivalents (meeting Toyota specs)?
  7. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    I believe a few folks have tried synthetic auto trans oil but I would go to Toyota. H
  8. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    No other fluid is permitted in the maintenance specs I think, so I would at least stay with Toyota WS during the warranty period to avoid any argument.
  9. KenSoren

    KenSoren Member

    I'm 67 years old plus I don't have access to a lift so I will be looking for a local shop to do this for me. Any advantage to having the trans flushed and then filled? I've seen local ads offering the flush plus some type of additive - should I consider having this done or just a drain and fill?
  10. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Just a drain and fill. I use my oil change ramps on a slight downslope that gets the car level at the driver door opening. But I get that not everyone enjoys doing their own messy jobs. It is thin fluid, so it is rather self-flushing. And the drain plug may be magnetized, I cannot recall. That catches the fines if it is. I know my Fit is magnetized.
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    There's no reason for flush, unless you've had contamination. Virtually ALL the fluid comes out when draining. I would stay clear of cowboys offering flush and fill, especially with "some sort of additive". You NO NOT want anything but Toyota ATF-WS in there. To be really safe the funnel used for fill should be dedicated to that sort of fluid, or at least thoroughly cleaned beforehand.

    In your shoes, I'd take it to a Toyo dealership. And then be prepared for a battle, they are often not educated regarding the hybrid transaxle. You may be forced to change it yourself, LOL.

    Or, go to a competent local shop (not an IFFY LUBE), purchase and bring along the fluid and washers. I could PM you the Prius transaxle fluid change instruction, but it may be somewhat different than Prius. I'll give it a go tonight ;)
  12. KenSoren

    KenSoren Member

    Thanks for the help on this. I guess the main question is does it need the service at 52k miles and a little over 4 years of age? The mechanic said he thought the fluid was "a little dark" but I don't trust his opinion much.

    I do have a local mechanic that will follow directions and do the drain and fill. I also can find pictured instructions on the GreenHybrid forum so again thanks for the help!
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I change the fluid (on our 3rd Gen Prius) at the one year mark, figuring an early change was a good idea. I'm still debating if I want to to do bi-yearly or tri-yearly changes from here on in. I'm embarrassed to disclose the mileage, it's quite low.

    It is very straightforward, about the same complexity as an oil change, just the fluid is a bit more expensive.

    The main problem seems to be convincing some pros, escpecially Toyota mechanics, to do it. There's a culture that the transaxle is "sealed", "never needs changing", and so on.
  14. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Most purist owners change at 50,000 thousand miles. 75 0r 100 thousand miles may be OK as well. I will do mine at 100,000 Kilometers .H
  15. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    I did my Prius at 2.5 years and 38,268 miles. At 90 or 100M I'll do it again. Though I hope not to own it then, having traded for a plug-in.

    There is no data to say you are more likely to have a failure without changing, but the folks that have the oil analyzed report that their oil showed wear and needed a change.

    I simply don't believe in permanent fluids, and the change is rather easy.

    On the other hand, I push way past the schedule on brake fluid, since I rarely use the brakes and don't even open the reservoir when I check the level. Plus Prius brake bleeds are a PITA for a DIYer. I would have this done at the dealer, and will be happy to let them do it after I trade it back to them. :) At 3.5 years/52,000 miles, the brake fluid still appears pristine, and why wouldn't it?

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