When I gassed up the Camry today I checked the oil. While I was doing that it occurred to me that I had never checked the transmission fluid. In fact, I didn't even know where to look. So I consulted the owner's manual. The index doesn't list the transmission. I pored over the maintenance section and found directions for checking everything else ó oil, coolant, washer fluid, brakes, etc. But the word transmission was nowhere to be found. So I went back and looked at all the directions again. When I got to the power steering I noticed that the book recommends Dexron II or Dexron III. So apparently the power steering and the transmission share the same fluid. Who knew?
I'm skeptical. What year Camry?
My 96í F350 7.3 PSD has tranny fluid in the power steering reservoir - that is what my mechanic recommends.
Looks like 2011 - up Camrys have supposed "lifetime" fluid and no dipstick. Here is a site that talks about how to change (at least a portion) of the fluid:
Had red fluid in concrete driveway where we park a Chevy Equinox. I tried to find the transmission dipstick to no avail as this fluid felt slick like transmission fluid. As a last resort, we took the car to a mechanic friend and he put it on a lift only to discover that the lower radiator hose was loose. The son in law had put red antifreeze in. There is no way to check trans fluid and is added only when changed and on a lift. Similar to adding oil to the differential on a test wheel drive vehicle.
BTW, IMO the power steering using Dexron II or III does not mean that any of it is shared with the transmission.
This video is better.
(Message edited by cudaman on August 04, 2018)
It's a 2008. Some interesting reading in that link.
There is a Toyota TSB outlining the factory approved procedure, you can obtain it here:
If your Camry has a "CVT" constant velocity transmission, there is NO dip stick. These are a pressurized sealed unit. They run a clear almost hydraulic fluid unlike normal Dextrons fluids.
This type of transmission has computer controlled sliding shives(pulleys) giving you seamless shifting, meaning you don't have the normal 4 or 5 speed shift points. While there is a clutch pac most CVT's have steel disc's much like a T. There are no bands, just a set of 2 variable shives and a wide chain like stretch " belt" that slides up and down the shives while you are accelerating. This action increases the output torque and speed to the wheels while lowering the engine rpm. Most CVT's only require a fluid change at 100,000 miles unless you are towing a trailer and then it drops to 35,000 miles.
Most all auto manufactures have gone to this type of transmission for "CAFE" corporate average fuel economy to meet the fed standard.
I can also tell you these units are unserviceable, no aftermarket parts available, and the manufactures have been replacing them by the truck loads due to failures. At one point there was a 7 month back order time for Subaru CVT's at the cost of $7000.00 each plus installation. Subaru has had to lengthen their warranty to 8 years and 100.000 miles due to the failure rate.
As for service don't even think of letting the idiots at Jiffy Lube even think they can service CVT's. We have had number of Subaru's towed in after those idiots have drained the CVT and then don't have either the fittings or the exact computer to properly refill. It must be done at a specific operating temperature and to a very specific amount all measured by the factory diagnostic computer system.
Here is a site that talks specifically about a 2008, but it says there is a dipstick?
My wife's Mitsubishi has a CVT. The service manual recommends change at 60K intervals. It says to drain and refill twice to replace. My Mitsubishi is four years newer and recommends a dealer only flush with a machine. So far both are working fine. They're JATCO's
When I retired from GM as a "Heavy Repair" "mechanic" from the repair dept. in 2015, none of the automatic equipped cars we built had a transmission dipstick anymore. If I had a car with a bum converter or internal problems that necessitated a removal, there was a bolt on the bottom of the transmission casting that was the drain plug. You just drained them out to work on them and filled it back up after reinstalling it with the amount required to top it off.
They were considered "sealed units".
I guess the car companies know the dipstick is behind the steering wheel these days.
My 2006 Dodge (Mercedes Benz) Sprinter Van has a tube for a dipstick that comes with a cap and seal (that must be broken) but no dipstick. I was able to buy one and a handful of extra seals from a place in California. Supposedly the tranny fluid in my Sprinter is to be changed once at 80K...that's it.
FWIW-the power steering pump in my 1987 boat (Chevy V8) uses ATF fluid.
I use to have a 2006 VW Jetta with auto transmission and I looked in vain for the transmission dipstick. Eventually my local garage told me it was sealed at the factory, no refills are possible. :-(
Since the first power steering hit the market it has been ok to use ATF in them. Most recommended Any type ATF.
By the way, there is no T in Dexron! Never was.
Steveís Camry takes a special fluid known as type T-IV.
I would have to get under the car to tell you where to put the fluid in.
I have never known of a car that shares the trans fluid with the steering. I am seeing cars now with electric power steering.
Some cars, especially later model German cars recommend something other than Dexron or other common ATF.
Most German automatic transmissions are filled through a tube from the bottom of the transmission.
There is a plug that looks like a drain plug.
It is actually the bottom of a verticals tube.
You fill the transmission up through the tube, then remove the filler fitting and let the excess drain out through the stand use.
Some cars have a filler plug in the side of the transmission much like a stick shift tranny had. Same on four wheel drive automatics in some vehicles on the auto trans and the transfer case.
Refills are possible on all VW cars and vans.
I do services on those turkeys five days a week.
We recommend changing the ATF every 80 thousand miles.
Or you can do as the factory recommends and just have the tranny rebuilt when it craps out.
Tony, I would NOT ask your local garage for advice again.
I do not remember how to fill all those cars from Germany as they pride themselves in always being different. Plus, I hate those damn cars.
I always get printed instructions when servicing a German transmission, complete with torque. Settings, capacity and temp the oil must be to check the fill level.
Tony, when the car is running, on level floor, shift it through the gears, put in park, get under.
I think the fill plug is on the left rear side just above the pan.
Unscrew the plug, oil should just drip out.
I will check Monday and let you know more.
I have done oil changes on several Camry transmissions, they are easy to do but I canít recall ever doing one without a dip stick.
I would have to know the year of the Camry.
I just did a 2004 that had a dipstick.
I have done several much newer camrys.
Other than us users not being able to maintain our cars' what was the logic from the factory to make it so hard to check a transmission? Looks like the manufacturer would want you to maintain the car properly at least during the warranty period and if the trany gets low,uh, it could damage it?
Where I work we NEVER check transmission oil levels on routine services. Never, unless we see signs of a leak.
There is very little probability that the transmission will get low in the first 100 thousand miles.
A lot of cars have no engine oil dipstick! And no place to put one. Some have oil level sensors.
A lot of cars have no spare tire, no jack, no lug wrench.
The auto companies are not concerned with maintaining your cars.
I have replaced water pumps that cost $600, not including labor.
We do a special deal for good Porsche Carrera customers sometimes.
We charge them only five hundred dollars to change the engine air filter, plus the air filter of course. You gotta remove the rear bumper!
Do you really think auto manufacturers give a rats ass about their customers?
Now more and more new cars are coming with cartridge type oil filters instead of spin-on.
They cost double to triple the price of the spin on type, and you need a special tool to change the damned thing. And the tool to get the Toyota filter off will not work on a VW or BMW or Mercedes.
When the VW Tourig or Porsche of the same type was designed so it takes eleven hours to change the thermostat do you really think they were thinking of the customer who buys that car? Or when they designed the Audi A4 so you gotta remove the engine to replace the weakly made motor mounts?
You have no idea how crappy things are getting.
It costs $1400 to replace a timing belt or water pump on a VW.
The factory doesnít care how much your car costed to maintain or if you maintain it.
They figure you can brag about how much you spend on your car that could easily be avoided.
Some cars have tail light inserts with four bulbs in them that can not be changed.
If a bulb burns out you gotta replace all four on that side with the new unit with four bulbs. Can you spell mucho dinero?
The bulbs use less than two volts, so you canít jury rig your lights.
Right now I am changing the ignition switch lock cylinder on a 2006 car.
The dealer needs the serial number and car registration before they can sell us the part.
Since the registration has expired they wonít order the part until the registration is renewed.
The good thing about that job is it should only take three hours to do the work.
I have three in it already.
Pieces of crap. Love my Ď51 pickup.
Aaron, It has been quite a few years now here in Wackaforna that you can't get a key for a car unless you are on the registration, but it could be a few months past due. About ten years ago my daughter was out of town and driving a 1996 Honda that she was insured on but it was currently registered in my name, she thought she lost the key but couldn't get a new key made for it, luckily she found the key before I had to drive 200 miles with a replacement key. The funny thing about that year Honda is that any car thief could have it running and driving without a key in a minute or two.