This pictorial guide of how to care for your car's transmission oil and keep it running strong and lasting long! Never neglect any of these
things as they too often are!
Most manufacturers (including Toyota) recommend that manual transmission fluid be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Under heavy use, manufacturers suggest changing every 15,000 miles. If you are involved in any form of motor sports, 10,000-15,000 is about how often you should be changing.
-What to use?
This is where personal choice and a lot of brand loyalty comes in so make your own decision here, as long as its 75w-90 GL4 or greater.
-What is needed?
- Gear Oil: 75w-90 (GL5) (1.8qts)
- 12mm socket/wrench
- 10mm socket
- oil catch (bucket/pan any liquid container)
- If the car has not been run for quite some time, take a moment and drive for a couple minutes. This will allow for the oil to circulate, warm up and capture any settled debris. If the car has recently been run, allow the oil to cool for at least half an hour to prevent risk of burns due to hot oil coming in contact with ones hands.
Now that our oil is ready to be drained, turn off the car and jack up the front of the car from the cross-member. Safety first! Secure the car with jack-stands. There are two square runners that go down the length of the car, place the stand on that location. Its always a good safety precaution to leave the jack under the car holding gently onto the car in case a jack stand fails.
Now jack up the rear too by the rear end and place jack stands on the ends of the axle too
- Once the car is jacked up and stable, start the oil draining process, go under the car and locate the bolt on the transmission to allow it to drain. The drain plug is the lower bolt, the upper is the check plug. Use a 19mm socket or wrench and loosen and remove. Make sure you have your oil catch ready. While waiting for the oil to drain it’s always a good idea to clean the drain plug thoroughly.
- Once the transmission is draining, go ahead and begin to remove the shifter, first you will need to take out the center console and then the second part where the shift boot
is located. Once you have removed all of these you can unbolt the shift boot itself using a 10mm socket and a 3inch or greater extension. Once removed, you will need to remove the shifter from the transmission itself, do this using a 14mm socket and the same extension.
- By the time we are all done with this, our oil should be all drained out, so return the plug that you removed back in and reinstall it. Now locate the 2nd plug on the side of the transmission, its located directly above the drain plug. This is the fill limit check; once oil begins to flow through here we know we are at the correct level.
- Now that we have our check removed and the drain plug back in, its time to fill through the open shifter inside the car. Begin to pour 1.7liters (1.8 quarts) of fluid into the transmission, once you get close be sure to randomly check to see if you are at the correct level yet by checking for overflow from the open plug. Once you see it over flow, stop pouring.
Return the check plug and bolt back into the transmission. Then reinstall the shifter, shifter boot and center console in the reverse order.
- Once you are done, inspect your work, double check that everything is secure and installed properly. Once done, lower the car and run the car. Check to see if shifting is easy and the shifter doesn’t have trouble cycling through the gears. Allow the car to run for a while, check to be sure that no oil is leaking. Now you are all done and your transmission is ready for solid shifts and cool, lubricated running!