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Toyota Yaris Transmission Problems

yaris46yaris46 Posts: 24
Anyone change the gear oil on their 1.5 liter? I had a hell of a time doing it and wonder if any Toyota Mechanics are out there. DO YOU FILL THE TRANNY TILL IT COMES OUT THE FILL PLUG? I HAVE HEARD YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LEAVE A FEW MM BELOW THE PLUG OR YOU CAN BLOW SEALS.
Anyone QUALIFIED have an answer?


  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    are you changing the gear oil already?

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • yaris46yaris46 Posts: 24
    The gear oil from the factory is dino. Synthetic oils are far superior in terms of shifting AND longevity of components. My car has 2000 miles and I have Mobil 1 and a Mobil 1 oil filter on it PLUS I changed the gear oil to REDLINE MT90 which is a vastly superior lubricant compared to whats in the car when it comes from the factory.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    well, to answer your question a bit, yes, the manual transmission oil is supposed to be pretty much up to the hole. You should be able to put your finger in and feel the oil level just below your finger. This is a general answer based on my past experience with many other cars where I have changed the gear oil, NOT specifically related to the '07 Yaris. So if you want to be sure, read the manual. :-)

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • lhansonlhanson Posts: 268
    So would you go ahead replace the factory lubricant like Yaris 46? If not, when would you replace it? I get the feeling that you are holding back your knowledge from the rest of us.
  • yaris46yaris46 Posts: 24
    I contacted several service techs, As I had thought, the level is FAR FROM CRITICAL. You can have a little more or a little less, its not THAT IMPORTANT. What IS important IMHO is the QUALITY OF LUBRICANTS used in your car. Thats why I ALWAYS put REDLINE MT90 in all my manual transmissions after break-in period. As for engine oil I PREFER REDLINE but its 9 bucks a quart, so I use Mobil 1 AND a Mobil 1 filter. FRAM IS PROBABLY THE WORST OIL FILTER MADE so if you decide to go synthetic make certain your using a top quality oil filter.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    Nah, I wouldn't bother. I have seen Toyota manual transmissions go out to 200K miles with dino oil changed once halfway through, without a problem.

    Now as for synthetic vs dino ENGINE oil, well that's the age-old debate on these boards isn't it? I don't bother myself, but I won't say the folks who do it don't gain some benefit from it. It probably provides better lubrication at cold start-up, although Toyota engines seem to be able to go the stretch (200K) without it, so why go to the extra expense? Just change your dino oil every 5000 miles and save some money.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • yaris46yaris46 Posts: 24
    Its not just longevity, For example my Roadster is a 2006 MX-5. The 6 speed was a bit tough to handle for me since I am disabled and have only partial use of my right hand. BEFORE installing REDLINE MT90 I had to reach over with my left hand to shift to 5th and 6th gear. AFTER MT90 the tranny is sSO MUCH EASIER that I no longer need to reach over. NOW THINK, IF A LUBRICANT CAN MAKE SHIFTING EASIER THEN THINK WHAT IT CAN DO FOR KEEPING A HEALTHY HAPPY TRANNY!!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    Yeah, I hear you, but my original point stands, as personal opinion ONLY: if the tranny is going to be happy and healthy to 200K anyway, I can't be bothered to change from the manufacturer's spec.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • yaris46yaris46 Posts: 24
    Your absolutely correct. That train of thought also applies to using cheap dino oil and low budget Fram oil filters. They will do the job and as long as you change your oil every 3K you should be OK. As for MY ENGINES I prefer to know I have TOP QUALITY FILTERS AND LUBRICANTS in my engine. Your approach is certainly more cost-effective. My approach wastes money BUT probably adds significantly to drivetrain longevity AND gives me peace of mind. I haven't used a FRAM filter and Dino oil in 10 years!
  • lhansonlhanson Posts: 268
    You are the type of person I would like to buy my used cars from. After 5 years or so, I would think that you would have a hard time getting a dealer to give you any more for your trade-in than nippononly would get for his car, assuming all other aspects of the cars are equal.
  • yaris46yaris46 Posts: 24
    After 5 years I will have over 200K on my car. I am not an AVERAGE driver. If you plan on trading in your car and have no enthusiasm whatsever for your vehicle I suggest Wal Mart oil and filters all the way! BTW: Wal Mart oil filters are VERY GOOD QUALITY. I have no plans on trading my car, I will drive it to the ground.
  • Hey, I have a question related to the auto tranny. I just picked up my new LB last week. Does anyone have any input on the long term effects of using engine braking by downshifting the auto trans? Is that hard on an engine or tranny? Thanks.
    I think that answers your question. Why would you subject an expensive component that is not designed for braking to such abuse? Thats what brakes are for! IMHO: Next time buy a manual but sincev your stuck with a slushbox you will now need to properly maintain it every 25K. A complete transmission fluid flush should be done regularly and the filter changed. Yet another reason besides poor gas mileage to never buy an automatic. The US is the only country where automatics are in such high demand. Europe and Japan drivers know the advantages of manual transmissions and purchase accordingly. Its the fat lazy American that complains its too much work to shift gears in a car!!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    that was a bit of an indictment without cause, wasn't it?

    Toyota makes many of its automatics with "lifetime" fluid (no routine fluid changes are called for) now, unless you use the car for towing. Feel free to view that with as much skepticism as you would like, and I don't know if that includes the new Yaris, but it certainly included the Matrix I had.

    robertkn, I wouldn't do it, because I think it WOULD be hard on the transmission in the long run, although many will tell you that in these days of computer-controlled automatics they can handle the behavior you describe.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • question was not whether you think a manual transmission is better than an automatic transmission. That must be a different thread, but thank you for your opinion.

    1. How much does it cost to have a clutch replaced periodically?

    2. The Yaris Owners Manual specifically explains how to perform engine braking by downshifting the transmission, thus my question (which yaris46 did not even address). If the transmission were not designed to do so, why would the process be discussed in the manual?

    3. If a transmission is not designed for braking are you saying that you do not downshift your manual tranny to slow down your car? When in high gear you just depress the clutch and hit the brakes until it stops?

    4. The gas mileage rating for the manual tranny is only 1 mpg higher than the automatic.

    Hoping to hear from someone who knows.
  • "The gas mileage rating for the manual tranny is only 1 mpg higher than the automatic."

    From all the reviews I have read, many people with automatics are getting much worse than the EPA mpg estimates in real-world city driving... more like 27-30 instead of 34. However, manual owners are getting closer to the EPA city rating, in the 31-34 range.

    That made my decision to order a manual-shift LB easier.
  • In that case I'm very pleased to report that after just doing my first fillup at 231 miles, the mpg for my new liftback/automatic computed out to 33 mpg--98% of which was city. Yay!! :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    Wait, if the Yaris owner manual tells you how to do it, then why are you worried? I doubt they would tell you how to do something that would damage the car.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Didn't say that I was "worried" per se. It's just that I've always owned automatics and have never done that and, for that matter, have never known anyone who did. It actually seems like a good idea, I just don't know whether it's something that will affect the longetivity of an automatic transmission. Maybe nobody knows...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    I have only owned an automatic once (and based on that I never will again), but I used to plan the downshifts just before I needed the engine braking, while my foot was still on the gas. That always seemed intuitively less hard on the transmission.

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • With regards to the question as to whether I use my engine to downshift and slow the car the answer is: NO! I am aiming for 300-400 thousand miles on my motor and drivetrain. I will GLADLY pay for a lousy set of brake pads over reduced engine longevity. This is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!
    Its simple common sense that the less strain put on your engine will extend the life of your engine. The benefits of downshifting and bringing the RPM's up over 3-5 K are what exactly? I won't put brakes on for an extra 10,000 miles? BIG DEAL! I drive this car completely differently than my performance cars. I keep my RPM's under 4K at ALL TIMES and generally run at 2.5-3.5 thousand RPM. I not only get outstanding gas mileage but I am also putting very little stain on my powerplant and drivetrain. I have owned several Porsches, Audis, M3 BMW's etc. and I certainly don't drive a performance car in this manner. The Yaris is an OUTSTANDING econobox BUT IT IS AN ECONOBOX! Downshifting a Yaris to slow the car down is IMHO not the best way to extend engine life which is my ultimate goal. If your driving a Yaris as a fun sporty car and can't afford a performance car than I certainly can understand revving the engine and downshifting at red lights etc. Its ALOT more fun to drive this way! Unfortunately it is not something that helps to extend the lifespan of the engine.
    As for "lifetime transmission fluid" if someone is that stupid as to not change the transmission fluid at least every 30,000 miles than God bless them when they need a new tranny. This again is simple COMMON SENSE. Would you not change your engine oil? Your transmission fluid is as important to the transmission as engine oil is to the engine!!
  • "The benefits of downshifting and bringing the RPM's up over 3-5 K are what exactly?"

    Well, bringing the RPM's up obviously isn't the intent of using engine braking. The intended benefit would be to slow the car down. But, I see your point now. The downshift brings up RPM's thus increasing heat and putting the stress of the car's inertia on the drivetrain rather than the rotors. Since brakes pads are cheaper than gears, why do it? Seems logical.

    "If your driving a Yaris as a fun sporty car and can't afford a performance car than I certainly can understand revving the engine and downshifting at red lights etc."

    Nah, not so much. I just sold my Volvo 240 with 214,000 miles on it and it still ran great. So, what does that tell you? (I know--hard to believe it actually ran "great," but it did. No internal engine work ever done--other than valve adjustments.)

    I quit using the Fram stuff a couple years ago once I learned the "truth." The average consumer just doesn't know any better, as Fram has been around for so many years. I use Baldwin oil filters which seem to be really well made. It almost instantly cleared up a tappet noise I had in my 1988 Caravan.

    Now, if you go to synthetic oil do you still have to drop both the oil and filter every 5k during the warranty period? I thought I once heard that with synthetics you don't need to drop the oil at every change. Thanks for the tip about formally "notifying" Toyota of the lubricant change.
  • if someone is that stupid as to not change the transmission fluid at least every 30,000 miles than God bless them when they need a new tranny.

    Maybe you can post your mechanic credentials online since you feel that you obviously know more than the rest of the universe. LIGHTEN UP!!!!

    While someone who doesn't change their transmission fluid ever is on one end of the spectrum, you are on the other end and needlessly wasting money. My mechanic who has been taking care of my vehicles for the past 14 years recommends 60,000 mile change and I trust him a lot more than I do a random poster on this message board. :mad:
  • Of course you can change transmission fluids at 60,000 miles. I suggest you perform a test on your own car. Drive 60,000 miles and then extract a cup of tranny fluid from your car using an extraction pump (20 bucks ebay) then have your transmission fluid changed and changed PROPERLY (I doubt your mechanic even flushes the system if he thinks 60K is satisfactory, he probably drops the pan and changes the filter and fluid, this leaves over 2/3 of the old fluid in the tranny) After changing the fluid PROPERLY then drive your car 30K and change the fluid. I GUARANTEE THE 60K FLUID WILL BE DARK BROWN AND HAVE A SMELL. I ALSO GUARANTEE THE 30K FLUID TO BE FRESH AND PINK WITH NO SMELL.

    This kinda stuff is just plain common sense. Why on earth would someone be so cheap as to only change their tranny fluid every 60K? ITS CHEAP INSURANCE TO CHANGE IT EVERY 25-30K! ALOT CHEAPER THAN REPAIRING AN AUTOMATIC TRANNY!!
    As for synthetic oil changes you can actually go for over 25,000 miles on some synthetics and by having your oil tested you can confirm its OK. Once again this is also simple common sense: I WILL GLADLY PAY THE EXTA MONEY FOR MOBIL 1 AND A MOBIL 1 FILTER AND CHANGE MY OIL EVERY 6,000 MILES. Does my car need a filter and oil change at 6,000 miles when using Mobil 1? Of course not but its CHEAP INSURANCE and synthetics have been proven time and again to be superior particularly during cold starts where alot of engine wear occurs. BOTTOM LINE: SPEND THE LOUSY FEW EXTRA BUCKS AND DUMP YOUR TRANNY FLUID AT LEAST EVERY 30K!
    USE FULL SYNTHETICS AND A MOBIL 1 FILTER! (At this time there is no other quality oil filter available for the 1.5 liter motor)
    If you were fortunate enough to buy a manual I suggest dumping the gear oil and replacing it with REDLINE SYNTHETIC.
  • I doubt your mechanic even flushes the system if he thinks 60K is satisfactory, he probably drops the pan and changes the filter and fluid, this leaves over 2/3 of the old fluid in the tranny

    Well MR a matter of fact my mechanic uses a device which replaces 100% of the fluid. Funny how you like to make assumptions about the quality of his work. I would stack his knowledge of cars against yours any day of the week.


    Why start at 25K miles. Why not change your schedule to every 15 thousand or maybe even drop it to 10 thousand miles. And you could buy that expensive synthetic oil and change it and your filter every 1000 miles.WHY.....BECAUSE IT'S CHEAP INSURANCE AGAINST AN AUTO REPAIR

    you could also attach foam rubber to the exterior of your car to avoid ding and dents from stone and car doors in parking lots. Let us not forget about acid rain...make sure to cover your car each and every night to protect the finish.

    Please do tell us how you have amassed such an expansive knowledge of auto care and repair. I don't know why we didn't see sooner that all the car manufacturers and mechanics in the world are wrong and you are right.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,697
    the freaks come out at night, huh?!

    My car was an '03 Toyota Matrix. Not only did the maintenance schedule for that car SPECIFICALLY SAY no routine fluid changes were recommended for the automatic transmission fluid, they actually put a sticker right on the transmission dipstick handle saying the same thing.

    The only exception was if you used the car for towing (that car had the very modest towing limit of 1500 pounds).

    So it wouldn't be stupid, it would be following the owner's manual, written by THE PEOPLE WHO DESIGNED AND BUILT THE CAR. SERIOUSLY, lighten up, your tone is fairly offensive. :-(

    edit...BTW, many modern cars are the same way. I haven't read the Yaris's owners manual so I don't know what is recommended for this model, but since other Toyotas have the same maintenance-free auto trans fluid, the Yaris may also...

    2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • So the common wisdom in this thread is to NOT CHANGE FLUIDS EARLIER THAN SPECIFIED?
    Toyota SELLS CARS. They MAKE MONEY when you BUY CARS.
    This is routine maintenance 101. ALWAYS change fluids earlier and more often than recommended. My MX5 states oil changes at 7500 miles using dino. Do I wait 7500 miles? Thats ridiculous. I change my oil at 6K PERIOD and use only synthetic. My Porsche 911 manual specified oil changes at 15,000 miles. Do I change it as specified by Porsche? Of course not. Oil and filters are far too cheap too wait 15,000 miles between changes. Its YOUR CAR, YOUR TRANSMISSION. I can assure you of one thing. An automatic transmission that is flushed and maintained properly every 25-30K has a FAR BETTER chance of extended life and being problem free. Has anyone ever changed their own tranny fluid? Anyone ever dropped a pan on an automatic to see what happens when fluids aren't changed? I have seen clogged filters, burned and filthy transmission fluid, and failed transmissions because PEOPLE THINK THEY KNOW WHATS BEST. Another common misconception: rear end gear oils last the life of the car. Ford specifically states on my Explorer that the rear end gear oil is not to be changed for the life of the vehicle. THE QUESTION IS: WHO DETERMINES THE LIFE? FORD WHO SELLS CARS OR YOU THE OWNER? And why are there plugs in the housing that allow you to change the gear oil?
    So I assume that using the logic presented that the SMART THING TO DO IS NEVER CHANGE THE GEAR OIL? Even if the Explorer has 300,000 miles and a new engine for example? ITS SIMPLE COMMON SENSE, CHANGE ALL LUBRICANTS AND FLUIDS IN YOUR DRIVETRAIN ON A REGULAR BASIS AND DON'T USE COMPANY SPECS AS A GUIDE. THEY SELL CARS!!
  • Getting back to the downshifting thing for a moment, yaris46 what do you think of this comment I happened to run across in another thread:

    "If you have a manual [transmission], it can help a lot to leave it in gear when decelerating, as that helps the rings to seat, which will contribute greatly to decreasing oil consumption later in life.."
  • Nippon,

    I wouldn't even bother trying to have any type of dialog with Yaris46. I wish there was an ignore button like the yahoo message boards have that would filter out his posts. I enjoyed jabbing fun at his ridiculous posts but I will no longer respond to him.

    There are many types of people in this world and occasionally you run into someone like Yaris46. They are the type of people who always think that they are right, will try and talk over everyone else in meetings or discussions and unfortunately alienates almost everyone they meet with their abrasive manner.

    Most of the posters on this board while having different opinions, can have a civilized dialog with each other. Apparently yaris46 isn't one of them.
  • There are several different trains of thought regarding seating rings in an engine. Many people believe that using synthetic oil when the engine is new will not allow the rings to seat properly since synthetic oils are slipperier. Others feel the best way to seat rings in an engine is to run the engine FULL BLAST as soon as you buy the car! I personally run my engines for 2000 miles then dump the dino and replace it with synthetic. I have never heard of downshifting helping to seat rings although its extremely important to vary engine RPM's for the first 500 miles and this is a part of the seating process. I have almost 20,000 miles on my engine in less than 3 months and I don't burn a single drop of oil. In fact I don't even bother checking my oil level any longer since it always reads exactly the same! I will start checking again at 40,000 miles.
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