2002 Camry transmission fluid change??

Old 02-04-11, 04:10 PM
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2002 Camry transmission fluid change??

The dipstick for the transmission on my 2002 camry says "no need to change ATF under normal driving conditions"

I have 144K and the fluid looks dark. I've had no major issues but a few times over the last couple weeks I've noticed a slight hesitation and one slip on a very cold morning.

I was a little low on fluid so added 1 qt, now i think its a little high. i've heard horror stories about changing fluid or flushing a tranmission after so many mile w/o changing and how it could cause more damage than prevent.

can someone help...should i change even though it says no need to change and should i simply change or do a complete flush/
Old 02-04-11, 08:43 PM
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1. don't flush the way they normally flush.
2. determine your transmission COMPLETE refill. not just drain refill. usually it's 12 vs 4 qrts.
3. get yourself enough transmission fluid for full refill.
4. drain, refill with drain amount, drive for 15 miles, drain, refill again, drive, and so on, untill you have drained/refilled all fluid.
5. unless you have CVT in 2002, there is not such thing as ATF that runs for lifetime. no matter what they say. even on CVTs like in my hybrid, folks have changes done after 50K miles, due to debris in transmission oil.
Old 02-05-11, 09:36 AM
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If you wish to change the filter you would have to drain the pan and take it off to get at the filter--there are some good videos on YouTube for this. But draining the pan will not drain the fluid from the torque converter, leaving at least half the transmission full of old dirty fluid. One method of getting at the rest of the fluid is as follows: Starting with the fluid at or near full on the dipstick, disconnect the line that brings the fluid to the transmission cooler behind the grill, attach some tubing to it, and run it into a recepticle on which you have drawn a line at the one quart level. Then start the car and let it idle. While the car is running the fluid will be pumped into the recepticle. Stop the engine when you have pumped out a quart, and add a quart of fluid through the dipstick hole using a small funnel. Keep repeating the process until the fluid coming out looks fresh and clean. Make sure you add less than a quart the last time so that you can little by little bring the level up to the full mark on the dipstick.

I saw this on a video of a fluid change on a Lexus that was similar to my '98 Camry, and found it to work very well both on the Camry and my GMC pickup. Unfortunately I can't find the video to attach here.

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