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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some time after my wife had a leaky gasket replaced on the engine, for which the dealer charged her dearly, we started getting a bizarre problem (which might be unrelated):

If you remove the dipstick on the transmission fluid after the car is warmed up, transmission fluid will start flowing out of the dipstick/filler tube. It's warm but not hot, so it doesn't seem to be boiling. Furthermore, as long as the the fluid is replaced (when the car is cold), there is no shifting or other apparent transmission problem. I know the problem is not overfilling, because after discovering the problem I let the fluid flow out of the dipstick/filler tube and then I started to have all kinds of shifting problems with the transmission. Those problems went away when I added the fluid again.

My mechanic suggested it might be a clogged filter, so he flushed out the fluid and replaced the filter. But the problem persists (if not worse).

I could just ignore it, because the car is running fine. But just seems like something isn't right...

Any help is appreciated.
 

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There is no filter.

You are NOT supposed to FLUSH the system at any time. You have to use the 3X change system outlined in this and other forums.

Sound like it is over filled.

Just hope you mechanic did not do any damage flushing the system.

Did he charge you for a filter that does not exist?
 

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There is no filter.

You are NOT supposed to FLUSH the system at any time. You have to use the 3X change system outlined in this and other forums.

Sound like it is over filled.

Just hope you mechanic did not do any damage flushing the system.

Did he charge you for a filter that does not exist?
That's what I was getting at. Maybe he has a different car !! ?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I should have mentioned in the original post that I know the problem is not overfilling, because prior to the transmission flush, I let the fluid flow out of the top, and then I started to have all kinds of shifting problems with the transmission. Those problems went away when I added the fluid again.

I only went with the flush because I was out of other ideas, and it sounded like the most plausible. He didn't charge me for a filter specifically.

One suggestion I found on the cartalk website was that it might be a clogged transmission vent hose. I didn't even know there was such a thing but I will look into it.
 

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There is a vent hose on the AW55 transmission in your car. It comes out of the transmission on the top and runs up past the brake booster and should be tied off with a zip tie back by the master cylinder. I'd check to see if that was plugged.

As was said before the AW55 does not have a filter so if your mechanic told you that he changed it for you you need to get another one since he's lying. (well technically there are small filters in the valve body but thos eare not changeable without taking the VB out and rebuilding it)

Otherwise I'd be looking for over filling of the transmission. Read the procedure to check the fluid in the owners manual carefully and follow it. Also, Mobil 3309 or Toyota Type IV only, right!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The only hose I could find ended on the brake fluid reservoir. But I gently pulled it off, and heard a loud temporary hiss, as if pressure was being relieved. After that, I opened the dipstick, and thankfully no fluid bubbled out.

This might explain the issue, assuming that there should be an unconnected nipple coming off the brake reservoir that is (coincidentally?) the exact size as the vent hose. Is that really the case?? I just noticed on this forum that this nipple would be connected to the clutch in manual transmission models--mine is an automatic. So that explains it.

Now I can imagine how some idiot (maybe even me in an amnesiac state) might have come upon and connected the two. I hope that means this case is closed (time will tell). Thanks everyone!!

By the way, the mechanic didn't specifically claim to have changed the filter after the job, but he did say that it might be the source of the problem and that he would change it before the job. Hm. Possible honest mistake, if other cars have such a filter? At least he didn't try to sell me a new tranny.
 

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I have the same barb on my reservoir with nothing attached to it. Looks like your problem is resolved. Just lay the vent hose across the transmission so the open end points down towards the firewall and you should be fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't see what the difference is between a "flush" and the "3X change system". Perhaps I have misunderstood, but the 3X sounds to me like flushing 3 times. If it's OK to do it 3 times, it's OK to do it once. The only advantage I can see to the repeat is to get more of the old fluid out (which by the no-flush argument, doesn't need to removed in the first place).
 

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You are NOT supposed to FLUSH the system at any time. You have to use the 3X change system outlined in this and other forums.
I will go with personel preference, your results will vary. I have owned my 2001 9-5 for over 115K miles with a total of 189K on it. I have had my mechanic do a fluid exchange on the transmission a few times and have not had any transmission issues. He disconnects the lines at the radiator to perform the flush and the only issue I've had is a small transmission leak at the radiator when he reconnects it. If this occurs, then I bring it back and he fixes the leak with new washers or o-rings and the problem is fixed. Just my thoughts. Take them for what they are worth.
 

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chinaski5 - the difference between flush and 3x changing is this:

flush - this is where a mechanic does as jlthunder mentioned, disconnects the lines at the radiator, and hooks it up to a machine that pumps fluid through. Here's the point of this being an issue - it isn't necessarily about pressure and seals. It is about deposits getting loose and messing up the valve body.

Imagine a human body's arteries. Over time, they get build-up on the sides, but are still able to function normally. If you were to "power flush" the human arteries (like the transmission), it would knock loose some of the deposits, which are now free floating, and can cause blockages, etc. that *could* lead to an aneurysm, stroke, etc. Same with the transmission. It is well proven that these "flushes" and such are after-market bull that are unnecessary and can take away from the life of the transmission, etc.

3x changing - this is where you put the car on a lift, open up the drain and let the trans fluid drain out. When this is done, you usually get ~3.5L of fluid, not all of the fluid (because some of the fluid stays in the trans). So you do this once, drive for some miles, do it again, drive for some miles, and do it one more time. The result is ~90% or more of the fluid being exchanged.

Your call. Roll the dice, if you want to.
 

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I guess I've been lucky and had the fluid changed frequently which doesn't allow for the deposits to build up which can cause issues. It sounds like the fill and drain method is a safer, but more labor intensive method. I'll probably do the fill and drain method when I hit 200K.

Keep fresh fluids in your car and the car will normally reward you with good service. Any car worth its weight should give you 200K without blinking if it is maintained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the clarification Rarelibra. Well, in that case, the mechanic only did a drain and refill, so I should be OK. If anything, I could do it a couple of more times :) Only issue is, he charges me about $100 each time. Sounds like easy to do myself next time.
 

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Thanks for the clarification Rarelibra. Well, in that case, the mechanic only did a drain and refill, so I should be OK. If anything, I could do it a couple of more times :) Only issue is, he charges me about $100 each time. Sounds like easy to do myself next time.
as easy as two ramps/jackstands, a wrench, and a container to catch and recycle the fluid.

oh, and I second all of the comments about the so-called "filter"... were you charged for a filter? If so, the mechanic owes you - money and - an explanation. And then let everyone know to avoid the guy at all costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No charge specifically for a filter. Might have been my misunderstanding. He said a clogged filter might be the source, although he admitted he couldn't be sure. Perhaps he was talking about the small filters in the valve body, and I misunderstood it to mean a change in the filter. He also mentioned that there was some risk associated with changing the transmission fluid. He's otherwise been very honest and straightforward with me, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For example, when my mass air flow sensor caused a warning on Engine management system, he diagnosed and recommended that I change it myself and save a bunch of money.
 

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No charge specifically for a filter. Might have been my misunderstanding. He said a clogged filter might be the source, although he admitted he couldn't be sure. Perhaps he was talking about the small filters in the valve body, and I misunderstood it to mean a change in the filter. He also mentioned that there was some risk associated with changing the transmission fluid. He's otherwise been very honest and straightforward with me, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For example, when my mass air flow sensor caused a warning on Engine management system, he diagnosed and recommended that I change it myself and save a bunch of money.
Well you will find a bunch of answers in this community - many times saving you money, time, and headache. There isn't much risk changing the fluid out if you do like jlthunder mentioned and maintain on a regular basis. If someone has an older transmission and does the power flush, that is definitely where the problems can begin. But a simple drain and fill isn't risky... unless you have a newer model where there isn't a dipstick to refill the trans fluid. Talk about a PITA....
 

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there is an easier way. Use a fluid extractor from Griots http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/multi+fluid+extractor.do?from=Search

there are also some on amazon and eBay that are less expensive.

All you do is put the drain tube down the dipstick tube and drain out 4 liters or so. You give it a few pumps and it sucks it out. Give it a few more if you must. Then you recycle the fluid. Drive it a few hours or a day and repeat. Not ramps, not unhooking cooler lines, very little mess.

this is by far the fastest and cleanest way to do it.
 
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