Edmunds Answers



  • figsgrandpa 08/09/08 2:47 am PST

    The maintenance schedule for the 2006 RAV4 says to "inspect" the transmission fluid every 30k miles. If the RAV4 uses Dexron II transmission fluid (check the owner's manual), it should be red in color. As you put on the miles, the fluid gets dirty and takes on a brownish appearance. If all they want to do is drain the transmission and replace the fluid, the cost should run only a little higher than an oil change (transmission fluid is more expensive than oil, and there's a little more labor). However, most transmission service usually requires that the transmission pan be removed so that the transmission filter can be replaced. $155 for that service doesn't sound out of line.

    Its possible for transmission fluid to need replacing at 30k, depending on how the car was used. Heavy duty use (pulling a trailer, off road activity, stop and go traffic, etc). could accelerate the deterioration of the fluid.

    Source: http://smg.toyotapartsandservice.com/gu

  • sgtcombs 03/09/15 1:08 pm PST

    Toyota expressly states that the transmission fluid on this vehicle is 100k or life of the vehicle.

    As a toyota technician and 06 RAV4 owner, I call BS. I have found, through experience, that 60k is on the out side of world standard transmission fluid life rang, and highly recommend flushing the system.
    The 155$ they are asking actually sounds fair, for the fact that with WS transmissions you HAVE to know what your doing. It takes approx an hour to do this service witch involves connecting the machine and filling to a precise level that can only be determined using the toyota scan tool "it's an actual computer" and room for error is very thin.
    Unless, of coarse, your Rav has a dipstick, most don't. If it does, you may have a bargaining chip for price reduction because the dealership usually has a blanket cost for WS transmission services, if it has a dipstick then the process is simplified.
    Good luck,
    Sean Combs
    SGT USAA (ret)
    Toyota factory trained technician, ASE certified, expert.


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