All models use multipurpose gear oil with an API GL-4 or GL-5 rating that has a viscosity of SAE 80W-90 weight.LEVEL CHECK
The oil in the manual transaxle should be checked at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) and replaced every 25,000-30,000 miles (40,000-48,000 km), even more frequently if driven in deep water.
- With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug (24mm hex head on gasoline models, 17mm hex head on diesel models) from the front side of the transaxle housing.
- If the lubricant begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads!) and check to see if the oil is up to the edge of the hole.
- If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear lubricants come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle; making additions simple. You can also use a common everyday kitchen baster or a gear oil pump.
- Replace the filler plug and tighten it to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
- Run the engine and check for leaks.
Why change the manual transmission fluid you might ask- Manual transmissions can offer many years of trouble free operation if they are properly taken care of. The transmissions in today's vehicles are light-weight, high precision machines will begin to wear at an alarming rate if the transmission fluid is not changed on time. Manual transmission fluid is formulated to pick up metal fillings from the gears and syncros that have worn. This wear occurs even more if the car is driven hard such as in the city where multiple shifts are necessary every minute. Regular changing of the fluid can and will remove some of the metal filings. If you experience a difficulty in shifting, replacing the fluid will sometimes solve the problem. Old fluid can lose some of its' lubricating properties, making it more difficult to move the gear selector. This problem will intensify in cold weather. Some have found that using a synthetic fluid in the transmission provides shifts that are easier and smoother. Synthetics may prove superior for geographical areas that experience very cold temperatures. If you use a synthetic oil, do not increase the service interval of the fluid. Always change your fluid at or before the manufacturers recommended interval. On the Toyota vehicles covered in this guide, the fluid should be changed at least once every 30,000 miles (48,000 km).
- The transaxle oil should be hot before it is drained. If the engine is at normal operating temperature, the transaxle oil should be hot enough.
- Raise the car and support it properly on jackstands so that you can safely work underneath. You will probably not have enough room to work if the car is not raised.
- Remove the filler plug from the side of the transaxle case. It is on the front side. There is usually a gasket underneath this plug. Replace it if damaged.
- The drain plug is located on the bottom of the transaxle, it should be a 24mm hex head. Place a pan under the drain plug and remove it. Keep a slight upward pressure on the plug while unscrewing it, this will keep the oil from pouring out until the plug is removed.
- Allow the oil to drain completely. Clean off the plug and replace it, tightening it until it is just snug 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
- Fill the transaxle, with the proper lubricant, through the filler plug hole as detailed previously. Refer to the Capacities Chart for the amount of oil needed to refill your transaxle.
- The oil level should come right up to the edge of the hole. You can stick your finger in to verify this. Watch out for sharp threads!
- Replace the filler plug and gasket, lower the car, and check for leaks. Dispose of the old oil in the proper manner.