Toyota Celica 1986-1993 Repair Guide

Automatic Transaxle

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The automatic transaxle used on 1986-89 vehicles does not share its fluid with the differential. The differential must be checked and filled separately.

FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



The automatic transaxle on the Celica requires DEXRON® II ATF.

FLUID LEVEL CHECK



Check the automatic transmission fluid level at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km). The dipstick is in the left front of the engine compartment, near the battery. The fluid level should be checked only when the transmission is hot (normal operating temperature). The transmission is considered hot after about 20 miles of highway driving.

  1. Park the car on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transmission into P and set the parking brake.
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  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert if firmly. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally. All models have a hot and a cold side to the dipstick.

    Cold : the fluid level should fall in this range when the engine has been running for only a short time.
     
    Hot : the fluid level should fall in this range when the engine has reached normal running temperatures.
     

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Fig. Fig. 1 Checking the automatic transaxle oil level dipstick

  1. If the fluid level is not within the proper area on either side of the dipstick, pour ATF into the dipstick tube. This is easily done with the aid of a funnel. Check the level often as you are filling the transaxle. Be extremely careful not to overfill it. Overfilling will cause slippage, seal damage and overheating. Approximately one pint of ATF will raise the level from one notch to the other.
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WARNING
Always use DEXRON® II transmission fluid when filling your car's transaxle. Do NOT use any other type. Always check with the owner's manual to be sure. The fluid on the dipstick should always be a bright red color. It if is discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transmission troubles, probably due to internal slippage resulting in overheating, should be suspected. The transmission should be inspected by a qualified service technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.

DRAIN AND REFILL



The automatic transaxle fluid should be changed at least every 25,000-30,000 miles (40,000-48,000 km). If the car is normally used in severe service, such as stop-and-go driving, trailer towing or the like, the interval should be halved. The fluid should be hot before it is drained; a 20 minute drive will accomplish this.


WARNING
The removal of the transaxle oil pan drain plug requires the use of Toyota special tool #SST 09043-38100 or its equivalent (a 10mm hex head socket).

  1. Remove the dipstick from the filler tube and install a funnel in the opening.
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Fig. Fig. 2 Draining the automatic transaxle fluid from the pan1986-89



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Fig. Fig. 3 Draining the automatic transaxle fluid from the pan1990-93

  1. Position a suitable drain pan under the drain plug. Loosen the drain plug with a 10mm hex head socket and allow the fluid to drain.
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  3. Install and tighten the drain plug to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm)..
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  5. Through the filler tube opening, add the proper amount of transmission fluid as specified in the Capacities Chart.
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  7. Check the fluid level and add as required.
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WARNING
Do NOT overfill the transaxle or damage can result. Adding more is a lot easier than draining some out.

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE





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Fig. Fig. 4 Removing the transaxle pan bolts in a crisscross pattern



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Fig. Fig. 5 Removing the transaxle fluid oil strainer



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Fig. Fig. 6 Repositioning the pan magnets, if equipped. Make sure the magnets do not interfere with the oil tubes


WARNING
The removal of the transaxle oil pan drain plug requires the use of Toyota special tool #SST 09043-38100 or its equivalent (a 10mm hex head socket).

  1. To avoid contamination of the transaxle, thoroughly clean the exterior of the oil pan and surrounding area to remove any deposits of dirt and grease.
  2.  
  3. Position a suitable drain pan under the oil pan and remove the drain plug. Allow the oil to drain from the pan. Set the drain plug aside.
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Fig. Fig. 7 Draining the automatic transaxle fluid from the pan and differential1986-89



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Fig. Fig. 8 Replace any leaking transaxle oil cooler hoses or damaged clamps

  1. Loosen and remove all but two of the fifteen oil pan retaining bolts.
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  3. Support the pan by hand and slowly remove the remaining two bolts. It may be heavy, so get in a stable position.
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  5. Carefully lower the pan to the ground. There will be some fluid still inside the pan, so be careful.
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Fig. Fig. 9 Check for any transaxle fluid contamination in the antifreeze in the radiator, indicating a possible internal radiator leak



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Fig. Fig. 1 0Check for any transaxle fluid contamination in the antifreeze in the reservoir tank, indicating a possible internal radiator leak

  1. Remove the three oil strainer attaching bolts and carefully remove the strainer. The strainer will also contain some fluid.
  2.  


WARNING
One of the three oil strainer bolts is slightly longer than the other two. Mark down where the longer bolt goes so that it will be reinstalled in the original position.

  1. Discard the strainer. Remove the gasket from the pan and discard it.
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  3. Drain the remainder of the fluid from the oil pan and wipe the pan clean with a rag. With a gasket scraper, remove any old gasket material from the flanges of the pan and the transaxle. Remove the gasket from the drain plug and replace it with a new one.
  4.  


WARNING
Depending on the year and maintenance schedule of the vehicle, there may be from one to three small magnets on the bottom of the pan. These magnets were installed by the manufacturer at the time the transaxle was assembled. The magnets function to collect metal chips and filings from clutch plates, bushings and bearings that accumulate during the normal break-in process that a new transaxle experiences. So, don't be alarmed if such accumulations are present. Clean the magnets and reinstall them. They are useful tools for determining transaxle component wear.

To install the filter and pan:

  1. Install the new oil strainer. Install and tighten the retaining bolts in their proper locations to 7 ft. lbs. (10 Nm).
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  3. Install the new gasket onto the oil pan making sure that the holes in the gasket are aligned evenly with those of the pan. Position the magnets so that they will not interfere with the oil tubes.
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  5. Raise the pan and gasket into position on the transaxle and install the retaining bolts. Torque the retaining bolts in a crisscross pattern to 43 in. lbs. (4.9 Nm).
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  7. Install and tighten the drain plug to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
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  9. Fluid is added only through the dipstick tube. Use only the proper automatic transmission fluid; do NOT overfill.
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  11. Replace the dipstick after filling. Start the engine and allow it to idle. Do NOT race the engine!
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  13. After the engine has idled for a few minutes, shift the transmission slowly through the gears and then return it to P . With the engine still idling, check the fluid level on the dipstick. If necessary, add more fluid to raise the level to where it is supposed to be.
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