Toyota Tercel 1984-1994 Repair Guide

Automatic Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



All automatic transaxles use ATF type Dexron®II automatic transmission fluid.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1 and 2

Check the automatic transaxle fluid level at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) (more often if possible - checking once a month is smart). The dipstick is in the rear of the engine compartment.

The fluid level should be checked only when HOT (normal operating temperature).

  1. Park the car on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transaxle into N or P and set the parking brake.
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  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert it firmly. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally. With the engine running, the fluid level should be between the second and third notches on the dipstick.
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  5. If the fluid level is below the second notch, add the required type of transmission fluid until the proper level is reached. 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 (0.47L) of transmission fluid will raise the level from one notch to the other.
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The fluid on the dipstick should always be a bright red color. If it is discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transmission troubles (probably due to overheating) should be suspected. The transmission should be inspected by a qualified service (ASE certified) technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Automatic transmission dipstick



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Fig. Fig. 2: When necessary, add automatic transmission fluid through the transmission dipstick tube

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figure 3

The automatic transaxle fluid should be changed at least every 25,000-30,000 miles (40,200-48,200 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.

Toyota automatic transaxles usually have a drain plug in them so you can remove the plug, drain the fluid, replace the plug and then refill.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle as necessary. Remove the plug and drain the fluid into a large pan.
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  3. Install the drain plug.
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  5. It is a good idea to measure the amount of fluid drained from the transaxle to determine the correct amount of fresh fluid to add. This is because some parts of the transmission may not drain completely and using the dry refill amount specified in the Capacities Chart could lead to overfilling. Fluid is added only through the dipstick tube. Always use the proper type automatic transmission fluid.
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  7. Add ATF type Dexron®II automatic transmission fluid (vehicle must be on a level surface when refilling) to the correct level.
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  9. Replace the dipstick after filling. Start the engine and allow it to idle. DO NOT race the engine.
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  11. After the engine has idled for a few minutes, shift the transmission slowly through the gears (always hold your foot on the brake pedal) and then return it to Park. With the engine still idling, check the fluid level on the dipstick. If necessary, add more fluid to raise the level to specification.
  12.  
  13. Check the drain plug for transmission fluid leakage. Dispose of used transmission oil properly. Do not throw it in the trash or pour it on the ground. Take it to your dealer or local service station for recycling.
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Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Drain plug location on automatic transaxles

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



See Figures 4, 5 and 6

Always replace the transaxle pan gasket when the oil pan is removed. Note the location of all transaxle oil filter (strainer) retaining bolts. Always torque all transaxle oil pan retaining bolts in progressive steps.

This service operation should be performed with the engine and transaxle COLD.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle as necessary. Remove the plug and drain the fluid. When the fluid stops flowing out of the drain hole, loosen the pan retaining screws until the pan can be pulled down at one corner. If the pan is stuck, tap the edges lightly with a plastic mallet to loosen it; DON'T pry it or wedge a screwdriver into the seam. Lower the corner of the pan and allow the remaining fluid to drain out.
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  3. After the pan has drained completely, remove the pan retaining screws, then remove the pan and gasket.
  4.  
  5. Clean the pan thoroughly and allow it to air dry. If you wipe it out with a rag you run the risk of leaving bits of lint in the pan which could clog the tiny hydraulic passages in the transaxle.
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  7. With the pan removed, the transaxle filter is visible. Remove the 3 bolts holding the filter and remove the filter and gasket if so equipped.
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On some models filter retaining bolts are different lengths and MUST BE reinstalled in their correct locations. Take great care not to interchange them.

  1. Clean the mating surfaces for the oil pan and the filter; make sure all traces of the old gasket material is removed.
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  3. Install the new filter assembly (some models use a gasket under the oil filter). Install the 3 retaining bolts in their correct locations and tighten only to 7 ft. lbs. (10 Nm).
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  5. Install the pan (magnets in the correct location in oil pan) using a new gasket and torque retaining bolts in progressive steps to about 60 inch lbs. (7 Nm).
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  7. Install the drain plug.
  8.  
  9. It is a good idea to measure the amount of fluid drained from the transaxle to determine the correct amount of fresh fluid to the be added. This is because some parts of the transaxle may not drain completely. Do not overfill the transaxle assembly.
  10.  
  11. With the engine OFF , add fresh Dexron® II fluid through the dipstick tube to the correct level. Refer to the Capacities Chart as necessary.
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  13. Start the engine (always hold your foot on the brake) and shift the gear selector into all positions from P through L, allowing each gear to engage momentarily. Shift into P. DO NOT race the engine!
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  15. With the engine idling, check the fluid level. Add fluid up to correct level on the dipstick.
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  17. Check the transmission/transaxle oil pan and drain plug for oil leakage. Dispose of used oil properly. Do not throw it in the trash or pour it on the ground. Take it to your dealer or local service station for recycling.
  18.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Removing the transaxle oil pan



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Fig. Fig. 5: Removing the filter/strainer attaching bolts



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Fig. Fig. 6: Always use a new gasket on the oil pan

 
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