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I decided to replace my transmission fluid a little early, my apologies to the environmentalists whom I respect, but I just could not wait. I have a 05 and from the owners manual on page 315, the hybrid transaxel requires 3.6 liters of "Toyota Genuine ATF WS". I purchased a 4 liter can, P/N 08886-02305 from Toyota. Utilizing the allen wrench drain plug on the bottom, drivers side as well as the fill plug on the front drivers side wheel well, I replaced the fluid. There is a magnetic "filter" on the bottom drain plug that catches iron in the fluid and it was quite full of particles. I have traveled only 8000 highway miles (have had no stall problems or any problems for that matter) with my car.

Usually, with the type of setup where there are two plugs, one for draining and one for filling common in many differential gear reservoirs, you drain with the bottom one and fill with the upper one until the oil overflows. The owners manual states that there should only be 3.6 liters but I was able to put the entire 4 liters in with out the fluid overflowing. I also ensured that the car was level. I was able to measure what I took out and it was the 3.6 liters advertized.

So here is my question. Should I drain 0.4 liters of fluid out?

Thank You!
Encouraged Prius owner.
 

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It shouldn't have been changed in the first place. A little early? How about ridiculously early. There are no specifications to change the fluid, only to check it. Notice there isn't a dipstick?

Hmm. Checked the repair manual, and there is a substantial flaw in the maintenance section. In the section to check the tranny fluid:

9. AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID LEVEL
(a) Park the vehicle on a level surface.
(b) With the engine idling and the parking brake applied, shift the selector into all the positions from ”P”
to ”L”, and then shift into the ”P” position.
(c) Pull out the dipstick and wipe off the fluid with a clean shop rag. Re–insert the dipstick and check that
the fluid level is in the ”HOT” range.

As I said, there isn't a dipstick. Also, there won't be much difference shifting gears, as there is no hydraulics like in a conventional AT.

So, I found correct information in the Hybrid Transaxle section:

1. CHECK TRANSAXLE FLUID LEVEL
NOTICE:
 Insufficient or excessive amounts of transaxle oil
may be the cause of some trouble.
 Stop the vehicle on a flat road.
 Use genuine ATF WS.
(a) Remove the filler plug.
(b) Ensure that there is transaxle oil within 0 to 5 mm of the
filler plug hole.
NOTICE:
Recheck the transaxle oil level after driving when exchanging
oil.
HINT:
Transaxle fluid quantity: 3.8 L (4.0 USqts, 3.3 Imp. qts.)
(c) Check for leaks if the quantity of oil is low.
(d) Install the filler plug using a new gasket.
Torque: 39 NVm (400 kgfVcm, 29 ftVlbf)

By the way, I found no information on the replacement of ATF in the owner's manual. But in the specs, it lists 3.6 L, not qts. Qts is 3.8.

Bottom line, you should be fine. You can't overfill it.
 

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Well, I didn't read the 100,000+ mile life of the spark plugs either, so I've had a set ready to go for over a year.

Another three years and I'll dust them off...
 

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I just got a notice from my dealer that the transmission should be serviced at the 15000 mile checkup. Seems early to me.
 

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DanMan is totally correct, changing out the fluid was a waste of fluid, time and effort. The hybrid transaxle is more like a manual gearbox than an automatic. Fluid is a lubricant in the HSD system, not used for hydraulic purposes, such as shifting gears, as in a conventional automatic.

egold, your dealer is trying to make money off from you. Your maintenance guide that came with your car is your scheduled maintenance bible. Do not deviate from that. Do not allow a dealer to tell you anything different. If they do, challenge them about it and point out where they are wrong in your book. If they give you double talk about that, leave them, find a different dealer and tell Toyota Corporate about this.

These dealer service departments need to get on board with the Toyota maintenance schedule. If they don't, then we need to see that they are spanked by Toyota corporate for their malfeasance.

Remember: The maintenance book that came with the car is the specification, nothing a dealer tells you is valid unless it agrees with that book.
 
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