Trans/Differential Oil Change Interval - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-27-2015, 04:21 PM   #1
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Trans/Differential Oil Change Interval

Wondering what some of the Pros out there would recommend for when to change the automatic trans fluid for my GMC Yukon. Manual says 50K, but mentions nothing in regards to Extreme Conditions such as towing. Also wondering about the rear differential oil.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:42 PM   #2
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The RAV4 manual doesn't have different towing fluid changes, but they do have a "chart" that they can put a drop of transmission fluid on that indicated a recommended change due to color change. The original paperwork called for 100,000 miles on the transmission & transfer case; I changed mine at 27,621 miles (probably too early according to Toyota), and 76,257 (told it was time). I've never had the transmission overheat light come on, but have reached a transmission temperature of 266F climbing to the top of Cedar Breaks National Monument.

I do ask them to check the fluid color at each oil change (I switched to synthetic oil & change at 5000 miles.)
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:57 PM   #3
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Hi Jon, is there a special trans fluid that they use with the tow pkg that we have, or is it just what they recommend for all. I only have about 1400 miles towing, so I will wait awhile yet. I am spot on for changing oil as per their policy. Carl
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:41 PM   #4
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Nothing special - the transmission & transfer case fluid for the 2010 RAV4 Sport is already synthetic; standard engine oil came with the vehicle & I changed to synthetic with the second oil change.

I tend to be conservative on maintenance. I did get a surprise yesterday - took the trailer in for tire change, bearing lube & brake check (I've had the bearings repacked & brakes adjusted every Spring except 2014 - I was on the road). 3rd set of tires at 56,000 miles, and complete rebuild of the brakes, including drums, magnets, shoes, etc. Expensive, but I guess at 56K, it is to be expected...
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:48 PM   #5
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It is probably less expensive to order Dexter's backing plate assembly that includes everything- brake drums, magnets and all. You just cut & splice the wire in to connect & bolt it on. Cost was $48. + $50 labor(which Dexter paid for under warranty). I watched the mechanic do it and it looked super easy. He did have me push on the brake pedal before buttoning up to be sure the magnets were activating.

Edit: the tires do seem to wear fast. Have about 8K on them and the tread is about half done.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:43 PM   #6
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Please excuse the newby question: What would make trailer tires wear out so quickly? Brake controller on to tight?
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:49 PM   #7
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I had everything changed out on the Tacoma at 30K. I had an independent mechanic I have known for years do it as it was less than 1/2 the price Toyota wanted. He put full synthetic everywhere. He also told me I was nuts to change it out that soon,
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:58 PM   #8
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Couldn't remember the tire brand so looked in my folder: Carlisle. Also saw I was wrong on the complete Dexter brake assembly, it is $38.

One of my tires was wasted from the brake locking up when stopping. It wasn't the controller but the brake assembly being defective. Thought I had it fixed by turning the drum and had changed the tire. Started wasting that one too but not as bad as the first as I caught it. So it is 1/2 done- the others are about 1/3 gone. Still, I might've expected more, but many people don't put the miles on like we do. So if I get 20K our of them that's fine. I will look carefully at brands though when I do replace.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Nothing special - the transmission & transfer case fluid for the 2010 RAV4 Sport is already synthetic; standard engine oil came with the vehicle & I changed to synthetic with the second oil change.

I tend to be conservative on maintenance. I did get a surprise yesterday - took the trailer in for tire change, bearing lube & brake check (I've had the bearings repacked & brakes adjusted every Spring except 2014 - I was on the road). 3rd set of tires at 56,000 miles, and complete rebuild of the brakes, including drums, magnets, shoes, etc. Expensive, but I guess at 56K, it is to be expected...
Thanks, that helps, You don`t get to talk to the Toyota Mech. Just the jockey in and the jockey out. Also the bill collector, Carl
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:15 PM   #10
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On our 4Runner with 76,000 miles, I have changed the transmission fluid twice now. Once several years ago at Toyota, which was so un-like me, and lately upon the return home with our 21'. Used Valvoline Max-Life synthetic, and did a complete flush-refill. I had been wondering what the safe trans temp should be as I watched the temps on my ScanGuage. Emailed Valvoline, and the tech said to back off on speed, or downshift if temp exceeded 230F for more than a few minutes. He said the fluid could take it, but the trans components could not.
225F will be my new limit, instead of 212F that I had arbitrarily worried about. I always seemed to have plenty of engine power, just worry about trans temps. I have seen a chart that suggests that the change interval should be sooner as temps are higher.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:24 PM   #11
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I have very low mileage on my 2008 RAV4 ( about 46,000 miles ) so I have just followed Toyota scheduled maintenance ( time, not mileage ). I feel better after having all the fluids changed.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:30 PM   #12
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Pretty much agrees with the table I've been using.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:41 PM   #13
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Pretty much agrees with the table I've been using.
That is all very fine but not entirely believable. My normal straight from the factory alberta summer transmission temperatures not towing are in the 170 deg F range. I certainly expect to get more than 100k miles before having a transmission failure. At least on the lower temp ranges, the chart seems overly conservative.

Definitely towing a lot, I will change the trans fluid a bit more frequent than recommended though.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:07 PM   #14
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Oil change intervals

On my jeep I changed the trans oil at 8000 to clean out any trash and then at 30000 and 60000 as recommended. The engine oil I have slowly increased to 5000 miles with Mobil 1. I do watch the temps very close and the trans stays in the low 200 range. At 8000 the mechanic thought the service writer was ripping me off. I plan on the Jeep being as good as new at 95000 when I sell it with 5000 more of transferable warranty.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
It is probably less expensive to order Dexter's backing plate assembly that includes everything- brake drums, magnets and all. You just cut & splice the wire in to connect & bolt it on.
I'm guessing you mean brake shoes, not brake drums. Yes, the assembly is often reported as cheaper than just shoes and magnets.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:14 PM   #16
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On my jeep I changed the trans oil at 8000 to clean out any trash...
I understand the logic, but I think I would trust the factory (even Chrysler) to assemble the transmission without trash more than I would trust the mechanic (even at a dealership) to replace the fluid without introducing any dirt.

I waited for the point recommended in the manufacturer's maintenance schedule to change the transmission fluid.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I have very low mileage on my 2008 RAV4 ( about 46,000 miles ) so I have just followed Toyota scheduled maintenance ( time, not mileage ). I feel better after having all the fluids changed.
I feel better when my fluids are changed too. Preferably with a nice Amber Ale or a Single Malt.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:01 AM   #18
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I'm guessing you means brake shoes, not brake drums. Yes, the assembly is often reported as cheaper than just shoes and magnets.
Crud....no wonder none of the ASE guys responded Yeah, shoes...duh! So anyway, talked to my mechanic who has a Tahoe and he suggests 35K for the trans fluid and 75K for the differential.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:11 AM   #19
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I feel better when my fluids are changed too. Preferably with a nice Amber Ale or a Single Malt.
That can lead to another issue, having to drain some in case of of any overfill.....
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:44 PM   #20
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How do you know what the temperature of the oil is? We have a 2012 Tacoma and there are no numbers on the gauge. I just watch it to make sure it stays in the normal range.
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