How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a Toyota 4Runner

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The 4Runner is an SUV sold by Toyota Motor Corporation around the world. The 4Runner has a unique transmission pan that allows fluid to be changed without removing the pan. Transmission fluid should be changed every 25,000 to 30,000 miles under normal operating conditions, according to Toyota. For extreme driving conditions, the interval should be halved.

Things You'll Need

  • Drain pan
  • Gloves
  • Socket wrench set
  • New transmission plug gasket
  • Funnel
  • New transmission fluid
  • Crank the engine and let it run for 30 minutes prior to changing the fluid. Transmission fluid must be at operating temperature before a change. Turn the engine off after the specified time. Park the 4Runner on a level surface and engage the parking brake.

  • Place the drain pan under the transmission pan. Remove the drain plug and let the fluid drain into the pan. The fluid will be hot; make sure you are wearing gloves and stay away from the flowing fluid.

  • Remove the old drain plug gasket from the drain opening and discard. Place the new gasket in its place and tighten the drain plug bolt.

  • Pop the hood and remove the transmission fluid dipstick. Insert the funnel into the opening and add the recommended amount of transmission fluid (depending on your year model). Replace the dipstick.

  • Crank the engine and toggle through all of the gear selections with your foot on the brake. Allow the engine to run for 10 minutes. Turn the engine off and check underneath the vehicle for leaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • The Toyota 4Runner sits high enough off the ground for most to change fluids without lifting the vehicle. If you have difficulty accessing the undercarriage, lift the vehicle and mount all four corners with jack stands.
  • Toyota 4Runners sold after 2006 have closed transmissions. These vehicles will require a transmission service at the dealership with dealer-exclusive tools. All other year models (1984 to 2005) can be serviced normally.

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