Tundra Transmission Flush and Refill Instructions

Here’s instructions on how to check and fill your 2007 and up Toyota Tundra transmission fluid: tundra-transmission-fluid-flush-tsb

And here’s the best advice anyone will ever give you about transmission maintenance:

3 Golden Rules of Automatic Transmission Maintenance

How To Make Tundra Transmission Last

1. Do not ‘flush’ an automatic transmission. Drain and then refill it. “Flushing” a transmission via some machine is a bad idea because:

  • As time goes by, various particulates (clutch material, sludge, etc.) accumulate inside your transmission
  • Most of this accumulation settles into the nooks and crannies of the transmission valve body
  • If fluid is forced thru the transmission, it disturbs the accumulation
  • If the “power flush” is sufficiently powerful, it will dislodge years worth of particulates all at once

As you can imagine, years worth of particulates floating around in some fresh transmission fluid are bad for your transmission. These particulates can even lead to failure.

So, tell the shop not to flush the transmission. Just drain and refill.

NOTE: Draining doesn’t get rid of all the fluid in the transmission – it’s true. Something like 1/5th of the old fluid remains in your transmission. As bad as that is (not that bad), it’s much better than disturbing all the “gunk” that’s harmlessly settled away inside your transmission.

2. Do not change fluid more than the factory recommends. While new fluid will not harm your transmission, the process of draining and then refilling it is not always followed correctly. Many shops will complete this process incorrectly, in fact, which is why Toyota issued the TSB we’re sharing above.

Think about it this way: If Toyota has to explain the proper process to their dealers, odds are good someone is going to screw up your transmission service if you give them a chance.

Therefore, do not change your fluid any more (or less) than recommended by the factory maintenance manual.

3. Do not listen to people who’s advice disagrees with the factory. Toyota has a global reputation for quality. If Toyota says that you should not “flush” your transmission (and that is precisely what they say), than you should not flush the transmission.

Unfortunately, a LOT of people (be they independent mechanics, dealership service advisors, or internet know-it-alls) recommend flushing your transmission and/or draining and refilling it more than recommended. If you encounter one of these people, take their advice with a grain of salt.

Bottom Line: Consult your maintenance manual. All the answers to your maintenance questions are in there.

RSSComments (56)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Greg says:

    Where are the instructions?

  2. Jason (Admin) says:

    Greg – The instructions are in the embedded PDF…any chance you have javascript disabled? You wouldn’t be able to see the PDF if so.

  3. Greg says:

    Tried looking at it from work. I guess they have Java disabled. Works great from home 🙂

  4. […] is some trans fluid instructions and PDF DIY Tranny Fluid Swap Part 2 Tundra Transmission Flush and Refill Instructions | Tundra Headquarters __________________ 295/65/18 Goodyear Duratracs:2.5" lift in the front with 1" rear […]

  5. me says:

    i do not have this transmission on the ground. locating the refill without a picture is a little dificult.

  6. joebeal says:

    where in hell is refill plug on 07 tundra 6 speed automatic transmission

    • Anonymous says:

      I just did a service on an 07 6 speed 4wd. The refill plug is on the front driver side of the transmission right next to the diff. You’ll need a 15/16 wrench to loosen the plug and you’ll have plenty of room to move the wrench. The one issue I found is actually doing a flush. All I could do was a drain and fill. Just make sure you don’t fill it past 4 quarts.

      • mike says:

        Is there a filter that needs to be changed.I was wondering if I should drop the tranny pan and replace the gasket put in new trans fluid and possibly change the filter.I would appreciate any information on this subject.I guess I need to buy Haynes repair book on my 08 tundra.Thanks for any information.

  7. walt says:

    thanks for all the info this is a graet truck but very difficult mechanically i”m still catching hell trying to change the oil

  8. dave says:

    How will I change tranmission fluid on toyota tunrda 2003/

  9. robert says:

    I have a 2007 tundra but don’t know where to check the transmission fluid, I look everywhere there’s not even a dip stick.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have an 07, there is no dipstick! Only the dealership can refill it properly. I drained the tranny fluid…

      • LEONARD TERRAL says:

        FARTHER DONE IN THESE COMMENTS SOMEONE EXPLAINS THE HOW TO OF CHECKING THE TRANSMISSION FLUID, HOW TO ALMOST CHANGE ALL THE FLUID AND ALMOST EVERYTHING THAT MOST SHADE TREE MECHANICS NEED TO KNOW TO SERVICE THE TUNDRA TRANSMISSION.
        I BOUGHT A SHOP MANUAL THAT ALMOST TELLS HOW TO DO ALL THAT STUFF,EXCEPT MY TRANSMISSION IS THE SAME AS THE TRANSMISSION THAT IS IN THE 4-WHEEL DRIVE TRUCKS; MINE BEING 2WHEEL DRIVE.
        THAT CLEARED UP SEVERAL THINGS THAT WERE NOT CLEAR TO ME.
        KNOWING WHAT TRANSMISSION I HAD, I WAS ABLE TO DO THE TRANSMISSIN SERVICE AS DESCRIBED IN THESE TUNDRA TRANSMISSION COMMENTS.

    • BOB TREASH says:

      MY TRANSMISSION SLIPS INTO OVERDRIVE WHEN I PUT IT IN REVERSE

  10. jim says:

    I have a 2010 Tundra Double Cab 5.7 V/8. Let the dealer do it as all you can do is a drain a flush. The majoity of the fluid is in the torque converter. I e-mailed Toyota Canada and asked them why there was no dip stick. Their reply was they didn’t want the owner trying to service their vehicles transmission. My reply to them was then why even bother with an oil dip stick. I said it is called piece of mind. You are going on a trip you check your coolant, oil, and automatic transmission fluid level to see where it is at. If any are low you can add or at least find out were it is going. So you are driving along in the summer maybe with a trailer and all of a sudden your trany craps out off warranty to bad so sad. Who ever came up with that idea should be shot with a ball of his own shit!

    • Jim,

      Agree with not having a dipstick. The shooting with a ball, not so much. 🙂

      -Tim

    • John says:

      Jim,
      I own a 2010 4.6 Tundra and did alot of research before purchasing it. The reason for no dip stick is Toyota went with a sealed unit that helps keep dirt and moisture out. I guess if you dont see trans fluid on the ground your good to go?

      John

      • Brian says:

        John,
        Good luck with no spot-no problem. Have an 03 and the transmission seems to slip when accellerating after going around a curve or slowing at a stop light. The dealer put fluid into it saying it was low and it kind of worked for a while. It’s back to slipping again but I dtill don’t have a spot on the ground. No one has an answer as to where it’s going… Aliens I say.

      • Brian says:

        Correction on the year: 2007 Limited. I’ve been working on my 03 corolla the past few days…

  11. jim says:

    I can’t find the damn dip stick either. Now I know I’m not nuts. Checked my oil and all the other fluids but feel at a loss not to check the transmission fluid on my 2012 Tundra 5.7 liter, 8 cylinder monster. Seems like I can check it on lesser vehicles that don’t haul major loads and get very hot. I like the dipstick idea and the shit shooting ball idea.
    I’ll quit looking for the magic want now and just find solace in knowing that some really major oversight in design has occurred. Kinda like not having an integrated towing system from the inside.
    Nice truck though.

    Jim:)

  12. Cole says:

    I drained my transmission fluid instead of the oil and must replace my transmission fluid. I can’t locate where to put it into. I’ve researched 2008 Toyota Tundra engine diagrams and can’t find anything on it. If and when I do find it how will I be able to check the level?

    • Chris says:

      cole, I just did the same thing and feel like a dumb ass. did you find out where to fill is for the tranny fluid?

    • Anonymous says:

      I did the same thing, thinking that the tranny pan was the oil pan. Caught the mistake when I saw that the fluid was slightly red and after I had drained about a quart. Took this damn lovely-but-stoopid machine to my local mechanic who quickly put her up on his lift and added close to 2 quarts. On my 2006 “limited”, 4.7 model, the pan had a bolt in it(looks like the bolt for the oil pan) thus my mistake. A few inches away from this “drain” bolt, there is a plug. Must remove with an Allen wrench. This is (I guess) the check/fill spot. I was told that you must remove this “plug” and if fluid drips out you are OK. If not, you add fluid with a special hose and fitting until it does. The vehicle must be level and the fluid thoroughly warm when you check. Toyota and some shops seem to make this process unnecessarily complicated. You’re supposed to take the temperature of the fluid with a special tool and use ONLY TOYOTA WS fluid. Again, seems like they don’t want anyone but a Toyota dealer to do the general service that most of us prefer to do ourselves. Comes down to mo-money I’m guessing.

      • Carl H says:

        II too mistook the trans pan for oil pan, didn’t fully drain because of the color. Thanks for sharing refill location. Now I have to find the oil filter, at least now it’s daylight.

        • victor benitez says:

          You gotta take down the skid plate to reveal the oil canister on the driver side just before the radiator it has a 3/8 drive as a drain plug opener to drain the oil in the fluid and then you have to get the right oil filter cup yes I said cup not the wrench to loosen it up

          • victor benitez says:

            That was off for 2010 tundra with the 5.7 forgot to say that and drain the fluid from the filter before taking the filter out the new oil filter gives you a little nozzle to do that

          • George L. says:

            Took the skid plate off my 08 dbl cab 4×4 years ago to aid changing oil filters. No regrets.

  13. leonard says:

    I have a haynes manual that says the oil capacity for filter change is 2.2 quarts. not so, i drained 3.8 quarts from the pan

  14. Rod says:

    Sorry, I was trying to add a couple pictures, because I just did a simple drain/refill on my 2010 Tundra.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Rod,

      If you want to add your own post with pictures on this, just let me know. We aren’t a forum per se, so it is a bit harder, but we are ALWAYS looking for new authors to share their expertise and experiences.

      -Tim

  15. Dirtytundra says:

    Could someone tell me where I can find the instructions?

  16. Jay says:

    Where are the instructions there is no clear link?

  17. Sameer says:

    I above a Tundra 2008 5.7, I have bought just a month ago and today it’s stopping on the and displaying automatic transmission temperate warning in the display panel. Is someone can advice what to do?
    I will try to change the fluid but I don’t know which fluid to use and I have no manuals. It will be great help if some one can advice me the type of A/T fluid type.

    Best regards

  18. Ekpenyong E. Duke says:

    I have a 2006 Toyota Tundra. How am i to know when to change the transmission oil and what type oil should i use

  19. Nicholas says:

    I have an 08 tundra 4×4 v8 dream truck. Have been chasing a stutter problem for months. Diy kinda guy but finely took it to dealer to figure out why lights on dash were flashing they don’t know. Aarg!!! Turns out voltage regular on alternator is malfunctioning. Not even on the random idea list ofwhat might be the pproblem

    • Bernie says:

      if the shudder problem clears up after the engine warms
      you might look at having your ignition system (plugs, wires etc. ) checked there may be a condensation problem in the plug firing system. I experienced the same type of problem with my Mazda B4000. I haven’t with my 08 Tundra but will check the ignition system first if I do.

      BR

  20. Luke says:

    Accidentally drained the transmission fluid on a 2012 Toyota Tundra 4.6L. How do I fill it back up?

  21. […] Tundra Transmission Flush and Refill … – Tundra Transmission Flush and Refill Instructions. Here’s instructions on how to check and fill your 2007 and up Toyota Tundra transmission fluid: tundra … […]

  22. DOUG says:

    WHERE IS THE REFILL PORT LOCATED? I CONTACTED A DEALER I CENTRAL OREGON WAS TOLD IT WOULD COST ABOUT $350.00 FOR A FLUSH THERE IS NO WAY TO ADD FLUID,YET IT WAS DONE AT ABOUT 20,000 MILE AND COST ABOUT $16.00,SENT A COMPLAINT TO TOYOTA AND NEVER RECIEVED A REPLY. THE TRUCK HAS 45,000
    MILES,AND WANTED A SMALLER AWD VEHICLE AKED FOR A APPROX COST,WAS TOLD THEY WOULD GET BACK TO ME,WILL NEVER BY ANOTHER TOYOTA BECAUSE OF THE WAY I’VE BEEN TRAETED BY THE DEALER AND NO RESPONSE FROM FACTORY CUSTOMER SERVICE

  23. DOUG McDANIEL says:

    DEALER WON’T CHECK FLUID WANTS TO DO A FLUSH FOR $300.00 +
    I HAVE TO DRIVE 300 MILE ROUND TRIP TO SEE THE DEALER.TOYOTA OFFERS GREAT SERVICE!!!NOT

    • LEONARD says:

      DOUG, THE MORE YOU CAN DISTANCE YOUR TRUCK FROM MOST TOYOTA DEALERS, THE BETTER OFF YOU WILL BE. THIS WEBSITE THAT YOU WROTE TO TELLS HOW TO TAKE CARE OR YOUR XMISSSION MUCH BETTER THAT MOST TOYOTA MECHANICS KNOW. TOYOTA SAYS FLUSHING THE XMISSION IS A NO-NO. READ THE BLOGS AND YOU CAN LEARN A LOT. AT LEAST FIND YOUSELF A GOOD INDEPENDENT AUTO SHOP; MUCH CHEAPER AND MORE QUALIFIED TECHS.

  24. LEONARD TERRAL says:

    DOUG McD
    THAT’S A BIG RIP BY THE TOYOTA DEALER. TOYOTA FLUSH AND FILL COMMENTS SAY DO NOT FLUSH TRANSMISSION BECAUSE IT WILL STIR/LOOSEN UP SEDIMENTS FROM NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF XMISSION AND COULD DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. GET YOURSELF A HAYNES MANUAL AND IT WIIL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT CHECKING/FILLING YOUR XMISSION. OR BETTER YET, THIS TUNDRA TRANSMISSION SITE EXPLAINS HOW TO DO IT.
    IN GENERAL, THE LESS YOU HAVE TO DO WITH TOYOTA DEALERS, THE BETTER OFF YOU ARE. IF YOU CAN’T DO YOUR SERVICE FIND A GOOD AUTO REPAIR SHOP; MUCH CHEAPER AND MORE QUALIFIED TECHS.

    • doug mcd says:

      ALL I’M TRYING TO DO IS GET AN IDEA ON HOW TO CHECK AND ADD,AT 67 I CAN DO TEH SERVICE IF I KNEW HOW TO CHECK AND ADD, ALTHOUGH I LIKE THE TRUCK,IT ONY HAS 45,000 ON IT AND ID DO A CHANGE BECAUSE ITS ABOUT 10 YEARS OLD,AND CAN’T FIND OUT HOW TO ADD TO THE 5.7. THANK YOU, DOUG

    • doug mcd says:

      HAD LOOKED FOR A MANUEL INTHE PAST AND COULD NOT FIND ONE ,WILL TRY ONLINE AGAIN THANKS

      • leonard terral says:

        DOUG, I FOUND A HAYNES MANUAL AT AUTOZONE. O’REILLYS ALSO HAS THEM. BUT YOU PROBABLY KNOW THAT THIS TUNDRA WEBSITE WILL TELL YOU MOST EVERYTHING YOU CAN COME UP WITH TO ASK.
        AS I SAID IN MY COMMENTS OF 12JUN16, THE FARTHER AWAY FROM TOYOTA DEALERSHIPS YOU STAY, THE BETTER OFF YOU AND YOUR VEHICLE WILL BE. I HAVEN’T SEEN OR HEARD OF ANY WHO HAVE COMPETENT TECHS OR THAT WON’T RIP YOU OFF. YOU CAN’T EVEN TAKE A VEHICLE TO A TOYOTA DEALER FOR RECALL SERVICE WITHOUT A SONG AND DANCE ROUTINE TRYING TO SELL YOU A FIX FOR PROBLEMS THEY HAVE DETERMINED THAT YOU HAVE.
        I LOVE MY TUNDRA BUT WILL HAVE NOTHING FURTHER TO DO WITH TOYOTA DEALERS.

  25. doug mcd says:

    drive to heat trans to op temp, remove star screw at right side of tans pan lower rear portion if fluid drains its full. to add take 15/16 bolt out of upper left front of trans use heat resistance gloves and a large syringe and plastic attached add fluid until it comes out of right drain and replace all parts.took about 10 minutes less than 3/4 qt of trans fluid and a lot less than 350.00 than bend Toyota wanted for a flush that Toyota wanted to charge that the manufacturer does not reccomend

  26. Chris Lunsford says:

    I can’t find the23 mm bolt to add fluid only a a round piece of metal on driver side right above pan help!!!

  27. dougmcd says:

    mines a 15/16 left hand upper side above right you drive until trans leaks out to make sure its full, reverse to put back together, i was working under a lift so had my directions reversed the first and was able to find a manual on amazon

Leave a Reply

Please review our comment policy if you have questions about the way comments are managed here.