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How to Change Transmission Fluid on a 2000 Toyota Tacoma

by Rex Molder

You need to change periodically the automatic transmission fluid in a 2000 Toyota Tacoma. Toyota recommends that you replace the fluid after every 30,000 miles of driving. As the fluid ages, it begins to collect small particles of metal that can damage the transmission components. You should also replace the fluid if it becomes contaminated. Replace the transmission fluid filter when you replace the fluid, to avoid re-contamination.

Raise the truck with the jack and support the vehicle with jack stands. You can omit this step if necessary, but it will be much more difficult to work underneath the truck.

Place the container below the transmission pan drain plug. The pan is attached to the bottom of the transmission, approximately even with the two front wheels. Use a wrench or socket to turn the plug counterclockwise to remove it. Allow the fluid to drain completely and replace the plug.

Remove the bolts that hold the pan on the transmission. Gently tap the pan with the mallet to break the seal, while holding the pan in place with one hand. Remove the pan and drain the remaining fluid into the container.

Take out the four screws that hold the filter cover on the transmission body and remove the cover. Take out the filter and replace it with a new one. Reattach the filter and cover.

Clean the attaching surfaces of the pan and the transmission body to remove the old sealant. Apply a line of RTV sealant to the entire attachment surface on the rim of the pan. Make sure there are no gaps that can cause a leak.

Reattach the transmission fluid pan to the transmission. Use the torque wrench to tighten the bolts to 60 inch-pounds. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands.

Open the hood and remove the automatic transmission fluid dipstick. It is located near the truck's firewall, on the driver's side of the engine. Insert the funnel into the dipstick tube and add 3 qts. of transmission fluid. Replace the dipstick into the tube.

Start the vehicle and engage the parking brake. Press the brake pedal and shift the gear selector into "Reverse." Wait a few seconds and move the selector back, to the next gear position. Continue until you have shifted through all gears and then return the selector to "Park."

Remove the dipstick, wipe it off and replace it. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level. It should be between the two notches marked "Cold." If not, insert the funnel and add 1/4 qt. of fluid. Re-check. Repeat this process until the fluid reaches the proper mark.

Drive the vehicle several miles to bring it to operating temperature. With the vehicle running, re-check the fluid level. Now, the level should be between the two notches marked "Hot." If the fluid is low, add more, following the procedure in Step 9.

Check underneath the vehicle for leaks.

Warning

  • Do not try to pry the pan off the transmission body. This can bend the rim and cause leaks.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Rex Molder began writing professionally in 1999 and specializes in automotive, technology and travel articles. His articles have appeared at iPad- and SEO-related websites. Rex holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian studies from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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