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How to Check Transmission Fluid in a 05 Tundra

by Stan Cravens

The 2005 Toyota Tundra is a reliable and easily maintained vehicle. But checking its automatic transmission fluid level takes a little more effort than on some vehicles.

The 2005 Tundra has a sealed system transmission, containing WS (World Standard) transmission fluid, rated to be good for the life of the vehicle. But because the transmission is a sealed system, it has no dipstick.

Even without a dipstick, there is a way to do a rudimentary check to find out if there is sufficient transmission fluid in a 05 Toyota Tacoma.

Park the vehicle on a level surface in order to get an accurate fluid level when you check it.

The fluid must be checked when it is within the normal driving temperature range of between 46 degrees C (115 degrees F) and 56 degrees C (130 degrees F). If the vehicle has just been driven, the fluid temperature should be within the desired range. Check the dashboard engine temperature gauge to double check. If the engine is cold, start it and let it idle for a few minutes until it warms up.

With the engine still idling, apply the parking brake for safety, and push down with your foot on the regular brake pedal. Move the gear shift selector through all its positions, going from "PARK" to "LOW," pausing for a few seconds in each position. Return the selector back to the "PARK" position. This ensures that the transmission fluid is filling and covering all the channels and gears that it would in normal operation.

Get under the Tundra to check the transmission fluid. The actual fluid level check is made with the engine still idling, so take safety precautions before getting under the vehicle. The transmission should be securely in Park, the parking brake applied, and the tires should have wheel chocks placed around them.

The overflow plug needs to be loosened using an allen wrench

Locate the two removable plugs on the transmission's fluid pan. The overflow plug is located on the bottom side of the fluid pan, somewhat centered along the length of one side of the pan. This plug acts as the drain for any overflow or excess transmission fluid. The plug should have the word "Check" stamped on it. Use an allen wrench is to loosen it.

The Refill plug is located up higher on the fluid pan at one end. Use this plug to add transmission fluid into the system.

With some type of container underneath it to catch any excess fluid, loosen the Overflow plug with the allen wrench. If the 2005 Tundra's transmission has any excess fluid in it, the fluid will pour out of the Overflow hole into the container. If this happens, it means that the transmission has sufficient fluid left in it.

Add transmission fluid through the refill hole

Add fluid if none runs out when you remove the overflow plug. The Toyota Shop Manual for the Tundra recommends adding Toyota Genuine ATF WS transmission fluid, but doublecheck your vehicle's owner's manual to verify the correct type of fluid to add.

Remove the refill plug and leave the overflow plug out also. Add the ATF WS transmission fluid through the refill plug hole. When fluid begins to flow out of the overflow plug, stop adding fluid.

When fluid stops dripping out of the overflow hole, replace both the refill and the overflow plugs. The transmission fluid is now at the proper level.

Tips

  • Pouring transmission fluid into the refill hole may be difficult due to the location of the plug and the fact that other parts of the vehicle may obstruct your access.
  • It may be necessary to attach a small hose to the end of a funnel, insert the other end of the hose into the refill hole, and pour fluid into the funnel while holding it from above. If this won't work with your engine configuration, purchase a small hand pump sprayer and pump the fluid in through the refill hole.

Items you will need

About the Author

Stanley Cravens became involved in writing in his grade school years. His work has been featured in several local and regional Illinois newspapers, and he is currently a contributing writer to the websites eHow and the Examiner.com. Mr. Cravens' formal education was obtained at Lakeland Junior College and the University of Illinois.

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