Toyota Transmission Fluid Types

by Sharideth Smith
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Toyota brand products are among industry leaders for quality. The Toyota automatic transmission fluid, or ATF for short, that is right for your car will be clearly marked on the transmission dip stick or listed in the owner's manual. Toyota brand ATF can only be purchased at the dealership. The cost will be comparable to aftermarket synthetic ATF and will provide peace of mind knowing that your car has exactly what it needs.

Type T-IV

When it comes to Toyota ATF, there can be some confusion on what to use, especially for older models. Older manuals will recommend transmission fluids that have been discontinued, but have no fear, Toyota has updated solutions to such a problem. Toyota ATF Type T-IV is the most current generation of discontinued types T, T-II and T-III. It replaces these for use in older model Toyotas.

Continue to have your transmission flushed at the interval recommended by your owner's manual even if the transmission fluid claims to never need changing.

Cues that there might be an ATF problem are low fluid levels, thickening, discoloration or a burnt smell. All of which can determined with the ATF dipstick.


Toyota's World Standard (WS) ATF is one of the newest generation of ATF on the market. As transmissions are upgraded and improved, so must the automatic transmission fluid be upgraded. The type of ATF used in Toyota automobiles is determined by the transmission in that particular car. A product of ExxonMobil, WS ATF is for use in model year: 2004 to present - Land Cruiser, Prius and 4Runner; 2005 to present - Sequoia, Avalon, Tundra and Tacoma V6; and 2006 to present - Yaris and Highlander

Dexron III

Most other Toyota models and Lexus (a Toyota subsidiary) cars will call for Dexron III ATF. Like the T-IV, Dexron III supercedes its predecessors of I and II for use in older models. Dexron was originally created for GM cars but has since been picked up as the right choice for import transmissions the world over for its low viscosity and high performance. Most notably, Japanese transmission manufacturers have begun creating systems that run on Dexron. Toyota being a Japanese company would naturally use these new, efficient transmissions in their products.

It should be noted that Dexron and WS ATF are not interchangeable in most cases. Toyota's manufacturers specifications for ATF should be strongly adhered to.

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