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eCVT DIY fluid change Any Tips?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Tony_NC

Tony_NC

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 02:52 PM

I just got the fluid for the trans and was ready to go but the weather turned a little colder than my liking when I am grabbing tools and laying on the ground so I been reading up on what others have shared regarding their process and success etc.

 

I had changed my prius fluid twice with no issues even though, back in 2003 there was no real mention of fluid expanding contracting etc.

 

I swapped the fluid in my outlander CVT twice also and its still running even though I didnt warm the trans to a suggested level before checking the levels.    I would fill the trans just about to the full mark and then take a gentle ride for maybe 15mins and recheck the levels.  Fortunately, it has a dip stick.

 

I have changed the engine oil in the c max and quickly glanced at the trans plug, its within reach.  I will need to check the fill hole and make sure I can loosen it before I go anywhere near the drain plug with a wrench.

 

Those that have drained and refilled their c max,  any problems or 'gotcha's?

 

There really isnt too much info on the c max DIY fluid swaps, this has me a little concerned, maybe you can help!

 

Thanks

Tony









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#2 OFFLINE   komptonwhitey

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 07:43 AM

Drive the car to get the fluid warm. Try to keep it level when you drain and refill. I kept the left tire off with the car on a floor jack to make it level (making sure not to put my body under) and filled it by squeezing quart jugs of Mercon LV in with one of the cuttable tips you get on gear oil jugs. Worked great.

#3 OFFLINE   plus 3 golfer

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Posted 06 March 2019 - 10:31 AM

Since I do not flush the old fluid from the cooler and lines, I always do a second drain and fill because:  why leave about 1+ quart of old fluid in a 5.71 quarts (5.4 liters) dry fill transmission (for 2013 and 2014 IIRC as 2015+ have less around 4.8 quarts)?  That's around 15- 20 % old fluid left in.  So, one can get the the % old fluid down to 2-4% with a second change.  Just make sure you circulate the fluid for a few minutes before the second change to mix the old and new fluids.  

 

Note: video below uses funnel approach for adding fluid and he got 4.2 liters (4.4 quarts or did he mean 4.2 quarts as he didn't state the dry fill capacity correctly :smile2: ) or so out when draining which leaves about 1.3 quarts of old fluid in. There's a 2016 Fusion Hybrid video also.  He states he drained out less than 4 quarts out.

 


Edited by plus 3 golfer, 06 March 2019 - 03:24 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   Tony_NC

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 04:21 PM

 komptonwhitey plus 3 golfer -

Thanks guys!  I appreciate the tips and the vid +plus the reasoning behind your processes.

 

I havent seen any mention on what used to be a concern when I had the 2002 Prius.  Folks were taking resistance measurements of the new vs old fluids trying to come up with a way to determine when the fluid is about shot.  Lab tests back then showed the fluid becoming acidic and there was concern about the enamel insulation on the motor/generator windings.

 

I did similar as in the video  plus 3 golfer provided.    I remember changing it twice at about 50k and then at 100k.  The first transmission fluid looked absolutely awful, it looked like coffee.   The one at 100k was still red and translucent but not like straight out of the bottle.

 

Were either of you concerned about the fluid level increasing as the fluid warmed?   Did you leave the car jacked up and start the engine to warm things up and then open the fill port again to let the expanded fluid out?

 

In my experience swapping out the cvt fluid in my outlander about a yr ago, the dip stick method is actually kind of difficult to be sure that the levels are as close as can be.  The stick has the typical cold/hot markings on it BUT when set and checked several times over a several week period, slowly adding more fluid, a bit at a time solved the roar the cvt was making when the engine was cold, as in the 30s.   It was always fine and quiet when hot.    So, adding fluid to the point where it was quiet when cold only raised the oil level to a hair above the HOT mark on the stick vs a hair below the hot line.

 

I sure dont mind changing the fluid but would sure mind having to check it as often as I checked my other car to get it right.

 

It may be a week or two before it warms up enough outside to be comfortable while getting dirty.

 

Thanks again

Tony



#5 OFFLINE   plus 3 golfer

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 05:55 PM

TFT should be between 78F and 104F IIRC (20-40C) to get accurate fill levels.  I simply do fluid changes when ambient is in that range. Also, you'd be hard pressed to get the TFT at 100F by idling ICE especially if ambient temp is low.  The best way to quickly warm up the TFT is via maximum regeneration in the Hybrid - probably just driving in EV for a few miles in the Energi.  

 

UOAs are obviously the best determinant of when one should change transmission fluid.  My philosophy is spend the cost of UOAs on more frequent changes.  Rather than doing 2 changes at the same time at the recommended interval since most DIYers don't flush, I generally do my first change somewhere around 1/2 the recommended miles and the second at the recommended miles and so on. 

 

I bought this Hopkins funnel at Walmart IIRC in 2010 for changing my VW fluid.  What I liked is that it has a flow valve and handle to suspend it from open hood.

 

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Edited by plus 3 golfer, 08 March 2019 - 03:20 PM.









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