Is it a good idea to change Transmission Fluid and Filter on a Lexus ES?

Asked by Jan 20, 2018 at 09:16 PM about the 2007 Lexus ES 350 FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2007 Lexus ES 350 with 140,000 miles. It doesn't shift very good. The
fluid has never been changed and I'm wondering if it's safe to do at this
mileage. I've been told its 50/50 and the transmission might go out. Honestly I
can live with it but how long would it last if I just leave it alone. Thank You.

7 Answers


Do you really want to keep it, or just drive it into the ground even if that only gives you weeks or months before that happens? Seems you're already having tranny problems with shifting, likely due to the lack of maintenance on it and dirty fluid. If you want to keep it longer, get the trans serviced - flush, new filter and fluid, computer diagnostics, clean/replace solenoids as needed. Then give it a while (say 100 miles) and again flush/new fluid & filter. There's the notion that when you have high-mileage transmissions that have never been serviced you leave them alone, as flushing and new fluid will allow the ATF's detergents to break down grime and gunk up the new filter or cause other problems, but chances are high that is already happening (and heat is a major destroyer of trannys) so go ahead and and service it, and if needed, service it a second time to catch that grime released by the ATF's detergents. It really comes down to the condition of the rest of the car, is it worth $140 to service the tranny, or is it a beater on its last legs bound for a scrap yard soon anyhow?

6 people found this helpful.

Since your transmission is not working well you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing the change.

4 people found this helpful.

Agreed - No flush.

1 people found this helpful.

Do not do a flush, I would drop the tranny pan and look for any shiny pieces or band material in the pan, if you do see shiny pieces or pieces of ban material, it's too far gone to do much with, however if it looks good then change the filter, put the pan back on with a new gasket, do not use silicone sealer, add 1 quart of TransX and refill to specs with tranny fluid and drive it carefully for at least 20 minutes, then shut it down and let it sit overnight, then try it the next morning and see if it shifts better, continue to drive normally for about a hundred miles, if it lasts that long then again drop the tranny pan and look inside for any particulates, if none found then reinstall the pan and top off the fluid. This is not a cure but it might give you a few more miles than you would normally get out of a bad maintained transmission.

4 people found this helpful.

It amazes me that people worry about changing the motor oil evert 4,000 miles which is good but they won't spend the money to have the transmission fluid and filter changed at 60,000 miles !!! Neglecting the transmission so you now have a good running motor and now you can push the car around anywhere you want to go The only time they think about the transmission is when starts having problems !! As far as adding Trans X it's not going to fix anything because the damage is already done PS I have never found a mechanic in a can but you use to be able to get Prince Albert in a can years ago

1 people found this helpful.

The es350 transmission is sealed and there is no recommended maintenance per my owners manual for my 2008 ES350. That is commonplace, but you can, and should, get the transmission services. Find a shop you trust and get them to change the fluid and filter.

1 people found this helpful.

Watch the youtube videos on this. It is best to change the transmission fluid several times in one day because you can't get it all the first time. I never see this recommended anywhere, I would try to do it after a long trip so the fluid has a lot of the gunk suspended. Park the car and put it into reverse for 10 seconds while depressing the brake pedal. This will backflush the filter! How do I know this? My ex's Jeep was shifting badly except right after it was in reverse. Then after some driving, it would get bad again. The reverse was back-flushing the filter! But do it for only 10 seconds to keep that crap in the pan instead of getting sucked back up high into the transmission. I had called a transmission shop and they said DO NOT FLUSH! I have seen that a lot too. Knowing that a lot of transmission shops are crooked, I took it to a Jiffy Lube place where they flushed it. The transmission shifted perfectly after that. But I was double lucky. 1st, flushing can loosen gunk that then gets stuck somewhere important. 2nd. Jiffy Lube guys can screw up anything and do you think that shop will buy you a new transmission? Hell no! So...I do it myself. Make sure you drain and fill at the right temperature. ATF fluid expands and contracts. Too much or too little fluid will screw your transmission.

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