2013 toyota corolla transmission fluid is dirty @ 30,000 miles


Asked by Jan 09, 2016 at 02:38 PM about the 2013 Toyota Corolla S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Just took my 2013 Toyota Corolla (30,000 miles) to dealer to check dirty tranny
fluid. It isn't burned but it is dirty - not cherry soda color but more like light
brown ...
I value your opinion please.
This is what the master tech just said ...
The aluminum casing will cause discoloration at this mileage - they will change
engine oil / filter. They will give me copies of all paperwork entered into system
for future reference. They test drove the car - no failure no flags.

10 Answers


Check out this thread. It seems that Toyota has a problem with the Corollas --- http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion- t43271_ds697375

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Just about all transmissions have an aluminum case but none that I have seen cause the fluid to turn brown. Changing the engine oil and filter does not help things. I would go ahead and change the transmission fluid and filter and keep a close eye on it afterwards.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

He is right. The "master tech: is just a service writer and either does not know what he is talking about or flat lying to you. The aluminum case will NOT do that. My 2006 never has.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

I have a 2012 Toyota Corolla LE with 39,270 miles, with the same problem: The dealer won't drain the oil or replace the transmission filter as they said nothing wrong with the tranny. I was expecting at least for the dealer to drain the oil as a prevention measure and monitor tool. They also give me copies of all paperwork entered into system, and test drove the car, no failure no red flags. I also have a friend, she owned a 2012 Corolla LE same tranny fluid color. I think this is the automaker, liability and they won’t acknowledge that there is problem with the 2012-2013 Corolla's transmission. Recall…Recall….Recall. I think Toyota Customer Service is a joke, they told me to go to another dealership….

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

We ( Toyota owners) must keep calling Toyota Customer Service with complaints @ 1 (800) 331-4331. They should do something about the 2012-2013 Corolla's problem. I'm really concerned about the transmission fluid color.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I would try and get Toyota to issue a case number on your cars so that all your issues are documented. I would not accept "go to another dealer". Be firm and tell them that you are documenting the problem and that you don't want to involve lawyers.................but.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Called the Toyota Corp 800 # - they agree with the dealer's service dept's explanation. I did get a case #. Here is the official documentation from dealer: Road tested vehicle. Transmission has good shift quality & is operating as designed. No diagnostic trouble codes are stored. Transmission fluid color is not the sole indicator of transmission fluid condition. Color is normal for a vehicle with current mileage, and smells normal. Any fluid that has been over heated, will have a burnt odor, which this vehicle's transmission fluid does not exhibit. Transmission case is made of aluminum & aluminum normally will darken the color of transmission fluid due to normal oxidation. This is totally normal condition. There is no indication whatsoever that any transmission wear has occurred. World standard long life fluid is not recommended to be changed until 60K miles. While a fluid flush will improve the color of the transmission fluid, it is not necessary.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Since Toyota is giving you the brush off I would change the fluid and keep an eye on it. Changing the fluid every 20-30k miles is CHEAP compared to replacing the transmission.


Thanks FoR ... As soon as I can afford to pay $350 to the Toy dealer I'll get that done for peace of mind. BTW I had to insist that I wanted the drain n fill bc they were hard selling the "flush" and had to order the filter. Just like to thank all of you for your honest tech answers, encouragement & suggestions ... I have my dignity intact.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

same issue with 13 Camry and dealership has lied to me all the way - MIracle Toyota Albany GA

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