Transmission Fluid

Polymathic

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I have a 2009 Corolla, recently gears are getting a little bit sticky. After some Googling around one suggestion that keeps coming is to check the level of transmission fluid in the car. But for the life of me I cannot seam to find the transmission dipstick. I want to avoid needing to go to the mechanic if possible.
 

thechamp

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Feb 26, 2011
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I have a 2009 Corolla, recently gears are getting a little bit sticky. After some Googling around one suggestion that keeps coming is to check the level of transmission fluid in the car. But for the life of me I cannot seam to find the transmission dipstick. I want to avoid needing to go to the mechanic if possible.
Is it an automatic? How many kilometres?
 

alphabyte

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Jun 17, 2008
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Manual, 146km
  • Manual transmission does not have a dipstick. You have to get under the car and check at the gearbox filler plug.
  • 146km? that's about the distance to drive the new car home from the dealer, plus one visit to KFC. :whistling:
 

thechamp

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Do you notice any difference when the car is cold in the morning compared to the afternoon?

As it has been said above there is no dipstick, you need to go underneath and drain the oil. The problem could also be related to a low or contaminated brake fluid, if you have a hydraulic clutch.
 

Düber

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May 17, 2018
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Check your clutch cylinders, the fluid in the bottle can give you some clues, if it is low you have a leak. If it has turned black it is a sign one of the cylinders is on its way out, it can also be the flex( rubber) pipe that is ballooning in some cases.
Those are the most likely suspects.

Failing that your gearbox will have a level plug on the side( takes an allen key if I am not wrong) to check the oil level.
It could also be the actual gear cables from the gear lever that have gone bad and are not moving smoothly.
 

thechamp

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A friend is experiencing an almost similar problem on his 2003 Corolla 1.8 manual transmission.

He sometimes cannot select gears, he claims that problem is worse early in the morning when he has to do the school run and the gears are fine later in the morning.

There is no sign of any leakage and the brake fluid is slightly yellowish/brownish but nowhere close to being black, I went to check out the car yesterday, no issues gears goes in and we went for a drive with no problems.

I suggested we bled the clutch as I could not think of any other thing, did that and went for another drive, no issues. Left it at that and thought perhaps the issue is solved, got a call this morning, car was refusing to go into gear this morning but it is now fine 30 minutes later.

Is there any logical explanation to this problem or is he imagining things about the car not going into gear early in the morning?
 

ubercal

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Dec 5, 2005
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A friend is experiencing an almost similar problem on his 2003 Corolla 1.8 manual transmission.

He sometimes cannot select gears, he claims that problem is worse early in the morning when he has to do the school run and the gears are fine later in the morning.

There is no sign of any leakage and the brake fluid is slightly yellowish/brownish but nowhere close to being black, I went to check out the car yesterday, no issues gears goes in and we went for a drive with no problems.

I suggested we bled the clutch as I could not think of any other thing, did that and went for another drive, no issues. Left it at that and thought perhaps the issue is solved, got a call this morning, car was refusing to go into gear this morning but it is now fine 30 minutes later.

Is there any logical explanation to this problem or is he imagining things about the car not going into gear early in the morning?
have the same thing on my 1 subaru.When i park the car outside overnight i find it difficult to get into gears.However after a few mins the gears start working.However when parked in the garage overnight its fine.Thishas always happened even after gearbox oil changes , opening the gearbox up , as well as changing bushings and linkages etc.However my other subaru is fine when parked outside over night.
 

Rhein

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Jul 26, 2019
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This may not be a cure for all but it worked for me.
I battled to select reverse in the morning or any other gear for that matter.
Here's what I did: I parked the car in reverse before I switched off the engine when I arrived home the night before.
First thing in the morning, I turned the key to start the car without depressing the clutch. Of course I made very sure that there wasn't any obstacle behind me!:cautious:
Obviously the car took a hop-skip-and-jump backwards.
I then depressed the clutch and started the car again and reversed out onto the driveway.
Half way out I depressed the clutch again, revved the engine and could easily select all the gears.

I did that a few times over a few days and all was fine after that.


Another perfect example of "Rev Rite Tuning"!;)
 

Düber

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Is there any logical explanation to this problem or is he imagining things about the car not going into gear early in the morning?
It could be a bad bearing or one of the selector ball bearing springs that has gone a bit soft, but I would hazard that it is worn out synchro ring sticking to one of the hubs.
 

Polymathic

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It could be a bad bearing or one of the selector ball bearing springs that has gone a bit soft, but I would hazard that it is worn out synchro ring sticking to one of the hubs.
Sounds expensive to fix :(
 

eg2505

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how often should one change the gearbox oil?
many manufacturers say lifetime oil, it never needs changing.
 

Gtx Gaming

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its not lifetime!

First one at around 100k, then 60k/3 years. For most torque converter gearboxes.

Did mine the other day at traingle transmission, was R3500.
 

unobeat

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Feb 6, 2014
Messages
294
My car 2011 Auris also had issues with selecting gears smoothly and even when its warm.
I changed the gearbox oil using toyota oil and gears are smooth again.

I also don't believe in that stupid lifetime oil story for gearboxes as there is moving parts in there.
 

ChrisThomas

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Jan 12, 2014
Messages
667
its not lifetime!

First one at around 100k, then 60k/3 years. For most torque converter gearboxes.

Did mine the other day at traingle transmission, was R3500.
This depends on the age of the vehicle, if the car is 10 years old and has 100k km on the clock, the likelihood that changing the transmission oil in a torque converter gearbox will destroy it is quite high, you're better off just leaving it well alone if it's old :)
 

Gtx Gaming

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This depends on the age of the vehicle, if the car is 10 years old and has 100k km on the clock, the likelihood that changing the transmission oil in a torque converter gearbox will destroy it is quite high, you're better off just leaving it well alone if it's old :)
Indeed I just left my bmw as is with 200k on the original oil, no its someone else problem lol
 

namzsteve

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Oct 12, 2012
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2,690
A friend is experiencing an almost similar problem on his 2003 Corolla 1.8 manual transmission.

He sometimes cannot select gears, he claims that problem is worse early in the morning when he has to do the school run and the gears are fine later in the morning.

There is no sign of any leakage and the brake fluid is slightly yellowish/brownish but nowhere close to being black, I went to check out the car yesterday, no issues gears goes in and we went for a drive with no problems.

I suggested we bled the clutch as I could not think of any other thing, did that and went for another drive, no issues. Left it at that and thought perhaps the issue is solved, got a call this morning, car was refusing to go into gear this morning but it is now fine 30 minutes later.

Is there any logical explanation to this problem or is he imagining things about the car not going into gear early in the morning?
I've also experienced something similar in my fiesta. I changed the clutch, changed gear oil and selecting gears in the morning was as tough as counting how many hair strands I have, but it would get better when the car warms up.

Initially I thought I needed to bleed the clutch system but I could find the cylinder anywhere.
I went to Ford bought their gear oil, that didn't make a big difference until one day I changed my front brake pads and bled the system, from then on my gears would just slide through, turns out MK7 fiesta's use the same line as the brake cylinder (or so I think)

OP, maybe change the whole clutch system, the gear oil, do a bleed and see if that makes any difference.
 
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