Toyota A541E

MrUnknown

Newbie
Joined
May 7, 2021
Messages
7
Points
3
Make
Toyota
Model
Sienna
Year
2002
Miles
119,000
Engine
3.0 1MZ-FE
I have a 2002 Toyota Sienna with a A541E transmission. It currently has 119,000 miles on it. I bought it a little over a year ago.

According to the service records this van was maintained perfectly, in 2005 at 50,000 miles the transmission was serviced at the Toyota dealership where they performed a flush and they used Toyota T-IV fluid.

The issue is this van calls for Dexron III and reading online there is mixed views on T-IV being compatible with Dexron III some say it is just Dexron III with a friction modifier and others say it is completely different and cannot be mixed.

I contacted the dealership and asked them if they could verify if they did in fact put in T-IV which the record shows however they say they cannot go back that far in their system and they said it was most likely flushed with Dexron III and the technician probably wrote T-IV by mistake.

So now I am stuck on whether or not this transmission actually has Dexron III or does it have Toyota T-IV in it, currently no way of telling.

Looking up the technical data between Mobil 3309 (T-IV) and Valvoline Dex/Merc they are very similar in viscosity, flash point, etc.

Another Toyota technician said you cannot go back to Dexron III if it has T-IV in it if I do it will destroy the transmission.

So at this point it's like what do I do I want to service this transmission doing a drain/fill but I don't know what to use in it now. I have 6 quarts of T-IV but am hesitant to even use it now, and I am also hesitant to switch to Dexron III or if I should go with something like Valvoline Maxlife instead.

Is T-IV actually safe in this transmission?
 

paulo57509

Full Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
59
Points
8
You've no doubt have seen these already:



Read the "Affected Vehicles" line carefully. This TSB applies to transmissions that specify Type T-xx. Not transmissions that specify Dexron _xx.

It might be best to have the dealership do a fluid exchange with their understanding of the confusion created by the T-IV, 50k miles service record. At least they might be willing to cover your backside should the transmission fail afterwards. Of course they will cite a high mileage coincidence.

As an aside, personally I have never cared for one-size sits all ATF's when the proper spec'ed fluid is available.
 

bp042665

hunting nut
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
718
Points
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Location
Iva South Carolina
i would go with Dex3 you can convert it to the toyota fluid if it was a fresh overhaul but i wouldnt if you go with dex 3 and feel a shudder you can buy the lube gaurd additive for it then
 

MrUnknown

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Joined
May 7, 2021
Messages
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i would go with Dex3 you can convert it to the toyota fluid if it was a fresh overhaul but i wouldnt if you go with dex 3 and feel a shudder you can buy the lube gaurd additive for it then
Thing is if this really has been running Toyota T-IV for what would be 69,000 miles now, if this fluid was going to hurt it wouldn't it have done it long ago?. I know people say these A541E transmissions are not picky.

But the method I was originally going to do was just a drain/fill. But if converting back to Dexron III do you think it would hurt if a little T-IV remained in the system because I would prefer to drain it, fill it, run it and repeat that process a few times until the fluid is clean rather then the cooler line flush method.

I did mix some Dexron III by Starfire with some of the T-IV and the color was identical, the flow seemed identical, the smell was a little different but I let it sit in a container for a few days and didn't see any kind of reaction to it.
 

paulo57509

Full Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
59
Points
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IMO, the reaction would be more of an affect to the friction material on the clutches and bands rather than just compatibility to the fluids themselves.
 
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