'89 Camry V-6 Transmission (4 sp. wOD) Dipstick Confusion ? Thanks For Advice!

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Old 17 Aug 2003, 01:48 am   #1 (permalink)
Glen Eric
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Default '89 Camry V-6 Transmission (4 sp. wOD) Dipstick Confusion ? Thanks For Advice!

Hello,

I have an '89 Camry Wagon with the 2VZFE V-6 engine, and I can't seem
to make heads or tails when trying to read the transmission dipstick
level, as it varies greatly from HOT to COLD. I just emptied the pan
and put 1 quart of high quality fluid, along with a 10 oz. bottle of
LUBE GARD transmission treatment. When cold, the level was dead on
one of the cold marks of the stick.

When hot however, hardly anything at all showed up on the dipstick.
Hence, I added another 8oz. of fluid, and now the dipstick is about
3/8" to 1/2" above both cold marks when cold, yet still well below the
given range when hot.

Thus, is it best to just fill it to match the correct "COLD" mark, as
it seems very difficult to get an accurate "HOT" reading. Perhaps I
should shift the car through the various gears, while at idle, and
then put it into PARK, and quickly measure the reading? I think the
car may have shifted a bit smoother from 1st to second gear, before
adding this last 8 oz., though I'm not certain.

According to the owners manual, the pan for this transmission (4-speed
Auto, w/OD) holds 2.6 quarts. Therefore, theoretically speaking, the
system should still be underfilled (by approx. 1 qt.), though I'm not
really sure whether it is or not?

The owner's manual also mentions that the transmission only needs to
be driven for about 10 miles to get an accurate reading. If fully
warmed up from a highway trip, a false reading may be given. The car
seems to shift fine, but I'd hate to be low on fluid, and thus proper
protection for the tranny. Likewise, if I go by the HOT mark, I would
have to put another 8 oz.--or perhaps up to another quart--into the
transmission, and I'm sure the COLD mark would be WAY ABOVE the proper
marking of the dipstick. Too much fluid wouldn't be a good thing
either.

In closing, I welcome any opinions or advice from fellow Camry owners
and/or Toyota mechanics. This is driving me nuts, as I'm used to
older Chevy's with either a Turbo Hydroamatic 350 or 400, and with
either of these, it seems much more straight forward when determining
correct trans fluid level.

Thanks for your replies!

Respectfully,

Glen E. Sarkis
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Old 19 Aug 2003, 02:38 am   #2 (permalink)
Philip®
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Default Re: '89 Camry V-6 Transmission (4 sp. wOD) Dipstick Confusion ? Thanks For Advice!

What was the original question? ;-)


"Glen Eric" <strum4u@msn.com> wrote in message
news:80dfa8e5.0308182111.661df0b@posting.google.co m...
> Jeez,
>
> Is this newsgroup dead, or is everyone simply on vacation?
>
> Somebody throw me a line, and toss in your $.02, PLEASE!
>
>
> Thank you,
>
> Glen E, Sarkis
>
>
>
> strum4u@msn.com (Glen Eric) wrote in message

news:<80dfa8e5.0308162248.21f0248b@posting.google. com>...
> > Hello,
> >
> > I have an '89 Camry Wagon with the 2VZFE V-6 engine, and I can't

seem
> > to make heads or tails when trying to read the transmission

dipstick
> > level, as it varies greatly from HOT to COLD. I just emptied the

pan
> > and put 1 quart of high quality fluid, along with a 10 oz. bottle

of
> > LUBE GARD transmission treatment. When cold, the level was dead

on
> > one of the cold marks of the stick.
> >
> > When hot however, hardly anything at all showed up on the

dipstick.
> > Hence, I added another 8oz. of fluid, and now the dipstick is

about
> > 3/8" to 1/2" above both cold marks when cold, yet still well

below the
> > given range when hot.
> >
> > Thus, is it best to just fill it to match the correct "COLD"

mark, as
> > it seems very difficult to get an accurate "HOT" reading.

Perhaps I
> > should shift the car through the various gears, while at idle,

and
> > then put it into PARK, and quickly measure the reading? I think

the
> > car may have shifted a bit smoother from 1st to second gear,

before
> > adding this last 8 oz., though I'm not certain.
> >
> > According to the owners manual, the pan for this transmission

(4-speed
> > Auto, w/OD) holds 2.6 quarts. Therefore, theoretically speaking,

the
> > system should still be underfilled (by approx. 1 qt.), though I'm

not
> > really sure whether it is or not?
> >
> > The owner's manual also mentions that the transmission only needs

to
> > be driven for about 10 miles to get an accurate reading. If

fully
> > warmed up from a highway trip, a false reading may be given. The

car
> > seems to shift fine, but I'd hate to be low on fluid, and thus

proper
> > protection for the tranny. Likewise, if I go by the HOT mark, I

would
> > have to put another 8 oz.--or perhaps up to another quart--into

the
> > transmission, and I'm sure the COLD mark would be WAY ABOVE the

proper
> > marking of the dipstick. Too much fluid wouldn't be a good thing
> > either.
> >
> > In closing, I welcome any opinions or advice from fellow Camry

owners
> > and/or Toyota mechanics. This is driving me nuts, as I'm used to
> > older Chevy's with either a Turbo Hydroamatic 350 or 400, and

with
> > either of these, it seems much more straight forward when

determining
> > correct trans fluid level.
> >
> > Thanks for your replies!
> >
> > Respectfully,
> >
> > Glen E. Sarkis



  Reply With Quote
Old 21 Aug 2003, 03:46 am   #3 (permalink)
Glen Eric
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  • Posts: n/a
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Default Re: '89 Camry V-6 Transmission (4 sp. wOD) Dipstick Confusion ? Thanks For Advice!

Hello Again,

My question is, is it safe and trustworthy to fill the transmission of
an '89 Camry LE (4 sp. Automatic) by using the "Cold" marks?

I can't seem to get an accurate reading when the transmission is warm
and the car is running.

Why is the vehicle showing a proper reading when cold, in relation to
the "cold" marks on the dipstick, yet showing harldly any level at all
on the dipstick when the transmission is warmed by a short drive?

Toyota owners must be able to share some type of experience, whether
different, or having also encountered the same frustration I am
dealing with regarding this maintainence matter.

Thanks for relies!

--Glen Sarkis--




"Philip®" <chipstate@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:<7uk0b.853$xD6.690@newsread3.news.pas.earthli nk.net>...
> What was the original question? ;-)
>
>
> "Glen Eric" <strum4u@msn.com> wrote in message
> news:80dfa8e5.0308182111.661df0b@posting.google.co m...
> > Jeez,
> >
> > Is this newsgroup dead, or is everyone simply on vacation?
> >
> > Somebody throw me a line, and toss in your $.02, PLEASE!
> >
> >
> > Thank you,
> >
> > Glen E, Sarkis
> >
> >
> >
> > strum4u@msn.com (Glen Eric) wrote in message

> news:<80dfa8e5.0308162248.21f0248b@posting.google. com>...
> > > Hello,
> > >
> > > I have an '89 Camry Wagon with the 2VZFE V-6 engine, and I can't

> seem
> > > to make heads or tails when trying to read the transmission

> dipstick
> > > level, as it varies greatly from HOT to COLD. I just emptied the

> pan
> > > and put 1 quart of high quality fluid, along with a 10 oz. bottle

> of
> > > LUBE GARD transmission treatment. When cold, the level was dead

> on
> > > one of the cold marks of the stick.
> > >
> > > When hot however, hardly anything at all showed up on the

> dipstick.
> > > Hence, I added another 8oz. of fluid, and now the dipstick is

> about
> > > 3/8" to 1/2" above both cold marks when cold, yet still well

> below the
> > > given range when hot.
> > >
> > > Thus, is it best to just fill it to match the correct "COLD"

> mark, as
> > > it seems very difficult to get an accurate "HOT" reading.

> Perhaps I
> > > should shift the car through the various gears, while at idle,

> and
> > > then put it into PARK, and quickly measure the reading? I think

> the
> > > car may have shifted a bit smoother from 1st to second gear,

> before
> > > adding this last 8 oz., though I'm not certain.
> > >
> > > According to the owners manual, the pan for this transmission

> (4-speed
> > > Auto, w/OD) holds 2.6 quarts. Therefore, theoretically speaking,

> the
> > > system should still be underfilled (by approx. 1 qt.), though I'm

> not
> > > really sure whether it is or not?
> > >
> > > The owner's manual also mentions that the transmission only needs

> to
> > > be driven for about 10 miles to get an accurate reading. If

> fully
> > > warmed up from a highway trip, a false reading may be given. The

> car
> > > seems to shift fine, but I'd hate to be low on fluid, and thus

> proper
> > > protection for the tranny. Likewise, if I go by the HOT mark, I

> would
> > > have to put another 8 oz.--or perhaps up to another quart--into

> the
> > > transmission, and I'm sure the COLD mark would be WAY ABOVE the

> proper
> > > marking of the dipstick. Too much fluid wouldn't be a good thing
> > > either.
> > >
> > > In closing, I welcome any opinions or advice from fellow Camry

> owners
> > > and/or Toyota mechanics. This is driving me nuts, as I'm used to
> > > older Chevy's with either a Turbo Hydroamatic 350 or 400, and

> with
> > > either of these, it seems much more straight forward when

> determining
> > > correct trans fluid level.
> > >
> > > Thanks for your replies!
> > >
> > > Respectfully,
> > >
> > > Glen E. Sarkis

  Reply With Quote
Old 21 Aug 2003, 09:26 am   #4 (permalink)
Daniel M. Dreifus
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
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Default Re: '89 Camry V-6 Transmission (4 sp. wOD) Dipstick Confusion ? Thanks For Advice!

strum4u@msn.com (Glen Eric) wrote in message news:<80dfa8e5.0308210046.bce1b5a@posting.google.c om>...
> Hello Again,
>
> My question is, is it safe and trustworthy to fill the transmission of
> an '89 Camry LE (4 sp. Automatic) by using the "Cold" marks?
>
> I can't seem to get an accurate reading when the transmission is warm
> and the car is running.
>

I believe in changing the transmission fluid regularly, so with
practice, have learned to get the level just right.
First, according to my manual, the "cold" mark is only for reference
when making the initial fill. The correct level is determined by using
the "hot" marks. In other words, if the "hot" level is correct, you
never need to look at the "cold" marking again - I never have, it's
only to be used when you first add fluid to a cold engine/
transmission prior to starting the car, it is not a reliable indicator
as to having the proper fluid level for driving.
So you need to set the level "hot."
Common advice is that the transmission level is usually over filled.
This is because often the transmission is not allowed to warm fully
prior to checking.
You need to drive at least ten miles to get the transmission to
"normal" operating temperature. If you drove more, that is OK. Once
fully heated, the transmission should stabilize at operating
temperature.
The only caution is that the transmission should not be over heated.
That is, prolonged stop and go city driving at high ambient
temperatures where it doesn't get a chance to cool as in normal
driving. Or extended driving at excessively high speed. You're looking
for normal operating temperature. If you just drive the car for 10 -12
miles, you should be fine. If you're really not sure. Then fill to the
mid point and check again the following day after the car has been
driven further. If you haven't over filled, and are between the low
and high marks on the hot scale, you're fine.
When you return from your first 10 mile ride, leave the engine idling
and shift slowly through the gears, then back to park. Now open the
hood, get a clean rag, pull out the transmission dip stick and try to
read the level. Usually, I can never read the level on the first try.
The fluid seems to cling to the inside of the dip stick tube and coat
the length of the dip stick so just wipe it off, insert it fully, pull
it back out and try again. By now, with the engine idling on level
ground after having driven 10 miles, it should be fully warm. Often, I
hear the automatic fan on the radiator clicking on periodically.
Usually I don't get an accurate reading on the second try either, but
may get a clue. So clean the dip stick, re insert, and re check.
Usually on the third try the reading is clear. Usually I have slightly
under filled so I can bring the level up to the correct mark. It is
easier to add fluid than remove it. So now add a small amount of
fluid, leave the engine running, go back in the car and slowly shift
through the gears back to park, and then repeat the process checking
the level on the dip stick.
On mine, there is a curved cut out at the top of the level when hot. I
like to have the fluid right at the bottom of the top mark to allow
slightly for more expansion, and at that point the level is safely
over the minimum hot mark.
There ya go. Perfect. No worries.
Now that you've learned how, change it regularly to maximize
transmission life.
  Reply With Quote
Old 21 Aug 2003, 05:15 pm   #5 (permalink)
Glen Eric
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  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: '89 Camry V-6 Transmission (4 sp. wOD) Dipstick Confusion ? Thanks For Advice!

Dan,

Thanks for your detailed reply!

I'll give it another shot, and check after a short drive of 10 miles,
as you've suggested.

Regards,

Glen Sarkis

nospampls2002@yahoo.com (Daniel M. Dreifus) wrote in message news:<c5ef7dc0.0308210626.1c07acb@posting.google.c om>...
> strum4u@msn.com (Glen Eric) wrote in message news:<80dfa8e5.0308210046.bce1b5a@posting.google.c om>...
> > Hello Again,
> >
> > My question is, is it safe and trustworthy to fill the transmission of
> > an '89 Camry LE (4 sp. Automatic) by using the "Cold" marks?
> >
> > I can't seem to get an accurate reading when the transmission is warm
> > and the car is running.
> >

> I believe in changing the transmission fluid regularly, so with
> practice, have learned to get the level just right.
> First, according to my manual, the "cold" mark is only for reference
> when making the initial fill. The correct level is determined by using
> the "hot" marks. In other words, if the "hot" level is correct, you
> never need to look at the "cold" marking again - I never have, it's
> only to be used when you first add fluid to a cold engine/
> transmission prior to starting the car, it is not a reliable indicator
> as to having the proper fluid level for driving.
> So you need to set the level "hot."
> Common advice is that the transmission level is usually over filled.
> This is because often the transmission is not allowed to warm fully
> prior to checking.
> You need to drive at least ten miles to get the transmission to
> "normal" operating temperature. If you drove more, that is OK. Once
> fully heated, the transmission should stabilize at operating
> temperature.
> The only caution is that the transmission should not be over heated.
> That is, prolonged stop and go city driving at high ambient
> temperatures where it doesn't get a chance to cool as in normal
> driving. Or extended driving at excessively high speed. You're looking
> for normal operating temperature. If you just drive the car for 10 -12
> miles, you should be fine. If you're really not sure. Then fill to the
> mid point and check again the following day after the car has been
> driven further. If you haven't over filled, and are between the low
> and high marks on the hot scale, you're fine.
> When you return from your first 10 mile ride, leave the engine idling
> and shift slowly through the gears, then back to park. Now open the
> hood, get a clean rag, pull out the transmission dip stick and try to
> read the level. Usually, I can never read the level on the first try.
> The fluid seems to cling to the inside of the dip stick tube and coat
> the length of the dip stick so just wipe it off, insert it fully, pull
> it back out and try again. By now, with the engine idling on level
> ground after having driven 10 miles, it should be fully warm. Often, I
> hear the automatic fan on the radiator clicking on periodically.
> Usually I don't get an accurate reading on the second try either, but
> may get a clue. So clean the dip stick, re insert, and re check.
> Usually on the third try the reading is clear. Usually I have slightly
> under filled so I can bring the level up to the correct mark. It is
> easier to add fluid than remove it. So now add a small amount of
> fluid, leave the engine running, go back in the car and slowly shift
> through the gears back to park, and then repeat the process checking
> the level on the dip stick.
> On mine, there is a curved cut out at the top of the level when hot. I
> like to have the fluid right at the bottom of the top mark to allow
> slightly for more expansion, and at that point the level is safely
> over the minimum hot mark.
> There ya go. Perfect. No worries.
> Now that you've learned how, change it regularly to maximize
> transmission life.

  Reply With Quote
Old 26 Aug 2003, 11:16 am   #6 (permalink)
C. E. White
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: '89 Camry V-6 Transmission (4 sp. wOD) Dipstick Confusion ? ThanksFor Advice!

I often find it difficult to get a good reading of hot / clean ATF. It seems the ATF is not very viscous and "slides"
off the stick rather quickly. The only way I can get a good reading is to make sure the stick is absolutely clean.
Then when you pull it back out, you should be able to detect a "high water mark" even if the fluid is mostly gone.
Just make sure the stick is completely clean before you stick it in. People who don't take care of their cars don't
usually have so much trouble checking the fluid. After 50,0000 miles of hard use and no replacement the ATF turns
brown and sludgey and clings to the stick much better, which makes determining the level much easier

Glen Eric wrote:

> Hello Again,
>
> My question is, is it safe and trustworthy to fill the transmission of
> an '89 Camry LE (4 sp. Automatic) by using the "Cold" marks?
>
> I can't seem to get an accurate reading when the transmission is warm
> and the car is running.
>
> Why is the vehicle showing a proper reading when cold, in relation to
> the "cold" marks on the dipstick, yet showing harldly any level at all
> on the dipstick when the transmission is warmed by a short drive?
>
> Toyota owners must be able to share some type of experience, whether
> different, or having also encountered the same frustration I am
> dealing with regarding this maintainence matter.
>
> Thanks for relies!
>
> --Glen Sarkis--
>
>
> "Philip®" <chipstate@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:<7uk0b.853$xD6.690@newsread3.news.pas.earthli nk.net>...
> > What was the original question? ;-)
> >
> >
> > "Glen Eric" <strum4u@msn.com> wrote in message
> > news:80dfa8e5.0308182111.661df0b@posting.google.co m...
> > > Jeez,
> > >
> > > Is this newsgroup dead, or is everyone simply on vacation?
> > >
> > > Somebody throw me a line, and toss in your $.02, PLEASE!
> > >
> > >
> > > Thank you,
> > >
> > > Glen E, Sarkis
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > strum4u@msn.com (Glen Eric) wrote in message

> > news:<80dfa8e5.0308162248.21f0248b@posting.google. com>...
> > > > Hello,
> > > >
> > > > I have an '89 Camry Wagon with the 2VZFE V-6 engine, and I can't

> > seem
> > > > to make heads or tails when trying to read the transmission

> > dipstick
> > > > level, as it varies greatly from HOT to COLD. I just emptied the

> > pan
> > > > and put 1 quart of high quality fluid, along with a 10 oz. bottle

> > of
> > > > LUBE GARD transmission treatment. When cold, the level was dead

> > on
> > > > one of the cold marks of the stick.
> > > >
> > > > When hot however, hardly anything at all showed up on the

> > dipstick.
> > > > Hence, I added another 8oz. of fluid, and now the dipstick is

> > about
> > > > 3/8" to 1/2" above both cold marks when cold, yet still well

> > below the
> > > > given range when hot.
> > > >
> > > > Thus, is it best to just fill it to match the correct "COLD"

> > mark, as
> > > > it seems very difficult to get an accurate "HOT" reading.

> > Perhaps I
> > > > should shift the car through the various gears, while at idle,

> > and
> > > > then put it into PARK, and quickly measure the reading? I think

> > the
> > > > car may have shifted a bit smoother from 1st to second gear,

> > before
> > > > adding this last 8 oz., though I'm not certain.
> > > >
> > > > According to the owners manual, the pan for this transmission

> > (4-speed
> > > > Auto, w/OD) holds 2.6 quarts. Therefore, theoretically speaking,

> > the
> > > > system should still be underfilled (by approx. 1 qt.), though I'm

> > not
> > > > really sure whether it is or not?
> > > >
> > > > The owner's manual also mentions that the transmission only needs

> > to
> > > > be driven for about 10 miles to get an accurate reading. If

> > fully
> > > > warmed up from a highway trip, a false reading may be given. The

> > car
> > > > seems to shift fine, but I'd hate to be low on fluid, and thus

> > proper
> > > > protection for the tranny. Likewise, if I go by the HOT mark, I

> > would
> > > > have to put another 8 oz.--or perhaps up to another quart--into

> > the
> > > > transmission, and I'm sure the COLD mark would be WAY ABOVE the

> > proper
> > > > marking of the dipstick. Too much fluid wouldn't be a good thing
> > > > either.
> > > >
> > > > In closing, I welcome any opinions or advice from fellow Camry

> > owners
> > > > and/or Toyota mechanics. This is driving me nuts, as I'm used to
> > > > older Chevy's with either a Turbo Hydroamatic 350 or 400, and

> > with
> > > > either of these, it seems much more straight forward when

> > determining
> > > > correct trans fluid level.
> > > >
> > > > Thanks for your replies!
> > > >
> > > > Respectfully,
> > > >
> > > > Glen E. Sarkis


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