Toyota 4Runner 1996-2002: How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid

Replacing the transmission fluid is very important as your Toyota 4Runner gets up there with mileage. Learn how to do it here.

By Bassem Girgis - February 9, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota 4Runner (1996-2002).

The Toyota 4Runner doesn't ask for much. In fact, it doesn't even ask you to change the transmission fluid that regularly. However, as a good owner, and when your car starts getting a little older, changing the transmission fluid becomes an investment. If your 4Runner has over 100,000 miles on it, and you don't remember the last time you've replaced the transmission fluid, the best thing to do is to replace it now. The process is quick and easy, so don't cheap out on yourself, or else it can cost you a new transmission later down the line. Read on to learn how to change the tranny oil in your Toyota 4Runner.

Toyota 4Runner How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid

Materials Needed

  • 14mm socket
  • Drain pan
  • Funnel
  • Transmission fluid

Step 1 – Drain transmission fluid

This model 4Runner is much simpler than most. There is one bolt on the bottom of the transmission's pan, and that is the drain plug. Place the drain pan underneath it, then slowly loosen it to drain the transmission. Wait until the transmission is fully drained, then tighten it back on.

transmission's drain plug
Figure 1. Transmission's drain plug.

Step 2 – Fill transmission with fresh fluid

Put two and a half quarts of fluid into the transmission. In this model, you will fill the transmission through the transmission's dipstick using a funnel. Remove the dipstick, place a funnel in its place, and slowly fill two and a half quarts of fluid.

using funner to fill transmission
Figure 2. Use a long neck funnel to fill transmission.

Step 3 – Check transmission dipstick

Drive the car around for a few minutes, then check the transmission dipstick. If it's low, add a little bit of fluid and then repeat until you reach the proper level.

checking transmission'f fluid with dipstick
Figure 3. Check transmission's fluid.

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