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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys I read forum after forum and decided Toyota WS transmission fluid is not the best. I went and bought Valvoline max life synthetic ATF.
I did the work myself and filled it up with the new fluid. The old fluid was solid black at 33,300 miles. I was happy with the job until I read a forum and questioned my decision.
On the PDF I found online for the Valvoline ATF it states it is compatible with Toyota WS fluids (except hybrids). I have put 30 miles on the car since the change and now I'm having a panic attack that my transmission is going to fail. I am debating if I should go and have the transmission flushed or if I should just drain and refill with the Toyota WS fluid. As I was reading I found that even a little bit of regular ATF in a CVT can completely ruin the transmission. But the synergy drive isn't a real CVT transmission is it. If that's the case I'm assuming it would be okay to just do a change myself and then again here in a couple thousand miles to make sure it is all out. I thought I was doing my transmission a favor by giving it the good stuff but apparently I'm an idiot. Any thoughts or concerns I would appreciate it. Spare me the sealed unit argument.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It's all cool, I think I figured it out.

I found an article that explains how and why you can't use most synthetic oils for they hybrid synergy drive. The Effects of EP Additives on Gearboxes
The transmission contains "yellow metal" I'm assuming copper from what other people have mentioned from the tests run on their transmission.
The EP additives in synthetic contain sulfer as a way of smoothing metal on metal contact. This is fine and dandy if there are no "yellow metals" in the transmission.
I would assume that if you were hell bent on using an alternative to Toyota's WS I would look for a transmission fluid that is WS compatible and has a similar sulfur content.
The sulfur eats up the transmission over time causing pits in the metal and eventually causing grinding from the corroded surfaces. As far as the previous post goes, I will just do a drain and refill and then change it again in a couple thousand miles. I've heard this can be harmful to change it often but at the same time I'm kinda thinking show me some proof.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I ended up using Amsoil signature series atf. AMSOIL Signature Series Fuel-Efficient Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
Its pretty damn expensive but we only have to buy 4 quarts. I'm happy with it but for those who are scared to try something other than Toyota WS I will post updates when I change it out around 100,000 miles. Color, consistency, all that jazz. Maybe even some pictures. I will try to have lab tests done. If I have a transmission failure I will gladly post it also. It may take a while but maybe not. Either way you can call me a guinea pig. Maybe I can say "told you so" later. I've read quite a bit about Toyota oil recommendations and it seems like a little conspiracy to save money by avoiding government regulations and to make more money on the sale of their fluid.
 

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Good work straightening all that out! I used Amsoil too. Changed it around 50k miles. Will probably wait till about 150k to change it again. From what I recall, Amsoil was really good.
 

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The fluid required is Toyota WS specification because it is not conductive and will not attack the wiring or insulation of the electrical components inside the transmission. If you do a lab test and find copper in your transmission fluid, that probably means the fluid is not compatible.
 
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