Low Mileage Avalon Automatic Tranny Fluid Dark

Hi All,
I have a 2002 Avalon that only has about 22,000 miles on it. I have owned it since 2004 when it had only 3,000 miles. I recently checked
the tranny fluid when I changed the oil and noticed the tranny fluid was dark. I have checked the tranny fluid before and never noticed it, I know it's supposed to be red and clear with no burnt smell.
So I went to a lube place and got the tranny flushed and new fluid put in it. I now plan to drain the tranny pan and replace the drained fluid 2 or 3 times in the next month to get it even cleaner. I know it only drains about 1/3 the total capacity during a regular drain and fill from the pan.
My question is what could have caused the fluid to have darkened on such a low mileage car?
I thought these Toyota trannys were real good. I have always driven the car conservatively. I owned the car early enough and know it did not have any tranny issues. Could there be a heating issue causing the fluid to burn up early?
The car runs flawlessly and the tranny shifts perfectly with no noise, hesitation or bumps.
I don't know of any issues with this tranny. Maybe only time will tell. Thanks in advance for any info. -R
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Some discoloration is normal, and without seeing the fluid firsthand, it is difficult to say whether the discoloration in your car is normal or not. Fluid will discolor more quickly if the vehicle is driven a lot in stop-and-go traffic, in hilly or mountainous terrain, is used to tow a boat, if the driver brakes with the left foot or rides the brake pedal, often manually downshifts the transmission, or shifts from forward to reverse and vice versa without bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.
--

Ray O
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Welcome to the real world, Toyotas are just like the vehicles of all other manufactures, they have problems on occasion. Especially when one buys the vehicle used. One can never know for sure how a used car was used or abused, or if it was serviced properly or not. One must always wonder why the previous owner no longer wanted the vehicle, as well ;)
mike
"Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote in message

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On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 21:12:07 -0700, JobsInForensics.com wrote:

If you had it 'flushed', why screw with it?!
Just do normal maintenance, and you should be OK.
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I plan on draining a filling the pan a few times just because the flush did not get it as clear as I would like it.
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Remaining on topic - When I flushed the transmission in my 03 Avalon, the owner of the transmission business I patronized told me that the transmission was also used in the Lexus models. (I can't verify this, one way or the other. Perhaps Ray O can.)
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If both transmissions have the same number of gears, then they are the same basic transmission.
--

Ray O
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On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 15:15:01 +0000, JobsInForensics.com wrote:

The 'dirty' fluid is coming from the torque converter. There is a LOT of fluid in the TC. It may take quite a while to get it all out.
Since you flushed it, and say the trans is shifting smooth, I'd just leave it.
If you saw the condition of the fluid in my Supra, you'd be out there every day! Two complete drains and fills (one because the pan didn't seat properly and had to be dropped again) and the car runs fine. I'll do it again next year, maybe, 10,000 miles from now.
If I don't put a 5-speed in first! ;)
(BTW, if this is any comfort: there was a lot of 'sludge' clinging to the magnets in the pan, and there were a couple of 'shavings' too! The tranny has 200,000+ miles on it and when I step on the gas, the car MOOOOVES!!!!)
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On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 21:12:07 -0700, "JobsInForensics.com"

I certainly hope your 'tranny shop' used the correct fluid....
--
Scott in Florida

There ought to be one day-- just one--
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Why stop at the congressional level? There's a couple at the top just aching for it.
Doug
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wrote:

They did. Dexron III. It's a small shop with about 4 guys there. The first thing the owner said was he would have to check and see if he could do it. The dipstick in my tranny says to use Dexron II or Dexron III. The original 2002 Avalon owners manual I have with the car says to use Dexron III. The transmission service reference at the lube place for this model and year listed Dexron III. The owner and I reviewed it together.
I went to the library and looked at a Chilton's Camry 2002-2005 manual which is supposed to cover the Camry, Avalon, Solara and Lexus ES 300/330s. That book says to use Toyota ATF Type T-IV, but there is a caveat in the book that says it was correct at the time the book was written but may have changed as manufacturers upgrade their fluid standards so check with your auto parts store. So much for Chiltons! Too many different cars in one manual anyway.
I'll go with the dipstick, OEM owners manual and the professional reference specific to this car at the shop. They all say Dexron III.
I also read in a few posts that Toyota used a darker fluid than most red ones. When I look at the power steering reservoir, it also calls for Dexron III on the cap, but when you look at what is in there now from the factory, it is very brown but like new.
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