Toyota Prado VX 2005 Gearbox problems

Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 14:37
ThreadID: 68559 Views:15770 Replies:2 FollowUps:5
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Would anyone have heard of problems with the gearbox on a Toyota Prado VX from 2005 Auto ? - one afternoon reverse gear stopped working and suddenly 3gr disappeared, then 2nd, they all came back and all the lights in the dashboard went on and car scrambled to a stop. Have heard rumours that the gearbox can overheat but wondered if this is correct or not ?
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Reply By: RobAck - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:38

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:38
We run a 2005 VX and it has never had a problem and we spend more time off road than most. Never had a problem in any way and we operate in >50C and the worst that has ever happened is an overheat warning light came on so all we did was stop experimenting in very deep sand for ten minutes and that was it.

But we rely on our vehicles and always maintain them to the service schedule.

If it happened as you described then there will most likely be a series of fault codes held in the engine management system. If you take it to your Toyota dealer they will plug in a scan tool and should be able to get them out. BUT if the incident occurred say over two weeks ago then the codes will most likely have gone

AnswerID: 363526

Follow Up By: Member - Peter T1 (WA) - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:55

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 18:55
Thanks Rob, actually happened to a colleague of mine and I cannot understand it as have had a GXL myself which i took offroad constantly and never incurred any problems. Apparently it was serviced only about 2 weeks ago and cannot help thinking of whether they forgot to put oil back in the gearbox.
FollowupID: 631199

Follow Up By: RobAck - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:13

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:13
Peter the auto trans on a 120 Prado is sealed and a non-maintenance item. No filler and the drain is a special item so effectively sealed for life. Therefore it will not appear on a service schedule as a cost

I suspect the fault, if there is one, is actually an electrical one with the trans as the auto is in fact an electrical unit not hydraulic as older auto trans would be.

So there is a very strong chance the issue is electrical rather then hydraulic or mechanical and the only way to determine it will be by use of the correct scan tool. Given the complexity of electronic engine management systems it may also be that the issue has nothing to do with the transmission



FollowupID: 631205

Follow Up By: toyocrusa - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:19

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 20:19
Hi. Hate to disagree with you but there is a drain plug and a filler plug. You need to lift the RH front of the vehicle to drain as much fliud as possible from the plug located at the LH rear corner of the sump. The filler is hidden but is on the RH side towards the rear of the main case and is up fairly high. There is also a level plug in the bottom of the sump but I have found if you use it not enough fluid goes back into the transmission.I put 3.5ltrs measured back in and all is then well. I change mine every 10000k at each service but mainly cause I can.(I work in the trade and have a hoist.) It is possible that it was drained at the service and not filled enough but then as you say,it could be electrical. Regards,Bob.
FollowupID: 631215

Follow Up By: Peterpilot - Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 08:36

Thursday, May 07, 2009 at 08:36
I had the auto fluid replaced in my GXL 120 Prado 5 speed transmission at 130 000km. The fluid in the 5 speed auto is not regular transmission fluid. Toyota specifies "ATF WS". The wrong type will cause problems.

Toyota service intervals are to inspect auto fluid every 40,000km and replace (if necessary) every 80,000km.

FollowupID: 631284

Follow Up By: Jarse - Friday, May 08, 2009 at 09:48

Friday, May 08, 2009 at 09:48
I have an earlier 120 (4 speed), and the trans oil is definitely serviceable. I just replaced mine by removing the drain plug, and refilling via the dipstick tube.

Easy peasy. :-)
FollowupID: 631488

Reply By: George_M - Friday, May 08, 2009 at 08:51

Friday, May 08, 2009 at 08:51
I had a problem with my auto transmission about eighteen months ago. It started out as though the auto transmission was hitting neutral for too long as it was changing up - the rev-counter would hit about 4500rpm momentarily at each change up. By the end of the day the dash lights were lit up, and the transmission wouldn't change up any higher than 3rd. Came home on the back of a flat-bed truck.

The only fault codes the dealer could see (supposedly) were codes related to steering. The dealer cleared the codes and gave the vehicle back to me - unfixed. The problem reoccurred on the way home, so I took it straight back and took the service manager for a drive.

The vehicle was off the road for three weeks. The transmission was "rebuilt" (not sure what that meant, with 30k on the clock), and the report from the specialist shop was that the transmission has a "blown clutch cluster". Again, not really sure what that meant either. All done under warranty.

There are more reports of transmission problems (not many) over at

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AnswerID: 363813

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