MR2 SpyderChat banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There are several threads about this but I thought I would add what I have encountered.

We got our MR2 from my father who has since passed away so I did not know when the SMT fluid was even looked at. In fact I did not even about the reservoir under the air filter until recently. I am in florida and it rarely gets under 50F degrees here even less during the time the car is driven. We noticed last year couple of times when under 50f the car would run a couple miles then we would get a light on the dash the car would not shift. Turning the car off and on again would clear the issue.When I got my next oil change I also had my local shop replace the transmission fluid(Note I am referring to the transmission fluid not HPU/SMT). We took it to the Toyota dealer for this A/C repair and got a new top and asked them to look at the codes and told them about the cold shift issues. They could not duplicate they issue they said they looked at everything and said everything was fine with the transmission. We went several months no shift issues until end of November when it got cold for a couple days and it happened again. We recently bought one of those WIFI/Bluetooth code readers and put it on the OBD. The next time it did it we read the codes and my son who just is on leave from the Army researched the codes and told me about the HPU fluid. We took a look and it was below the proper fill level. We have since filled to the proper level(Using the correct but expensive fluid from Toyota). We are awaiting the next cold snap to see what happens but we did notice right away the pump time is less when you open the door and shifting does seem smother to me. The threads about the fluid levels on this forum and others can be a little confusing on a few points. I wish we would have taken pics on this process but did not.

1. There are two fluid levels with the transmission. Seems the toyota dealer did not even know this. The first is the manual transmission fluid(AKA gear oil). This is the less critical of the two meaning you can easily get the equivalent oil from auto parts store. There are good threads on this forum to tell you how to do this. The second is the HPU/SMT Fluid. There are also several threads on this as well but to me had some confusing info.

From here on I am referring only to the SMT/HPU fluid.

2. Type of fluid. I talked to a couple mechanics as well as looking at several forums all state to use "Toyota Genuine Fluid 08886-02206 Sequential Manual Transmission Fluid - 1 Liter" the manual also states or equivalent. The big issue is what is equivalent. The genuine is going to cost you 100 to 200 dollars US. Seeing the HPU is much more expensive to replace, we opted just to get what toyota says to use. The mechanics did confirm to me that you could use the dot 4 brake fluid but said it is not a good idea parts are getting very scarce so why risk it. The one liter will last you awhile unless two have a major leak then you have bigger issues anyway. (note once you open the can and use it would advise storing the opened can in a climate controlled area if like me you have high humidity thru the year). As far as equivalent who knows what it actually is. From the smell an look of the fluid my son believes it is probably similar to what he has seen as mil spec brake fluid or aircraft grade brake fluid. But we have no way to confirm this. Bite the bullet and use the toyota stuff.

3. Finding the fluid can be a pain. We looked at Ebay, Criags list, Amazon and Toyota. Amazon listed a liter at a dealership in Daytona for something like $130.00. We called that dealer and they said yes we have it at a cost of $172.00. My son went to the dealership's own web site they listed it for $119.00 plus 3 dollars for local pick up. We bought it from the website and drove to pick it up. As you can see we got 3 different prices for the same freaking can of fluid. So dig a bit before buying.

4. Before starting the process park on a flat surface unless you want excercise pushing the car.

5. You can look at other threads for location, pictures etc. The reservoir is located under the air filter so it will need to be removed to check the fluid.

6. Remember every time you open the driver door or turn on the key the HPU starts which pulls fluid from the reservoir. If you don't realize it you can ever fill the reservoir. If you do overfill after the car sits and the pump releases fluid back into the reservoir will leak out from the from the vented cap onto your drive way, garage, or street. If it were cheap brake fluid not a big deal but at 100 plus a liter you don't want to waste it. I suggest parking the car. Open the hood let it set for 1/2 hour then disconnect the battery to prevent accidentally starting the pump.

7. It is a pressurized system but the reservoir is not pressurized. If you look the cap for the reservoir it is vented. I am only stating this because some of the threads mislead you into thinking the fluid will spray out of the reservoir if the system is pressurized and tell you to wait. The reason for waiting is allow the system to push fluid back to the reservoir.

8. At this point the car has set for a bit and you have disconnected the battery or taken other steps to insure the pump will not come on until you are finished. Check the fluid level(check other threads for pics of where this is) the lines are just above the middle seam of the reservoir. You may need to shine a flashlight into the reservoir to see the level. Fill to the proper level.

9. Connect battery, open door, turn on etc to let the pump activate. Since you have the air filter out and sensors disconnect don't start the car. The pump should only run 25 seconds or less(note there are other threads that discuss pump time).

10. Let the car set again to allow the system to depressurize and check the fluid level again. If it is slightly low again you may need to add if it is high remove some(a small turkey baster works). Repeat step 9. if the fluid seems drastically low start looking for leaks as you may have a bigger issue. Once you feel the level is good put everything back together and test drive.


Please take a look at several of the other threads I am not a mechanic theses are just things that I felt needed to break noted from my experience.
IF you have been searching you know there are several other threads. I may or may not be the best person to answer your questions so lease post and I will let others answer if they can. I would also like to keep the post clear so please don't bother with the dot 4 brake fluid versus the Toyota SMT fluid. There has been more than enough discussion about this on other threads.

Last please correct or add to my comments but I would ask it be those that have done this before and not speculation.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,856 Posts
Good summary. Everything looks good except there really aren’t any worries with the magic SMT fluid. It’s just brake fluid with a little vegetable oil added for lubrication. Good move flushing out the old fluid periodically since it does absorb moisture. That’s a good practice for preventive maintenance. Be very wary of dealers touching the system! Your cold weather problem could be due to an old oring in one of the control solenoids. I’ve see an old o ring suck air in a power steering system when temps dropped below 46F. But work perfectly when it warmed up again.
If the fluid change doesn’t get your system working again you could try installing new orings on the control solenoids. The solenoids on the pump unit aren’t too bad to access. Those on the gear selector assembly are tough to remove. I’m happy to send you a set of orings for a few bucks if you need them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
The easy way to change the smt fluid:
Release rear deck lid from passenger side entry, remove all the junk hiding the reservoir, suck all the fluid out, add 13-14oz of. your favorite fluid...done!
If you mess up and accidentally prime the pump, as soon as it stops pumping, quickly fill to just below the seam...done!
If you didn’t act quickly enough, shift the gears till you hear the pump again then quit, and try again... done!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Ok the fluid has been changed so forget that. How long does the pump run? Does it seem to run a long time or are you loosing fluid
The resivore for the SMT hydraulic is of course under the air box. Open it and shine a small flashlight into it. You will be able to see the fluid level. Between high and low is about 1/4 inch. It's ok to over fill. It will over flow out. Use Dot 4 with 10% castor oil.
To change fluid you do not need to disconnect the Batt. Even if adding which you shouldn't have to do unless you have a leak. Since the fluid is hypersonic it absorbes and should the change fluid every 50,000.

Wont go I to gear is most likely the shift switches. Easy fix 2 hours and 198 bucks unless someone has a used one. I tend to go through them a lot. They cause a lot of the shift issues, not all but a good portion. I have 3 shifters and 2 switch sets here.
I'm on my 2nd SMT. My 1st started with 100,000 and drove it to 185,000. My current one has 90,000.
If it is the pump will run a long time. And we one can rebuild both the HPU and the GSA. This sensors are the system downfall. Too.much redundancy.
Are you member of the Facebook SMT Spyder website?
If not join. I am creator and admin of the group. We have approx 500.members from all.over the world. Some of the best SMT minds are an the site.
Any SMT owner should join. These things are a pain in the ass. But they are a blast to drive If you learn its personality.
We dont know how many were actually produced at of 70 000 produced in 7 yrs. We figure about 10% were made. Most of which have been converted.
We take an educated guess there may be about 1400 SMT left in the world.

Join the group, it's very active group. Say high, post a pic and explain it. You will start getting reply within minutes sometime
There are several threads about this but I thought I would add what I have encountered.

We got our MR2 from my father who has since passed away so I did not know when the SMT fluid was even looked at. In fact I did not even about the reservoir under the air filter until recently. I am in florida and it rarely gets under 50F degrees here even less during the time the car is driven. We noticed last year couple of times when under 50f the car would run a couple miles then we would get a light on the dash the car would not shift. Turning the car off and on again would clear the issue.When I got my next oil change I also had my local shop replace the transmission fluid(Note I am referring to the transmission fluid not HPU/SMT). We took it to the Toyota dealer for this A/C repair and got a new top and asked them to look at the codes and told them about the cold shift issues. They could not duplicate they issue they said they looked at everything and said everything was fine with the transmission. We went several months no shift issues until end of November when it got cold for a couple days and it happened again. We recently bought one of those WIFI/Bluetooth code readers and put it on the OBD. The next time it did it we read the codes and my son who just is on leave from the Army researched the codes and told me about the HPU fluid. We took a look and it was below the proper fill level. We have since filled to the proper level(Using the correct but expensive fluid from Toyota). We are awaiting the next cold snap to see what happens but we did notice right away the pump time is less when you open the door and shifting does seem smother to me. The threads about the fluid levels on this forum and others can be a little confusing on a few points. I wish we would have taken pics on this process but did not.

1. There are two fluid levels with the transmission. Seems the toyota dealer did not even know this. The first is the manual transmission fluid(AKA gear oil). This is the less critical of the two meaning you can easily get the equivalent oil from auto parts store. There are good threads on this forum to tell you how to do this. The second is the HPU/SMT Fluid. There are also several threads on this as well but to me had some confusing info.

From here on I am referring only to the SMT/HPU fluid.

2. Type of fluid. I talked to a couple mechanics as well as looking at several forums all state to use "Toyota Genuine Fluid 08886-02206 Sequential Manual Transmission Fluid - 1 Liter" the manual also states or equivalent. The big issue is what is equivalent. The genuine is going to cost you 100 to 200 dollars US. Seeing the HPU is much more expensive to replace, we opted just to get what toyota says to use. The mechanics did confirm to me that you could use the dot 4 brake fluid but said it is not a good idea parts are getting very scarce so why risk it. The one liter will last you awhile unless two have a major leak then you have bigger issues anyway. (note once you open the can and use it would advise storing the opened can in a climate controlled area if like me you have high humidity thru the year). As far as equivalent who knows what it actually is. From the smell an look of the fluid my son believes it is probably similar to what he has seen as mil spec brake fluid or aircraft grade brake fluid. But we have no way to confirm this. Bite the bullet and use the toyota stuff.

3. Finding the fluid can be a pain. We looked at Ebay, Criags list, Amazon and Toyota. Amazon listed a liter at a dealership in Daytona for something like $130.00. We called that dealer and they said yes we have it at a cost of $172.00. My son went to the dealership's own web site they listed it for $119.00 plus 3 dollars for local pick up. We bought it from the website and drove to pick it up. As you can see we got 3 different prices for the same freaking can of fluid. So dig a bit before buying.

4. Before starting the process park on a flat surface unless you want excercise pushing the car.

5. You can look at other threads for location, pictures etc. The reservoir is located under the air filter so it will need to be removed to check the fluid.

6. Remember every time you open the driver door or turn on the key the HPU starts which pulls fluid from the reservoir. If you don't realize it you can ever fill the reservoir. If you do overfill after the car sits and the pump releases fluid back into the reservoir will leak out from the from the vented cap onto your drive way, garage, or street. If it were cheap brake fluid not a big deal but at 100 plus a liter you don't want to waste it. I suggest parking the car. Open the hood let it set for 1/2 hour then disconnect the battery to prevent accidentally starting the pump.

7. It is a pressurized system but the reservoir is not pressurized. If you look the cap for the reservoir it is vented. I am only stating this because some of the threads mislead you into thinking the fluid will spray out of the reservoir if the system is pressurized and tell you to wait. The reason for waiting is allow the system to push fluid back to the reservoir.

8. At this point the car has set for a bit and you have disconnected the battery or taken other steps to insure the pump will not come on until you are finished. Check the fluid level(check other threads for pics of where this is) the lines are just above the middle seam of the reservoir. You may need to shine a flashlight into the reservoir to see the level. Fill to the proper level.

9. Connect battery, open door, turn on etc to let the pump activate. Since you have the air filter out and sensors disconnect don't start the car. The pump should only run 25 seconds or less(note there are other threads that discuss pump time).

10. Let the car set again to allow the system to depressurize and check the fluid level again. If it is slightly low again you may need to add if it is high remove some(a small turkey baster works). Repeat step 9. if the fluid seems drastically low start looking for leaks as you may have a bigger issue. Once you feel the level is good put everything back together and test drive.


Please take a look at several of the other threads I am not a mechanic theses are just things that I felt needed to break noted from my experience.
IF you have been searching you know there are several other threads. I may or may not be the best person to answer your questions so lease post and I will let others answer if they can. I would also like to keep the post clear so please don't bother with the dot 4 brake fluid versus the Toyota SMT fluid. There has been more than enough discussion about this on other threads.

Last please correct or add to my comments but I would ask it be those that have done this before and not speculation.

Thanks
The easy way to change the smt fluid:
Release rear deck lid from passenger side entry, remove all the junk hiding the reservoir, suck all the fluid out, add 13-14oz of. your favorite fluid...done!
If you mess up and accidentally prime the pump, as soon as it stops pumping, quickly fill to just below the seam...done!
If you didn’t act quickly enough, shift the gears till you hear the pump again then quit, and try again... done!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
They wouldn’t let me edit my previous post but I wanted to say, you should drain the reservoir more than once initially to get the old fluid out from the GSA and hoses. I was referring to subsequent changes and mainly focusing on how to get the correct level. You can of course, double check the level by the indicator on the reservoir.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top