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99 Prism(corolla) differential

08-18-2008, 07:57 PM
Just finished changing my friends transmission and differential fluid on a 1999 prizm 80,000 mile 3 speed auto.I flushed entire trans using the cooler line method. Then I drained the differential,and was surprised that the oil looked and smelled like gear lube. Everything I had read on the internet,Amsoil website, and haynes manual all say Dexron III for trans & diff. The owners manual doesn't specify which fluid, just 1.5 quart capacity,and it just says to purchase the official repair manual for fluid specs. I Called 2 chevy dealers and neither one could give me an answer. I put in DexIII but I'm not sure it is correct. Please help I'm really stumped on this one.

08-18-2008, 09:56 PM
From what I could find, Dexron III is the correct fluid to use. Older Gen III Camrys like mine are the same way. If it truly was gear oil in there before (I hear you...tranny fluid & gear oil smell and feel completely different), I might suggest running it for a few hundred miles and then drain/refill again just to be sure you got it all out. But I can't see any real harm right away with the gear's an open differential...unless you noticed alot of metal shavings (I doubt). Hope this helps!

08-18-2008, 10:11 PM
about every one with clutch a rear wheel drive the newer ones all take dextron3 in tranny and rearends. by new i mean clear back as far as 89-90 and up.yah and you cant miss the smell of rearend grease can you.

08-20-2008, 06:01 PM
Thanks for your replies. DexronIII for the differential was also confirmed by a GM HELM repair manual, which I trust more than Haynes or Chilton. There definitely was some gear oil in there as evident by the smell and viscosity of the oil. There possibly was a mix of gear oil and DexronIII as it had a slight red/brown tint, and didn't seem as thick as gear lube. The drain plug/magnet didn't have any metal shavings on it, just the usual grey mud. I will run it for a couple hundred miles and then drain & refill with DexronIII again.

08-20-2008, 08:45 PM
yes those old days are cone now and boy i hate the smelll of that gear old malibu uses it tho in rearend.

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