Home » I Made The Ultimate Oil-Change Mistake And Nearly Ruined My Girlfriend’s Toyota Yaris

I Made The Ultimate Oil-Change Mistake And Nearly Ruined My Girlfriend’s Toyota Yaris

Almost Killed Yaris
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I’m lucky enough to have a partner who’s incredibly supportive of my stupid car obsession. That is, to be specific, my obsession with cars that are stupid – like fussy BMWs and old unexceptional Mercs. She doesn’t share my obsession, though, and instead chooses to get around in a 2007 Toyota Yaris. It is a car that recently made a fool out of me. For that crime, I’m not sure it can ever be forgiven.

I take care of our cars as a matter of course. My partner’s Yaris was due for an oil change, and so naturally I set about doing it myself. It’s normally a pretty easy job. Toyota has stashed the oil filter right at the bottom of the engine bay, just behind the front bumper. You can literally leave the car on your driveway, drop the plastic undertray, and spin off the oil filter, no problem. Access to the oil pan is also easy, you just undo the bolt and drain the oil. Replace the bolt, replace the filter, top up with fresh oil, and you’re done! You’re done in 30 minutes flat without even rushing. Maybe a quarter of an hour, even.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

And yet, I had to turn this simple task into an absolute boondoggle. Why? Let me show you these pictures.  See if you can guess.

Sumpyoil

Sumpyatf

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Got your guess locked in? Alright, let’s go.

So there I am, laying on the driveway, cheerfully removing the undertray. I grab my oil drip tray to collect the old oil, and as I unbolt the sump plug, it starts flowing out freely. Only, it’s a bit different than usual. It’s … red, almost purplish somehow. I start wondering if there’s something wrong with the car, some kind of leak. My partner, not at all a car person, is much more switched on this particular weekend, and has a different idea. “Isn’t it usually on the other side?” she asks.

She’s pretty smart. In my haste, I’d foolishly dumped the transmission fluid instead of the engine oil. Hence the color. I put it down to the fact that I was looking for a bolt in a black stamped-steel tray, and I found one. It was just the wrong one.

I decided to interview my girlfriend to get the real scoop on what had happened on that fateful day of foolishness, from her perspective. (My bosses David and Matt are always demanding we be real journalists, after all).

“The last time you changed the oil, it was on the other side of the car,” she said. “Also, the liquid was kind of purple.” Apparently, I kept at the job until she reiterated the note. “I was pretty sure I was right, but you were very confident about where you were letting the liquid out from,” she laughs. “I was trying to be a bit gentle about it, but I didn’t think that was the right thing.”

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Image140
I just wasn’t thinking, that day.

Most of my own cars have been rear-wheel-drive, so this has never come up before, because the transmission is never sitting next to the engine. Normally, when I get under the front of the car, the sump bolt is right there, and the transmission pan is significantly further back. I’m not used to having to disambiguate between the two because they’re usually more clearly separated than in the Yaris.

This is, of course, very much my fault. I’m putting my hand up and owning this one. It was a silly mistake and it cost me $70 in transmission fluid to make it right. [Ed Note: Transmission fluid has gotten EXPENSIVE since the pandemic, for some reason. Or maybe that’s everything. -DT]. Perhaps the small victory is that my partner’s auto transmission has now had a nice refresh and might last longer. “I wasn’t mad,” she chuckles. “Even though it ended up being wrong, I knew you’d fix it.” A nice vote of confidence, then.

Really, though, it’s a Toyota. It probably would have lasted forever anyway. If anything, by messing with it, I risked upsetting whatever magic it is that keeps these things animated for hundreds of thousands of miles from the factory.

The best thing, though, is that we caught it. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I might not have noticed the fluid in the black plastic drain pan was reddish rather than dark brown. I might have put the bolt back in and poured in liters of additional oil, only to notice my mistake when the dipstick was reading well over full. I never miss the latter step, so it’s not like I’d have started it in that condition. But if I did, significant damage could have resulted. Either to the engine itself from excessive oil, or to the transmission from running with zero fluid.

[Ed Note: I’m not sure the transmission would have worked at all with no fluid, as line pressure is needed for it to function properly. -DT].

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In any case, no major harm was done, and my partner was forgiving. Much to my surprise, they still insist I perform all minor services going forward, which must be some kind of endorsement of my abilities. Even if I’m the kind of naughty, lovable scamp who reuses bolts in direct contravention of BMW’s binding German edicts.

Toyota Yaris 2008 Wallpapers 2
The digi-dash that Aussie models got is kinda neat, but it’s not a comfortable interior for me. Note this image is of a manual-equipped car; I’ve only driven the auto.

I’m going to use this as an opportunity to rag on this Yaris a bit, if only to distract you from how big of a fool I was with the transmission fluid thing.

This embarrassing debacle is far from the only reason I dislike the Yaris. You might assume I’m going to follow this up with some cheesebag lines about how big engines are better and “penalty boxes” are garbage and all that tired old noise piped out by bloviating tryhards. But no, I’m a big fan of small cars and affordable hatches overall. It’s just the Yaris has certain peculiarities that chafe me so.

Most of all, it’s the frustrating ergonomics. The Yaris has a largely upright seating position. It combines this with an accelerator pedal position that requires me to to come down upon it from above. I have to bend my foot upwards at the ankle to just tickle it if I want to maintain a constant speed. Typically, I’d get around this by rolling the seat back, but alas, no. The steering wheel doesn’t telescope, so it’s not really practical to do so.

Combine the ergonomics with the total lack of cruise control, and it’s a difficult car to drive long distances. The 2007 Yaris simply was not available with cruise control in any trim in Australia. In contrast, some U.S. models did come with cruise. For those that didn’t, it’s easy enough to hack in with some minor mods. But the Australian cars, and the European ones? No such luck.

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Some people will tell you a Yaris is too slow, too small, or too underpowered to handle a road trip. All this is nonsense. The Yaris has plenty of power to merge and to keep up with traffic at 70 mph on the highway. Heck, I’ve happily road tripped a 1987 Mazda 323 with a busted carb for hundreds of miles without issue. If it just had cruise control, it would be fine. But when the car is forcing me to unnaturally bend my limbs to drive it for hours at a time, I’m sorry to say it’s just not workable for me.

To be fair, the Yaris isn’t so bad if I’m only driving it for twenty minutes at a time. It’s also the perfect car for my partner. She fits in it perfectly, and it never gives her cause to worry about faults or maintenance. As long as she keeps it serviced regularly, perhaps by somebody more competent than me, it should last her another decade with minimal trouble.

Ultimately, it just seems that there’s a fundamental incompatibility between the Yaris and myself. Will this ease, or fester into a diehard enmity over time? Let’s find out together.

[Editor’s Note: Just a reminder to readers who are now convinced this is a blog about the Yaris’ ergonomic deficiencies: Lewin pulled the wrong drain plug; I haven’t forgotten! (even if I’ve done similarly stupid things). -DT]. 

Image credits: Toyota, Lewin “Lewinberg” Day

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Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
3 months ago

Lewin, you are spot-on about the ergonomics of the gas pedal. It feels like a barstool, right? Too accute in the knee angle.
This is why I hate the tall-riders. I want the obtuse knee angle you get from a “low” sedan.

James Davidson
James Davidson
3 months ago

Our Volvo V70XC was not shifting well. Despite having no drain plug and “lifetime” fluid, we thought changing the fluid might help with shifting. We took it to our local mechanic and pointed out that they needed to take the fluid out the dipstick port and NOT to remove the large bolt on top of the transmission. When we went to pick the car up it revved way up instead of going from first to second gear. They had, of course, removed the large bolt on top of the transmission and dropped second gear loose inside the transmission and then proceeded to swap the fluid. The tech who made the mistake admitted what he had done and they had our transmission “fixed” at their cost. It lasted a couple of years and then died, requiring about a $4,000 replacement reman unit. Fun times!

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  James Davidson

People tell me all the time that “you shouldn’t work on your car, that’s a safety thing, that’s best left to professionals” without having any understanding of the average quality of professionals.

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

My friend’s grandmother once refused my help changing a tire on the side of the road because I “didn’t go to school to learn how to change tires” so she would prefer to wait for a tow truck.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rusty S Trusty
Mechjaz
Mechjaz
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty S Trusty

Oh my god. I dated a PhD like this for a while. She had done something to a lawn mower and been instructed I guess to get all the gas out. In a mason jar (???), she had collected the oil. I told her that was oil, not gas. “No, I’m pretty sure that’s gas.” I told her it doesn’t look like gas, doesn’t smell like gas, and if that came out of the gas tank it was no wonder the mower was dead. But she had a PhD and did not believe anything I said because I hadn’t gone to school for it. She also didn’t trust me to get to the grocery store from my house and would turn on GPS on her phone.

What a miserable relationship and person.

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

When the same lady wanted to buy a new car she didn’t want anything foreign but also didn’t want a Ford, GM or Chrysler product.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty S Trusty

Very understandable, I like AMCs too.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty S Trusty

My favorite car in the AACA museum in Hershey, PA (go if you get the chance, it’s great!) is the very last ‘sedan’ that the White motor company ever made.
The story goes that a rich elderly woman (Dr. Louisa Tingley) served on the board of directors of the company, and had only ever owned White motor cars. In 1935 she felt it was time to replace her currently serving 1918 model for a new one. She requested a new car, and the company told her ‘Ma’am, we don’t make passenger cars anymore, only buses and trucks.” She evidently put her foot down: “Young man, I have only ever owned White cars, and I refuse to buy another brand. I demand a replacement car!” So they built a custom, HUGE 4 door sedan, with a custom body put on the shortest wheelbase bus chassis they could make. She was totally satisfied, and was driven around in her one-off car until she passed away. Perhaps unsurprisingly it is still in great shape.

Edit: found it, it was a White. Edited for accuracy and clarity, and here’s a link to some pictures of this awesome thing!

https://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2017/01/a-major-stockholder-once-forced-car.html

Last edited 3 months ago by Mike Smith
Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

Very interesting! I wish this wasn’t so buried in the comments so more people could see it.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

The truly intelligent can’t wipe their own @@s.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

COTD

Cal67
Cal67
3 months ago

“Some” years back, I had a 78 Granada that I had replaced the original 250 six with a 71 302. I got laid off from my job, and after almost a year I was accepted into a NC Technician training course through unemployment insurance. About 3/4 of the way through the course I was called back to work. I didn’t want to give up the training or the job so discussed it with our HR manager who agreed to allow me to finish my schooling and only work the remainder of my shift each day. So 7 AM to 3 or 4 PM in school and then to work until 2 AM. Caught up with me and I was definitely sleep deprived. One weekend I changed the oil in the car and stripped the drain plug. Went to the local Crappy Tire to get a fix and they had a rubber plug that was sort of like a hollow open ended balloon. Pop the bulb into the hole and the open end was larger than the hole and would keep the oil in the pan. Put it in and no leaks. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I fell asleep on my way home. Off the road, up onto a snow bank, woke up and drove it back onto the road and drove home. Didn’t think anything of it. Next morning I woke up, took off in the car and about 5 km down the road there was definitely some power issues, and then shortly it seized up. I knew right away what had happened, and sure enough when I looked under the car there was a vacant drain hole in the pan and not so much as a drop of oil at the drain hole. The snow bank had pulled the plug out and after sitting overnight there wasn’t much lubrication in the engine. I got an oversized self tapping drain plug (as I should have done in the first place) and put it in. Fresh oil after it cooled down, and it fired up and ran. With some new rattling sounds of course. I drove it like that until school was finished and then started looking for a replacement engine. When I pulled it out, I dropped the oil pan and there were globs of lead bearing material in the oil pan where the bearings had melted and run into the pan. Shortcuts never save time or money.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
3 months ago
Reply to  Cal67

I have one of those rubber plugs, that I used to get back from our honeymoon after the drain plug fell out of my 84 Jetta. That was a tale, but I got a new plug and crush washer from the dealer ASAP. No sleep is why the family beater has a partially open hood. After 3 days of driving from Corvallis to Seattle to Corvallis to Portland our son’s attention drifted and he rear ended another car. Since then everything has held together, except for our 97 Saturn that grenaded its transaxle.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
3 months ago

Drain plug picture one: mkay, I don’t know a Yaris in particular but it seems right, it’s angled, etc and so on.
Drain plug picture two: oh no

I do appreciate you turning your gaffe into a jeremiad against the Yaris though.

I changed the accessory belt in my neighbor’s after I passive-aggressively told them I could hear it every morning and fix it in short order. I was stumped for about 5 minutes, afraid I’d gotten in over my head somehow before realizing that there’s not a tensioner pulley on that engine; the tension comes from setting the alternator tightly in place on a curved track. One bolt into the head, another that can travel in an arc. Push it back, tighten it down, there’s yer tension.

Weirdly specific youtube of it, in fact:
https://youtu.be/y_1d1FRIA7I?t=29

Der Foo
Der Foo
3 months ago

I forgot to check that the oil filter gasket came off with the old one. 15 minutes (estimate) into a 30 minute trip we noticed a change in the engine sound. No oil light ever came on. Got to our destination and checked the oil level. Nuthing. The 1983 Dodge 318ci engine continued on another 35K miles (then it was sold) with nary any oil consumption. I can only guess that it lost oil slowly and we arrived just after it ran out in spite of the sound changes starting 15 minutes before.

Pappa P
Pappa P
3 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

That dipstick only shows the top 1 or 2 liters, so based on the absence of an oil light I’d say you still had a few liters left in there.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

Ouch!
I (now) always set the new & old filters side by side to compare sizing & threads before filling the new & lubing the o-ring. Note that a filter in the correct box may be the right size, but have the wrong threads…
..and that they won’t want to take the new one back after you already filled it with fresh oil even though they had the wrong filter in the right box. Thankfully, I knew the manger by name and spent a fair bit of money there. New guy didn’t know me.

Last edited 3 months ago by TOSSABL
Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
3 months ago

I did this on my awd Cadillac SRX on the first oil change, except I was draining the front differential instead of the engine sump. Both were aluminum castings with similar plugs. Soon as the sulphur smell hit my nostrils I knew it wasn’t engine oil LOL.

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
3 months ago

I’ll do you one better (worse?). Week two on the job at Valvoline, 21-year-old John (who knew nothing about cars) was coming back from lunch and taking over for a topside tech. He said everything was set and it just needed second checks. I then presented the dipstick, with oil on it, to the customer, closed the hood, and sent them on their way.

Turns out the tech was dead wrong and never put oil in the car. I was later told it blew up on the highway. Somehow, no one lost their job and Henley LLC, which operated the Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchises in Michigan, covered the costs of a new engine. You can bet I was forever paranoid from that point on. Managers also made sure whoever started work on the car was the one who finished it.

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

The theory goes that during the “zoom” (having the customer run the engine to see if there are any leaks before sending them out), the engine splashed enough oil around that it would show on a wiped-off and redipped stick.

Pappa P
Pappa P
3 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

My experience is similar.
19 year old me working as a go kart mechanic for a local theme park.
I came in one morning to find a car on the lift mid-service. The afternoon mechanic, my cousin, had left a note on the drain plug reading “oil change done.” This was further verified by the fresh lockwire on the drain plug, the final step of changing the oil.
To be sure, I pulled the dipstick, which was wet.
I carried on with the next step, which is to run the engine flat out for about 5 minutes to calibrate the speed governor. I shut the engine off and heard a telltale screech.
I pulled the dipstick again, but this time I saw only smoke. Luckily, the little Honda only needed a connecting rod, and the senior mechanic had it back in service the next day.
I glad I learned that lesson young. When apprenticing, a buddy of mine did the same thing to a bus engine!

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

I definitely remember the “only one person for these jobs” bit from auto repair class. It being the corollary to, for certain jobs, “someone who didn’t do the work needs to inspect it.”

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
3 months ago

My dumbest mistake was stripping the oil pan drain plug threads on my motorcycle. I was too lazy to fix it properly so I ended up using some epoxy stuff to glue the drain plug to the oil pan. I thought that was a brilliant idea until someone pointed out that, in the event my “repair” failed, oil would gush onto the pavement directly in front of my rear tire. I don’t know if that was likely to happen or not, but that outcome sounded potentially unpleasant so I parked the bike until I could repair it correctly. As it turned out, a new oil pan was $15 on Ebay and it took 20 minutes to install once I got it. Stripping the oil pan threads was mildly dumb, but it was very dumb to attempt a potentially dangerous improvised repair instead of taking 10 minutes to find out this was cheap and easy to fix properly on that bike.

I have only attempted one oil on change on any vehicle since then, and that ended with 8 quarts of oil spilled over my driveway and a 2nd degree burn on my arm. After those experiences, I leave oil changes (and almost anything beyond replacing wiper blades) to the professionals.

Last edited 3 months ago by Stig's Cousin
Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 months ago

Yep, one look at the pictures and I instantly knew the mistake and just as instantly knew I am just as likely to have made the same.

Thank you for sharing this wonderfully stupid moment so that I may be less harsh on myself when I do the same.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
3 months ago

Too bad we didn’t get that digital dash here 🙁

Also, at least Toyota provides a drain plug. Most of the American nameplates are too stupid to include a transmission drain plug.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Toyota also puts drain plugs on their differentials. Domestics never seem to – its not really the end of the world but you risk screwing up the differential gasket every time.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
3 months ago

That is NOT the ultimate oil change error. Yeah, it was a mistake but easily rectified by putting in fresh transmission fluid and new fluid isn’t a bad thing, anyhow.

Now, forgetting to put in the drain plug or failing to put in the new oil – that’s an ultimate mistake. That happened with my dad’s car once when he had the oil changed at the dealership. Luckily it was a bulletproof slant 6 225 and he caught it soon enough to prevent permanent damage.

Related is the problem I had with my Jag. Very first thing I did when I brought it home was to try to change the oil. Well, I undo the drain plug and guess what? Half the stinkin’ threads from the pan came out with the plug because some gorilla had over torqued it. On XJ40 code Jags the oilpan metal is pretty soft, certainly much softer than the drain plug. So, off to the Jag specialist it goes to put in a permanent (albeit not concours judging friendly) fix for the drain plug. Luckily I had Hagerty insurance for the flatbed and it was only $250 to fix it. I don’t count servicing stupidity against a car since any joker can overtorque a drain plug or wheel lugs or such.

Last edited 3 months ago by OrigamiSensei
Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

You need to slow down when you work

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  OrigamiSensei

Maybe not all, but certainly a few of us have done it. I poured a quart through my XT one late evening before I heard it dribbling out—onto an old & porous concrete floor: the stain accused me till I got out of that house.

great thread here: automotive confessions are good for what passes for my soul 😉

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
3 months ago

I put a Fumoto valve on both my cars so I don’t even need hand tools to do an oil change anymore.

Mike G.
Mike G.
3 months ago

I made this exact mistake on a friend’s brand new 2004 Mazda3. We were doing the first oil change together and I popped the wrong drain bolt off and we got a stream of red trans fluid. We got to make an unexpected trip to the store for some bottles of fresh trans fluid…. Embarrassing.

John Hower
John Hower
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Not in the US We get an oil drain plug. Rarely see a transmission drain plug.

Echo Stellar
Echo Stellar
3 months ago

This is a hidden Toyota feature to ensure the transmission fluid is drained and refilled once every 17 years or 300,000 miles, whichever comes first.

VanGuy
VanGuy
3 months ago
Reply to  Echo Stellar

I just reached 150,000 miles with my 2012 Prius v, and even though the maintenance intervals only say to inspect the transmission fluid, I figured getting it flushed wouldn’t hurt.

My (reputable chain) mechanic actually had to check in their system if they could even do it for this model, because their initial reaction was that they couldn’t.

Echo Stellar
Echo Stellar
3 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Fluid is largely decorative on the Prius line. Toyota anticipated that they may need to shift smoothly on metal shavings alone.

VanGuy
VanGuy
3 months ago
Reply to  Echo Stellar

Transmission problems on the Prius sound pretty rare…I just wish the same could be said for the brake accumulator and water pumps, which seem like they’re more likely to become a problem.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
3 months ago

My wife has a Volvo V70. It was too low for my ramps, so for oil changes, I would jack it up on the front crossmember with my floor jack, then install jackstands. One time, the sun was shining in my eyes, and I got the jack a little too far back. The car was going up fine and then there was a bang and oil started pouring out onto the ground. I had located the jack on the aluminum oil pan, rather than the crossmember. That was an expensive mistake so once I installed the new oil pan, I did what I should have done from the start – bought some low profile ramps.

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

No, I got lucky and the pan just cracked right at the front, so the pump pickup was unaffected. Still have the car, 10 years and 100k km later, although it’s my kid’s car now.

TDI_FTW
TDI_FTW
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

My Z4 is too low for my ramps, so I keep random bits of framing wood around to place in front of my ramps to be ramps for my ramps when I do that car… Usually one 2×4 is enough on each side to get the lip up enough.

InWayOverMyHead
InWayOverMyHead
3 months ago

I did exactly that on my ’04 Matrix the first time I changed the oil. Problem was, it was blocking the driveway. I had to get a neighbor to help go find Toyota Autotrans fluid on a weekend. It’s not the same as regular autotrans fluid. The local dealership didn’t have it, so we had to drive about an hour round trip. Never did THAT again.

Peter d
Peter d
3 months ago

I guessed it on the second picture – and hooray for the girlfriend who figured out you were doing something different – my friends and family usually are off someplace spectacular when I am wrenching. You should also be happy the trans fluid was red/purple and not brown – that fluid is good :-). At least the Yaris has replace-able trans fluid (I’m looking at you Nissan!).

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago

“Hey Dear, I think you need a transmission flush too. I’m going to the auto parts store.”

Later at dinner, “You drained the wrong fluid, didn’t you?”

This is known at our home as “the Maxima incident”.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chronometric
Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Hard to get anything past that girl

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

I never miss the latter step

And until today you had never mixed up the drains.

Never is a long time. Also you just jinxed yourself. 🙂

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Unfortunately there is nothing I can do: you put it out there in the universe already. Now we’ll see if the universe noticed. 😛

The funny thing is from now on you will likely be hyper vigilant about checking the dipstick, probably doing so multiple times, even if you weren’t worried about it before. 🙂

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

You know what you get when you spell Yaris backward? Siray, that’s what. I just wondered if you knew.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
3 months ago

Remember, this can be avoided in the future by ensuring all vehicles are either RWD or Manual transmissions. Boom, problem solved forever.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

Due to the headline I noticed the error immediately and diagnosed the problem. One of the few tests I have gotten right on this site. But really red oil that should have told you the problem and then “hey babe its time to do a transmission flush so gonna do that for you to because I love you.” I couldn’t do that for my fiancees car when back in the 80s I put her lugnuts on backwards and the tire. Came off and rolled miles down the road. Hey someone brought it back. But every car I’ve had placed the engine next to the transmission when did this change?

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Transaxle cars have the transmission separate, often done for weight distribution.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Good to know I never had one of those. You’d think of only 1 type of car had that feature he wouldn’t make this assumption.

Pappa P
Pappa P
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

That confused me, because every FWD has a transaxle.
I figured out what you meant tho.

Sklooner
Sklooner
3 months ago

In my 1970s Mini I drained the transmission and filled it with engine oil, not a problem

Mr. Canoehead
Mr. Canoehead
3 months ago
Reply to  Sklooner

Not a problem, even if it had an automatic….

Sklooner
Sklooner
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Canoehead

yeah most wouldn’t catch that- like the name always think of that while portaging the Grumman

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
3 months ago
Reply to  Sklooner

That’s what I do with my Austin Allegro, too.

Cal67
Cal67
3 months ago
Reply to  Sklooner

A co-worker that had a Suzuki Samurai decided to change the oil in it’s manual transmission. Manual transmissions use gear oil, right? Everyone knows that. Came to work the next day and said he couldn’t get it out of 1st gear. I asked what oil he had used, and he said 85W140. I went online and checked what he was supposed to use – automatic transmission fluid. No wonder he couldn’t get it from first 1st into 2nd.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Cal67

A surprising number of manual transmissions don’t use gear oil. ATF is the most common other option, but I have a low opinion of using thin gear oil in transmissions. Some ask for synchromesh manual transmission fluid, and some even ask for motor oil. I have 20w50 in my transmission right now, and it shifts much better than the recommended ATF.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Sklooner

Interestingly not a problem in some other cars, too. I have engine oil in my f150s transmission right now

GenericWhiteVan
GenericWhiteVan
3 months ago

Buy a paint maker and mark the pans as to which plug is which.

Solves the problem for anyone who can read.

GenericWhiteVan
GenericWhiteVan
3 months ago

US military vehicles have all kinds of important info painted right where it is needed. Lifting points, tire pressure, fuel type, etc.

Pappa P
Pappa P
3 months ago

Fair, but I would just take note of which side the engine is on.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

My bil’s father always wrote info on the underside of his hoods: tune up specs, etc. he had 14 (I think) 56 Ford trucks when he passed, and reading under the hoods made my vision bleary—but also made me smile: little reminders as to that particular ones foibles kind of thing

I have fill quantity & filter # written on my radiator support in his honor

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago

Headline made me wonder “aren’t they supposed to compensate for the Australian market by installing the 710 cap upside down from the factory?!”

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