Toyota Corolla (2003-2008) Manual Transmission Fluid Change DIY

Change the Transmission Fluid on a Manual 2003-2008 (9th Generation) Toyota Corolla

Works For:
2003 Toyota Corolla
2004 Toyota Corolla
2005 Toyota Corolla
2006 Toyota Corolla
2007 Toyota Corolla
2008 Toyota Corolla

Source: ToyotaNation

This is a guide to help you with your manual transmission fluid change, It doesn’t cover automatic transmissions in which different steps, parts, and tools are required. 

Notes: I am doing this on my XRS with a C60 6-Speed Manual Transmission (same as the Matrix XRS and Celica GT-S). For the C59 5-speed Scroll down to the 2nd post, it has the link courtesy of JasonA. You can however follow this post because it’s nearly the same on the 5-speed (no 10mm hex key needed).

User Warning: This job has the potential to seriously injure you, and cause extensive damage to your property. Use your personal discression when taking on this task. If you do not feel comfortable performing the task: DON’T. I am not responsible for any incidents or accidents to you, or the damage or malfunction of your property. I trust you will make safe choices if you choose to perform this task.

I apologize if I lack the pictures you would like. I added words and arrows to help.

Time: 1.5 hour

Parts: Gear oil: API GL-4 or GL-5, 2 metal crush gaskets for fill and drain plugs: Toyota Part #90430-18008.

Tools: Jack and Jack Stands, Rubber Gloves, Flashlight/Trouble light, shop rags, Oil catch pan, hammer or mallet.
(C60 6-Speed: XRS) 24mm shallow socket and ratchet, 10mm hex/allen key. Suction Gun or applicable gear oil injecting method.
(C59 5-Speed: CE, LE, S) 24mm socket and ratchet, Suction Gun or applicable gear oil injecting method.

2005 Toyota Corolla Owner’s Manual


Oil capacity, L (qt., Imp. qt.):
5-speed 1.9 (2.0, 1.7)
6-speed 2.3 (2.4, 2.0)

Oil type:
Gear oil API GL-4 or GL-5

Recommended viscosity:
SAE 75W-90

Toyota recommends manual transmission changes every 64,000KM’s (40,000 Miles) or 48 months (4 years). 

Lets get started!!!
Here’s a pic of some of the stuff you’ll need

This is what I used starting from the back:
3 quarts of Redline MT-90 API GL-4 gear oil, 75W-90.
Suction Gun (For inserting gear oil into filler).
(Left) Ratchet with 24mm shallow socket (deep won’t fit; space issue).
(Right) Rubber Gloves.
(Bottom Left) 10mm Hex/Allen Key.
(Bottom Center) 2 Metal Crush Gaskets for drain and fill plugs.

With your car on hard level ground, e-brake set and car in 1st gear, jack the front up; I used the drivers side jack insert just aft of the front tire, and support the jack with a jackstandrightnext to it. Give the tire (in the air) a good shove to make sure the car is sturdy on the stand (so the car doesn’t fall on you while your working underneath).

Pic of the jack insert, below drivers door.

With the car in the air and safely supported, pop and raise the hood. Now you need to locate your Manual Transmission and its Drain and Fill plugs. My XRS’s (C60) transmission was located on the drivers side after the engine.

Here is the (C60) transmission in reference with the 2ZZ-GE engine. You can actually see the filler (AKA check) plug from up top when you open the hood.

Most manual transmission filler/check plugs are located on the side of the transmission case rather than the top.

A closer pic of the filler plug. (Note that I had drained and filled the Tranmission at this point, but I had not cleaned up the mess on the plastic, most of the oil you see was when I was trying to fill it…)

Now that you’ve located the filler plug, you have to find the drain plug. You will have to look under the car for it on (or near) the bottom of the transmission case.

Picture of the (C60) Transmission drain plug.

To the right of that pic is the drivers side front suspension control arm.

Good we’ve found both the drain and the filler plug for our transmission. Before we crack them it’s a good idea to have the metal crush gaskets. If you don’t replace them your transmission might leak…

Put on some rubber gloves and place a catch pan under the transmission filler plug and take out the filler plug first with a 10mm hex/allen key. They are usually on tight so you might need to give the 10mm key a couple hits with a hammer. (looking at a bolt counter-clockwise is to loosen, clockwise to tighten. at top: Lefty loosy, righty tighty). After you crack the filler plug you should be able to take it out by hand from the top of the car looking down. When you fully remove the plug some oil might come out, wait till it stops, and wipe down the drips on the transmission case.

Same pic as before.

Now slide under the car and repostion the catch pan under the transmission drain plug and crack the drain plug with a 24mm shallow socket and ratchet (a deep socket wouldn’t work for me because of clearence, and a wench wouldn’t be able to turn it very well because of transmission case obstructions). Take the drain plug out by hand (same as the filler plug). You will notice alot more oil will come out. Pop out from under the car and wait till all the oil drains out of the transmission.

Same pic as before.

Take the metal crush gasket off the old transmission drain plug and put the new metal crush gasket on. Don’t put the new crush gasket over the old crush gasket. With the new crush gasket on the transmission drain plug and no oil coming out of the transmission drain hole, install the drain plug by hand until you can’t spin it. Switch to tighten on your 24mm socket ratchet and tighten the drain plug until it’s nice and tight (the torque for both plugs is 29lb-ft). Double check that it’s good and tight (,don’t take it out again or you might need another crush gasket). Wipe down the drips on the transmission case.

Time for the fun part! Now that the transmission drain is installed and tight it’s time to add the new transmission oil. Reposition the catch pan under the filler hole. Also remove the old metal crush gasket from the filler plug and put the new crush gasket on. You’ll know when to stop adding oil when it starts to come out of the filler hole.

What I did:
I used a “Suction Gun” but there are other methods. Your going to have to find a way to get the new transmission oil from the bottle into the filler hole. I ended up sucking the MT-90 up with the suction gun and transporting it to the filler hole with me standing over the front bumper with the gun vertical and the gun tube making a lazy 90 degree turn from vertical to horizontal into the filler hole. It was messy but it worked. I put in 2 quarts until I saw fluid start to come out of the filler hole. I then lowered the car with the oil catch pan still underneath. Now that the car was level I added the half quart more.

Install the filler plug (with new crush gasket on) by hand untill you can’t turn it. Grab the 10mm Hex/Allen key and tighten the filler plug. Double check that the filler plug is nice and tight. Wipe down the drips on the transmission case and plastic. Remove the catch pan from under the car. If you’re car is still in the air/on stands, lower it. Except for cleaning up; you’re done!!! Take it for a test drive, and check for leaks after, and in a couple days.

I’m +1 for Redline MT-90, the XRS’s transmission was smoother just throwing it in 1st gear to get it out of my garage. Sorry for the lack of pictures, If you need more or certain ones I’ll do my best. I’ll be happy to answer any questions, or concerns you have.

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One Response to “Toyota Corolla (2003-2008) Manual Transmission Fluid Change DIY”

  1. Bob says:

    Thx for the guide.but some 2004 toyota corollas don;t have the 10 mm hex on the filler plug it is the same plug as the bottom 24 mm socket 🙂 ty guys

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