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Lexus RC Transmission Fluid Capacity

Lexus RC Transmission Fluid Capacity

In a segment brimming with contenders, the Lexus RC stands out, not just for its assertive styling or its adrenaline-pumping performance, but for its synthesis of luxury and dynamism. As a beacon of Lexus’s commitment to engineering excellence, it represents a perfect blend of sporty responsiveness and opulent comfort.

A significant part of its agile performance and prolonged lifecycle lies in the seemingly inconspicuous component – the transmission fluid.

At a glance, transmission fluid may seem like just another component in the grand machinery of the Lexus RC. However, its significance is paramount.

Much like how our circulatory system distributes vital nutrients to sustain life, the transmission fluid in the Lexus RC ensures that every shift, every drive, is executed with precision and smoothness. But, as with all things, quality, and timely maintenance is the key to its efficacy.

2019 Lexus RC350

The Role of Transmission Fluid in the Lexus RC

For the uninitiated, the transmission is a marvel of engineering that allows the Lexus RC to transition between gears smoothly, giving drivers the thrilling experience of acceleration and controlled deceleration.

The transmission fluid is the unsung hero in this process. It lubricates, cools, and cleans the transmission’s internal parts, ensuring that gear shifts are not only smooth but also free of any wear and tear.

Every time the RC glides seamlessly from one gear to another, it’s the transmission fluid working diligently behind the scenes.

Risks and Issues Associated with Improper Fluid Maintenance or Wrong Fluid Type

However, not all is well if this fluid is neglected. Using the wrong type of fluid, or failing to replace it at the right intervals, can spell trouble for the Lexus RC. Here are the potential pitfalls:

  • Erratic Shifts: The first sign of trouble is usually the most noticeable. Gear shifts become jarring, either hesitating or slamming into place.
  • Overheating: Transmission fluid doubles as a coolant. With the wrong type or degraded fluid, the transmission’s temperature can rise, leading to potential damage.
  • Decreased Fuel Efficiency: A struggling transmission consumes more power, leading to decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Transmission Wear: Without the right lubrication, the internal components of the transmission face undue wear and tear, reducing its lifespan.

In essence, while the Lexus RC is a testament to automotive excellence, its performance is intrinsically tied to the quality and maintenance of its transmission fluid. Regular checks and using the recommended fluid type ensure that the RC remains the epitome of luxury and performance.

Lexus RC Transmission Fluid Capacities and Types

1st Gen (XC10) 2015-Now Lexus RC:

The precise fluid capacity varies based on the specific model and transmission type for the Lexus RC.

GearboxFluid capacityFluid type
RC F 8-speed AA80ETotal fill: 11.8 quarts (11.2 liters)
Drain and refill: 3.9 quarts (3.7 liters)
RC200t 8-speed AA80ETotal fill: 9.2 quarts (8.7 liters)
Drain and refill: 3.4 quarts (3.2 liters)
RC300 6-speed A760HTotal fill: 10.6 quarts (10 liters)
Drain and refill: 1.7 quarts (1.6 liters)
RC350 8-speed AA81ETotal fill: 10 quarts (9.5 liters)
Drain and refill: 3.4 quarts (3.2 liters)

The recommended transmission fluid type for the Lexus RC of this generation is typically ATF WS (Automatic Transmission Fluid World Standard).

Transmission fluid change intervals and the exact type can vary based on driving conditions, regional variations, and other factors. It’s crucial to adhere to Lexus’s recommendations for the best vehicle performance and longevity.

Steps to Check and Replace Transmission Fluid in Lexus RC

Assessing Fluid Levels and Quality:

  • Parking and Safety: Begin by parking the vehicle on a level surface. Engage the parking brake for safety. If possible, use wheel chocks to secure the car further.
  • Warm Up the Transmission: Start the vehicle and allow it to reach its normal operating temperature. This ensures the fluid is at its normal viscosity, making it easier to check.
  • Access the Transmission Dipstick: Open the hood and locate the transmission fluid dipstick. It’s usually labeled and might be colored differently from the engine oil dipstick. If you’re unsure, refer to the vehicle’s manual.
  • Check Fluid Level: Withdraw the dipstick, wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth, reinsert it fully, and then pull it out again. Observe the fluid level—it should be between the ‘Min’ and ‘Max’ markings.
  • Inspect Fluid Quality: Look at the color of the fluid. New ATF is typically a clear red. If it’s dark brown or has a burnt smell, it might be time for a change. Also, feel the fluid between your fingers for grit or metal, which could indicate internal wear.

Draining and Refilling Transmission Fluid:

  • Gathering Supplies: Before starting, ensure you have the correct amount and type of transmission fluid (as previously specified), a drain pan, a funnel, and a new transmission filter if needed.
  • Draining Old Fluid: Position your drain pan beneath the transmission fluid pan. Unscrew the drain plug, allowing the old fluid to flow out into the pan. Beware, as the fluid might be hot. Let it drain completely.
  • Removing the Transmission Pan (Optional): In some cases, it might be beneficial to remove the pan entirely for a thorough cleaning and to replace the transmission filter. If so, be sure to have a new gasket ready for resealing.
  • Refilling with New Fluid: Once drained and any other maintenance tasks are completed, replace the drain plug (and pan if removed). Using a funnel, pour the new ATF into the transmission through the dipstick tube. Do not overfill; add in stages and keep checking the level to ensure it’s correct.
  • Final Check: Start the vehicle and let it run for a few minutes, then check the fluid level again while the engine is running. Make any necessary adjustments. Shift through all gears with the vehicle stationary, then recheck one last time.

Important Notes:

  • Always discard old transmission fluid responsibly. Many auto stores or workshops will accept and recycle old fluid.
  • If the transmission fluid is being changed due to a malfunction or contamination (e.g., coolant in the transmission), it’s advised to consult a professional as the vehicle might require multiple fluid changes or further repairs.
  • If you’re unsure at any stage, it’s always best to seek professional assistance. The transmission is a crucial component, and errors can be costly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I change the transmission fluid in my Lexus RC?

Typically, for most vehicles, it’s recommended to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. However, always refer to your Lexus RC’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s specific recommendation.

2. Can I use any transmission fluid in my Lexus RC?

No, it’s crucial to use the recommended transmission fluid type for your specific vehicle model. Using the wrong type can harm the transmission’s performance and lifespan.

3. What are the signs that my transmission fluid needs changing?

Some common signs include:

  • Dark, cloudy, or burnt-smelling fluid.
  • Difficulty in shifting gears or delayed gear engagement.
  • Unusual noises when the car is in neutral.
  • Slipping gears.

4. Can I change the transmission fluid myself?

While it’s possible for individuals familiar with car maintenance to change the fluid, it’s essential to ensure it’s done correctly. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to trust a professional to avoid potential mistakes.

5. How can I check the quality of my transmission fluid?

You can use the dipstick to check both the level and color of the fluid. New ATF is typically clear red, while dark or brown fluid might need a change. If you feel grit or metal shavings in the fluid, this could indicate wear inside the transmission.

6. Is it necessary to change the transmission filter too?

It’s generally a good practice to change the filter when you change the fluid, especially if the vehicle has high mileage or the fluid is very dirty.

References and Resources

  1. Lexus Owners Club Forum
  2. Lexus Enthusiast


About Thomas Bradfork

As a certified automotive mechanic with over 20 years of experience, Thomas specializes in Asian vehicles, particularly those from Japan and Korea. His vast knowledge and hands-on experience with brands like Kia, Hyundai, Honda, Subaru and Toyota have given him an intricate understanding of their design philosophy and technical nuances.

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