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Automatic gearbox problems


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Hi, my name is Roland, i am german, living in germany.my little nice is just in New Zeeland,for holidays and she has trouble with a used car, which she bought for her 6 months holiday.she told me by phone that after a few weeks of driving , now the automatic transmission start to make trouble.she explained, that since a few days the car didn't shift in the next higher gear and sometimes the car rattles while driving.as she is absolutely unexperienced in cars,( she just turns 18) i try to help a bit, but i never drove a automatic car. as i red in some forums, the first is to check the oil.can someone tell me where she can find the dipstick for the gearbox, as there is no manual with the car, and she is far away from the workshop, where she bought the car, i try to explain or check in the web, but don't get informations about the dipstick.She tried of course to get in touch with the mechanic, but as there are the Christmas days ...., i found out that there are also connectors on the gearbox and a red rubber throttle cable, can someone explain me what are these connectors for, i also read that there is a gearbox oil filter, but may that's for later.I told her to find a workshop/ mechanic ,close to here, but may there are some simple ways, what she can do first on her own, like checking the oil....


all informations i have is that she own a 1996 Toyota Previa, Automatic gearbox, and that the the shift is on the steering wheel.I 

Is there a chassis number somewhere on the car, where she can get more information about the transmission type?


thanks for your help, and sorry for my bad english.


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I have an 02 Estima 2.4 petrol the gearbox dipstick is at the left hand side at the of the engine and Vin number is left hand side above the wheel arch in the engine bay. Not sure about a 1996 model whether the engine and gearbox is under slung midships under the floor, I wouldn't know where they would be on that type of model.

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Hi Roland, this Youtube video might help you locate the transmission dipstick.  I can't help with your other questions I'm afraid.

This link has some excellent technical information as well as oil specifications:-


As well as lubricating and cooling the transmission, the transmission oil pressure is valved to control some transmission functions in other parts of the mechanism, if the level is much too low these can't work, which can give some strange problems.

Best of luck!

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The second link does not seem to work reliably, if it just takes you to an oil guide, then try googling this:-   "autozone.com previa transmission fluids"


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