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2004 Toyota Corolla just reached 10,000 miles

Hi, I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla. I rarely need to drive it, so it has only just passed the 10,000 mile mark even thought it’s almost 7 years old. I have an appointment to have it serviced and I wondering if it will be just a normal 10,000 service or if there are things that might need to be replaced just because of age. Any opinions? Any ideas how much I might have to spend? (I live in the Chicago area if that helps with an estimate) Thanks!

Lisa Silberstein

Check your owner’s manual, and pay attention to the time intervals for service. Based on time alone, you should have had about 14 oil changes, cooling system service, and transmission service. Based on age, you may also have some iffy belts and hoses, although they seem to last much longer than the old days. Luckily, this engine uses a timing chain, so no problem there. Tires will be due in 3 years, or less if the tires are older than 7 years old. Check the manufactured date on the tires to be sure. Here’s how:

Averaging only 1,428 miles a year, I wonder if renting a car on the occasions you need to drive would be cheaper than owning this car. Figuring in Payments, tag fees, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, I’m willing to bet the occasional rental charges would be less, and less hassle, since they keep up the maintenance, tag fees, and taxes.

Is this the first time the car has been in for any service? When was the last oil change?

Due to age you should have virtually all the fluids replaced, coolant, trans, brake fluid, etc. If there is a timing belt (not sure if you have a motor with a timing belt of timing chain) it should be changed.

Some would say to replace your tires, but I’d let them go for 2 or 3 more years. Even though you rarely drive and only a few miles these things wear out simply due to age.

Since you drive so little perhaps you should consider selling the car and renting a car from Enterprise or similar company when you need one.

It won’t be cheap, but the timing belt should be changed soon. If the engine does have a belt, it’ll cost around $6~800 depending on where you take it

You should get an oil change, maybe thirty dollars, and have the brakes inspected. I think at 10,000 miles you should be okay in a Toyota, but you should drive the car at least a mile once a week.

To better answer your question, stick to the normal protocal for a ten thousand mile maintenance. Ignore age for just now. Toyota has a great reputation because it has superior quality control.

would you say it is superior QC if the belt snapped and ruined the engine?
No matter how much QCing you do, your parts are only as good as your suppliers make them

Yes. Of course. Superior materials make a superior product. In fact, the supply chain is the first part of quality assurance. You cannot produce a quality product until your suppliers hold to the same standards of quality as you do. It’s not QC’ing. It’s supply chain management. Toyota should write books on the subject, even if they learned it from Deming.

bscar, 04 Corollas have timing chains.

But, belts, hoses, tires, and fluids do have limited time factors. That is why the manufacturers use mile intervals and/or time intervals in their maintenance schedules. Time is just as important as miles of use.