I recently took my 2007 Toyota Camry into the dealer for its 120,000 mile maintenance. As usual, they tried to up-sell me from $300+ to over $700 (the “premium” package!). I resisted, but did get talked into adding on a brake system “flush” to the tune of an additional $100+. My husband said I’ve been taken. Have I?
No you were not . That is something that should be done every 30000 miles or three years . I am going to guess that some of the other things they suggested might also need to be done to this 12 year old vehicle . Look at your service schedule in your owners manual.
Im with V70…at minimum 5 years over due…pedal should feel a little better now
Why are taking your 12+ year old Toyota to the dealer for service?
Most independent shops can perform the exact same service at a lower cost.
I agree that the fluid exchange is a good idea but also agree that you do not need to see the dealer for something like this.
Not something to worry about. The extra $100 for brake fluid replacement was well worth it. My concern would be more about the shop not doing the job correctly. As long as they did it correctly, definitely a plus, and you are good to go. And stop.
I have a 2012 Camry, there is nothing in my manual about a brake fluid flush, or for that matter, a transmission flush or power steering fluid flush.
I think some of those maintenance items are left out by the marketing department, not the engineers.
The reason for that, sadly, is that almost no one checks the moisture content of brake fluid in the US. In Europe that is checked everytime the car gets inspected.
Like transmission fluid changes, it may not be in the manual, but it is a good idea if you want your car to last a long time.
Toyota is especially bad about this. They’re selling the “no maintenance!” crap so hard that when they write the manual they edit out maintenance items that should be done. I don’t know why people are so afraid of basic maintenance that they’d refuse to buy a car if they think it needs it. It’s a machine. Machines need to be maintained.
But car companies know that many if not most people who buy brand new cars don’t keep them for 100,000+ miles. They want a new car before then and replace it. So any mechanical problems that are caused by neglected maintenance falls on the used car buyer, and the auto makers don’t care about them.
You’ve only been “taken” if you don’t think that being able to stop your vehicle is a high priority.
As others stated, this should have been the 4th time that your brake fluid was changed. If this has never before been done, you are long overdue.
I have always done the scheduled maintenance at the dealership, so I don’t think this was particularly overdue. I think my husband’s feeling is that as long as the brakes themselves are ok and the fluid level is fine, it doesn’t really need to be flushed and completely exchanged. However, I have decided I need to find someplace other than the dealership to have work done, because their prices are just truly outrageous, and I always feel they’re looking for something else they can charge me for.
I always made sure the brake fluid is flushed whenever I have my brakes redone.Luckily they all seem to go at 80k miles or so for my current car. Rust from the outside will probably kill them first, just my story, not a recommendation. 03, 190k, 40k till my next brakes if it makes it that long.
He can think that all he wants to but he is wrong.
You could have saved $10 by having an independent repair shop replace the brake fluid and then come here to tell us about the adventure.
I was not saying these fluids should not be changer, just that it does no good to tell someone to consult the manual.
I live in the heart of the worst salt belt in the country. It is snowy enough to need a lot of salt to get to bare roads but usually warm enough to make the brine very active in causing rust, I have seen cars where the semi anual winter tire change over had such severe rusting of the wheel to the hub that the wheel could no t be driven off with a sledgehammer so the center area of the wheel had to be heated to cherry color to get the wheel off. The 2012 Camry is the only car I have ever had where I could get the brake bleeders open after 3 years old. They have excellent rubber caps over them and the bleeders themselves show no corrosion (stainless steel maybe?)
In the past I had avoided bleeding the brakes as much as possible unless I had to open the system because it requored taking the calipers or wheel cylinders down to my workbench to strio the rubber parts out before heating the bleeders and quenching them with penetrating oil. The drum brakes I could gravity bleed by inserting a tooth pick at the top of the wheel cylinder to deform the seal enough to leak. That trick was taught to me 60 years ago by an old forklift mechanic. When my brake fluid was getting old, I used to make do by using a turkey baster to empty the master cylinder enough times to use up a quart bottle of fluid.
You kept your car longer than initial owner is supposed to keep it in the paradigm of “I can do nothing and it will keep going anyways”.
Toyota specifically optimizes their fluids to keep the car on the road around 100-120 K miles when they are advertising “lifetime fluid” for the transmission, brakes, etc…
If you check your maintenance schedule carefully, at 120K you are due for coolant, transmission fluid, etc…
Brake fluid is one of the things what may be left neglected by the request of marketing department, who presses the engineers to advertise “maintenance free” vehicle.
Still, it does not change the laws of physics: brake fluid if slowly but surely absorbs moisture from the air, no matter how many people will tell “it is sealed”, in reality it is not COMPLETELY sealed.
Once you have enough moisture in your fluid, next two things happen:
- Fluid boiling point drops, increasing chances of boil-up and loosing brakes under severe braking conditions (think emergency stops and mountain driving)
- Your brake system components start rusting from inside
#1 is plain and simple dangerous
#2 is where down the road you start getting into “seized brakes” and/or “failing brakes since brake lines were ruptured from rust inside”
At 120K and in city driving you are unlikely to “feel” it on your brake pedal, but make your priorities straight.
If you want to get more miles from this car and if you want you and people around stay alive - brake fluid flush service is absolutely needed, no matter what manufacturer marketing department thinks.
Back in the day, space shuttle management overridden engineers about booster rubber seals pre-failure operation under “it was working before” justification, we know what happened next.
Small point, but as brake fluid picks up moisture the boiling point drops leading to the potential problems mentioned.
ops… my mistake… sure, boiling point drops, not rises… corrected
Brake fluid is hygroscopic and attracts atmospheric moisture; because of this it really should be replaced every three years regardless of mileage.