2021 Toyota RAV4 - Coolant flush?

I was told to get coolant flush done - my car is 2021 Toyota RAV4 ( 45K ) … is it necessary to get it done now ? Or wait till later ?

The maintenance guide indicates to replace Toyota Super Long-Life coolant after ten years/100,000 miles. Was there a reason given that the coolant needs to be replaced early? Other than for the shop to make more money?


I have a 2021 Toyota rav4 as well. My dealer hasn’t told me that I need this service. My rav4 is at 55k miles.

Who told you to get a “flush”? You don’t need that, and getting a coolant change at the recommended interval from the owners manual will likely work just fine (100k first time, every 50k thereafter). If you plan to keep this car for the long term (say 15 year, 200k miles), you could shorten that to every 50k, and add in a transmission fluid change at the same time.

Also, I would make sure the fluid used was the factory-recommended type, not some ‘universal’ fluid, whenever I had it done.


If you do your maintenance based on what you “were told”, you’ll probably do unnecessary maintenance and miss necessary maintenance. I suggest that you follow the instructions given to you directly by the manufacturer, especially if the car is still under warranty.


I’m a diy’er, and if I were the RAV4’s owner, I’d replace the coolant every 3 years. Assuming this is a relatively simple diy’er job. As long as the job is done correctly, replacing the coolant – even if it is too often and not needed — will never hurt, only help. If I were paying P&L for a shop to do it, cash was short, there were no signs of a cooling system problem developing, I might take the risk and delay it.

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I don’t do coolant myself anymore. I have a well system and it’s way too hard to capture all the coolant. Don’t want that stuff getting into the ground water. Professional places around here are REQUIRED to have a capture system like this. Which isn’t cost effective for a DIYer.

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Toyota isn’t expecting you to capture all the coolant any more. That’s why the first maintenance interval is ten years and the subsequent intervals are five. They expect the system with 100% fresh coolant (installed at the factory) to last ten years, but after that the expectation is that you only drain and refill the radiator so there is not 100% fresh coolant in the system ever again.

Draining and refilling the radiator is even easier to contain than performing an oil change.

George_San_Jose1 wrote:

I’m a diy’er, and if I were the RAV4’s owner, I’d replace the coolant every 3 years.

Given that Toyota says the coolant doesn’t need to be changed till 10 years or 100K miles, what is the reasoning to change it much more often?

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Well, since George apparently thinks that we should go back to the days when cars had an incredible number of lube fittings that needed to be lubed every 1,000 miles, should anything surprise us?


I don’t know of a single shop that just does a drain and refill anymore.

All the shops around here have coolant flush machines that replaces 100% of the coolant while at the same time allows for checking for leaks in the cooling system.

The one I use is an old unit, but still works.




I agree, and have used many different flush machines at different shops…

But I just have to point out that the coolant flush machine shown in the pic says Drain & Fill System… Yes I know it is a flush machine… lol

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When presented with a relatively inexpensive maintenance choice that causes no harm and will help keep the car in good repair, imo it’s best for the car owner to error on the side of keeping the car in good repair. It’s a compromise of course whether to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for maintenance intervals, or something more frequent. The car owner suffers more inconvenience and more expense with more frequent servicing. Is there enough payback in the form of fewer repairs later? Hard to say for certain, but suggest to consider whether or not the manufacturer has an inherent conflict of interest. hmmm …

Of course!
But, you seem to want to bring back the “technology” of needing to lube the chassis of cars every 1,000 miles. Is this not a bit… inconsistent?

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What makes you think that? I’m trying to determine the compromise b/t the price of a new car and the frequency of required maintenance. My guess is that that would-be car buyers would prefer lower prices in exchange for more frequent required maintenance. Is there a better way to make this determination other than simply ask?

Actually what you are doing is Highjacking a thread with nonsense.


I bet 99% of folks would vote for less frequent service, and your example would end up costing more, anyway. It’s hard to take a question seriously when it’s built on false assumptions.


You seem to be claiming there’s little to no relationship b/w new car prices and the needed frequency of maintenance. Did you mean to say this?

Yes, precisely. Suspension components with zerk fittings would be no cheaper than sealed units, I bet. Same goes for carefully designed cooling systems and fluids that allow for 100k initial change intervals. No money to be saved by reverting to 1966 designs.

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What do other’s here think? Do you concur w/@texases there’s no relationship b/t vehicle cost and required maintenance intervals? i.e. it would be impossible for a manufacturer to design a car that required more frequent servicing than competitors in exchange for being able to sell it at a lower cost? That’s just not possible engineering-wise?