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30,000 mile service

Do I need 30,000 mile service on my six year old Toyota Rav 4 with only 18,300 miles on it? I have only gotten the minor services done over the years. My mechanic says yes I do need the 30,000 mile service. i think he is wrong. What do you think?


Your Mechanic Could Be Onto Something, At Least In Part.
What Model-Year Is The Vehicle ?
What Service Items Does The 30,000 Mile Service Specify ?


What does the 30k mile service your mechanic wants to perform consist of? There may be some parts of that service which should be considered due not only to mileage, but also time, and there may be some services you should consider that aren’t a part of the 30k mile service. At six years of age, I would be considering changing the coolant and accessory drive belt(s), and probably sometime next year, changing the transmission filter and fluid. For your driving, I would also ignore whatever mileage interval the manual calls for and change the oil at least once a year, since you average a mere 3,000 miles a year. I have made my recommendations, now what are your mechanic’s recommendations???

I think that you should open your glove compartment, take out the Owner’s Manual, and read the maintenance section of that book–possibly for the first time.

What you will find is that ALL maintenance procedures have an elapsed time value, as well as an odometer mileage value. Those who service low-mileage vehicles solely on the basis of odometer mileage are ignoring vital services that–in the long run–will have expensive repair consequences.

Generally speaking, a 30k service is supposed to be done after 2.5–3 years, even if the odometer has not reached 30k miles. Or, in other words, you are 3–3.5 years overdue for that 30k service, and that is actually tantamount to abusing the vehicle, simply because the type of driving that you are doing is far more injurious to the car in the long run than daily extended-run highway use.

For the sake of your wallet, stop abusing the vehicle and have it serviced properly.

I think the mechanic is correct. Your owner’s manual states something like “every 5000 miles or x months, whichever comes first.” So if you have not had proper maintenance for a while, your time has come.

It is true that some maintenance is time-related, such as cooling system service, while other types are wear-and-tear related. But many items at least need to be checked for wear.

You don’t need all of the services listed for the 30,000-mile mark. But refusing them all is not a good idea.

Why don’t you want to follow the instructions in your owner’s manual?

Not sure what 30K service entails. In many Toyotas spark plugs get changed at 30K miles. It couldn’t hurt to change them in that it keeps them from getting rusted in place and sometimes the gaskets at the base of the plugs can fail with age. If it were me I’d skip the new plugs.

I would get all the fluids changed if new fluids are part of the 30K service. On the Rav 4 you have transmission fluid, differential fluids, and transfer case fluids, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. New fluids replace old fluids that deplete with age (miles on the car aren’t as big a factor as age) and might mean longer life for some expensive items to repair and replace if they fail.

Why don’t you list the specific services for an “up or down” vote on what your car needs? Check your owners manual and where it says XXX miles or YYY years pay attention the years since your car has such low miles.

Take a look at your owner's manual.  Does it recommend those services every 30,000 miles OR 6 years which ever comes first?

At six year mark, I would do the service. Most likely, your maintenance schedule called for a three year interval if the mileage part wasn’t met, so you are due. Coolant and other items age so doing the 30K servies serves as setting a new baseline for maintenance of your vehicle. It is cheap insurance to keep your car properly maintained.