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30K Maintenance on 05 RAV4

I have an 05 RAV4 with 26K miles. When I called the dealer to schedule a “routine” oil change I was told I need 30K maintenance work now (due to age) Is it ok to wait till 30K? I don’t drive much.

I was quoted over# $700 for the maintenance which will include a replacement of all transmission fluid and other fluids, etc. Does this sound “right”?

Some people have told me to go to a local “Toyota” mechanic not a dealer. If this is a good option, how do I find one? (Rehoboth Beach De)

Any feedback appreciated. I love this car.

Money is an issue but I’d like to prevent bigger problems in the future.



First thing to do is pull out your owners manual, figure out exactly what should be done, given your car’s age and mileage. Dealers love to over-sell maintenance, you must specify what should be done, have them give you a price. But yes, ordinary maintenance like this can usually be done as well, and cheaper, at a local mechanic (not a chain quicky lub, though). Use the cartalk mechanic finder to see if there’s one in your area.

You need to define how long “don’t drive much” is. Sounds like 5-6K miles per year.
If two or three months, then I would consider waiting.
If a six months to a year, I would go ahead and do the service, per the owner’s manual.
If you like to go into winter with a fully serviced car, do it now.

I would recommending establishing a good relationship with an independent mechanic. I don’t think there is much magic about a RAV4 that requires a dealer’s (more expensive) attention.

I’ll search for a mechanic in the area. This was a big help

Yes, get your 30,000 mile service performed.

Yes, get more quotes. $700 sounds like a lot.

Way overpriced. My sister(has newer RAV4) checked with dealership she bought from and they quoted her over $500 for 30k. She went to a more local one and found price to be $250.

Price shop around, independents is another route ask around. Note if they suggest repairs remember you still have a power train warranty and quite possibly the bumper-bumper left or about to expire. You need a Toyota dealer to perform warranty work.

It may not be overpriced depending on the services performed and the owners manual is not always the final word.
The reason for this is that car makers attempt to portray their vehicles as more “maintenance free” and requiring less upkeep than what should be performed.

Most of them started this kind of thing about 25 years ago and it’s been steadily increasing over the years.
Good for them and the PR department and gives the car owners a warm fuzzy feeling but it’s often not so good on the car itself.

Some dealers stick strictly to the owners manual recommendations and others go beyond it. Some “beyonds” are not needed; others are. That’s why you see a discrepancy in pricing.
Some of the “beyonds” that may really be needed is transmission fluid change, coolant change, brake fluid change, fuel filter, etc. etc.

I would advise getting the oil change only and there is no harm in delaying the 30k miles service until 30k is actually obtained.
There is also no harm in going to an independent garage to have this work performed.

I have a toyota price chart from my dealer that shows the basic price for the 30,000 service/maintenance is 180

The price is going to vary based on where that dealer is located also.
In San Francisco dealer labor rates may be 150-175 dollars per flat rate hour.
Here in OK the labor rates may be 70 dollars an hour.

There’s a huge differential between 3 hours of service at 150-175 dollars per and 3 hours of service at 70 dollars per.

A lot of maintenance schedules contain a recommended mileage and a time frame, with the additon “whichever comes first”. I don’t know if that’s the case but I would find it plausible that there is a thing that says “Do this at 30K miles or after 3 years 0 whichever comes first”. Some fluids go bad no matter how much you drive (and in some instances even worse the less you drive).

I think you should do the service but if you can find an independent shop that is somewhat specialized in Toyotas your quote should be almost slashed in half.

Question: Have you ever had the 15K service performed?

As a rule of thumb I bring my cars in to an “annual” service in addition to the oil changes. That way small problems are detected early and the car is in tiptop shape all the time.

You can wait until 30,000 miles. A lot of people won’t have it done at all. The dealers always want to get you in whenever they can. The only thing I don’t put off is an oil change. Almost everything else can wait. I don’t like putting off tire rotation but I wait for the 5,000 miles which is recommended on my Yaris because I want the tire wear to be balanced.

If you find a competent, honest mechanic, he’ll probably suggest changing the tranny fluid, gas filter, air filter, oil $ filter, and checking other fluid levels, belts, and brakes. He may want to lube hinges and a few other moving components. Rotating the tires is also a good idea. That’s about all you should need. Don’t be surprised if a belt or two needs replacement after 4 years. Your tires may be showing signs of rot as well. Once serviced, you shouldn’t have to do much more than change the oil & filter for another 30k miles. Check your manual.