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90000 mile service

I recently took my 2004 Toyota Corolla into a dealer to have a 90,000 mile service but I turned around and left after I saw the price and their list of stuff to do. For example:

Flush brake system $133

Flush power steering system $106

Power flush cooling system $144

M/T flush $143

AC refresher service $72

EFI pressure clean $75

Top induction clean $85

The total bill was over $800…I don’t know anything about car maintenance so I left because it sounded funny. I’ve worked hard to pay for this car and I want it to last so I’ll go along with whatever maintenance is recommended! What is the deal with flushes -are they a good idea? My Toyota maintenance guide does not mention them at all.

My car has been doing one thing unusual as of recent. It used to pull up hills no problem even in 4th and 5th, but lately it hesitates a little and loses speed slightly, e.g. when the rpms level off after shifting to 4th.

I’m curious to know what yall recommend for maintenance at this point so when I shop around at dealerships or with an independent I know what to ask for and what to reject.

Thanks in advance! Ted

The Toyota maintenance guide that came with the car will tell you what is needed. Just because the dealer pads the list for extra profit doesn’t mean you have to agree to all the additional “services.”

Of all the things you list, I’d say the brake fluid replacement, transmission fluid replacement, and a coolant change are probably legitimate, but check the maintenance schedule to be sure.

I don’t know how you “flush” a manual transmission. You remove the drain plug, allow the old lubricant to drain out, replace the drain plug and refill with clean lubricant. What’s to flush?

Power steering never needs to be flushed, as far as I’m concerned. This is a profit generator, pure and simple. It’s not in the maintenance schedule because it’s not necessary.

AC refresher service? What the heck is that? If the AC is working it doesn’t need any “refresher.”

The EFI clean and the top induction clean don’t mean much, since they aren’t very well defined. Gasoline has detergents in it by federal law. Usually no other fuel system cleaner, or cleaning, is recommended.

You don’t need to take your car to a Toyota dealer for maintenance. I recommend you find a good independent mechanic to help you maintain your car and save some money.

For all the posters who continually complain about having to actually PAY for the pre-known inevitable repairs…Where’s your car repair savings account ?

It is, in fact, a machine.
It will, in fact, ultimately NEED maintainence.
Maintainence is cheaper than repairs.

And there comes a time when you can’t afford NOT to or you’ll have nothing to drive.

However, much of the ‘need’ ( per mcparadise ) is reletive to your maintainence prior to this mileage point and simple , single answers cannot be offered on-line.

Far too many car owners remain maintainence blind. Even though they have a house and a human body that are well kept, they just don’t seem to logic that the car they bought because it was the right color, or has the right sound system, actually requires an on-going investment.

I think the OP was questioning the need for several of the services listed that are not in the Toyota maintenance schedule, and are ripoffs.

Other than the manual transmission flush, all of the other items are legitimate and could very well be needed.

The factory owners manual is not the final word as some would have you believe. The factory wants to convey the impression that their cars need very little preventative maintenance so therefore they skimp on the “probably oughtas”.
They all do this.

You state the car now lacks power on the upgrades. Check the owners manual and see what it says about spark plugs and fuel filters for starters. If the plugs have never been changed that should have been done about 40k miles back. If the fuel filter has not been changed then that little chore is about 75k miles past due.

I am comming around to accepting the need of the services not mentioned in the owners handbook, I just don’t like the prices.

The main argument given to call these services ripoffs is that they are not mentioned in the owners manual but we all know the manufacture wants to present their vehicle needing as little service as possible.

Does the AC refresher service stop odor? we get a lot of questions about that.

Does the Top induction clean include cleaning EGR passages? this would be of benifit.

GM advises induction cleaning and top engine cleaning in TSB’s

We have been dropping fluids on manual trans BMW’s (and diffs.) for years.

Steering racks do develope leaks.

No one disputes the brake flush.

Like I said it, is the price for the services I dispute.

The maintenance guide says 120K for spark plugs. I had the fuel filter replaced at 75K.

Thanks for all of the comments. In regards to fluids:

Cooling system
Brake system

what do you recommend flushing, and what can just be drained and replaced?

I have driven manual transmission cars for a total of over 1,000,000 miles and have NEVER serviced a manual transmission and never encountered a problem. Same thing with fuel injectors. Never serviced, never a problem.

Yeah, thanks. I just read on Consumer Reports that flushing the transmission is a classic dealer rip-off.

I do drop and fills on both the coolant and the M/T with a flush on the brakes. My local “mom and Pop” independant refuses to do drop and fills for coolant,if you want to be his customer you must allow him to use his coolant flush machine.

A proper auto trans flush (with filter replacement and a real gasket on the pan)is not dangerous to the transmission,just expensive.

I have seen some pretty bad results in doing auto trans flushes. You must open the trans. fluid cooling circuit and some times people break off fittings,break stuff getting to the point where they open the circuit or don’t securely re-connect everything.

For GM many times the place to open the circuit is at the radiator and the later model clips and connectors can give inexperienced people fits.

The brake system needs a flush. Brake fluid absorbs water. The car’s brake fluid system does not totally prevent moisture from getting into the system. If too much water collects in the brake system it can freeze in the winter, boil in summer or cause corrosion all year.

Thanks a ton yall…I feel a lot more confident about finding a mechanic and negotiating a good service for my car. I think I’ll have that person drop and fill the M/T and flush the cooling and brake systems, along with the normal inspections. There’s a guy right here in town that just does radiators, I bet he would give me a good price on the cooling system.

how is replacing the fuel filter possible on this car when replacement requires replacement of the entire fuel pump assembly. According to my Valvoline guide, Advance autoparts and mighty autoparts they all say the same. Last time i checked a Toyota should not need a fuel pump replacement because it’s not a GM.

You’re probably right. My records just say “fuel system serv.” and $119.95 in labor costs. When I posted that response above, I made the bad assumption that perhaps the fuel filter had been replaced as part of that work. Sitting here with the record in hand -I’m thinking back- I remember that what happened was after their inspection the mechanic recommended servicing the fuel injection system and I told him to go ahead.

None of those things are listed in the maintenance booklet for my 2006 Toyota Matrix (very similar to Corolla), at least not described as ‘flushes’.

A good indy mechanic could change coolant, transmission oil and brake fluid for less. A new thermostat would be prudent.

For the hesitation I would start with a bottle of Techron in a tank of gas and inspect the spark plugs. Have valve clearances been checked?

I would skip the rest of that dealer’s list.

I had to make an emergency stop with my 2003 Corolla 5-speed because the transmission went and now needs to be completely replaced. It had only 114K. The mechanics at the service station who helped me out drained the manual transmission to be sure there was fluid, and there was, and determined it was the original fluid and should have been changed at 60K. I don’t know whether or not that contributed to my issue, but I can tell you the bill came to $65, half of what you listed at the dealer for a transmission drain/refill. I would definitely go to a private mechanic who either specializes in Toyotas or works on a lot of them.