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Are these necessary services?

When my wife had the oil in her '05 Toyota Highlander changed at the dealer at 48,621 miles; they gave her the following recommended service plan: flush engine ($113), flush brake syatem ($103), flush power steering system ($90), flush automatic transmission ($186), and service electronic feul injectors ($120). Are these really necessary??

Engine flush not required, but high dealer profit. doubt if you will find it listed in your owner’s manual as a needed maintenance service.

Brake flush OK because brake fluid can absorb moisture over time, and this makes sure your brake system works fine.

Flush power steering: doubtful if needed or if in owner’s manual as a needed service. Again, high profit. You can get nearly as well with a turkey baster and repetitive draining/refill of the PS reservoir.

AT flush: If there is a filter involved, then an AT service (pan drop, new filter, new fluid) might be in order. If ATF is really dirty, then consider a flush, but most of the time the pan drop works out well. I do this type service every 30K miles on my vehicles, regardless of what the owner’s manual may or may not say about this important service.

Service fuel injection: not needed unless you are having some level of idle/performance problem that can be diagnosed to the injector system. Doubtful that you are. You can get almost as much good by putting a bottle of Techron or other quality fuel injector cleaner additive in your gas tank next time you fill up. Follow directions on bottle.

Most Toyotas are on a 30/60K maintenance schedule, and much of what I have said assumes you have kept up maintenance per the owner’s manual maintenance schedule. You need to assess what you need to get done in light of your past maintenance practices and the owner’s manual maintenance schedule.

The brake fluid should definitely be changed/flushed after 3 years/36,000 miles of service, and so should the transmission fluid. As to the other services, those are very questionable unless there are specific symptoms that indicate a need. In the absence of symptoms, I would refuse the other services.

No, but they’re highly profitable for the Toyota dealer.

There is no need, ever, to flush the engine.

Brake system flush may be appropriate. Check your owner’s manual.

Power steering flush is a profit generator. Not necessary.

Flush automatic transmission. We could argue this until doomsday. Opinions vary greatly.

Fuel injector service? Totally unnecessary. Profit, pure and simple.

You don’t have to take your vehicle to the dealer to have these services done. Most independent service centers have access to the same information that the dealers have when it comes to service intervals. And if you find a good independent shop that has access to this information, not only can they save you money, but they pretty much know what should be serviced, and what makes absolutley no sense.


If you do decide to have any of these services done,don’t cheap out,inexperienced people can really mess your car up doing these simple things.

Anything listed in your owner's manual is needed, and I would recommend an auto transmission change (as opposed to a flush) in addition, if you have not done it yet. 

BTW you just found out what reason # 4 is for not brining your car to a dealer for service.  #5 is cost, which is almost always higher at a dealer than an independent.  Dealers are no better (or worse) than independents.