Can Super Long Life Coolant really last 10 years? Brake Fluid, never need change?


#1

Toyota Specifies its Pink Super Long Life Coolant for 120 months or 120,000miles. There is apparently no brake-fluid change interval, none for Power Steering fluid either.



also, no change interval for transmission fluid under “normal” driving.



I’ve learned enough from this forum about transmission to be doing a drain and refill with filter change every 30,000 miles.



but, what about the fluids??



do they need to be changed sooner??



can Toyota be trusted with what they specify??



car is a 2007 Corolla with 57,000 miles but this question is really about cars in general.



are the maintenance scheduels under-stating what needs to be done?



i really don’t want to do more service than is really necessary for fear of service-induced failures.



i did the tranny drain and refill just fine but getting the correct level of ATF was a hassle.


#2

I agree with you that maintenance schedule under-state what should be done. However there is no such thing as a “service-induced failure” except maybe stripping a bolt. People who claim service-induced failure usually are experiencing a problem due to neglect, then blame the service when the service fails to fix what is already broken.

Above sounds like the Honda “Normal Service” intervals that I am familiar with. Does your Toyota manual have a “Severe Service” section like my Honda? I would follow that–most people do “severe” driving anyway, meaning lots of stop-and-go traffic and driving in hot and cold weather conditions.

Personally, I change oil every 3000-5000 (non-synthetic), oil filter every 10000, and all fluids at least every 30000 (brake, coolant, power steering, transmission).


#3

Why not. Theoretically it should last a lifetime if it’s not contaminated as it’s not a heavy wear item. A friend who works on Toyotas said that even after the 120K interval, the “old” coolant looks practically new. Welcome to the new world of through a way motors and transmissions with little or no maintenance until replacement.

I’ll bet you may be reaping the benefits of those “darn” government regulations which mandates pollution control devices be maintenance free for a certain time and it seems a lot of the other systems are related including plugs, other ignition parts, valve adjustments and so on. Can systems last longer with more frequent changes ? Sure, but 10-15 years and and 150k to 200K seems readily doable with these intervals.


#4

hummn. If they’re using dot.5 brake fluid then it won’t absorb moisture and theoretically will be fine unless it gets contaminated somehow (i.e. replacing something that requires you to open up the hydraulic part of the system). But I highly doubt they’re using dot 5 as it’s problematic with ABS. Therefore I’d replace the brake fluid as you would on any other car.


#5

Toyota loves to do this and I think its pathetic - the only excuse is to be able to claim “low scheduled maintenance costs” for things such as Edmunds’ true cost to own, etc…

They don’t list a change, so there’s no scheduled change cost - however, they do list “inspections” of the fluid. Basically, they’re going with a change-as-it-looks-old philosophy and claiming low maintenance costs. But I’d be willing to wager that if they tell you that the transmission fluid looks dirty and you don’t change it, they void your warranty.

In essence, they give themselves the right to tell you every so many thousand miles that you have to have your transmission fluid changed, but they don’t have to show it as a projected cost of ownership.

That’s my theory, at least.


#6

I would ask a independents (not dealership) Toyota specialists for their opinion. Mercedes Benz stated that their W210 E-Class transmissions were “sealed for life.” Yes, for the life of the transmission. Independent MB techs recommend transmission oil changes every 50k miles.


#7

The reason for this, as previously stated, is to reduce the true cost of ownership of the car so they get good publicity. It’s a balancing act as to how little they can get away with recommending without having to pay a lot of warranty claims or develop a lousy reputation. I would certainly be more comfortable doing more maintenance than recommended to maintain the longevity of the car. Toyota has found the minimum they can get away with while still having a reasonably reliable car, although many mechanics would suggest more work than the maintenance schedule calls for. “Over-maintenance” can’t hurt as long as it’s done properly.


#8

Toyota loves to do this and I think its pathetic - the only excuse is to be able to claim “low scheduled maintenance costs” for things such as Edmunds’ true cost to own, etc…

It’s NOT just Toyota…and I agree it’s pathetic.

Toyota also has a lifetime Transmission fluid…which I change every 50k miles and it NEEDS it.

I also don’t like the 100k miles spark plugs.


#9

Regardless of what the official position of the parent company is, no Toyota dealership is interested in reducing the cost of ownership if it means milking maintenance money out of you. The balancing act comes from overcharging for checks they routinely perform anyway. All dealerships that I know of make more money from their service department than their sales. It is quite a chore convincing people they need to pay as much for service on a so called reliable car over it’s lifetime as you would repairing a less reliable one now and than.

BTW, “over maintenance” can’t hurt but does little IMO for life expectancy and hurts the old pocketbook immensely.


#10

While you are talking about maintenence, what do you guys think about the GM transmission a few years ago (little Chevy and Pontiac) that didn’t even have a dipstick or any way to check the fluid.


#11

It is getting worse. The Jeep Cherokee’s I was looking at had the transmission dip stick tube capped with a sign saying dealer only. It has to be done with a tool that reads the ATF temp.

I just bought a new Honda CRV. No maintenance schedule in the manual. Just a maintenance minder on the instrument cluster that will spit out numbers for me to change something or check it. Also uses 0W-20 oil with a oil life monitor, apparently 10K mile oil change interval. I feel like I am lost. I am used to being under one of my cars each weekend. Now all I have to do is wash and wax and repeat.


#12

Not that I’m supporting these practices, but I do feel for the engineer who is now designing a product for longer life and has to take into account the “backyard mechanic”. Practices used in the past may result in over/under filled transmissions and other systems, and a decision was made to make it the job of those more qualified. Let’s face it. They are now dealing with a buying public whO can’t even drive a manual transmission, let alone service their auto. I still remember my daughter wanting to borrow my car and cables to jump start a friend’s; even though the car turned over freely. I remind her to this day and encourage her NOT to try to maintain her car herself.


#13

I plan to drain and refill the coolant this spring in my 2006 Matrix.
That will be 5 years and ~24,000 miles. I will use the Toyota coolant.

I change the oil twice a year, 1500-2500 miles. Filter once a year
I change the brake fluid every 3 years.
I drain and refill the power steering reservoir once a year.
I rotate the tires and look at the brakes once a year.
I changed the manual transmission oil at 21,000 and it looked like it needed it. This trans has a reputation of iffy bearings.
I plan to inspect the spark plugs at 30,000 and replace them at 60,000.
I plan to check the valve clearances at 60,000.


#14

My 2007 Toyota will have its coolant replaced at 50,000 miles, much earlier than the book says. After the intial change at 90 months or 80,000 miles, the manual requires changes at 48 months or 40,000 miles, with the same “Super Long Life” Toyota coolant of course.


#15

I think the manufacturers have given up on the majority of the owners reading the manual and following the intervals. That is why they put all these bells and whistles to remind them to take care of the car. For the rest of us this just becomes an additional system that could break and cost money to fix.


#16

Unfortunately, “service-induced failure” really does exist. Not because serivice was done prematurely, but because of poor technique and shabby workmanship. We get regular posts here on quickie shops that have drained the tranny and then added 4-qts to the oil, omes that have stripped the drainnplug or left it loose whereupon it fell out, and posts about stripped sparkplugs and even some more serious errors. Even some downright dishonest practices.

There are countless good workmen out there, countless good shops. But there is enough bad and dishonest work out there to leave the general public afraid to have their cars serviced. And I believe that these things are common enough to justify their fears. And mine.


#17

While you are talking about maintenence, what do you guys think about the GM transmission a few years ago (little Chevy and Pontiac) that didn’t even have a dipstick or any way to check the fluid.

I guess Toyota liked the idea so much they copied it. My 05 4runner and wifes 07 Lexus…NO DIP-STICK…They both have the LIFE-TIME transmission fluid…Which I change every 50k miles and it needs it.


#18

Judging from the posts on this board, nothing is necessary until you have a problem. We have had the I am going for 100k without an oil change to a 300k without a timing belt replace. Read the manual and follow the directions, that is the best advice.