Cap rotor wires o2 sensor never been changed

95 corolla 250 k miles. Items above never been changed. Would changing them not improve performance? Runs pretty good now. Or, would it be a waste of money?

Also the brake fluid hasn’t been changed. I dont think the calipers are pitted though how would I tell? The fluid looks muddy but the book doesn’t mention changing it.

Wow. Preventive maintenance is done for many reasons. Sometimes it results in a more economical ride. Sometimes it results in trouble-free use. Many times it prevents accidents or breakdowns at a dangerous time or place. What has your maintenance schedule been like? I’d say you’ve been lucky so far. At least have your brakes checked and safety stuff (suspension, steering, etc) looked at for your safety and ours. Rocketman

“Runs pretty good now”

That line got me. It’s called maintenance to prevent problems, like rough running or no start. Replace those parts now and then tell us how it runs. I change those things out on a regular basis, not because it is having a problem but to prevent a problem from occurring, and keeping the car running at it’s most efficient.

Also, ‘muddy’ brake fluid is incredibly bad brake fluid. The muddy color is rust. I guaranty the calipers and brake cylinders are pitted and probably leaking internally. The only way to know is to disassemble them, but changing the fluid now and have the entire brake system thoroughly inspected is urgent. You do not want a brake failure due to neglect.

So far I change oil regularly 5k miles and fluids ( coolant trans fluid) every 40k or so along with spark plugs. How would one know if the brakes ate pitted? I would have done other stuff if it were mentioned in the book. Runs very smooth but I accelerate slowly so I’m not sure if I drove it hard whether the old cap rotor would be a problem.

Also I should add that I haven’t had the front brakes done since 70k miles. Now have 250 k miles. I have them checked every time I’m in the shop for tires or balancing or whatever and they’ve always said they’re OK. Although last time they said it would soon be time. Would they have seen these pitted calipers?

No. The pitting that makes the calipers fail is on the inside, where the piston surface rides across the bore surface together with the brake fluid. You need to separate the piston from the caliper bore to see it. All they are doing on their inspection is checking the pad thickness, rotor surface, and looking for leaks.

Brake fluid absorbs moisture, and will pull moisture out of the air. That moisture promotes rust pitting on the inside of the system. The fluid will also darken with age as it collects wear particles from the brake components and rubber seals. Despite the lack of mention in the maintenance schedule, brake fluid should be changed simply because these factors reduce the hydraulic properties of the fluid gradually over time. Most recommendations are 3 year replacement interval, although most go further.

Well if the calipers are toast how much to fix them? It may be so much that I junk the car. That would be sad. Hopefully they can go a few more years if I change the brake fluid.

The pitting allows for accelerated wear of the piston seals. They are toast when they leak. Until then, they should be Ok. Unless the rust buildup locks up a caliper. Then again, it’s toast.

Changing the fluid will make the brakes feel brand new and will extend the life of the components. If there is a lot of debris in the calipers and lines, you may want to change the fluid again in a couple of months if it discolors quickly. Also, your car is very popular, so parts are not difficult to find. The calipers are about $50-65 apiece for the parts, so it is not a budget buster.

How have the rest of the fluids and such been maintained? How about oil, transmission fluid, and coolant?

As for the ignition parts, change the plugs, cap/rotor, and wires. Change the brake fluid ASAP.

Other fluids have all been changed regularly. Especially the oil. The engine runs very smoothly.

How about timing belt? If it hasn’t been changed in the past 100K miles or so, it is due.

Timing belt was about 80k miles ago. Its a non interference engine and the first one went about 165k. It didn’t break just replaced it.

I’m kind of putting that one off as its expensive. I replaced the water pump and all the other little things too back when i replaced the timing belt…Dealer did that as I wanted to make sure it was done with OEM parts. Wasn’t that much more expensive.

" I would have done other stuff if it were mentioned in the book"

The book maintenance mainly gets the car through the warranty.
To keep it happy for decades more should be done.

well I brought it in today. They said they’d only change the brake fluid if it was “contaminated” and they’d check the calipers too. And check front brake pads. Front brakes havegone 180K miles without pads being changed. Just a great car I guess.

They said cap, rotor, wires and plugs would be about $200. Which seems really high to me.

Changing the coolant and transmission fluid and filter too. And fuel filter (which had never been changed).

The o2 sensor has never been changed, I’m going to wait a bit on that. Not sure how much it’d be. He said they can last forever sometimes.

Well, I know you’re all waiting with bated breath…so…

They said the brake fluid looked bad so they’re going to flush it. Said the calipers and pads looked OK. Even though the pads have 170K miles on them…hmmm…

They’re going to replace cap, rotor, wires, plugs.

Valve cover gasket is leaking badly. I kind of knew that, they said it has put oil into one of the spark plugs. That’s not good. It had been running really well so I guess it hadn’t affected it yet. They’re going to fix that. Maybe my car won’t “burn oil” anymore since apparently it was just leaking! I hope the plugged EGR ports didn’t blow out the valve cover gasket, what do you think?

They’re also going to do the coolant and change the trans fluid and filter in a “drop the pan” operation.

And change the fuel filter.

Total is almost $600. That’s a lot!

$600 is a lot, but your catching up on a lot of maintenance at one time. And, a lot of these items you’ll not need to worry about for a while. Think of all the miles and years of extended reliability your $600 is paying for, and not to a finance company for a replacement.

The O2 sensor should not be changed unless if fails, in which case you’ll experience operating probems and a CEL light.

The cap, rotor, wires, plugs, and filters should all be changed for sure.

But brown brake fluid? That should DEFINITELY be flushed out with new fluid. I’d do that, have the brakes checked, and then watch carefully for any signs of a leak for awhile.

@kenberthiaume if you have the 1.8 liter 7A-FE engine, I have news for you.

They all use oil, no matter the model year or what they’re installed in (Corolla, Prizm, Celica, etc.)

Just keep monitoring the oil level and topping off regularly and you’ll be fine.

You may be right but oil usage really took off from 100k to 250k. Now its a quart per k. But the exhaust is never blue. So I’m hoping the new valve cover basket slows it way down.