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Change fluids?

Dad’s 1999 Buick- 20,000miles - do I HAVE to change the fluids?

Buick Customer Service useless. It seems I from what I can find am good until 60,000 miles. I change the oil all the time. Is this ok?

After 10 years you should certainly change the engine coolant, and I would also have the transmission fluid and filter changed. Fluids deteriorate both with age and with mileage.

Go to a reputable independent repair shop, not an oil change place or tire/muffler chain, and have these services performed. Typical charges would be $65-$80 for the transmission service and upt to $150 for the cooling system,since some hoses may need to be replaced at that time. Avoid a transmission FLUSH, which some shops are now pushing.

There’s no reason for confusion. Open the owner’s manual to the maintenance section and do whatever it says needs to be done. In your case, the time rather than the mileage will probably be the main factor.

Because he drives so little he wants you to say the manual does not apply.

I would go with the above posts PLUS:

  1. Brake fluid change
  2. Tire change, if they’re 10 years old

Yup! Lion9car is correct. Everything that you need to know about the maintenance of this car is sitting in the glove compartment.

Every service procedure has both an odometer mileage value and and elapsed time value, with the stipulation that the procedure should be done at X miles or X months, whichever comes first. On a 10 year old car that accumulates mileage as slowly as this one, it is important to use the elapsed time values–meaning that the car is likely OVERDUE for major service procedures.

As an example of what can happen if you don’t go by the elapsed time values for service–the rust inhibitors in the antifreeze ceased functioning long ago, and the likely result is replacement of the heater core and/or radiator in the near future.

The transmission fluid and filter also need to be changed–unless you relish laying out a couple of thousand $$ for a transmission overhaul. And lastly, even if the car’s maintenance schedule doesn’t list this procedure, the brake fluid needs to be changed–unless you want to look forward to brake failure.

Do yourself–and your father–a favor and have the car serviced “according to the book”, and luckily that book should be sitting in the glove compartment.

If the car has always been parked inside, I would do a thorough inspection and if no cracks, keep the tires if there is enough tread left on them. If I was taking a cross-country trip, a new set of rubber would be a good choice. If the car has ABS, a brake fluid change would be a good idea, I agree.

Belts need an inspection as well; they can get very tired in 10 years.

Bless you all.
Dad went to (Car) Heaven four years ago, back when I SHOULD have changed all fluids (60 months). Car still in mint condition and I will have fluids changed (not flushed) pronto.
He never held on to a car this long, which would be why I don’t remember this ever being an issue. I figure if there are Car Angels watching over us I have a good one. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your unbiased knowledgeable opinions.

Belts need an inspection as well; they can get very tired in 10 years.

One exception. If it has a timing belt and it is original it needs to be changed. You can’t count on looking at it and after 10 years you can’t go by mileage, you just replace it even if it is not an interference engine and in this case I don’t know.

If the car has ABS, a brake fluid change would be a good idea, I agree.

Why would you only recommend this for a car with ABS? Shouldn’t a non-ABS car get new brake fluid too?

Non-ABS brake systems are less fussy, and I would only replace the fluid while doing a brake job. In the past changing brake fluid was never in a maintenance schedule, and most shops did not bother, since few problems resulted.

Agree with Joseph that a TIMING BELT needs to be changed based on time and mileage. But I believe this car has a timing CHAIN, hence my referece to ony accessory belts.