Changing engine fluids


#1

my mechanic recommends changing all engine fluids every 60,000 miles. I have a 2003 Toyota Matrix with 90,000 miles and they suggest a complete engine fluid overhaul. This is costly, about $400-500, is it really necessary?


#2

Follow your manual, it should address oil, coolant, and transmission. Adding a brake fluid change would also be good at 90k. I do not change others.


#3

Read the maintenance schedule that came with the owners manual. It will tell you the correct replacement interval for each fluid.


#4

“Engine fluid overhaul” is a meaningless statement to me.

First, read the owner’s manual to see what Toyota recommends. Usually, Toyota recommends antifreeze and brake fluid change outs every 30K miles. I also believe it is important for auto trans to have ATF fluid and filter change every 30K, even if the owner’s manual does not call for it. Differential fluids, etc, I defer to the owner’s manual, but will certainly consider changing them after 100K mi if not done previously.

Of course, oil changes should be done on a proper schedule; I use 5K intervals for conventional and 7.5K mi for synthetic.


#5

Rather than taking the mechanic’s suggestion at face value, and rather than going by random suggestions from people in this forum, I suggest that you consult the ultimate authority on this topic. Luckily that authority–the Toyota Maintenance Schedule–is sitting in your glove compartment, either inside your Owner’s Manual, or in a separate booklet with an appropriate title.

What I believe you will find in that maintenance schedule is a specification for changing all of the fluids and filters every 60,000 miles, but you can easily confirm this by simply opening your glove compartment and by reading the booklet that Toyota provided. Since your vehicle is well past 60k, I would strongly suggest that you have your mechanic perform everything that is listed for 60k and 90k. That may likely include the spark plugs as well as every fluid and filter, so it is possible that the bill may be higher than $500.

If you think that $400.-$500. is expensive, you should see what the repair bill will be if you continue to ignore the maintenance advice provided by Toyota.