I have a 2004 Solara with only 45,000 miles. The dealer is trying to get me to drain and flush the transmission fluid and to change the power steering fluid. These aren’t on the maintenance schedule. What is the truth about these not inexpensic=ve services?
They are both worthwhile but an independent shop will perform them for a fraction of what the dealer will charge…I would “flush” the brake fluid too…For the tranny, you want the pan dropped and the fluid and filter changed. If they offer a transmission “flush” be sure it includes changing the filter. If they say “that’s no longer needed”, you say “can I please have my keys back”…
Sorry to say even most manufacturers are not listing transmission fluid changes as standard maintenance. In my opinion you should change the fluid in an automatic transmission ever 25 - 50,000 miles. That is not a flush. It is a change and should include cleaning the fluid filter filter
For all other services, consult your owner’s manual and follow the schedule listed there. Remember that many manuals have a second schedule for cars that are driven under severe conditions. Many cars are driven under severe conditions.
I would totally avoid any national chain for any kind of service on my car. I would also consider not having the dealer do any maintenance or any service not being done under warranty. Dealers are no better (or worse) than other shops, but they almost always are more expensive. The quick oil change places are down right hazardous to your car.
How long do you plan to own your Solara? If you plan to own it 4 or more years I would find an independent shop, and change the transmission and brake fluids about every 40k miles (others here will say 30k).
Thank you all for confiming what I read elsewhere. While I’ve been using the same Toyota dealer since 2002, they seem to be “selling” more than they used to.
The Solara (convertible) is in great shape and I paln to keep it and I have never skimped on maintenance.
I have an appointment next week at a highly recommended local independent shop for a smog check and I’ll get their suggestions and pricing.