Fluid Changes--Am I being too cautious?


#1

I have a 2001 Camry 4cyl automatic with 53k. I just changed all the fluids (trans, differential, brake, coolant, power steering) at 36k (April 2010). I change the oil every 3333 (3 times every 10k). Tires are nearly new.

I am going on a long trip next week and plan to change the oil before I go. Should I change any other fluids? They all look fine and do not leak or burn, but the car was senior-citizen owned before I bought it and its maintenance history is unknown.

Anything else to consider? Thank you in advance.


#2

It looks like overkill to me.

Transmission oil and differential oil can last at least 30,000 miles.

Brake fluid and coolant should be changed every 2-3 years.

I don’t think there is a change interval for power steering fluid, so I would probably go with at least 30,000 miles.

I change my oil every 5,000 miles.

Save your money for other maintenance items, like the timing belt (if this car has one), and changing the belts and hoses at 100,000 or 150,000 miles.


#3

I agree 100% with Whitey.

The owner’s manual should have recommendations for fluid change intervals. Follow the manual and you can’t go wrong.

I recommend changing the automatic transmission fluid at 30K miles, regardless of what the manual says. It’s cheap insurance.


#4

I agree with all of the above. Your fluids are fine as-is. If you insist on doing something for your car in preparation for your trip, check the wiper blades. Otherwise, you’re in fine shape. Off you go.


#5

You never mentioned one of the most important checks and no its not a fluid - tire pressure .


#6

Is your timing belt 10 years old? It doesn’t look like you have an interference engine, so you can decide whether you want to have it changed out or not.

Other belts?


#7

I agree with Whitey and the others. Goldwing brought up a good point that you should check (even without an interference engine, a busted timing belt will leave you stranded).


#8

Am I missing something that the others see? You put about 5000 miles on the car each year. At 3000 miles, you change oil every 9 months or so. I don’t think that you are overly conservative on oil replacement, but you may have waitied a bit too long for the other fluids if this was the first time they were changed. I agree with the recommendations for transmission and brake fluid changes, and that would mean that you should do it more often.


#9

I think you are good with current fluids until about 65K to 70K miles. Just keep up with oil changes at 3K or 5K intervals.


#10

jt, he put 17k on since April 2010. (S)He is not the original owner so I’m guessing that is when (s)he bought the car. I think (s)he is being a little too conservative, but then, if something goes wrong, I’m not the one stuck with the repair bill.