Maintenance


#1

My Toyota dealer says that at 75,000 miles on my 1980 Avalon that I should get a brake fluid flush and a power steering flush…are these necessary…I had them done at 50,000 miles??


#2

Doubt it. Are they in the manual? I don’t think power steering systems ever need to be flushed. Dealers often come up with ways to pad their bills. That said, a brake fluid change every other year’s not a bad idea.

I just noticed - 1980 Avalon? They didn’t start building them until 1994…

p.s. - when I say ‘brake fluid change’, I mean change the fluid in the reservoir. Simple and cheap.


#3

Sorry…I meant 2000


#4

If you had the brake fluid flushed just 25k miles ago…it’s NOT needed now.


#5

There should be a maintenance schedule with the owner’s manual. Follow it, not what the dealer “recommends.” The dealer will pad the schedule to make money.


#6

Brake fluid should be flushed (use the schedule in the owner’s manual. Likely it will say two or three years, not miles. Don’t let that one get away, it really does need to be flushed.

Power steering likely does not need any fluid service under normal conditions, but read the owner’s manual.

Now, why are you going to the dealer.  You just found out that dealers often SCAM their customers. 

    Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service  [b] other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee. [/b]   During the warranty period be sure to have all required (as listed in the owner's manual) maintenance done and to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic. 

Note: Never ever use a quick oil change place. They are fast cheap and very very bad.


#7

First off, my experience is that dealers are more expensive than independant shops. That doesn’t mean that you will always get a better deal at smaller shops. Dealers’ service writers are held to meeting profit goals and are rewarded for meeting or exceeding those goals. I don’t know enough about independant shops to know if some of them have the same programs in place. I suspect not. Do you know who writes the owners manual? Manufacturers. (actually they’re subbed out to companies like EDS and others, but the information contained in the manuals comes from the manufacturer’s engineers). And manufacturers are the fords, dodges, toyotas, etc. Their stock value rises with more money that comes into their company and the larger it gets, which makes the major share holders happy. It doesn’t matter whether the money comes from new car sales, used car sales, or service work. With that said, I think the service manual is a good starting place for an inexperienced person to get an idea on the service their car requires. Now how many people do you know that you’ve heard of that their brakes went out because they didn’t have their brake fluid changed? Me? None. Their power steering quit working or started leaking because they didn’t change their fluid? None. I know of very few people who have had anything changed besides their oil and oil filter, tranny fluid and filter and air and fuel filters. It’s pretty rare for anything major to fail within the first 100k miles anymore. If you want to have your power steering fluid and brake fluid changed, by all means. You’re not going to do any harm. It will only help your seals last longer. But I certainly wouldn’t lose any sleep if mine were not changed prior to 100k miles. Now I’ll step down off my soap box.


#8

The reason why car manufacturers (at least most of the Japanese mfrs.) specify brake fluid replacement on a regular basis (likely something on the order of every 3 yrs/30,000 miles) is that brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. This results in dilution of the brake fluid that leads to two conditions, both of which are not good:

*Brake fluid contaminated with moisture will boil when subjected to high heat conditions–such as when using the brakes heavily on mountainous downgrades. When the water in the brake fluid boils, the driver will suddenly find himself with NO ability to stop the car.

*Excess moisture in the brake hydraulic system leads to corrosion and to problems with seals.

There might be some things to “cheap out” on when maintaining a car, but the brake system is surely not an area where someone should try to cut corners.


#9

Brake fluid change(not flush) is done a certain timely basis is very prudent. Your manual will specify.

Power steering flush is never done unless a problem occurs with that component.

Most Dealers and some independents have a policy of over prescribing maintenance. The dealer I use does this however I do not pay for maintenance(credit card kickbacks) I let them (over)do it.


#10

I believe most people would describe what is done to change brake fluid a flush. But yea, it should be called a change and not a flush.