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Toyota Scion dealer recommended service

Hi All!



I have a 2006 Scion XB. I just took it in to the dealer for the regular 5,000 mile maintenance. My car currently has 35,000 miles. The dealer tried to sell me 4 services, and they all sounded a little bogus to me.



1) Tire balance and alignment. There was a 1/32 difference between the tread depth on the front and back tires. Would this justify a balance and alignment service costing $130.00?



2) Rear brake service. The explanation given to me was “sometimes the parking brake gets out of adjustment and brake bust builds up in the drums causing glazing.” Apparently this $70.00 dollar service consists of using some kind of spray to clean up the brake dust problem and an adjustment to the parking brake. Does this sound like a legitimate service?



3)Brake fluid exchange, and clutch fluid exchange. The service advisor told me that this is part of the Scion recommended service at 20,000 miles, but I was unable to find anything about it in my maintenance manual. Has anyone ever heard of this?



Thanks!



Morrie

No, no, and no!

First off, more tread wear in the front is COMPLETELY normal-- that’s why you have to rotate your tires to even out the natural wear differences. And 1/32nd frankly isn’t very much.

Secondly, if the rear brakes DID get out of adjustment (highly unlikely on this car) the shoes would be too far away from the drum, which won’t cause brake dust or glazing. Also, you would definitely notice if the back brakes were out of adjustment.

And finally, you’re right that if it’s not in the manual you don’t need to do it on a set schedule.

I personally wouldn’t go back to that dealer, either. Your warranty is still valid if you get work done at an independent, which will end up being much cheaper for you and you can start establishing a relationship so you’ll get treated well if you need any repairs once you’re out of warranty. You just need to make sure you have documentation that the maintenance was done.

Like GJ said, don’t do any of these. Particularly bothersome is the dealer using normal front tire wear to sell unneeded balancing and alignment. And that back brake service is for the emergency brake, something that almost never needs service. Find an alternative.

From your list, the only service that I would recommend is brake fluid replacement. Truthfully, I am surprised that brake fluid replacement isn’t specified for your car at the 30k service, as several other Japanese car manufacturers do specify brake fluid replacement at 30k.

Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air, resulting in water dilution/contamination of the fluid. The result is that, under heavy braking conditions such as descending a long hilly road, the water in the brake fluid will boil, and this results in an inability to stop the car. Additionally, the dilution/contamination of the brake fluid can result in corrosion of parts of the brake hydraulic system.

I would advise you to change that brake fluid if it wasn’t done at the 30k service.