Transmission/Radiator/Brake Flush - 2005 Matrix

2005 Matrix - manual transmission, at my 65k oil change they recommended front brake pads at my next visit along with flushing brake, transmission and radiator systems. The transmission fluid was changed at 45k already. So that should definitely be out, but the others? Thanks.

This is pretty standard Toyota, every 30K miles to changes these fluids. Dealer tend to get top dollar, suggest going to a good independant for estimate to do the same service.

Don’t flush anything. Be skeptical of anything they recommend that’s not in the owners manual. I have an '06 manual and I’m pretty familiar with what’s in the manual.

There are exceptions that I’m more conservative about. If I were you I would get the manual transmission fluid changed every 60k miles, but NO FLUSH (how the heck do you flush a manual transmission??). I would get the coolant changed, just empty and refill, NO FLUSH, at 60k miles, not the 120k miles the manual recommends. I’d also replace the thermostat at that point. I’d get the brake fluid replaced every 3 years, NO FLUSH. I just changed my brake fluid yesterday.

A brake “flush” is essentially a brake bleeding, which is perfectly legit. A coolant flush is also the best way to change all of your coolant and will not do any harm, just make sure they use Toyota red coolant. With 65k miles, both of these may be a good idea. If the transmission oil was changed at 45k you don’t need it done again.

I’d be careful when flushing an aluminum radiator. Aluminum is probably more easily dissolved than the deposits you want to remove. The flushing fluid could damage the radiator more than anything else. Changing the coolant is a good idea if it has turned acidic.

Thanks for all the feedback. I’ve looked around a little more - and talked with the car dealer back home, so I’ve narrowed it down to just changing the brakes and fluid.


What flushing fluid? The only fluid used to do a coolant exchange is a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze.


There are fluids sold specifically to flush the radiator. I don’t think it is advisable for the reasons stated above. If I flushed the radiator, I’d use water, then refill it with 50/50 water/antifreeze, just as you would.

You need a brake fluid change as recommended by most car makers. It could be time for brake pads if they are worn, as they could be. Radiator flush is probably recommended.

Those chemicals are only used on heavily corroded cooling systems. And most cooling systems never get to that point unless they’re neglected for a long period time.

And no. I wouldn’t flush the cooling system with water and then fill with a 50/50 mix of water/antifreeze. If you do that, you no longer have a 50/50 mix in the cooling system because there’s still pure water in the engine block. Instead I would fill the cooling system with pure antifreeze until it equaled half of the cooling system capacity, and then finish filling it with water. You now have a 50/50 mix in the cooling system.