Newbie Question About Maintenance
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Newbie Question About Maintenance
07-22-2003, 03:27 PM
Hello all this is my first post here and I figured this would be a great place to get your opinions on maintenance for my 2000 Corolla LE.
I just went over 55,000 miles this past weekend and changed the oil a few days ago. I also have just recently become aware of this thing called the Motor Oil Bible which says the 3,000 mile oil change is a Big Oil myth (I usually go 5,000 between changes). And when I get the oil changed, I have always gone to Valvoline Instant Oil Change. And if you know most national chain places, they will always try and sell you some other part or service they think you need just to get another buck from you.
My last two printouts from Valvoline have shown services due of such things as transaxle service, cooling system service, Synpower Performance System 3, and Synpower Complete Fuel System Treatment. The recommendations are as follows:
Oil Change every 3,000 miles, SPS every 36'000 miles, Air Filter and Cabin Air "On Inspection", PCV every 35'000 miles, Breather "On Inspection, Cooling System every 30'000 miles, Transaxle every 15'000 miles, Synfic every 3'000 miles, Syn Fuel Treatment every 12'000 miles, and tire rotations every 7,500 miles.
As I said I have just gone past 55'000 miles andam trying to plan what services to get for 60'000 miles when it comes up some time around the end of the year. As per the Owner's Manual it says for 60'000 miles to:
Replace air filter, change oil and filter, replace engine coolant, rotate tires, to inspect the ball joints and dust covers, drive shaft boots, brake lines and hoses, engine valve clearance, brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs, exhaust pipes and mountings, fuel tank cap gasket, differential oil, steering gear box, drive belts, steering wheel linkage and boots, fuel lines and connections.....fuel tank band and fuel tank vapor vent system hoses. And for special operating conditions it says to inspect nuts and bolts on chassis and body, replace automatic transmission fluid, and replace differential oil.
Having said all this, what really needs to be done? My car has run just fine since I have had it, but am always seeking the best way to keep it properly maintained. I realize I probably need these services eventually, but am on a very tight budget which affords little more than changing the oil for the most part. Should I have these services done and when? What other tips can you give me? Thanks in advance and God bless! :)
07-23-2003, 04:46 PM
On a budget and do little more than change the oil??? My answer, in a word, AMSOIL:biggrin:
07-23-2003, 06:49 PM
Is it a good idea though to change brands of oil? I hear it isn't.
Could I really wait until 90,000 miles perhaps to do all the big stuff? Or should I save up for it at 60,000?
07-23-2003, 09:02 PM
Hmm...I just tried to post and it didn't show! So, I'll give it a shot. It won't hurt your car to change brands of oil. My family has had a lot of luck with Amsoil. It increases the time you have between oil changes. If you need any more info on it, let me know. As far as the other stuff, you should always maintain your fluid levels (i.e. coolant, etc.) Personally, I change my antifreeze every three years (just to be safe). The other things that you listed such as brake linings should be ACCURATELY identified by your mechanic. I don't believe in any set time frame in which you have to update all your parts, etc. on the car. To put it simply, just be aware of how your car handles, sounds, etc. and keep up the oil changes. That's a given. And remember, IT'S A TOYOTA...we don't need new parts every couple months like some other cars!!!:smile:
07-23-2003, 11:42 PM
I was pretty much trying to figure out if there was a point I should have everything done regardless of how well everything is running. Like I said, nothing needs changing except the air filter, and I can just hop down to a parts place for one and put it on myself. Even if everything is fine, which it seems to be, should I service everything by 90K miles? 60,000? I don't know what to do. Blah
07-24-2003, 09:03 PM
A very close person to me, who happens to be a mechanic, said it best...Keep on top of the fluid levels and there is no need to service the car at 60K or 90K (other than regular inspection) and only worry about replacing the parts if you or your mechanic notices an actual problem.
07-25-2003, 01:52 AM
I do appreciate this advice let me say first off. :)
Guys at work agree with me in thinking that alot of this stuff is designed for places to try and get more money out of you. I could probably get away with just keeping checks on fluids and changing the oil. I will look into AMSOIL some more before deciding to go for it. But next go around I plan to do cooling system work because I haven't had it done since I've owned the car (I inherited it from my father). I think Wal-Mart (where I work) sells kits for do it your-selfers for that kind of work. If I can follow directions (easy), I should be fine.
When should one replace fluids like tranny fluid? Is it just a matter of "if it ain't broke don't fix it"? Is car maintenance that simple?
07-28-2003, 10:43 AM
as far as engine performance i would suggest having things check out but if you on a tight budget then that makes things hard you should see if any of your buddys may know someone who would look at it and tell you whether or not these parts really need to be changed or whether its just your mechanic trying to make a buck cuz i do all my work myself, and ive found that in my corolla engine synthic oil runns a lot smother and as for longer lasting i dont know cuz i change my oil about every 1k miles or so but im trying to keep it in the best condition as possible its a street racer/show car. and as far as the super maintenence like the brake lines and ball joints and stuff, your brake lines will probably never go bad unless your car is about 40 years old, and the best way to keep you suspension is good condition is to, 1) drive slowly over bumpy areas that will weakin areas and mess with your camber and caster (allignment how much your whells point in and how much your wheels point forward) 2) dont accelerate hard around corners that puts a big strain on you suspension 3) all ways keep your tires the same tread pattern i know some people who have 4 different tires on thier car that will also hurt the suspension and if u have to do that try and keep 2 of the same on the front drive wheels. and also if you havent yet i would suggest replacing your ignition wires, i dont know how much they are in your area but if it not much more you can get the msd ignition wires for 60 dollars they will add a little jump to your throttle response time. if you have any other questions about the corolla engine then you can ask em here or email, or im ill be glad to help im just happy to see more toyota drivers out there.
07-29-2003, 12:42 PM
looking over my scheduled maintenance manual for 60K miles.....
I decided to get the oil changed, replace the air filter, flush and fill the cooling system, and rotate tires. I think everything else is just fine. :)
07-29-2003, 08:04 PM
Is it better to do your own maintenance checks and work, or to have it serviced at a shop? I have always taken it to VIOC because I know a few things, but not enough to be a real DIY'er. Any other tips?
07-29-2003, 08:34 PM
My buddy has a corolla, he never, ever touches his car..he lets the shop do it. Its not a good idea to start messing with the work of the japanese...
07-29-2003, 08:36 PM
if you can do the work i would suggest doing it all on your own but if you have a mechanic that you trust sometimes he's worth his weight in gold, because sometimes at those chain oil change places they dont always hire the best people and they dont love your car like you do and dont really care if you come back but a mechanic makes a living off of you so if u get a good one he'll do his best to make you come back and as far as yourself no one wants your car to last longer then you but if u dont know how to do the work then i would try and ask around and find someone u can trust or buy a manual for your car that will help you with lots of easy diagnostic tips and easy bolt on changes that you can preform without being certified.
07-30-2003, 03:05 PM
Why would Valvoline recommend transaxle work every 15,000 miles? That sounds like too short of an interval to me. And they charge $90 to do this! What's the difference between it and transmission service? Is it something that really needs to be done ever?
I don't mean to be sounding like a complete dolt in this forum, I just have alot of questions. :dunno:
04-17-2004, 01:51 AM
you should probably do a full service at 60,000 miles to enure long life from your car.
1) replace the timing belt (60-75,000miles)
2) change oil and filter (3,000miles/3months)
3) change radiator fluid and radiator cap (30,000miles/2years)
4) change transmission fluid (30,000mile/2years)
5) change fuel filter
6) rotate tires
7) minor tune up:
spark plugs, wires, rotor (inspect/replace if neccessary)
8) air filter if you already haven't replaced it
only thing I left out would be a fuel injection service which is upto you, you can have that done if you wish..
The transaxle fluid isn't critical. Toyota has made a seperate drain and fill for the transaxles.. so it technically should be serviced individually but rarely ever is serviced.
what i should also note is just keeping fluids full isn't half of it. Fluid qualitys degrade over time. Oil additives, anti-rust additives in coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid etc. Thats why they should be changed at regular intervals. Its important that your coolant doesn't boil too easily, and doesn't freeze. Its also important that it inhibits rust and lubricates the water pump. So simply letting it become swamp water over the period of years will only hurt you in the long run. Small maintenance now or big repairs later. The transmission needs clean fluid for a lot of reasons, it needs to help cool the transmission, and conditions clutch surfaces. Also when transmission fluid gets dirty and grimey that grime can build up in the viens of the transmission and then you have driveability problems. Simple maintenance would have prevented that. Brake fluid should be completely flushed out during a brake service. The brake master cylinder, slave cylinders and lines only hold a few ounces (definately no more then 32 oz!) so its easy to flush a system clean. Oil should be changed at 3,000 miles for a lot of reasons, consider not only the mileage but the hours on the engine, ever stuck in traffic? excessive idling in a parking lot etc?.. how many miles could i have been in those hours? like on a dirt bike, you consider age by the hours on the machine. its usually said that oil breaks down at 2,500 miles, so.. i'd hate to imagine the unneccessary abuse of a 5,000 mile oil change ( especially if you're using just regular oil). the fuel filter isn't as critical.. when its plugged up you'll know, hesitation, hard starts etc. They are usually cheap and reasonable to replace so why not keep the peace of mind. The same with the air filter. The tires are upto you, tires wear unevenly, to slow down tire replacements and even out tire wear rotating them regularly will extend tire life aswell as keeping them properly inflated. the timing belt is crucial. if a timing belt breaks on an interference engine (and you'res is probably in this category ).. the valves come down out of sync the piston comes up, and their crushed. New engine. Now a timing belt might last 120,000 miles, or even more.. but its not worth taking the chance. The basic tune up is a peice of mind. New wires, spark plugs, and rotors. The rotor has contacts that get spun to distribute spark.. and wear down. These could cause hard starts, hot and wet weather conditions, like if the spark plug wires are cracking and grounding to the engine instead of the spark plug.. a fouled spark plug .. would hurt performance.. anyway the maintenance is fairly decent and if you can do it yourself that would be great, or get a reputable friend to do it for you, .. for the cost of a pizza and 6 pack?
let me know if you have any questions or input on my suggestions
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