Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

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MrCastaway
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 7:50 pm

Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by MrCastaway » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:50 pm

I know there are many Camry drivers on the forums so I thought I would post this question. I have a 2017 camry le that i bought new that I intend to drive it 'forever'. I am coming up on 50k miles with no issues whatsoever, I've done all the recommended maintenance but recently was given some recommendations based on last synthetic oil change. These are not listed in the maintenance

Which of these are upsells and which are important to do?
1. Synthetic Power Flush
2. Brake System Flush
3. Coolant System Flush
4. Transmission Flush
5. Fuel Service

TYIA

likegarden
Posts: 2852
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by likegarden » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:16 pm

We drive a Toyota Camry since 2013, has 45,000 miles now. This car is mostly driven at low speeds, not much on express way.
I reviewed the manuals which came with the car, and made a list for our use :

Lube oil and filter change every 10,000 miles,
brake system fluid flush every 40,000 miles,
fuel induction service every 40,000 miles,
radiator cooling fluid flush every 50,000 miles,
transmission fluid flush every 50,000 miles,
power steering fluid flush every 60,000 miles.

We bring this car always to our Toyota dealer, and it gets good maintenance service.

tomd37
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Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by tomd37 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:20 pm

likegarden,
Does your owner manual reflect any time periods in addition to mileage amounts? At least one of those items, brake system flush, is probably subject to a time limit in addition to mileage. Possibly coolant system also.
Tom D.

Hanksmoney
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:04 am

Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by Hanksmoney » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:07 pm

I recommend doing oil by the car's interval/maintenance reminder. I'm a fan of Mobil 1 Extended Performance with the same intervals. Use the recommended weight. If I am recommended 2 weights, I go with the lighter to get better startup protection. Bobistheoilguy.com is a forum/site if you really want to go deep into motor oil.

Replace brake fluid when you do your brake pads. I wouldn't worry otherwise. Just be on top of you brake pads and remember to do the fluid replacement. Brake fluid really isn't going to have a property change or get contaminated enough to affect anything. Your brake job around 100k is a fine time to do it for the first time.

Power Steering fluid can be replaced with a turkey baster. 100k is fine on that but follow your manual - it's similar to ATF but less temperamental.

I am a big proponent of changing ATF (transmission fluid). My Tundra allows for a 100k mile interval, not sure about the Camry. There should be no problem doing it sooner. You should do a full drain and fill and not flush. Transmission fluid, unlike engine oil, has very specific friction modifiers that allow the clutches to catch at the right time and not slip too much. So always use the Toyota ATF (don't worry, it's good stuff).

Engine and Cabin Air filters are probably 30-40k items. Don't be tricked by the oil change places selling those every time.

Spark Plugs are probably 100k

Antifreeze should be 100k. Zerex Asian Red should be the right aftermaket type - it's good stuff. Toyota's is fine, but too pricey.

Don't fool with fuel injector cleaner or oil additives/Lucas/Seafoam and crap. Just use high quality gas brands - Shell, BP. Forget about saving $0.03 for the cheap crap - less detergents and more buildup and reduced injector performance. Do that and you will never need any type of "fuel system maintenance" to 300k miles - that's a gimmick.

Don't get me wrong - I love car questions on BH, but get involved in a Toyota/Camry forum. Those guys will help you out with issues specifically related to your vehicle.
Last edited by Hanksmoney on Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stlutz
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by stlutz » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:12 pm

It's a Toyota. Change fluids once every 250,000 miles.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:30 pm

1. Brake fluid is hygroscopic meaning it absorbs water over time. Water is not a good thing to have in brake lines. Miles driven with brake fluid is typically not critical, but you should change brake fluid every 2-3 years max, or sooner if the brake fluid turns dark or murky looking. Brake fluid should be clear and very light tan/yellow in color when in good condition. Be sure to use the correct specified brake fluid per your manual. Using the wrong brake fluid can be a very expensive mistake.

2. Power Steering fluid. Almost all PS fluid is actually Dexron AT fluid. There is usually no documented change interval in the manuals for PS fluid, but many folks change it out gradually by draining the car's PS reservoir and refilling 2-3 times until the fluid shows clear red in color. Do this every 3-4 years to maximize the life of the PS pump and PS seals.

3. Modern radiator fluid (engine coolant) has pretty long life these days. Most radiator fluid factory fills are good for first 60k miles and then flush and refill with new fluid every 60 k going forward.

4. Many modern AT are "sealed" with manual stating that the AT fluid is "lifetime". This is horse-poop. AT will last a lot longer and remain problem free by doing a drain and fill of the AT every 30 k miles. Note that an AT pan drain and fill typically only replaces 3 quarts of the 9-12 total quarts in the AT. However doing a drain and fill every 30 k miles should keep enough fresh new AT fluid in the system to minimize wear and risk of early AT failure. Be sure to use the exact AT fluid specified per the manual. Using wrong AT fluid can be an extremely expensive mistake.

Never allow a "quik lube " place to touch your car. There are countless horror stories where an incompetent untrained "tech" at a quick lube used completely incorrect/wrong fluid to fill brake/radiator/oil/PS - the results can be catastrophic and they will lie and say they did not make a mistake after the fact. I witnessed a woman bring her Honda accord into a brake shop after local quik lube put AT/PS into the brake fluid reservoir ruining the ABS and main brake master cylinders. She was faced with a $2500 repair bill.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sd323232
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by sd323232 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:16 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:30 pm
1. Brake fluid is hygroscopic meaning it absorbs water over time. Water is not a good thing to have in brake lines. Miles driven with brake fluid is typically not critical, but you should change brake fluid every 2-3 years max, or sooner if the brake fluid turns dark or murky looking. Brake fluid should be clear and very light tan/yellow in color when in good condition. Be sure to use the correct brake fluid per your manual. Using the wrong brake fluid can be a very expensive mistake.

2. Power Steering fluid. Almost all PS fluid is actually Dexron AT fluid. There is usually no documented change interval in the manuals for PS fluid, but many folks change it out gradually by draining the car's PS reservoir and refilling 2-3 times until the fluid shows clear red in color. Do this 3-4 years to maximize the life of e the PS pump and PS seals.

3. Modern radiator fluid (engine coolant) has pretty long life these days. Most radiator fluid factory fills are good for first 60k miles and then flush and refill with new fluid every 60 k going forward.

4. Many modern AT are "sealed" with manual stating that the AT fluid is "lifetime". This is horse-poop. AT will last a lot longer and remain problem free by doing a drain and fill of the AT every 30 k miles. Note that an AT pan drain and fill typically only replaces 3 quarts of the 9-12 total quarts in the AT. However doing a drain and fill every 30 k miles should keep enough fresh new AT fluid in the system to minimize wear and risk of early AT failure. Be user to use the exact AT fluid per the manual. Using wrong AT fluid can be an extremely expensive mistake.

Never allow a "quik lube " place to touch your car. There are countless horror stories where an incompetent untrained "tech" at a quick lube used completely incorrect/wrong fluid to fill brake/radiator/oil/PS - the results can be catastrophic and they will lie and say they did not make a mistake after the fact. I witnessed a woman bring her Honda accord into a brake shop after local quik lube put AT/PS into the brake fluid reservoir ruining the ABS and main brake master cylinders. She was faced with a $2500 repair bill.
From my experience in regards #4, i have camry 2011 with 190K miles and never replaced (or drained/refilled) transmission fluid since toyota said it is a sealed transmission. I plan to drive toyota until it dies. My goal is to take it 300K+ miles, and if transmission holds, my next car will toyota again.

MidMNtom
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by MidMNtom » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:30 am

Long term Toyota guy here.

I have friends that own a transmission only shop. Change tranny fluid about every 75-100K. Doesnt have to be Toyota fluid. Toyota doesnt make their own tranny fluid.
At 100 to 125K, drain and flush radiator. As another poster mentioned, Use recommended type fluids, but it doesnt need to be Toyota brand.

And again.......

Never let a quick lube store do these services. Especially the two mentioned above. You probably know as much or more than the person working there. There is much more to these procedures than what meets the eye and they must be done correctly and with the right materials.

eddot98
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by eddot98 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:38 pm

We had a 2002 Camry LE, 4 cylinder, stick shift, drove it 160,000 miles and never changed coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and did nothing to the transmission. We did change the spark plugs at 140,000 and didn’t notice any difference. We had a 2004 Camry LE, this one and all subsequent ones had automatic transmissions. We drove it 140,000 miles and also didn’t change any of the above fluids. Ditto for a 2005 Camry LE traded at about the same mileage. Our 2009 Camry had a water pump fail, so the coolant was replaced when that was replaced. Other fluids untouched, traded at 150,000 miles or so. We had a 2011 XLE with a V6 and we maintained it the same and traded it at 145,000 miles. On all these.cars, we were faithful on oil changes at 5,000 miles, air filters at 30,000 miles, and cabin air filters every spring.
We now have a 2012 Camry LE, 4 cylinder, and a 2016 Lexus ES 350, V6 and we will maintain them exactly the same way.

sport
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by sport » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:18 pm

What does the owner's manual recommend? That is your best guide.

lazydavid
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by lazydavid » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:17 pm

MidMNtom wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:30 am
Long term Toyota guy here.

I have friends that own a transmission only shop. Change tranny fluid about every 75-100K. Doesnt have to be Toyota fluid. Toyota doesnt make their own tranny fluid.
It doesn't have to be Toyota-branded, but it does have to be Toyota WS compatible. The list of WS-certified ATF fluids isn't super-long, and most of them cost more per qt. than the OE fluid does--for example, the Amsoil ATL I put in my wife's Lexus a few years ago is $14/quart, vs. $10/quart or less for the Toyota variant. I would not mess around here. Toyota puts different tuning on transmissions running WS vs. the older ones that used T-IV, their previous standard.

Teague
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Re: Camry Owners What Fluids do you flush if any on your car and how often

Post by Teague » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:28 pm

Don't forget to change the tires to nitrogen filled as this drastically improves cornering and stopping.
The brake fluid can stay where it is, but if you really want to change it, Pine Sol makes for an acceptable replacement. Smells good, too.
The Synthetic Power Flush is probably a good idea. I think that's a colon cleanse product, but I could be mistaken. No matter.
The coolant should be changed as per manufacturer's instructions. Unless you think doing it differently is better.
The transmission fluid should be replaced regularly, no matter what the automaker says. Dexron, Mercron, ZF, or Hershey's Syrup - they all work about the same.

My point being that I wouldn't trust auto service advice I got from an Internet financial forum. My actual opinion is that one should use the exact fluids specified by the manufacturer and change per manufacturer's intervals and procedures. But of course that's just me being silly.
Semper Augustus

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