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Maintaining dilemma

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Old 05-01-13, 03:58 PM   #1
SaneEnch
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Default Maintaining dilemma

I have my 04 RX330 close to 10 years now. It's been a wonderful 10 years with no major issues - well, except for brake switch going out couple of times, condensation in headlights, and backup camera going out once. All of which I gotten them fixed myself or via warranty. Very low mileages on the car - less than 43,000. I have done all the maintaining items on my own since my warranty expired few years back:

1) Synthetic oil change every 5,000 or less or once a year with Mobil EP
2) Oil filter change every 2500 miles or 6 months with OEM, Mobil, K&N, or PureOne filter
3) Drain and fill transmission oil with Toyota Type IV oil every 5,000 since 30,000 miles - 3 drain and fill so far. Will do another 3 drain and fill at 60K, 90K, 120K...
4) Regular brake jobs - brake pads, brake fluid flush every 2 years with OEM fluid
5) Steering fluid drain and fill every oil change since 25K with Mobil Synthetic ATF
6) Annual air filter inspection and cleaning if needed - K&N
7) Religiously adding Chevron Techron Fuel System Cleaner after every oil change
8) Coolant change out every 2-3 years with Toyota Super Long Life coolant
9) Change out rear differential oil with Mobile Synthetic gear oil twice 5,000 miles ago
10) PCV value change 5,000 miles ago
11) Religiously wash my car after every snow storm (salt) and wash undercarriage few time during the summer as well

I basically try to keep the car in as top shape as possible... Now come the question: should I follow the maintaining schedule base on time (8 or 10 years, something like that) and have my belt , water pump, alternator, and spark plugs change out? or should I wait till I hit 90K/120K?? which potentially be another 10 years. They are pretty expensive items and so far I don't have major issue with them. Base on visual inspection, the belt and all the part looks fine. No error code. The engine bay is a little loud when accelerating, just a little rattling (not sure if it's my mind screaming or it's always been that way). The car idle at 600-800rpm hot or cold very quietly.

Conditions: I live in NYC with lot of stop and go traffic. I also do a lot of 10 minutes or less commute at lease half a dozen time a week. No heavy tow, usually just 2 people in the car. Not much dust in my urban neighborhood.

Would like to hear what you guys think. Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by SaneEnch; 05-01-13 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 05-01-13, 05:43 PM   #2
RX330inFL
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I still have my original 2004 RX330 as well. At the rate you are putting on miles I would not wait until you reach 90K miles before replacing the timing belt, water pump, etc. Instead, I would do it based on time perhaps waiting no more than 12 years to have this work done. That would be a couple of years from now. Would give you the opportunity to decide if you are going to hold on to your RX for another 10 years or not. From the sound of how you have taken care of it and how little abuse it receives it would probably be better to hold on to this one and avoid additional car payments.
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Old 05-02-13, 05:56 AM   #3
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There comes a point in time when it doesn't make sense to keep putting money into an older vehicle unless you have a classic that is an investment. Why change the items you have listed above if they still work properly? If you plan on keeping it for awhile the belt might be a good idea but I can't see spending the other money when you don't need to.

Are you brake pads wearing out that quickly? It seems to be you are going overboard on items (power steering fluid, brake fluid).
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Old 05-02-13, 06:16 AM   #4
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Wow, such a maintenance schedule looks excessive...
You could've saved enough money for timing belt if you took it easy...
And Adamjeeps is right - the value of a car depends on its age mostly, even if it's in perfect shape, the value diminishes fast with age. What's the point of this excessive maintenance?
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Old 05-02-13, 04:03 PM   #5
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This is a car I would buy in a heart beat. Glad you're one of the good car owners out their who keeps the maintenance up and cares about their car.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:24 PM   #6
SaneEnch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamjeeps View Post
There comes a point in time when it doesn't make sense to keep putting money into an older vehicle unless you have a classic that is an investment. Why change the items you have listed above if they still work properly? If you plan on keeping it for awhile the belt might be a good idea but I can't see spending the other money when you don't need to.

Are you brake pads wearing out that quickly? It seems to be you are going overboard on items (power steering fluid, brake fluid).
Yes, this is the price we pay living in NYC. I basically change the front pads every 2-3 years, the rear every other front change. I also have the Premium Centric slotted & Drilled rotors installed few year back. Akebono pads all the way.

The way I look at it, a bottle of Mobil ATF cost about $10, and it would last me at lease 7-10 drain and fill; brake fluid need to get change out every 2 years, the fluid cost about $40 every 2 years; oil change once a year, including the 2 filters, cost me about $40/yr (got my OEM filter for $4.5 a piece); the 12 qts of toyota transmission oil I got cost me $80, about every 6 years; Techron cost me $10 a year; Coolant is about $100 every 3 years; gear oil cost me $20 for the 10 years....

All in all, I calculated that my total maintaining cost for the last 10 years is about

Oil Change $400
Brake pads & fluid $600
ATF $170
Techron $100
Coolant $300
Gear Oil $20
Cabinet & Air Filter $100
Battery $450
PCV $10
A/C $50
--------------
Total: $2200

Not bad at all for 10 years! I do plan to keep the car as long as I can.

My guess is that I would most likely pay another $2200 to get the belt, alternator, spark plugs, water pump change out. Maybe more... I think you have a good point, the belt seem to be a piece that would wear out over time.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:24 PM
 
 
 
 
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