Man, that’s just so uncoolant
The service manual states that the engine coolant in my 2008 Toyota Corolla Seca Conquest should be replaced initially at 96 months or 160,000km and thereafter every 80,000km. Also, it does not specify any requirement to change the automatic transmission fluid. I have no wish to spend more money on servicing than necessary but the engine coolant change interval seems too long to me and the absence of advice to change the automatic transmission fluid is puzzling. I intend keeping the car for a long time. Would it be prudent to override the service schedule for these items and change the fluids ahead of the times stated?
T. Bignell, email The initial coolant change is at eight years, which would seem way too long. I would be looking to change the coolant every couple of years, that’s 40,000-50,000km. As for the automatic transmission, car makers now employ a fill-for-life strategy, which means they fill the transmission in production and never touch it again. My view is that it’s a flawed approach, particularly if you plan to keep your car for a long time— as you say you intend to do. I would have the fluid changed every 50,000km and have the transmission serviced every 100,000km. STIR OF ECU I’ve got a 2005 RAV4 Cruiser automatic. I’ve heard that there were some issues with the automatic transmission for some RAV4s due to the ECU (electronic control unit). So far I have not had an issue with the car. What are the telltale signs of any imminent problems with my auto?
Ric Lau, email There is a problem with the ECU controlling the automatic that can result in the clutches in the transmission burning out. It was so common that Toyota recalled RAV4s in the US to fix them but Toyota Australia chose not to recall the cars here. Watch for rough shifting, reluctance to shift, jerking and rough running. CONTROL HUB-BUB Recently the VVTi control hubs in the top of the engine in my 2007 Toyota Aurion failed. The repair cost was about $3000. The dealership was helpful and negotiated with Toyota to assist with the repair costs. My contribution was about $900, as the car was out of warranty, even though it had only done 75,000km. I feel that the failure of the parts was because of a manufacturing fault and wrote to Toyota seeking a refund of my costs, but Toyota has refused my request. Do you know of this failure with the 3.5-litre engine and is this outcome the best I can hope for? Robert Briigmann, email
We haven’t had any other reports of a failure of the VVTi