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Click & Clack
Talk Cars
“The Tappet Brothers’’

By Ray Magliozzi

No rush to joiN the
‘little old lady’ club

Dear Car Talk:

services done if you plan to
keep the car for another five
years. But that would put you
firmly in the “meticulously
maintained, driven only to
church on Sundays by a little
old lady” club.

I have a 2011 Toyota
Corolla with 45,000 miles.
The service adviser at
my car dealership has
recommended replacement
of transmission fluid ($160),
In other words, you’d be
coolant ($145), brake fluid
($110) and power steering taking very good care of your
car and doing maintenance
fluid ($110).
Are all of these necessary preventively.

There’s no urgency, and
-- all at the same time?
I’d appreciate your expert you certainly don’t have to do
advice. Thank you. -- Evelyn them all now. If you decide
Well, they’re all necessary you want to be proactive, you
at the same time if the can do one of these services
now, and spread the rest
service adviser has a major
out over your next three oil
boat payment due.
changes -- which should be
Actually, you’re in a little about every six months.
bit of a quandary, Evelyn.
In terms of priority, I’d
Based on your mileage, at
probably start with the
45,000, you don’t need any
coolant flush, then do the
of these things. You obviously
transmission fluid, then the
don’t drive the car a lot.
brake fluid and the power
Normally, a 2011 Corolla
steering fluid last, if at all.
would be expected to come
But there’s absolutely no
in with 100,000 miles on
it, not 45,000. Your service rush, Evelyn. And if you’re
adviser is basing these short on funds, you’re in no
recommendations on time danger if you put this stuff
(years) rather than miles.
That’s a weaker argument.
Unlike rubber parts (tires,
hoses, belts) that degrade
over time due to exposure to
ozone in the air, fluids tend
to wear out due to use and
heat. The less you drive, the
less use they get and the less
heat they’re exposed to.

Got a question about cars?
Write to Ray in care of King
Features, 628 Virginia Drive,
Orlando, FL 32803, or email
by visiting the Car Talk
website at

(c) 2018 by Ray Magliozzi
So, I’d say these are all and Doug Berman
optional at this point, Evelyn.
It wouldn’t be bad to get these Features Syndicate, Inc.


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