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NO PROBLEMS - LOVE THIS VEHICLE!Original owner *98 4Runner, 4WD, 4 cylinder, 111,000 miles, Very clean, serviced regularly at dealer for first 10 years, now looking elsewhere (felt I was getting ripped off at dealer - too expensive, and charging for things I didn*t think I needed) - original clutch, original brakes. New tires. New exhaust system (catalytic converter stolen:-(). Went for an oil change last week - told I needed 105,000 service for $150 - done. I was also given an estimate for the following and wanted to see if these recommendations sound reasonable (or if I*m getting ripped off): "front breakpads are at 2mm - recommend replace front brake pads and machine brake rotors est. $331; brake fluid is dirty - should perform brake fluid exchange est $86; drive belts are cracked - should replace x3 drive belts est. $135; power steering fluid is discolored-dirty- should flush power steering fluid est. $91." Just didn*t want to fork out $800 when I only went in for an oil change, and ended up spending $150. Thank you!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Della, Thank Yo for writing into AskPatty, I really enjoy my Toyota as well! The estimate you stated for $331 may be for a 4 wheel brake pad and rotor resurfacing/shaving (to prevent premature wear), Front Brakes typically wear 1/3 faster than rear brakes. Fluids can typically be flushed and drained according to* Color, Smell, and Mileage. Power Steering is subjective to high heat, these may be suggested to change buy your manufacturer every 30k-45k miles. They can become dark and dirty with carbon and cause premature wear in your components. You may find, as with others, synthetic lubricants are engineered without significant carbon deposits, such as motor oil predominantly. You may also find a brochure at your local dealer to be printed out for you (At No Charge). Thanks For Writing AskPatty.com

Barb Petrey, President - DBK Enterprises Inc at Jiffy Lube Check a couple of mechanics for pricing and then decide which you feel most comfortable with. You can also check www.repairpal.com to see what they estimate this should cost you.

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service Della, None of the prices quoted seem to be out of line. Part of the 105k service is to check the vehicle over completely. It is not uncommon if someone actually does this, that they will find items that need service. (And hopefully things that do not and could wait) Nothing you have listed seems unreasonable for the mileage you have on your truck. Worn brakes and belts are easy to spot, ask for your old parts. Power steering fluid has no service interval, if it is dirty then it should be flushed. Brake fluid should be flushed once every two years. It sounds like you have good service records and can tell if or when any of this has been done in the past. Ask to do a visual inspection with the technician and the manager so they can point out and show you what needs to be replaced. Good luck and congrats on taking good care of your Toyota! Curry's Auto Service

Laurie Sarno, Co-Owner at Super Girls Auto Hello Della- Front brake pads should be replaced - but at that price it should include NEW rotors - it is never a good idea to resurface rotors as it removes metal & they may warp- brake fluid unless contaminated by water should not need to be replaced discoloration of older fluid is normal, just top it off- drive belt replacement is a little high but not bad priced- also do not replace power steering fluid again just top it off-whoever quoted you the price is higher than what I charge in my shop (& we do a lot of 4 Runners) but some companies have a higher overhead- hope this helps-thanks Super Girls Auto.

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Della, As an owner of a 22 year old Toyota Truck with 291,600 miles on it, I can appreciate your concerns. As vehicles get older it is important to maintain them. $331 to just replace the front pads and cut the rotors seems a little high. I would expect this kind of price if they were doing front and rear brakes. If you are down to 2/32 you need to replace them for safety reasons. Ask them to show you what they're talking about with the other repairs. If they refuse to do so, go someplace else. Brake fluid is usually the color of honey. You should be able to see this in the reservoir when you look under the hood. If it looks much darker then it's time to have it flushed. You can find the reservoir up against the firewall right near where you push the brake pedal under the hood. Ask them to show you the belts as well. If you haven't changed them in the last couple of years...they're probably due. If you can't afford to do everything now, I would recommend that you do the brakes and the brake flush first. Depending on the condition of the belts, you may be able to wait a little longer. If you are not having trouble with the power steering and you don't hear whining noises when you're turning...that can wait as well. Most likely you are like me and don't have a car payment...it's important to use the money you would be spending monthly to pay for the vehicle to now keep it maintained. My truck owes me nothing after 22 years...so keeping her maintained is the least I can do. Hope this helps. Lori Johnson www.ladiesstartyourengines.com

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