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I have a 2000 Toyota 4-Runner and it has 162K miles on it. It is in great condition and I have done little repair on it. My mechanic has recommended a transmission fluid flush and power steering fluid flush (or change maybe. Are these necessary? I was told by someone these are closed systems and not exactly necessary procedures.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Lindsay, Yes, I recommend that you have your systems "flushed" especially your transmission. This is because over time, your transmission oil breaks down just as your engine oil does from carbon deposits and high heat operations, your transmission filter should also be replaced in conjunction for optimum performance. You do not want your transmission fluid losing its red lucrative properties by turning brown, this can cause damage long term to the function of your transmission. Changing every 80k-100k per your manufacturers recommendation is advised. Your power steering fluid also can break down in the same fashion recommended every 60k miles I believe. Preventive maintenance is always a safe route to take per the alternative of a more costly repair down the road. Hope this helps!! A. J. Valle

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service Lindsay, These are closed systems, but still need attention. This is especially true with older cars if you want the engine to last. Do you know when these flushes were last performed? That will definitely determine when they need to be done. The Hydraulic oil in your transmission breaks down over time, reducing the ability to lubricate the internal parts of the transmission causing wear and eventual failure of a gear or clutch pack. In addition, contaminates build up on the edges of the control valves and solenoids in the valve body causing them to stick or plug up which will cause shifting issues. Servicing the fluid is a small price to pay to help keep your transmission in good working order. Do not service a transmission in an attempt to repair a problem. Fluid services are only designed for preventative maintenance. Servicing power steering fluid is recommended for the same reasons as the transmission. It however is not as crucial. Check your service records and your owner's manual and make sure you keep up with all the maintenance! Thanks for your question, The Curry's Auto Team

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