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What Maintenance Should Have Been Done On My '93 Sc400?


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Hey all. It’s time for me to go get my oil changed in two weeks and I figured while I’m at it I should get quite a few other things checked out too. But, I need help prioritizing the list. I’m able to spend about $600 for parts and labor this month and will have the same budget for late March. The car is a ’93 SC400 that just hit 70,000 miles last Saturday. I’ve owned the car since August of ’06 and am not sure when the last time fluids, belts, etc. were changed. I had the break pads changed in August and just had my left window regulator replaced in January but as far as scheduled maintenance goes I’m in the dark. What should have been done by now?

Here’s what I’m hoping to have done by the beginning of April:

1. Have all fluids flushed and completely replaced. That includes break, transmission, coolant, and power steering. Since I don’t know when these might have been changed before is it ok to just have it all washed out and start new? Also (typical girl question here) what other fluids should I have this done with? I want to try and get every single one changed but aside from what I listed I don’t know if I’m missing anything.

2. Have the radiator checked for rust and leaks, possibly replaced. I refilled my windshield washer fluid at the end of January and noticed that my coolant was brown which makes me think that my radiator is rusty or that red and green antifreeze may have been mixed at some point. (this is the reason I want to have ALL of the fluids changed ASAP.)

3. Check breaks / pads. The ones I have now are 7 months old but squeal like a city bus.

4. Find out why it takes half a tank of gas to drive 100 miles on wide open (no stop and go) freeways every Sunday. (Air filter, oxygen sensors, what else?)

5. Have condensation removed from inside of headlights. Prepared to fully replace them.

I should also add that the car is not going to a dealer for repairs, but a mechanic in my neighborhood that specializes in imports. Would love to know if there’s anything I left out that should be addressed immediately and which things on my list need to be done first. And, is $1,200 a reasonable amount to have all of this work done for? Thanks!

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Be careful when changing your fluids and filters. Stay with original Lexus /Toyota fluids for coolant, transmission and power steering! I'd go with mobil 1 synthetic motor oil or amsoil synthetic ( 5W30). You need to replace your coolant with the proper toyota (red?) coolant and the transmission if fully flushed should get upgraded toyota type 4 transmission fluid. If they only drop the transmission pan and don't do a complete flush you can replace the 1-2 qts with the original toyota type 2 or type 4 trans fluid. Some people think it is safer to replace the transmission fluid over time with older cars than doing a flush some don't. I believe the power steering fluid is actually a transmission fluid and you can check this in your owner's manual or with lexus. I would not put anything but TOYOTA approved and TOYOTA made fluids in the car and if your mechanixc doesn't have them get them from Toyota as you can ruin your transmisssion, PS etc. with the wrong fluids. Have them clean your transmission filter and put in a quality toyota or wixx oil filter. Good quality dot 3 or 4 brake fluid will be fine for flushing the lines and replacing the old brake fluid. You can check this site for upgrading your rotors and pads but if you only drive around town or some highway stay with OEM replacements. Or, you can upgrade to drilled rotors and more aggressive pads. Get a new air filter (OEM or upgrade ). To clean out your intake and injectors, put in two bottles of chevron TECHRON cleaner in one tank (read label instructions) when 3/4 or more empty and fill with premium and run it through. If you still have problems you can repeat this or try a SEAFOAM treatment as described in this site. I'd put in new spark plugs if yours are old. I like NGK iridium plugs (get them on Ebay or Yahoo for about $46). Mine have run great for 3 years. If your mechanic says his fluids are just as good for your transmission and they are not Toyota type 2 or 4 go some place else or bring the fluids you want used in your car to him. People like to take short cuts and it can cost you a lot later on if the work isn't done properly and with the correct products. My costs would be $60 for oil and oil filter change including mobil 1 and filter. A complete transmission flush and replacement with toyota type 4 fluid would be approx $200-260 at toyota (give them a call as lexus doesn't do a flush in my neighborhood). The rest is time and material costs for brakes etc. Good Luck. You have a great car....

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for #4 n #5..

#4 add in fuel filter as well.

#5... U dont need to replace em. just remove it from the body and remove all metal clamps. bake in the oven for 10 mins at 200-210 degrees and pull that sucker apart.. after that start cleaning polishing watever.. drill some holes on the bottom if u need to for circulation and put em back together.

i painted mine black... looks nice i guess.

n that $1200 price is.. umm.. well.. super high. DIY. or get the repair manual n DIY..

my brother and i (still in highschool) managed to do most of what you listed and saved a lot of money.. maybe cuz my dad wont send the car in... they charge you so much. (didnt do tranny flush or oil yet. just drained filled n replace filters on both engine and tranny.)

o yea also check out 92Lex's how to's in the workshop place... REALLY helpfull stuff =]

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