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boatguy

Coolant Change

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Well, guys, I need your always sage advice. I went to my local Toyota dealer last week for my usual 5K service. This is my usual service place as Lexus is far away. While there, after reading about inverter troubles, I asked the service manager if he had ever replaced one or a battery. He said he has never seen an inverter go bad and only one battery. He said that was in a ’01 Prius with over 300K miles that was used as a taxi. This, of course made me feel a little better since I’m now at 106K. But (always one of those) he said I was due to have my coolant changed in both the engine and inverter. He said this would cost about $300.

My questions are:

Does the coolant really ever wear out? Mine is clean and bright, never leaks.

Is $300 reasonable?

Is this a DIY project?

What do you think?

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For my money i will be changing the coolant at 100K, its cheap insurance. And Lemon feel free to correct me, altho this coolant change seems easy isnt there something about making sure there are no air bubbles created in the system during the change? When i called my Lexus dealer in seattle they quoted me $140.00 for rx 400h awd coolant change only. You are correct some toyotas can go way past 100K and not need the coolant work done, according to the dealer. Also at my dealership they usually change the coolant at 90K during the timing belt service, was yours done then?

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What does your maintenance manual say? If it says to change the coolant then do it at the mileages or time interval indicated in the manual ... no more, no less.

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I believe my manual calls for a coolant change at 90,000 miles. Coolant changes in older vehicles were far easier than what is required for many newer vehicles. There are (newer vehicles) normally quite a few air bleed ports that if not bled properly, may lead to engine over-heating. Think of it another way: Is $300 every 90,000 miles alot of money? I think not.

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Per the 2006 owner's manual, coolant change for the inverter and engine is at 100 000 miles (160 000km) exept in Canada where it's recommended at 128 000 KILOMETRES (don't know why??). With coolant, it's not so much how it looks, but that additives (like anti-foam, anti-rust, anti scale etc.) lose their effectiveness with age/mileage.

Depending on your skill, experience with engines, and comfort level (when messing about with a $7000 inverter) these can be done yourself. Get a copy of the shop manual (convieniently on DVD - check ebay) and you'll see it's fairly simple.

Me personally, I would do the engine myself, but leave the inverter to the dealer. Fortunately for me, WHEN MY INVERTER FAILED (this in CAPS since your dealer says they've never changed one), and was replaced under warranty, the coolant was replaced at that time, saving me the cost of having the dealership do it.

Speaking of failed inverters, your dealership must be lucky - aside from my own personal experience with this, someone I work with, who also has a 2006 400h suffered a complete inverter failure while driving on the highway. Mine never actually failed, but was leaking coolant and would likely have failed in the future due to the coolant leak.

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And Lemon feel free to correct me, altho this coolant change seems easy isnt there something about making sure there are no air bubbles created in the system during the change?

Have I been correcting you a lot? Sorry if I have, but I have obsessive compulsive personality disorder (not OCD, but OCPD). By the way, "altho" should be "although".

With any coolant change, air in the system is a bad thing.

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