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      01-31-2014, 04:49 PM   #1
Jdub679
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Recommended (minimum) maintenance for a beater

I got a beater recently for my work commute, a 2003 Toyota Corolla with about 150k miles on it. This will be a nearly 100% highway driven vehicle, putting on about 25k miles/year. Stop-and-go traffic about 25% of those miles.

Aside from oil changes and tires and brakes when it needs them, anything else?
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      01-31-2014, 05:06 PM   #2
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Check the timing belt, water pump and shocks. I'd just replace the fuel filter, air filter, oil, brake fluid, coolant and oil, coolant and fuel caps just preventatively. Probably worth checking to see if there are records of a transmission flush too. Or just drive it until one or more of those things stop working.
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      02-03-2014, 05:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Check the timing belt, water pump and shocks. I'd just replace the fuel filter, air filter, oil, brake fluid, coolant and oil, coolant and fuel caps just preventatively. Probably worth checking to see if there are records of a transmission flush too. Or just drive it until one or more of those things stop working.
Thanks. What do you think is a reasonable oil change interval for a beater that sees nearly 100% in highway miles with some stop and go? 5000 miles?
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      02-03-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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You'd probably be safe in the 4-6k range with conventional oil, but a UOA is the only way to know for sure. Probably not worth it on a beater.
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      02-03-2014, 06:01 PM   #5
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You'd probably be safe in the 4-6k range with conventional oil, but a UOA is the only way to know for sure. Probably not worth it on a beater.
UOA = oil analysis?
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      02-03-2014, 07:27 PM   #6
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Used Oil Analysis. I agree, don't bother doing it with a beater. I'd buy whatever name-brand non synthetic you can find on sale and run it about 5000 miles.
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      02-03-2014, 08:31 PM   #7
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Aside from oil changes and tires and brakes when it needs them, anything else?
No. It's a beater. The first commandment of driving a beater is "thou shalt beat on the beater."

Now get out there and pound on that thing like you're tenderizing a steak.
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      02-03-2014, 09:38 PM   #8
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No. It's a beater. The first commandment of driving a beater is "thou shalt beat on the beater."

Now get out there and pound on that thing like you're tenderizing a steak.
Non-synthetic. 5000 miles. Got it.
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      02-04-2014, 11:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
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No. It's a beater. The first commandment of driving a beater is "thou shalt beat on the beater."

Now get out there and pound on that thing like you're tenderizing a steak.
This. Wouldn't go further than the obvious oil, brakes, and water pump/timing belt when needed. It's a corolla after all, you don't put much in and aside from mileage you don't get much out.
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      02-04-2014, 11:31 AM   #10
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Frds family has a 1st year model solora(not sure if that's the name of that car) and it has 250000km now (still going). What surprised me is they never brought the car to a Toyota dealer for any type of service since new. All maintenance work was done by a neighborhood corn garage which does only very basic things. Those Toyotas are probably the best beater I've seen.
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      02-04-2014, 04:15 PM   #11
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This. Wouldn't go further than the obvious oil, brakes, and water pump/timing belt when needed. It's a corolla after all, you don't put much in and aside from mileage you don't get much out.
I was always under the impression that Corolla's had a chain timing belt, instead of rubber. Does it still need a timing belt replacement?
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      02-04-2014, 05:24 PM   #12
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I was always under the impression that Corolla's had a chain timing belt, instead of rubber. Does it still need a timing belt replacement?
Looks like they switched to chain drive in the late '90's. I swear I don't *feel* old...
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