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Toyota Prado: Transmission fluid replacement

Asked by Geoff Shaw

At a recent routine service on my 2005 Toyota Prado diesel my Toyota dealership recommended that the auto transmission fluid be replaced, as they say it is dirty. I bought the vehicle new from them and have it serviced by them for the 150,000 km it has done. The cost quoted was $189. Is this necessary? I should mention that about 40,000 km of that 150,000 km has been towing a 2.4-tonne caravan fully loaded. The dealer also said the bonnet struts were weak and need to be replaced at a quoted cost of $600. I don't believe they are a problem, but even if they were, surely they could be re-gassed or re-conditioned or replaced with after market cheaper alternatives. Your thoughts on both issues would be appreciated.

Answered by CarsGuide

25 Aug 2011 Graham Smith

I would have the transmission serviced, particularly as you obviously do a lot of towing as relatively heavy loads. And like you I would expect the bonnet struts could be re-gassed if they are a problem. Dealers normally go for the most efficient option for them and replacing them with new components out of their parts department is much faster and cheaper than sending the struts out for re-gassing and waiting for them to come back to be refitted. That all takes time and costs the dealer time, money and efficiency in his workshop. And don't expect the dealer to use aftermarket parts when he can make more money out of selling you some nice, shiny, new factory parts.

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