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Discussion Starter #1
I'm ready to make my first appointment with the dealership for my 5,000 mile maintenance. The maintenance book states that this first check includes,

1. Check installation of drivers floor mat.
2. Inspect and adjust all fluid levels.
3. Inspect wiper blades.
4. Rotate tires.
5. Visually inspect brake linings and pads.

Is there a charge for doing these things or is it free? Do they also check the transmission fluid which requires special tools?
 

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I have my appt set for this Friday but it seems like a waste of time as the only REAL service is the tire rotation which is also something I can do in less time then it will take me to drive to the dealer. The only reason I am even going is just because I want to look at some used cars for my son.
 

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My free dealership service program ended recently and I'm not planning to take it back ever again to the dealership for service. I'm a DIYer. I never did have a "good" experience going to the dealership service center anyway. Oil/cabin filter/engine air filter are cake (check youtube). There is no power steering fluid to replace (count that as done!) since the RAV4 uses electronic steering. braked and coolant are a pretty standard operation. That leaves the differential and transmission, and those should just be a matter of lifting the RAV4 level onto stands, draining and filling, replacing washers (for tranny go for a drive to warm up the fluid first and be careful not to burn yourself when draining - wear thick rubber gloves). There may be a filter in the transmission to replace but I still need to do some research.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't you need special tools to change the transmission fluid?
 

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Edit: by the way, I watched this video the night before you posted it. Wasn't sure if this applied to my transmission as my RAV4 is AWD and in the video he mentions FWDs only. It sounds like regardless of AWD this is the type of transmission pan on the 2015 (or gen 4). If that's the case I appreciate the info.

I still am not 100% convinced that these special tools are needed to do a AT fluid replacement. Think about it - you undo the drain plug, undo the straw bolt and old fluid drains. Once drained, screw in the straw bolt, fill the transmission from the side filler, ensure the temperature is at the correct value, and stop adding ATF when the fluid drips out a bit at a time. Screw back in the drain bolt. Screw back in the filler bolt. The length of the straw is there to ensure you don't over-fill it. Why not let the straw do it's job? If the warm AT fluid puts the level over the straw length then why not do the fluid change at a cooler temperature (less expansion and hence lower level)?

Getting the fluid level exactly perfect is impossible. For one, the vehicle will never truly be level. You can ensure your garage floor is level, but not the car. You can get it close don't get me wrong. Just saying there is a margin for error and that straw is there for a reason.

I think these "special tools" aren't necessary... unless you can convince me otherwise.

Thanks
 

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I have my appt set for this Friday but it seems like a waste of time as the only REAL service is the tire rotation which is also something I can do in less time then it will take me to drive to the dealer. The only reason I am even going is just because I want to look at some used cars for my son.
Well, I did get the tires rotated, car washed and bought a 2013 Corolla LE for the kid. I'll only be taking it back at 10,000 & 20,000 miles for the free oil changes.
 
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