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Toyota Yaris brake fluid levels


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Please can somebody advise.  I have a 2019 Yaris Hybrid and can see three markers on the brake resorvoir  max min and one in between. Where should a trained Toyota technician have topped the level up to? The reason I'm asking is that I am currently in dispute with my local Toyota dealership. They have charged me £295 for a 2 year 20,000 service..the service book specifies a brake fluid change on this service but its come back with the level on the centre marking where it was before being serviced. Their report sheet states that change of fluid wasn't required at this service which contradicts Toyota schedule. I challenged the service manager and told him that the level hasn't even been checked let alone the fluid changed! I've refused to pay the bill and he is seeking clarification from his manager. What I don't want is for him to come back to me and say that the fluid level is correct at that midway marker. I'm certain that its been missed entirely.  Can anybody tell me what this midway marker is for please.

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Hi Robin

Although the service book indicates a brake fluid change at 20,000 miles, this is not always necessary. The fluid should be visually inspected and then an instrument can check the boiling point of the fluid. If it is satisfactory then there is no real requirement to change the fluid. 

You could request the brake fluid to be changed but this would be an additional cost to the service charge. Brake fluid will generally last a lot longer than 20,000 miles, especially the original fluid.

If the fluid level is between the minimum and maximum then that's satisfactory. When brake pads start to wear, the fluid level decreases. If the brake fluid was topped up to the maximum, when brake pads are required, brake fluid would have to be removed from the reservoir as fitting new brake pads results in the fluid level in the reservoir to increase.

The Toyota technician has in my opinion saved you an additional cost. Service booklets / schedules often have an over complicated checklist of items that do not require attention other than a visual inspection. 

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Not as far as I'm aware, and I've always had the fluid changed at the Full service.

The Full service (due every 2 years/20,000 miles) includes a brake fluid change. I've just checked the service tick lists for our Aygo and Auris, and for the Full service the technician ticks to say the brake fluid has been changed - not inspected. So there should be no additional charge if the work has to to be done additionally. A brake fluid change is one of the reasons you pay more for the Full service.

Otherwise it will be at the 4 year/40,000 mile service when the brake fluid is changed.

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Thanks Frostyballs.  I did phone this dealerships Taunton branch on Friday and they told me that there would be no additional charge if the brake fluid was changed so their Yeovil branch who I am in dispute with can't try to charge me any extra.

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Most manufacturers and the AA recommend the brake fluid is changed every two years, regardless of mileage. What does your service ticklist say?

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Some years ago the main dealer always asked me if I  wanted the brake fluid changing at two years. Extra charge of course. Now they just do it as part of the service.

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Brake fluid should be changed every 2 years as manufacturer recommended, although can last at least to 4 years before it will require change for sure, I don’t see a reason to skip a change and if included in the price the garage should do it. Brake fluid does absorb moisture over time and these causes  a stuck callipers pistons and a whole lot of trouble, expensive brake system overhaul., plus soft irresponsive pedal feel.
The level marks in the reservoir are three due to been a hybrid car, and when car is set in ready mode the brake system is pressurised and more brake fluid is sacked into the electric pump and pipes and the abs module, when the car is off wait few minutes and you will see the brake fluid rises above middle mark up to the max. Therefore you can check brake fluid in two ways: with car is ON middle mark or car is OFF max mark.
Now you know and you can double check by yourself:  - After been using the car, stop at level ground, set the car in P without handbrake, open the bonnet and then turn off the car and go to the front and listen for mechanical sounds ( electric brake pump depressurised) and watch the brake fluid level rises. Make a note where it is, should be above middle mark towards or at the max level mark. 👍

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Last month I changed the fluid on a car that has been in daily use for 16 years without the fluid ever being changed. I only changed it because I had to repair a pipe, the brakes were working perfectly.

I'm not advocating leaving it that long, just saying. 

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Thank you everybody who has replied especially TonyHSD very informative!  The driver's handbook is worse than useless and doesn't even mention or show the brake fluid resorvoir let alone the three levels!

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2 hours ago, Robin Stevens said:

Thank you everybody who has replied especially TonyHSD very informative!  The driver's handbook is worse than useless and doesn't even mention or show the brake fluid resorvoir let alone the three levels!

You are welcome 👍

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2 hours ago, Robin Stevens said:

The driver's handbook is worse than useless and doesn't even mention or show the brake fluid resorvoir let alone the three levels!

Which owners manual do you have. For a number of years, Toyota supplied an abbreviated manual with new cars. One can download a digital version of the full owners manual from My Toyota.

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Thank you everybody who has replied especially TonyHSD very informative!  The driver's handbook is worse than useless and doesn't even mention or show the brake fluid resorvoir let alone the three levels!

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2 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Which owners manual do you have. For a number of years, Toyota supplied an abbreviated manual with new cars. One can download a digital version of the full owners manual from My Toyota.

Its a 190 page User Guide. Yep 190 pages and not a mention on brake fluid or showing where the brake fluid resorvoir even is. Can you believe that! While I'm on, does anybody know what the tiny on/off switch is for on the nearside of the luggage compartment please? It makes no difference to the light, that just stays on. Again no mention of it in the book!

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2 hours ago, Robin Stevens said:

Its a 190 page User Guide.

That is the abbreviated manual. For example the full owners manual for my 2016 Aygo is 464 pages, for my i20 approx 602, and the i20 multimedia/sat nav 652.

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30 minutes ago, Robin Stevens said:

While I'm on, does anybody know what the tiny on/off switch is for on the nearside of the luggage compartment please?

Do you have rear parking sensors? The rear parking sensors often have a small on/off switch located on the rear boot lining. The same with both my Auris and my Aygo.

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2 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Do you have rear parking sensors? The rear parking sensors often have a small on/off switch located on the rear boot lining. The same with both my Auris and my Aygo.

Thanks Mike, yes I have parking sensors with a little switch on the dashboard which now I presume just disables the front sensors. So the switch in the back is for the back. Got it.  I will need to check online from now on with the MyToyota app. Cheers.

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