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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2008 FJ Cruiser that I’ve had since about 2010 with about 280,000 miles on it. Since I’ve bought the car all I’ve done are regular oil changes every 5k miles, changed brake pads as needed, replaced the alternator, changed spark plugs and just topped off fluids as necessary. Here in the next coming week or two I’m going to change the transmission fluid and filter, rear diff fluid, do a coolant flush, and clean the MAF sensor and throttle body. I’m sure they are all over due to be changed and I’m wondering what other things need to be done to make the car last as long as it possibly can? At the moment it still runs and drives great and just want to continue that.
 

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Mine has 333K and they are tough miles of freeway, oilfield roads, offroad and use at my farm.
This year I got new front bearings, CV/axles done. Right now, she is in the shop for upper cats, and 333k miles on any cat is decent in my mind.

The next big ticket item is likely to be the rear axle seals, which is also big money. But I wait until the parts actually fail or make noise or leak, indicating imminent failure before I do repairs. I will change my gearing, but not until the rear axle seals go - when it would be in the shop for that anyway and the rear end broken down to replace the seals.

I spent $5000 this year, but I also haven't had a car payment since early 2014 nor have I done any big repairs until now - so it pencils out to well under $100/mn in cost since 2014. As my plan is to keep my FJC until I am underground, people will see me replacing big ticket items - as they go bad from wear and tear. This year was an exceptionally sharp pain in my wallet, but nothing lasts forever. The best way to view it is do the math, as I did above, compared to the cost of paying a note for a similar vehicle.

Idler pulleys, AC compressor, evaporator/heater core, rear axle seals, U-joints, wheel bearings, ball joints, CV joints - those are the things you will HAVE to replace as 300k is about max service life for these, per my personal experience.

The things you listed above are part of routine maintenance - don't think of them as repairs of worn or broken parts.

YMMV, of course.
 

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one other routine maintenance item that you did not list, and is not called for in most owner's manuals, but needs doing every 100k miles or so: flush the power steering system

Some shops have a flushing machine that forces the old out with new and could help extract any sediment trapped inside. The shop manual describes a risky sounding way to flush using its own pump but if you run dry could damage something so be very careful if doing it that way. Most folks simply drain the reservoir (undo the return hose at the bottom into a jar), then fill up with new, and do this enough times until the fluid is clear. It wouldn't get as much crud/dirt out as the other two, but would definitely be better than nothing.

Some folks add an in-line filter as further insurance.

By the way, I found that rebuilding a Toyota power steering pump was super easy using the cheap kit sold at the dealer. It came with everything and the pump (200k, was off for other work and decided to give it a try) internally measured all to factory specs. I put a filter on the line to keep it that way for the next 200k miles.

Main concern that doing all this is for: preserve the steering rack, as its seals, once they start leaking, can make quite a mess and a new rack costs a lot.

Norm
 

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one other routine maintenance item that you did not list, and is not called for in most owner's manuals, but needs doing every 100k miles or so: flush the power steering system

Some shops have a flushing machine that forces the old out with new and could help extract any sediment trapped inside. The shop manual describes a risky sounding way to flush using its own pump but if you run dry could damage something so be very careful if doing it that way. Most folks simply drain the reservoir (undo the return hose at the bottom into a jar), then fill up with new, and do this enough times until the fluid is clear. It wouldn't get as much crud/dirt out as the other two, but would definitely be better than nothing.

Some folks add an in-line filter as further insurance.

By the way, I found that rebuilding a Toyota power steering pump was super easy using the cheap kit sold at the dealer. It came with everything and the pump (200k, was off for other work and decided to give it a try) internally measured all to factory specs. I put a filter on the line to keep it that way for the next 200k miles.

Main concern that doing all this is for: preserve the steering rack, as its seals, once they start leaking, can make quite a mess and a new rack costs a lot.

Norm
Thanks Norm - I did forget that. But the biggest improvement I have had for that dang tiny pump is the filter. Mine went and got rebuilt @ 150K miles, and since adding the filter, it's like the wear stopped in the pump. I have taken it apart 2x just to see, and it doesn't appear worn like the first time I opened her up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh wow. Sounds like ill have a lot of repairs to do sometime next year as I hit the 300k mile mark lol. Would doing some of those things talked about above here and there before they actually fail or absolutely need replacing be a good idea so everything doesn’t potentially happen at once or close enough together where it might be a heavy financial hit?

Also, on another note. Have any of you guys heard of or tried yourselves cutting out that wire mesh right where your intake air filter sits (stock system), using a higher end filter and spark plugs to apparently get 25mpg? I’m pretty hesitant on doing anything like that unless it’s a common thing, but I’ve never heard of it.
 

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Oh wow. Sounds like ill have a lot of repairs to do sometime next year as I hit the 300k mile mark lol. Would doing some of those things talked about above here and there before they actually fail or absolutely need replacing be a good idea so everything doesn’t potentially happen at once or close enough together where it might be a heavy financial hit?

Also, on another note. Have any of you guys heard of or tried yourselves cutting out that wire mesh right where your intake air filter sits (stock system), using a higher end filter and spark plugs to apparently get 25mpg? I’m pretty hesitant on doing anything like that unless it’s a common thing, but I’ve never heard of it.
The wheel bearings will let you know they are worn - you can hear them. You can do them yourself if you buy new bearing assembly with the bearings already pressed in. If you have a hydraulic press and are familiar with pressing bearings in, should be a snap. Just a lot of wheel/brake/CV disassembly. If not, in the shop she goes.

The ball joints you can check by jacking up the front wheels and then checking the play by flexing the wheel top to bottom. Not a tough replacement, but it pays to have some help with this and CVs.

The CVs will make a clickety sound usually, but it will get steadily un-ignorable and then start vibrating. It's a PITA, but you can also do this on your own.

The evaporator/heater core will either blow out on the heater side and dump water into the cabin, or else your freon will leak out. The latter is usually the case. Unfortunately, you have to disassemble the entire dash to get to it, so most people bite the bullet and shell out a grand in a shop. You have to take it there anyway to get the new core checked for leaks and charged with freon.

The valve covers will leak, but you can probably replace those gaskets yourself.

The rear oil seal means taking the tranny and engine apart - unless you have a lift, recommend you let the shop do it - it's an easy to spot oil leak. It sucks to pay a grand to install a $5 seal, but unless you got the right gear, it's time consuming and hard without help. I would recommend letting it drip and save the money. You can afford a LOT of synthetic oil for what it costs to replace that rear main seal. I ran for almost 2 years on mine leaky, adding a quart a month and parking over a filled kitty litter box.

U-joints you will hear and feel the vibration. Get under it and you will easily see the excessive play in one or both of them. Just drop the driveshaft and replace them - pretty easy to do.

The cats will throw a code, and your check engine and traction lights stay on. If it's an O2 sensor, it should go away after 3-500 miles. If it's a cat, check engine and traction lights won't go away. If you drive on bad upper cats too long, the O2 sensors will get flamed and you will have to replace those too. Since the upper cats are basically the exhaust manifold, you could do them yourself, but there are a couple of Toyota specific bolts that can cause you heartache if they break off when taking them loose. It's also really hard to do this without a lift and air impacts since exhaust stuff is rusty and dry - which is why I bit the bullet and let the shop do it.

Replacing these items before they fail or begin letting you know they are failing, is, IMHO, wasting money. Let them do what they were designed to do for as long as you can - then fix the issue and check any neighboring parts that may be worn and replace them too.

Your 08 is nearly as old as my 07, so you know what to expect from my travails. Just keep in mind that a brand new 2020 GMC 4x4 pickup costs $47,500 and it is a totally useless hog offroad. I don't know what new FJs cost overseas, but I would not be surprised if they are in that same neighborhood at this point in time.

Shelling out a grand a year for repairs (or escrowing the same amount for whe you have to pay the repair toll) is literally like paying a couple of car notes for a new vehicle. If you keep this in perspective, you won't get too glum when you have to pay out one of the big ones.
 

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I’m wondering what other things need to be done to make the car last as long as it possibly can? At the moment it still runs and drives great and just want to continue that.
Replace the PVC valve. NAPA ECHLIN# 2-9950 - $3. I've had my 07 for 11 yrs. It has 198k wonderful miles. I change it every time I change the spark plugs.
Every oil change I use a large Tractor Supply syringe to suck out as much PS fluid as I can and replenish with new. I do the same with the brake fluid.
 

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Also, on another note. Have any of you guys heard of or tried yourselves cutting out that wire mesh right where your intake air filter sits (stock system), using a higher end filter and spark plugs to apparently get 25mpg? I’m pretty hesitant on doing anything like that unless it’s a common thing, but I’ve never heard of it.
I've heard of the mod, but don't think many do it. I don't think you'll see much gains by cutting out the carbon filter.
 

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sounds like a tall tale to me, if simply using different plugs and air filter could have jumped the mpg by 4+ points it would have been done long ago (OEMs are desperate for every mpg they can get, when selling trucks)
 

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Tall tale maybe, but it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a free flowing filter, though I don’t see any point in cutting out the secondary filter


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note that a free flowing air intake filter carries long term durability risk as it will also tend to catch less dust...
 

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I have a 2008 FJ Cruiser that I’ve had since about 2010 with about 280,000 miles on it. Since I’ve bought the car all I’ve done are regular oil changes every 5k miles, changed brake pads as needed, replaced the alternator, changed spark plugs and just topped off fluids as necessary. Here in the next coming week or two I’m going to change the transmission fluid and filter, rear diff fluid, do a coolant flush, and clean the MAF sensor and throttle body. I’m sure they are all over due to be changed and I’m wondering what other things need to be done to make the car last as long as it possibly can? At the moment it still runs and drives great and just want to continue that.
Our
I have a 2008 FJ Cruiser that I’ve had since about 2010 with about 280,000 miles on it. Since I’ve bought the car all I’ve done are regular oil changes every 5k miles, changed brake pads as needed, replaced the alternator, changed spark plugs and just topped off fluids as necessary. Here in the next coming week or two I’m going to change the transmission fluid and filter, rear diff fluid, do a coolant flush, and clean the MAF sensor and throttle body. I’m sure they are all over due to be changed and I’m wondering what other things need to be done to make the car last as long as it possibly can? At the moment it still runs and drives great and just want to continue that.
Our FJ has 345875 2007. your right on the maintenance the only thing I've done different is other than oil, all fluids get changed every 100k. Total repairs to date 1 alternator, 2 front wheel bearings. And the usual brakes pads rotors plugs. Best vehicle and purchase I've ever.
 
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