Toyota maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule
Expect to spend around $450 per year on maintenance and repairs
Whether you currently drive a Toyota vehicle or are planning to buy one, it’s important to know what you may spend on maintenance and repairs. Keep reading to learn about Toyota’s recommended maintenance schedule, how much you may spend to keep your car on the road and how a prepaid maintenance plan or extended warranty can help.
- Toyota vehicles average $441 per year in maintenance and repair costs, according to RepairPal.
- Toyota recommends you do basic maintenance every six months or 5,000 miles if you drive under normal conditions.
- Toyota’s bumper-to-bumper warranty protection lasts for just three years or 36,000 miles, but you can protect yourself from unexpected costs for longer with an extended warranty.
Toyota maintenance schedule
Toyota has different maintenance schedules for each model it makes. To find the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle, plug in your vehicle’s information on Toyota’s website or speak with your local dealership.
We’ve included the recommended maintenance schedule for a 2022 RAV4, Toyota’s best-selling SUV, in the table below as an example, but be aware that your vehicle may require different maintenance services.
|Rotate tires||Every 6 months or 5,000 miles|
|Inspect fluid levels||Every 6 months or 5,000 miles|
|Inspect brakes||Every 6 months or 5,000 miles|
|Inspect wiper blades||Every 6 months or 5,000 miles|
|Change oil and filter||Every 12 months or 10,000 miles|
|Inspect various components*||Every 18 months or 15,000 miles|
Scheduled maintenance for severe driving conditions
Toyota doesn’t have a completely different maintenance schedule for cars driven in severe conditions, but it does have some recommendations to keep in mind if you’re tough on your vehicle. According to Toyota, you want to consider more frequent or additional maintenance services if you:
- Drive on dusty, dirty or muddy roads
- Drive on roads with melted snow and ice
- Tow with your Toyota vehicle
- Use a rooftop cargo carrier
- Burden your vehicle with heavy loads
These activities may put extra wear on your vehicle, so it makes sense that they can accelerate the normal maintenance schedule. More frequent maintenance can make your vehicle last longer and help your technician spot problems before they turn into major failures.
Are Toyotas expensive to maintain?
According to RepairPal data, Toyota vehicles average $441 per year in repair and maintenance costs. That’s significantly lower than the industry average of $652 per year and much more affordable than what you may spend with other popular automakers.
|Make||Average maintenance and repair costs*|
|Toyota||$441 per year|
|Honda||$428 per year|
|Ford||$775 per year|
|BMW||$968 per year|
This affordability may be a result of Toyota vehicles’ reliability. Toyotas have a RepairPal reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, which puts them in eighth place out of 32 car brands.
Author’s note: As a mechanic, I’ve found Toyota to be one of the most reliable automotive brands. When properly maintained, a Toyota can run for 200,000 miles or more. However, that reliability doesn’t make it immune to problems, which is why it’s still important to have a plan in case you get stuck with a big repair bill.
Toyota maintenance costs
While Toyotas average $441 per year in maintenance and repair fees overall, it’s worth pointing out that these costs aren’t consistent across every model in Toyota’s lineup. You can see this variation across a few of Toyota’s most popular models in the table below.
|Model||Average maintenance and repair costs*|
|2020 Toyota RAV4||$429 per year|
|2020 Toyota Camry||$388 per year|
|2020 Toyota Tacoma||$478 per year|
The statistics we’ve given so far have also combined maintenance and repair costs into one figure, which makes sense from a certain point of view. You might not care whether you’re paying for maintenance or repairs if the result is the same — spending money at the mechanic.
However, maintenance services are fundamentally different from repairs, and you need to understand that difference to budget effectively:
- Maintenance refers to regular services the manufacturer recommends to keep your vehicle running in good condition.
- Repairs are unplanned services needed to fix or replace parts that aren’t working as they should.
Here are some average costs for Toyota’s recommended maintenance services. (We’ll go over some costs for common Toyota repairs in the next section.)
|Transmission fluid change||$259-$315|
|Front and rear brake pad replacement||$573-$645|
|Spark plug replacement||$214-$254|
If you’re buying your Toyota new, you won’t have to care about maintenance costs for the first two years or 25,000 miles, though. All new Toyotas come with a ToyotaCare maintenance plan that includes:
- Tire rotations
- Fluid inspections
- Motor oil and filter changes
- Multipoint inspections
- Toyota genuine parts
- Service from Toyota-trained technicians
Basically, ToyotaCare covers all the recommended maintenance we outlined earlier and comes with free 24-hour roadside assistance.
Toyota repair costs
Repair costs for individual vehicles are generally much harder to estimate than maintenance costs because there’s no telling what’s going to go wrong with your car ahead of time. However, you can make an educated guess by looking at what has happened to other vehicles like yours.
The most common repairs for your Toyota will obviously depend on what kind of vehicle you have, but let’s look at some common repairs for the 2020 RAV4 we mentioned earlier as an example.
|AC compressor replacement||$1,209-$1,680|
|Fuel injector replacement||$936-$2,655|
According to CarComplaints.com, the least reliable Toyota models are the 2019 RAV4, 2007 to 2008 RAV4s, the 2007 Camry and the 2009 Camry.
If you compare the maintenance and repair estimates for this vehicle, you can see that repair bills tend to be less frequent than maintenance bills but more expensive when they come due. That means you may not have to pay a repair bill for years, but once you do, it will likely cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
While your car insurance can protect you from repair bills after a collision or vandalism, it won’t help if your Toyota breaks down on its own. That’s what a warranty is for. New Toyotas come with three years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage and five years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. You shouldn’t have to pay anything if a covered part breaks during your warranty period.
However, once your factory warranties end, you are responsible for paying the parts and labor costs for any repairs, and these costs can be higher than you might expect. For example, replacing the head gasket in the 2020 RAV4 we mentioned earlier can cost $3,929 to $4,824, according to RepairPal. It’s entirely possible that you may never need such an expensive repair on your Toyota, but it’s helpful to have a plan in place in case you do.
» LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?
How can an extended warranty or maintenance plan help?
If you’re concerned about affording a large repair bill, it may be smart to look into buying an extended warranty. These vehicle service contracts are available from third-party warranty companies and directly from Toyota itself, and there are a wide array of plans available. You can choose a powertrain plan to avoid costly engine or transmission repairs, or you can opt for a bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers almost every part of your vehicle.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in saving a little bit on your scheduled maintenance, a prepaid maintenance plan might be more your speed. These plans have a modest upside compared with the possible savings from an extended warranty, but you can potentially save by paying for your maintenance ahead of time. Toyota and other companies sometimes offer maintenance services at discounted rates through these plans because they guarantee future business.
Whatever you choose, it’s important to make an educated decision about how you want to handle the costs of keeping your car on the road.
» MORE: Pros and cons of extended auto warranties
- Article sources
- ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
- Toyota, “Are you due for a service appointment?” Accessed March 1, 2023.
- Toyota, “Maintenance Plans.” Accessed March 1, 2023.
- CarComplaints.com, “TOYOTA OVERVIEW.” Accessed March 1, 2023.
- RepairPal, “Toyota Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed March 13, 2023.
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