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Life with a Toyota Land Cruiser: Month 5
Another service, another opportunity to sample free coffee - 17th April 2019
Six months after arriving, then, the Land Cruiser was due its second service, a 20,000-miler.
That’s a main service, rather than the 10,000-mile interval, so as well as engine oil being changed, as at 10k, the gearbox oil and differential oils are changed, as is brake fluid, the fuel filter and cabin air filter, and the key fob battery is replaced. The list of other checks is longer, too.
Toyota runs a fixed-price servicing programme, so it doesn’t matter which main dealer you visit. The Land Cruiser is the biggest car Toyota makes so, along with a Dyna (a forward-cab compact truck) and the Hilux pick-up, it’s the most expensive to service, at £395 – although a GT86 is close, at £365.
They offer a couple of extras: a fuel additive said to clean the injectors, and an antibacterial thing for the cabin filters said to reduce interior smells. They add £30 between them, and I thought I’d test them, to see if either make any difference. I keep a keen fuel log so I’ll know if the former has any effect, while the whiff of my son’s ice hockey gear, especially if I forget to remove it from the boot for a day or three, is the sternest test any antibacterial filter is likely to get.
The nearest dealer to home is Inchcape Oxford, and they’ve always been reliable (I got the GT86 I used to run serviced there, too). There’s a comfortable waiting area and the coffee machine is good.
Inchcape had availability about a week after I called and were happiest to take the car when they opened at 7am. The service itself should take around two and a half hours, but dealers of many brands are still ploughing through Takata airbag recalls, too, well after one was issued to replace potentially explosive canisters, because supplies of replacements have been so limited.
They couldn’t guarantee when the car would be ready and suggested I might be better going off and returning after lunch, but I was happy to wait. I have decent laptop battery life, always plenty to write and a mate to meet for a late-morning tea and bun, so I took a chance and hung around locally.
The car was ready by 12 and the invoicing clear. Probably a bit too clear. Included in the service cost are all of the fluids, whether you have them or not. I’d topped the AdBlue up the previous night, because I need to keep track of exactly how much I put into the car, and told them that when I dropped off the car off, but ‘AdBlue: 10 litres’ still appeared on the invoice (£12). So I queried it and, given you couldn’t have squeezed any more than about 200ml into it, they handed me 10 litres to take away.