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Old 03-17-2008, 08:56 PM   #41
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I found that the 30k/60k/90k services that the Toyota dealer wants $300 for can be gotten for about $60. Turns out that the dealer usually offers "free inspection" coupons which cover most if not all the important items on the 30k services. The only real things on the 30k service besides inspections are: Oil change ($30), Engine air filter change ($15 for the part), and cabin air filter ($15 for the part).

The biggest rip off is the prices dealers charge to replace cabin air filters. I just received a "coupon" offering me an air filter change for "only" $79.95. It takes me 2 minutes to install the $15 part.

If the dealer charged you $100 to install light bulbs, think about learning to install light bulbs yourself.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:24 PM   #42
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About 1,000 miles before the manufacturer's warranty ends, I ask the service manager to do the same inspections they do when they certify a used car for sale. I pay the extra labor charge for the extra time they spend. I ask for the list of what was inspected, the wear amounts on things like brakes, etc.
This is an excellant suggestion. In our area, it only costs about $150 to do a state inspection, which is fairly extensive, but maybe not as extensive as the inspection for 'certified used' status.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:05 AM   #43
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This is an excellant suggestion. In our area, it only costs about $150 to do a state inspection, which is fairly extensive, but maybe not as extensive as the inspection for 'certified used' status.
Yipes, is this $150.00 inspection the type that each vehicle must have every year??
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:45 PM   #44
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Yipes, is this $150.00 inspection the type that each vehicle must have every year??
Only required for xfer of title for used vehicles. I've seen some gas stations and independent shops advertise the service for as little as $59 if you just want an easy pass, but they will almost certainly find something that needs to be fixed. The $150 is what I paid at the dealer for vehicle purchased out of state.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:52 AM   #45
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Toyota repair? What is that

(A happy Solara owner with almost 8 repair-free years under my belt)
(and no dealer servicing in my case, but make your own decision on that)
OK, guess that NOW I will have to stop being so smug. I took my Solara in for new tires yesterday (only 34,800 miles but 5 years on these tires and at least one was looking pretty bad).

$555 for the four Goodyear tires including all the labor and valve stems and whatever else they had to do or use, and tax.

While it was up on the rack, they told me it needed new brake pads and cleaning, too. $223 for labor, brake pads, cleaning fluid, tax, and so on. So, I got out of there for $778 total.

On the other hand, I suppose that I could count new brake pads as being preventative maintenance, instead of repairs, in which case my Solara is STILL repair-free.

I have no idea whether these charges are reasonable or not on a nationwide basis, though I am pretty sure they are a good deal for New Orleans in 2008. I have dealt with this tire place for 12 years and in the past they have always done right by me. And, like always, I ended up sitting there for hours. Two and a half hours, actually. I nearly died of boredom.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:41 AM   #46
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I have dealt with this tire place for 12 years and in the past they have always done right by me. And, like always, I ended up sitting there for hours. Two and a half hours, actually. I nearly died of boredom.
The original owner of the tire joint that I've done business with for the last 30+ years, just retired last year and sold the business. But while he still had it, if there was going to be a wait of over about a half hour or so, he'd toss me the keys to his car and tell me he'd drop my car off on his way to lunch (if it was a.m.) or on his way home (if it was p.m.). I was free to use his car as if it was mine......it was the only time I got to drive convertibles.....COOL!

He always did good work for reasonable prices. The new guy that has it now has some of the highest prices in the area, and the quality of their work ain't so great.....I've heard several complaints! So now I go to another locally owned joint that's owned by a very personable guy....and his prices and quality of workmanship are real good.......but he ain't got a 'vertible!
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:50 AM   #47
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Only required for xfer of title for used vehicles. I've seen some gas stations and independent shops advertise the service for as little as $59 if you just want an easy pass, but they will almost certainly find something that needs to be fixed. The $150 is what I paid at the dealer for vehicle purchased out of state.
Sounds like Maryland. They do have a very good inspection if it's done according to the book, takes about an hour. It should be annual.

WV has an annual inspection but it's a joke. Just tire tread, lights, wipers, brake pads, no obvious exhaust leaks, a few other things. They don't even look at steering, suspension or the hundreds of other things that MD does.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:08 AM   #48
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The original owner of the tire joint that I've done business with for the last 30+ years, just retired last year and sold the business. But while he still had it, if there was going to be a wait of over about a half hour or so, he'd toss me the keys to his car and tell me he'd drop my car off on his way to lunch (if it was a.m.) or on his way home (if it was p.m.). I was free to use his car as if it was mine......it was the only time I got to drive convertibles.....COOL!
That really DOES sound cool! My tire place will drive you someplace if you ask, but they are pretty slow in doing that. Transportation usually consists of a mechanic driving you in his own somewhat dirty ancient car, with the radio blasting, and he is not in a hurry to get back to work and often they forget to come pick you up later. Then when you call, it's "Wasn't Billy Bob going to pick her up? He's gone home? What about Jim-Boy, does his wife have the car today or can he pick her up? Ma'am, can you wait a while and I promise we'll call you in a few minutes about when we can pick you up" and so on. Basically, they do great work on the car but they aren't so good with the impromptu transportation services. So, I'd rather just sit!

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He always did good work for reasonable prices. The new guy that has it now has some of the highest prices in the area, and the quality of their work ain't so great.....I've heard several complaints! So now I go to another locally owned joint that's owned by a very personable guy....and his prices and quality of workmanship are real good.......but he ain't got a 'vertible!
If you have good prices and good workmanship, it sounds like a great place even so.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:12 AM   #49
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OK, guess that NOW I will have to stop being so smug. I took my Solara in for new tires yesterday (only 34,800 miles but 5 years on these tires and at least one was looking pretty bad).
Tires have a mileage life and a life in general, they can crack and dry rot, so somtimes you make a move earlier on tires.......

O
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n the other hand, I suppose that I could count new brake pads as being preventative maintenance, instead of repairs, in which case my Solara is STILL repair-free.
What you did WAS maintenance, not repairs.......

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I have no idea whether these charges are reasonable or not on a nationwide basis, though I am pretty sure they are a good deal for New Orleans in 2008. I have dealt with this tire place for 12 years and in the past they have always done right by me. And, like always, I ended up sitting there for hours. Two and a half hours, actually. I nearly died of boredom.
I just had rear pads and rotors done on my Accord, and I paid $197 + tax, so I think you did ok. Of course, there are a few folks on here that could do the work with $50 in parts and a screwdriver, but I'm not one of those folks.......
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:17 AM   #50
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What you did WAS maintenance, not repairs.......
Yay!! He said it, guys. My Solara is STILL repair-free, after almost 8 years. Thanks, FD.

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I just had rear pads and rotors done on my Accord, and I paid $197 + tax, so I think you did ok. Of course, there are a few folks on here that could do the work with $50 in parts and a screwdriver, but I'm not one of those folks.......
Me either. In fact, I don't know much about cars at all, and I don't recall him saying anything about rotors (but then the minute he said brakes my mind shut off). He said something about the back having to be done to balance the front which really needed it, but the back was cheaper. I think the pads were $47, and something else was $45, and there was cleaning fluid and labor involved. I'll have to look at the receipt later when I am at home and can post exactly what it said.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:56 AM   #51
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Me either. In fact, I don't know much about cars at all, and I don't recall him saying anything about rotors (but then the minute he said brakes my mind shut off). He said something about the back having to be done to balance the front which really needed it, but the back was cheaper. I think the pads were $47, and something else was $45, and there was cleaning fluid and labor involved. I'll have to look at the receipt later when I am at home and can post exactly what it said.
I am sure the engineers on here will correct me, but basically it goes like this:

On front wheel drive cars, the majority of the weight rests on the front wheels, usually 55-60%. So what the car manufacturers do is usally put a larger rotor on the fronts, as they are used to a greater degree for stopping. The rear brakes assist, but the wear and tear is more on the front brakes.

The reason to "turn" or "resurface" the rotors is to help prevent pulsating or having the brakes fade on you. In my case, the Accord had 75,000 miles on the original pads and rotors in the rear. They cut the rotors and put new pads in, and adjusted and cleaned everything on the front brakes also.

My front brakes got new pads and resurfaced rotors at 40,000 miles, so I am good there for awhile.

Sounds like you are ready to roll for quite awhile..........

BTW, maintenance IMO includes:

Oil changes
Tire rotations
Tires
brakes
wiper blades
transmission flushes
coolant flushes
air filter changes
washing and waxing

Repair is anything else..........
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:22 PM   #52
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Good!! With any luck then I guess maybe they did the same things on my Camry Solara. Do you think they turned our rotors as well as cut, clean, and adjust? It doesn't sound like it (which is fine with me if it wasn't needed but just curious). Last night Frank was asking about whether or not they replaced the rotors, and I told him that I didn't think so.

One thing that I noticed, which really surprised me, is that when I set the emergency brake it feels tighter and more substantial than it did before. They must have adjusted it, too, or something. It seems to be working a lot better, and the emergency brake light isn't on except when it is set, now (I guess that light flashing on inappropriately should have been a clue, but I hadn't had anyone check it out).
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:27 PM   #53
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75,000 miles is a lot compared with my 34,800 miles, but then I do almost entirely city driving with stoplights every block and it has been almost 8 years on the same brake pads. So that would probably explain it.

One thing that I noticed, which really surprised me, is that when I set the emergency brake it feels tighter and more substantial than it did before. They must have adjusted it, too, or something. It seems to be working a lot better, and the emergency brake light isn't on except when it is set, now (I guess that light flashing on inappropriately should have been a clue, but I hadn't had anyone check it out).
Yes, that's the adjustment. I just had my rear brakes adjusted on Monday ($45). It made a big difference in the "tightness" of the emergency brake. These are still the original factory brakes (just over 45,000 miles on a 2005 Toyota Matrix). I thought I'd need more extensive brake work being that this was original stuff, but the shop said they were still fine, the fronts were perfectly fine as is and the rear just needed adjustment.

It's hard to imagine they'd need to turn rotors with less than 35,000 miles unless there was something wrong with the brakes, or perhaps if the lugnuts were too tight and caused the rotors to warp. (Fords used to have a TERRIBLE problem with warping rotors.)
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:34 PM   #54
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Yes, that's the adjustment. I just had my rear brakes adjusted on Monday ($45). It made a big difference in the "tightness" of the emergency brake. These are still the original factory brakes (just over 45,000 miles on a 2005 Toyota Matrix). I thought I'd need more extensive brake work being that this was original stuff, but the shop said they were still fine, the fronts were perfectly fine as is and the rear just needed adjustment.

It's hard to imagine they'd need to turn rotors with less than 35,000 miles unless there was something wrong with the brakes, or perhaps if the lugnuts were too tight and caused the rotors to warp. (Fords used to have a TERRIBLE problem with warping rotors.)
Good. Then I guess they probably didn't turn my rotors. I don't remember the guy saying the word "rotors", but then the guy wasn't terribly articulate. He didn't seem very surprised or alarmed or anything, so I don't suppose there was anything wrong with the brakes. Mine are the original factory brakes, as well, on a 2000 Camry Solara.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:05 PM   #55
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It's hard to imagine they'd need to turn rotors with less than 35,000 miles unless there was something wrong with the brakes, or perhaps if the lugnuts were too tight and caused the rotors to warp. (Fords used to have a TERRIBLE problem with warping rotors.)
FWIW, The terms 'cut' and 'turn' mean the same thing wrt rotors. I can't imagine putting new brake pads on without turning the rotors, but as you say, it's not mandatory unless the rotors are warped or worn. Turning the rotors makes them perfectly flat and gives them the proper finish for the new pads to be most effective. Usually the 2nd on 3rd set of pads will require replacement of the rotor due to wear. Front brakes usually wear twice as fast as the rear (or faster), even with rear wheel drive due to weight transfer when stopping. Mileage will vary tremendously based on city/hwy/hills/etc. Also labor rates vary significantly in different parts of the country. Dealers around here get >$100/ hr vs. $85-90 in other areas, but it sounds like W2R paid a very reasonable price the the Solara's maintainance (not a repair). Wowee! New tires and new brakes should feel like a new car!
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:11 PM   #56
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It does!! Flies like the wind with those new tires!

Here's what my invoice says (other than the tire related charges):

brake pad ceramic $49.11
brake cleaner $3
labor brk $106.80
labor brk/clean & adjust rear $44.50

So, it isn't very specific. But from what you are saying, it sounds like they were turned but not replaced. I'm glad it was a reasonable price!
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:38 PM   #57
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Yay!! He said it, guys. My Solara is STILL repair-free, after almost 8 years. Thanks, FD.
Same here. Bought a Honda Accord for DW over 16 years ago (1992) and still no repairs, only maintenance - brake pads; tires; oil/filter changes; headlight bulbs; muffler; battery. Changed timing belt and water pump as preventative maintenance at 90K. Oops, there was one repair - the chromed plastic inside handle on the driver's door broke which cost $16. I was going to buy her a new Honda, but this one will not wear out.

I just bought my 1st set of replacement tires for my '97 Miata. No repairs needed on it either. However, the original battery is now dead and needs replacement.

I do my own mechanical work so out-of-pocket expense is modest.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:09 PM   #58
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the cracked plastic overflow coolant tank cap that I had duct taped a month or so ago was still there and untouched!
Another item on the maintenance schedule was the air filter - so I undid the clamps and the air filter was unchanged and dirty!

I also had a dealer try to get me to do the timing belt change at 60K even though the owner's manual said 90K.
We have a good mechanic who used to be a Honda trained mechanic who worked for the dealership. He finally stopped working there because of the politics, but he has shared many similar stories. I've gotten my car back w/not enough oil (umm, if I can do it, they can do it right), where they haven't rotated the tires.

I think there was a time when the timing belt were supposed to be changed at 60K, but that was a long time ago. Maybe he didn't get the memo! We don't go to the dealership anymore.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:30 AM   #59
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i didnt read the whole thread, but have you considered taking your es300 to a toyota dealer? they will fix it with toyota parts for a fraction of the cost (your car is the same as a camry). or take it to an independent garage/=...dealers ALWAYS charge too much
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:34 AM   #60
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OK, guess that NOW I will have to stop being so smug. I took my Solara in for new tires yesterday (only 34,800 miles but 5 years on these tires and at least one was looking pretty bad).

$555 for the four Goodyear tires including all the labor and valve stems and whatever else they had to do or use, and tax.

While it was up on the rack, they told me it needed new brake pads and cleaning, too. $223 for labor, brake pads, cleaning fluid, tax, and so on. So, I got out of there for $778 total.

On the other hand, I suppose that I could count new brake pads as being preventative maintenance, instead of repairs, in which case my Solara is STILL repair-free.

I have no idea whether these charges are reasonable or not on a nationwide basis, though I am pretty sure they are a good deal for New Orleans in 2008. I have dealt with this tire place for 12 years and in the past they have always done right by me. And, like always, I ended up sitting there for hours. Two and a half hours, actually. I nearly died of boredom.

did you know that WALMART sells good Goodyear tires (Vivas) for about 75 including everything for your car....


dont overlook wallyworld for the easy stuff....TIRES
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