1. Welcome to CowboysZone!  Join us!  Come on!  You know you want to!

Any mechanics here? What could have happened?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by FloridaRob, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. FloridaRob

    FloridaRob Active Member

    1,429 Messages
    21 Likes Received
    My wife drives a 2004 Toyota Highlander Limited Edition with about 80,000 miles on it. A few weeks ago, it started shaking when idling and burning oil like crazy . I just felt it was going to be a major engine overhaul but did not know. HOping for the best, expecting the worse.

    I took it into the local Toyota dealership. After an initial inspection they told me that it would cost me $550 to get into the engine and do a diagnostic test. And from that they would be able to give me a better opinion to how to fix it.

    It has been in there about 10 days and spoke the the Service Dept once where he said they found at the very least a bad valve but were still doing diagnostics but it was not looking good. I hadnt heard anything from the dealership but I havent been pushing them either. (it's the Ted Thompson approach of burying my head in the sand and hoping it would go away)

    Anyway, finally heard from them today. The service guy told me that they needed to rebuild the entire engine. New heads, new valves, new pistons new everything. And the kicker was, they would do all of it FOR FREE. NO COST FOR A REBUILT ENGINE. All they asked me to do was the general maintenance of flushing the transmission, flush the power steering, replace coolant, AC update, etc all for the cost of $647. So what happened? I was expecting between $3000 and $4000 for a new engine and I get one basically for nothing except general mainteance of $647---things I needed to do anyway. What am I missing here??? Are they rebuilding it with tonka toy parts? Too good to be true? do I need to be cynical about this good fortune. Even the 550 to diagnose it went away??

    Is it going to fall apart driving it off the lot....
  2. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    59,744 Messages
    2,778 Likes Received
    Did you ever check to see if there was a recall for the engine or parts of the engine from Toyota?

    Could be there was a recall recently because they found out that some part of the engine was causing troubles so now the mechanics are getting paid through Toyota due to the recall.

    Now I don't know if that is the case, but it could be.

    I am like you, I don't think they waive that money for no reason.
  3. FloridaRob

    FloridaRob Active Member

    1,429 Messages
    21 Likes Received
    Brain, I did not think of that but if they did that, I would think they would tell me that. I thought maybe they actually broke something themselves in the process and possibly were just doing the right thing. Na, that couldnt be it either. How would I ever know....I know nothing about cars. other than where to put the put gas in, open the hood and put air in the tires.
  4. FloridaRob

    FloridaRob Active Member

    1,429 Messages
    21 Likes Received
    another question-is a rebuilt engine as good as a new engine or are they the same thing. and is there a warranty on something like this.....
  5. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

    22,515 Messages
    463 Likes Received
    I stopped reading right there...
  6. tomson75

    tomson75 Brain Dead Shill

    16,714 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Depends on who rebuilt it. Companies like Jasper make rebuilds that are often superior to the original.

    As far as your first post, it sounds like it's either a recall, mistake, or there is nothing wrong with your engine, and they're just suckering you into buying that other crap.

    Stealerships are the enemy. Get to know a mechanic personally, or be prepared to be 'f'ed in the a' by them.
  7. the kid 05

    the kid 05 Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds

    9,537 Messages
    1 Likes Received
    rebuilding an engine if done right and properly could be just as good if not better then the engine when you first got it
  8. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

    2,587 Messages
    344 Likes Received
    A dealership is no way going to offer you a rebuild cause they like you. They'd loose big big time on $700 rebuilds. So the real choices are:

    1. Factory repair in play...Toyota had bad sludge issues around 2004 and paid big time to replace a bunch of engines. Do a search on that, google Toyota sludge and also Toyota buy back.

    2. Dealship broke it. Techs have been know to drop bolts down places that are very hard to get to.

    3. They are going to give you a "spray can rebuild"...paint the valve covers and put in some blow-by.

    4. Combo of 2 & 3.

    Get to the bottom of the story. Its not a free rebuild.
  9. FloridaRob

    FloridaRob Active Member

    1,429 Messages
    21 Likes Received
    wolf, your response also made me remember something the rep said. He kept talking about the sludge in the engine. I kept the oil changed on the time the whole time I had the car so could not figure out how sludge became a problem. I am going to google the sludge issues. thanks,
  10. FloridaRob

    FloridaRob Active Member

    1,429 Messages
    21 Likes Received
    hey now, that at least is better than my 1st wifes car.....

    [IMG]
  11. FloridaRob

    FloridaRob Active Member

    1,429 Messages
    21 Likes Received
    Wolf, after reading the sludge issues, I have no doubt that is what the problem was and now Toyota is repairing it at their expense. Meanwhile, the fact is, I probably am paying $647 more than I should. After reading that, I have gone from feeling great to feeling used. While I am happy I am only paying $647, in effect I should not be paying anything. The rep was acting like he was doing me a great big favor by fixing my engine for free when in fact he wasn't GIVING me anything. Now I have to figure out how to react to this.

    I can do the Ted Thompson method of standing like a wooden indian and "just move on" or the Brett FAvre method of "I want another brand spanking new Toyota Highlander 2009 model" or I am not leaving the dealership.

    Probably will settle for Teds way....
  12. locked&loaded

    locked&loaded its redskin season

    2,775 Messages
    35 Likes Received
    didnt read it, because i am not a mechanic. But we own a toyota corolla, best vehicle we have ever owned. thing has run and will run forever. i will only buy toyota and honda.
  13. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

    5,334 Messages
    138 Likes Received
    Clue #1!
  14. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

    5,334 Messages
    138 Likes Received
    dang it!

    :p:
  15. tomson75

    tomson75 Brain Dead Shill

    16,714 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    :lmao:
  16. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

    59,744 Messages
    2,778 Likes Received
    On a side note. I know you found out about the sludge problem but there is another situation that some people don't really know about. Especially people who really do not know much about cars, like you and I.:D

    Sometimes you can get an oil change at a dealership, oil change place or just a regular garage. Some times the person doing the oil change will drain the old oil out. Put a new filter on, put can/bottle of oil in the input area and walk away while it goes into the engine. Sometimes they either lose track of how much they put in or another mechanic will come around and put even more oil into the engine.

    I had this happen to me at a little shop that just does oil changes, lubes and inspections.

    Dropped the car off and came back later.

    Of course I expect the oil levels to be good to go so I don't check the dipstick.

    A few minutes down the road and the car is shaking like I am in a freaking earth quake.

    I did not know what the heck was going on so I took it back to the shop.

    Guy checks the dipstick and they had put twice the amount of oil they should have put in by mistake.

    So he drained it to the correct amount and gave me my money back. At least they admitted the mistake and gave me a refund.

    But too much oil in an engine can really cause a car to shake REAL BAD. First thing I thought of when you described it. And if not drained soon enough it can cause serious problems with seals and other areas of the engine.
  17. FloridaRob

    FloridaRob Active Member

    1,429 Messages
    21 Likes Received
    Brain, something similar to that happened to this car a few months ago. I dropped the car off for an oil change and to rotate the tires. Picked the car up the next day. Like you I expected the work to be completed. I drove off and 10 miles down the road, the oil light comes on and I figure the computer must be screwed up. I pulled over and checked the dip stick---no oil- I purchased five quarts of oil and headed back to the car place. I showed them my receipts for oil but they swore they didnt do anything wrong and they were not going to give me any money back. And of course these problems start about 2 months later. Coincidence? Probably, especially after reading the sludge problem but I don't think that helped. You would expect an oil change place to put oil in the car. Morons.....
  18. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

    24,188 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    I blew the engine in my Jeep Cherokee at 85,000 miles, and replaced it with a factory rebuilt-- pay attention to that, FACTORY rebuilt-- engine... I've put 175,000 miles on that rebuilt engine, and to this day it has never used a drop of oil between oil changes (and since I use synthetic oil, those oil changes are 15,000 miles apart)...

    So if the folks rebuilding the engine are good at what they do, you shouldn't have any worries... but do inquire as to who did the rebuilding...
  19. Viper

    Viper Active Member

    2,190 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    I had the same problem with my wife's Toyota Avalon. I replaced the motor, for $3600. I was so angry with my wife, no oil kills the motor. I than found out Toyota was having a problem with oil gel. They refunded my $3600, turns out thier was a class action settlement against them.

    I would look deep into this if I were you. If it's the oil gel problem, you shouldn't owe anyone a penny.
  20. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

    2,587 Messages
    344 Likes Received
    Florida Rob, glad to see the sludge talked helped. Oil is very important to any type of engine, do not trust 16 year old tatooed dudes with your car,ever. They think leaving your car w/o oil is funny....trust me.

    print out some copies of the TSB (Tech service bulit) for your year car...yes you can find it via google. Show that to your service adviser then tell him you'd like a loaner via Toyota untill your truck is ready.

    If the service guy still thinks you need to pay for all that crap while they change your engine...please inform them you'd like to review the scope of TSB coverage with a NA Toyota rep directly.

    Painful but have fun.

Share This Page