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FJerYuri
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PostSubject: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:13 pm

I'm getting ready to do some maintenance on my 08 TT FJ. There are a couple of Toyota dealerships nearby but I am wondering if its best to take it to a reputable private mechanic instead. In my experience, not all Toyota dealerships really know that much about the FJ, at least in the sales dept. Private mechanics can be less expensive and I have one I really trust and have used him for years.

So what is better? Dealership service dept, or mechanic?

Oh, i'm going to get the following things done:
New windshield
New front wiper blades
New front brake pads and rotor turning
replace cabin filter
routine engine tune up
chasis check / bolt tightening
4x4 diff check and tranny check
belts, fluids, oil change

Thanks
FJerYuri
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:30 pm

I also have a mechanic I trust and have used for about 15 years. Personally I would do some of that myself: wipers, brake pads and rotors, and cabin filter. The other items, I'd let my buddy go to town on it.

At the March FJ Meet here in Raleigh, the dealership passed out cabin filters to most everyone there for free.

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:11 pm

you know you're right about doing some of that stuff myself.
but i can't (don't even want to try) do the tune up or oil or brakes.
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PostSubject: dealership or private mech   Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:49 pm

the dealership will either farm out the windshield to a glass company and then charge you an absolute premium..or they will have their body shop do it...personally i would take it to a glass company and just let them do it...if they let their own bodyshop do it it may not be done right..i had that problem with my tundra...back glass wouldnt seal right ended up taking it to an auto glass shop...that did it right...

i will be taking mine to the dealership as long as i have the two year maintenance deal...after that ill probably do most of it myself...
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:50 pm

x2 on doing much of that yourself. Even changing your own oil is very very easy and takes less than 15 minutes. For everything else, Id take it to a reputable mechanic; someone you TRUST because they can screw you just as bad as the dealership sometimes.
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:42 pm

I got the 30,000 mile service plan as an extra incentive...have never bothered but they threw it in and have actually been impressed with Hendrick Toyota here in Fayetteville.

Definately let us know what you decide on the windshield and how it turns out, it'll be good to have some first hand input in the file when that invariably comes up!
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:01 pm

I have always used Toyota of Concord and I have never had one problem with them, always have been very helpful with all I have asked of them!
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:19 pm

I say check your friends and family for a reputable private mechanic that knows Toyotas and more so, Toyota trucks....

BUT, If you do go to a dealership.....make sure you report how the dealership did, here on the forums, in the dealership thread that is appropriate for your area....Good or bad, give us a write up!

Heck, even post if you go to a private mechanic!

Keep us updated! and Good luck!!

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:28 pm

FJerYuri wrote:
I'm getting ready to do some maintenance on my 08 TT FJ. There are a couple of Toyota dealerships nearby but I am wondering if its best to take it to a reputable private mechanic instead. In my experience, not all Toyota dealerships really know that much about the FJ, at least in the sales dept. Private mechanics can be less expensive and I have one I really trust and have used him for years.

So what is better? Dealership service dept, or mechanic?

Oh, i'm going to get the following things done:
New windshield
New front wiper blades
New front brake pads and rotor turning
replace cabin filter
routine engine tune up
chasis check / bolt tightening
4x4 diff check and tranny check
belts, fluids, oil change

Thanks
FJerYuri

windshield will be farmed out by the dealership and marked up to make a profit go private there.
wiper blades do it yourself
brake pads do yourself, if your rotors arent scared or warped enough to feel in the pedal leave them alone otherwise replace them, the factory ones will warp really easy if you have them turned.
cabin filter is a 10 minute do it yourself
tune up on a OBD2 car is a joke, you dont get plugs till about 60 or 80k miles coil packs arent going to be replaced till they die. replae your own air filter and tune up is done.
chasis check is a joke, most dealers add it to the list so the list of what you get looks longer for what your paying for.
your tranny is a sealed unit and cant be checked and a power flush is generally not a good idea on a sealed unit, your diffs should be fine till 80K miles unless you notice the diff is discolored from weeping or leaking fluid around the pinion or the diff plugs (fill or drain)
belts are a DIY job
fluids are easy and an oil change is a simple DIY.

If you need some help with any of it I or my brother would be willing to help for an extremely discounted rate... IE come buy beer and hand us tools.

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:31 pm

crogers6569 wrote:


windshield will be farmed out by the dealership and marked up to make a profit go private there.
wiper blades do it yourself
brake pads do yourself, if your rotors arent scared or warped enough to feel in the pedal leave them alone otherwise replace them, the factory ones will warp really easy if you have them turned.
cabin filter is a 10 minute do it yourself
tune up on a OBD2 car is a joke, you dont get plugs till about 60 or 80k miles coil packs arent going to be replaced till they die. replae your own air filter and tune up is done.
chasis check is a joke, most dealers add it to the list so the list of what you get looks longer for what your paying for.
your tranny is a sealed unit and cant be checked and a power flush is generally not a good idea on a sealed unit, your diffs should be fine till 80K miles unless you notice the diff is discolored from weeping or leaking fluid around the pinion or the diff plugs (fill or drain)
belts are a DIY job
fluids are easy and an oil change is a simple DIY.

If you need some help with any of it I or my brother would be willing to help for an extremely discounted rate... IE come buy beer and hand us tools.


Great advice Chad!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:32 pm

every now and then i throw out a gem....
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:35 pm

Agree with Chad on this. In fact, I did my own plugs at 30k miles and changed the rear diff fluid. Took me maybe 3 hours and it was not a difficult job at all.

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:36 pm

crogers6569 wrote:
every now and then i throw out a gem....

I knew you had to be good for SOMETHING....... Wink....LOL

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:38 pm

Knowledge of what a truck can and cant do and what can and cant be fixed is my forte'

I like to see how far things can be pushed without irreparable damage, maybe its a sickness
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:40 pm

crogers6569 wrote:
Knowledge of what a truck can and cant do and what can and cant be fixed is my forte'

I like to see how far things can be pushed without irreparable damage, maybe its a sickness

Maybe you have a touch of "Larrry-itis"....

Wait, Larry pushes it PAST the damage....so maybe you are not as sick as you think......

LOL

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:43 pm

haha, that's a good assessment David.....we may need a section on the forums for those who are down with the sickness lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:52 am

FJerYuri
Do it yourself. You will feel more confident about your truck when you are finished.
Plus taking it to the dealership (they do not always get it right )


Last edited by DirtGhost on Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: agree with Crogers   Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:48 am

i totally agree with chad..the "tune up" and "PM" on these trucks is pretty straight forward and very easy to do...like i said before i have the 30K service deal that came with the truck...if it hadnt i would be under the truck anyway and doing all the work myself...these trucks (FJ) are almost a "sealed UNIT " in unto themselves...theres not a whole lot to be done other than filters and fluids...and by fluids i mean engine oil...you always want to check your coolant and may? have to add at some point...but not very likely...a good PM for me would open the hood and look at belts, check the fluids such as brake, and oil..and if you have a manual tranny check the fluid level in clutch fluid container..do a once over aon all electrical connections that you can see...look thru the grill and take a look at the fins on the radiator...other than that ..if you want to change the engine oil..go fot it..you dont need to worry about brakes unless you feel a pull or pulse...in fact i had a toyota dealer/service tech tell me that as long as there is pad there is no need to worry...most dealerships or "salesmen" will tell you ..."well your pads are used halfway so you need to get new pads.."..thats just not true..

and as i said before the windshield will be farmed out and it will COST you..unneccessary cost in my opinion...get a REAL auto glass company to do it..

and as far as doing the work yourself...it will give you a HUGE confidence boost as far as a bond between you and the vehicle..and you will have a deeper understanding of how and what your vehicle can and cant do...

hope this helps ...good luck with your choices...let us know how it turns out..
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PostSubject: one more thing   Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:56 am

within the first month of owning my truck i had all 5 tires and wheels off the truck the front bmper the grill off most of the interior was removed the spare tire carrier off i did alot of little dismantleings jsut to get an idea of what was "THERE"...it also gave me a better understanding of how to do it just in case i was on the trail ..away from "civilization" and had to do something, fix something i know where the bolts/clips are where to "pull" first...that sort of thing...
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:09 pm

I like beer and I like my FJ, and yeah I like Chad too. So its a trifecta of fun.
Chad pm me your coords and I'll schedule a time to meet up and lets do this thing.

And THANKS!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:42 pm

Perfect !
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:09 pm

1 month out for me if your weekend bound. IM of this weekend and calling my next weekend off at uwharrie. IM of every other weekend so first weekend in November odd good for me
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:59 pm

Mine is in now getting the new driver's seat (sinking seat syndrome). They asked if I wanted the 4 wheet drive servicing while it was in? $255...I said no, I'm not sure what that involves or includes? They also asked about plugs...$250. I am pretty sure I can handle that assuming I can find them.

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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:08 pm

Which dealer did you go to? I may look into the sear issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Dealership or Private mechanic?   Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:39 pm

Skip the seat... google twisted stitch and get you some baller suspension seats.
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