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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are you one of the lucky owner of a newer model Toyota powered by a 2GR-FKS engine? Is you car approaching 120k miles? Jackpot !!! Get ready to pay $1200 for a required preventive maintenance item !!!

Brake booster vacuum pump replacement. Yes, Toyota wants you to pay for the replacement of a safety-critical item that was designed to be replaced every 120k miles. And we are not talking about a wear item like brake pads or tires. We're talking about an actual piece of equipment that should last as long as the car's lifespan, the engine or the transmission. A new pump costs $600, requires several hours of labor and must be performed by a Toyota certified technician. Add taxes, gaskets, shop materials and you have nice bill of $1200.

Here is the list of Toyota vehicles that are powered by this engine:
2015-present Lexus RX350
2017-present Toyota Highlander
2017-present Toyota Camry (V6)
2017-2020 Toyota Sienna
2016-present Toyota Tacoma

Are you fortunate to have one of this vehicles? Are you planning to keep it beyond 120k miles? How many of you would have bought your Toyota knowing about this little (almost insignificant) maintenance expense?
 

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06 Toyota Camry XLE, 16 Corolla S
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Exactly why does the pump replacement have to be performed by a Toyota-certified technician? There are many state laws (in all 50) that allow you to be able to go to any "certified" mechanic and have any service done to any vehicle. Doesn't matter if it a 3.5 million supercar or a $3,000 Yugo.

Parts fail and yes need replacement, just because it's a part that has to do with safety does not automatically warrant a lifetime waranty. Obviously, it is a wear item if Toyota recommends a REPLACEMENT at 120,000

It Will be interesting to see who chimes in with those on the list and see how many have had this replaced.
 

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if your car is 120k miles, chance is it's already no longer cover by the warranty. u can take it to any shop and have them replace it for u or u can do it urself and save the labor cost. either way it would be less than 1200$.
 

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A couple other options:

Disable auto start/stop and plumb the brake booster to the intake manifold.

Buy an aftermarket pump for about $100.

Roll the dice and run it.
 

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I owned more than 40 vehicles and none had brake issues like my Land Cruiser Prado or Sienna (including Zastava 101, predecessor of Yugo).
I think booster is shoot on my 2015 Sienna together with front struts at 77k.


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Talk about a recommended service that will never be done ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^.

Mercedes recommends replacing the air bags every 15 years. Only problem is that single repair will set you back more than the value of any Mercedes at that age. It's printed on a sticker in the door jamb if memory serves. Nothing new just more stuff to wear out and need replacing. Wonder why I drive the 20 year old stuff?
 

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Talk about a recommended service that will never be done ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^.

Mercedes recommends replacing the air bags every 15 years. Only problem is that single repair will set you back more than the value of any Mercedes at that age. It's printed on a sticker in the door jamb if memory serves. Nothing new just more stuff to wear out and need replacing. Wonder why I drive the 20 year old stuff?
Brake booster should never be replaced. Air bag and brake booster is like comparing apples and oranges. MB is not the only manufacturer who recommends that.
This definitely falls into one of the most ridiculous things I have heard lately about maintenance.
And I think there is a reason for that and Toyota obviously cannot figure it out. My booster is shoot on 2015 Sienna. I told my friend who had second generation Sienna and just sold it, and he had same issue. He thought it is just annoyance so never fixed.
To me this looks like Toyota is not capable or doesn’t want to address issue, so they call mandatory replacement.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brake booster should never be replaced. Air bag and brake booster is like comparing apples and oranges. MB is not the only manufacturer who recommends that.
This definitely falls into one of the most ridiculous things I have heard lately about maintenance.
And I think there is a reason for that and Toyota obviously cannot figure it out. My booster is shoot on 2015 Sienna. I told my friend who had second generation Sienna and just sold it, and he had same issue. He thought it is just annoyance so never fixed.
To me this looks like Toyota is not capable or doesn’t want to address issue, so they call mandatory replacement.


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The reason for having a vacuum pump is because newer Toyotas use Atkinson cycle engines, and they don't produce as much vacuum in the inlet manifold as conventional Otto cycle engines. So it makes sense that they need a dedicated vacuum pump. What I find unacceptable is that these vacuum pumps are not designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. I am not expecting 30 years and 1 million miles, but they should at least be designed to last as long as a typical drivetrain (300k miles). Just like fuel pumps, water pumps, injection system, etc. All these systems have a finite life, but they are designed and expected to last as long as the rest of the car, and are not considered "wear items". A $600 "wear item" that requires 3-4 hrs of labor to be replaced is very poor engineering.

I suspect that Toyota originally intended them to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, but later they realized they are prone to failure (see this recall information)
So instead of redesigning the pumps and replacing them through a recall or "service campaign" (which would cost them a lot money), they just shafted the owners with the cost of the replacement as a "wear item". Most buyers won't realize this when they buy the vehicle. Also, many of them will miss this item if they do their own maintenance or use a 3rd party shop. But by putting it in the scheduled maintenance, Toyota is avoiding liability: "Oops, you lost your brakes and crashed? Sorry, not our fault, we told you to replace the vacuum pump."

Look at the recall info in the link. This is not a simple job. It requires dismantling / removing the air inlet, the air filter housing, the throttle body and separating the engine wire harness. This is insane amount of work for a "regular maintenance item".
 

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Well personally all the Toyota super reliability and rave I was sold on to buy my 2013 Avalon died somewhere before 2010 and definitely when the Avalon was redesigned and just became an expensive American somewhat reliable car with a Toyota Emblem and insane parts prices. Not bashing the brand but just reading all the issues everyone with new models has is proof that the 500K miles still running cars are a thing of he past.

I decided today that I was going to test the market and texted my bud and his family member that sold me the car through the stealership and see what he thinks he could get me for it with the used car market prices being insane if he sold it privately for me. He's in the city and he's a car salesman so he can get more than me for it. I just don't get to drive much anymore since I have to stay close because of constant medical appointments and just the insurance and registration alone is costing me about 50 cents a km then add gas and maintenance and the fact that I have to fix factory defaults is kind of stupid when you think of it not to mention the cost of the car. and my 2000 Elantra and Focus seats were more comfortable and the Focus was 20 years old. The safety certificate is valid till mid Sept so we'll see. If I can get at least close to what I paid since I did do some work and a new set of winter tires then I'll look to find an older car with lost of spare parts at the scrap yards and 10 cents on the dollar for parts new. and save 700-800 on insurance a year.

Me and @Old Mechanic and others here kind of have the same mentality on material stuff. I don't need to have my ride admired I just need it reliable and at the lowest cost per year. I'd prefer watching my savings make even a bit of money than losing money parked in the garage.

Unless I can get a decent price for it (I'm not greedy) I'll live with my irrational decision that was based on emotions rather than logic. and when I do that they tend to not be so wise.
 

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I have Land Cruiser Prado diesel in Europe and it is absolute nightmare of a vehicle. Interestingly, my Sienna has a lot if common issues, mostly undersized brakes (my BMW 328 with 1,200lbs less has bigger rotor surface) that need aftermarket upgrade to not vibrate.
However, failed brake booster was not on my list with any car.


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The reason for having a vacuum pump is because newer Toyotas use Atkinson cycle engines, and they don't produce as much vacuum in the inlet manifold as conventional Otto cycle engines. So it makes sense that they need a dedicated vacuum pump. What I find unacceptable is that these vacuum pumps are not designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. I am not expecting 30 years and 1 million miles, but they should at least be designed to last as long as a typical drivetrain (300k miles). Just like fuel pumps, water pumps, injection system, etc. All these systems have a finite life, but they are designed and expected to last as long as the rest of the car, and are not considered "wear items". A $600 "wear item" that requires 3-4 hrs of labor to be replaced is very poor engineering.

I suspect that Toyota originally intended them to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, but later they realized they are prone to failure (see this recall information)
So instead of redesigning the pumps and replacing them through a recall or "service campaign" (which would cost them a lot money), they just shafted the owners with the cost of the replacement as a "wear item". Most buyers won't realize this when they buy the vehicle. Also, many of them will miss this item if they do their own maintenance or use a 3rd party shop. But by putting it in the scheduled maintenance, Toyota is avoiding liability: "Oops, you lost your brakes and crashed? Sorry, not our fault, we told you to replace the vacuum pump."

Look at the recall info in the link. This is not a simple job. It requires dismantling / removing the air inlet, the air filter housing, the throttle body and separating the engine wire harness. This is insane amount of work for a "regular maintenance item".
Ok. I see what you saying. However, Atkinson and Miller’s cycles are not uncommon today. But, this approach is definitely in line with Toyota’s shady quality of brakes.
Instead of getting BMW to work on their V8 turbo engine they should learn thing or two about brakes.


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It could also be CYA on the part of Toyota. But strange I haven't heard much about Europeans requiring vacuum pump changes, and it's a lot more common on those cars.

But $1200 and a certified technician are just too much. Sounds like a joke I agree.

Now as far as 20 year-old air bags go, those with Takata initiators are like having grenades under there.
 

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Talk about a recommended service that will never be done ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^.

Mercedes recommends replacing the air bags every 15 years. Only problem is that single repair will set you back more than the value of any Mercedes at that age. It's printed on a sticker in the door jamb if memory serves. Nothing new just more stuff to wear out and need replacing. Wonder why I drive the 20 year old stuff?
lol, im driving a 90 corolla gts, it's 30 years old lol!
 

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It could also be CYA on the part of Toyota. But strange I haven't heard much about Europeans requiring vacuum pump changes, and it's a lot more common on those cars.

But $1200 and a certified technician are just too much. Sounds like a joke I agree.

Now as far as 20 year-old air bags go, those with Takata initiators are like having grenades under there.
Well, airbag has explosive charge, so some manufacturers just want to wash off that liability.
But, this with vacuum pump definitely falls into most ridiculous things.
Toyota and complex engines don’t go together. Their venture into European diesel market was between abysmal and horrible.
So, they are trying desperately to keep naturally aspirated engines here as gas is cheap. Still, they need some decent mpg hence: Atkinson cycle.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is a good example of false economy and how Toyota screws customers. The Atkinson cycle engine gives you ~2 mpg better mileage. Over 120k miles this would result in ~450 gallons of fuel. At $3 per gallon this barely pays for the cost of the pump replacement. But of course Toyota can advertise better mileage and get consumers hooked without telling them that the more fuel efficient engine will result in additional maintenance costs that basically nullify the gas savings. This is dishonest and unethical, but this is how Toyota does business.
 

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older toyota cars with timing belts used to have to replace timing belt, water pump,timing tensioner, seals at around 60k miles ( 4cyl) or 90k miles(6 cyl) and they last forever. u gotta to change out ur vacum pump at 120k miles, it's a pretty good service life it gave u don't u think?
 

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One of my jobs was to help customers spend wisely on repairs. WE did a 1 hour check over which was applied to any repair of two hours or more book time. I had a tech that could put a 300 twin turbo flywheel on the ground in 45 minutes and it was so hot the machine shop 6 miles away could not resurface it until it cooled down.
I had one new customer tell me after I gave him a used light bulb, when he came back the next day. " I never had this problem until YOU worked on my car yesterday. It had 150k miles. He also said I never had to replace anything before I came here.
Trying to control myself, since his statements were so ludicrous, I KNEW he was lying his butt off and trying to take advantage of his generosity. As politely as possible and knowing the law in Virginia, I told him.
In the future maybe you should try another shop, since it seems like I have created a plethora of problems with a simple bulb replacement, I doubt if I will be able to satisfy you and make a living. I did not say get the #$%^&* out of my shop.
Another customer brought his car in for an oil change. His absolutely beautiful daughter and he HAD RESTORED THE CAR TOGETHER. WHILE THE CAR IS UP ON THE LIFT THE WATER PUMP JUST GIVES OUT AND WATER STARTS POURING OUT OF THE FRONT OF THE ENGINE.
Man that was embarrassing, trying to think of anything I could say, other than giving him a new pump for nothing (they were sitting there when it happened) He stopped me in mid sentence and said.
" I AM SO GLAD IT HAPPENED HERE THAN SOMEWHERE ON THE INTERSTATE AT NIGHT AND SHE WAS ABDUCTED AND I WOULD NEVER SEE HER AGAIN ALIVE.
I COULD HAVE KISSED HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I had numerous customers that GAVE me the car when I told them "you have reached a point where the cost of repairs will greatly outnumber the value of the car." Probably 15 of them over the 14 years I owned that business, BROUGHT THE TITLE IN AND SIGNED IT OVER TO ME AND GAVE ME THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They appreciated the compassionate way they had been treated and did not want to sell the car knowing it was a money pit.
The crazy thing is now 21 years after those parts that we stripped off those cars are worth a small fortune and in some cases not obtainable anywhere on this planet.
We put the gift car on the lift in back and basically disassembled it completely and put it in the attic, lots of it is still there. Might be the best investment I made in my life, but the new owner had most of the benefits. We had buckets of light bulbs.
 
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