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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a used 2009 double cab tacoma. It has about 30,000 miles on it and is ready for its 30,000 mile service. Here's my dilemma... do I take it into my local dealership or to my friend for basic maintenance?

Option 1: Dealership.. I don't know personally but can show that they've done all the service work if I encounter any issues that may be covered under the warranty.

Option 2: My friend (who has his own business and is a certified toyota mechanic), whom I know and trust to be a thorough and great mechanic.

My concern is that if I were to encounter any "warranty" related work, that I could get some resistance from my local dealership b/c I don't have a record of bringing the truck into them for routine service.

Thoughts, comments, recommendations ???

Thank you!
 

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08' Tacoma Dbl Cab
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Have your friend provide an invoice or receipt detailing the work that was performed and the mileage on the truck at the time of service. Make sure he uses fluids and parts that meet the manufacturers specifications. That should be all you need in the event you have a warranty claim.

Better yet, just perform the service yourself. It should only take a full day and hand tools. Keep the receipts from the parts and fluids that you purchase and write the mileage on the receipt. It isn't too difficult.
 

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Take off, eh!
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^ agreed. I do all the basics (air filters; engine oil / front & rear diff & transfer case oil changes; spark plugs; greasing zerks, etc) myself.

But I buy Toyota OEM parts, from the dealership, under my name, within a day or so of doing the service. I record all service in the dealer-supplied log book that comes with your truck, AND using the handy record here: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=142623
cross-referencing the Toyota part invoice, which I save in a file folder.

I would expect that would supply the burden of proof that the service was performed. Legally, they CANNOT refuse warranty work because you didn't go to that particular dealer (or any Toyota dealer for that matter) as long as you performed the required maintenance at the required interval. (and have proof). EDIT: And, sorry, that would apply for your mechanic friend. Re-reading your post title, I'm guessing you don't want to do this yourself (which is fine)

I'm WAY out of warranty now at 113,000 Km but I still keep up the practice out of habit I guess...

cheers
 

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I think trusting the mechanic is the most important part of the equation when it comes to having someone work on your car. Definitely take it to your friend, no question. As long as everything is documented, there's no issue with the warranty.
 

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forget about "tsb's"
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do it yourself. if that isn't an option, have the friend do it. the dealer can't deny you a warranty repair because you haven't had services done there. they may in some cases want to see some history of basic maintenance if there is a question that the failure was caused by a lack of maintenance on your part. rarely does that happen unless it's for some kind of major component failure like a diff or a motor or tranny, etc., things that require regular maintenance. in those cases they may want to see records. it doesn't have to be their records, it can be from anywhere really, it can be receipts for parts for things you've done in your driveway honestly.

the only other thing to consider is if you build a rapport with a dealer, it can be helpful in the event you need a "goodwill" repair. it goes something like this:

you have 63,500 miles on your truck. you go in for a clunk noise from the rear. they diagnose it as needing a rear diff assembly. they quote you parts and labor cost of $2800. you say " oh man, is there anything you can do to help me out, i'm only 3500 miles out of warranty?" at that point, the service manager will tell you he'll see what he can do, and goes back into his office to look at your history. if he sees that you come in for regular maintenance, are a good customer, etc. he may feel inclined to offer you a goodwill warranty repair, or offer to split the cost, etc. if he looks in the history and sees you came in once for your free oil change when you bought the truck, once a year later for a warranty rattle, and he hasn't seen you since, he may tell you pound sand.

happens a lot. i remember a lot of times in that situation, i wouldn't even call to customer to quote a price, i'd just take it upon myself to authorize a goodwill repair if they were a good customer. other times if they were a shit customer that only came in when they wanted something free, i wasn't so quick to offer.
 

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08' Tacoma Dbl Cab
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^Great advice there from a former "inside man"! :lol:

So I guess having heard that, I may benefit from having my oil changed at the dealership for the last three years! Although I will do all my own maintenance after I am out of my 3yr/36k warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
^Great advice there from a former "inside man"! :lol:

So I guess having heard that, I may benefit from having my oil changed at the dealership for the last three years! Although I will do all my own maintenance after I am out of my 3yr/36k warranty.
That is another thought of mine. The truck is about to turn 30000. So, I really only have a couple of trips to the service dept. before my warranty is up. I will definitely not be visiting after the warranty has expired, unless I have to. But for now, I may take it in.

I have to get the rear leaf TSB and have a slight rattle around the glove box that I need to get checked out. Truck also has a slight tick that I want to get checked, could be an exhaust leak or just the sound of the motor.

Another question that I have is. The 30000 mile service recommends a transmission purge. It has two different options. One with type III/IV trans fluid and the other is with W.S. type trans fluid. What is the difference? How do I know which my truck has? There is also a note in my brochure that says that the purge is not needed for autos with W.S. fluid. So, I'm a little confused. The cost for the type III/IV fluid is almost double the cost. I was also shocked to see that Toyota recommends a transmission purge and spark plug replacement at 30000 miles, but oh well.
 

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I’d rather flush $20 bills down the toilet than pay dealership rates for routine maintenance and repair. The attitude expressed above is spot-on for every service advisor I’ve encountered in 20 years of car ownership. If you don’t brown nose and let them bend you over their counter every few months, they will never throw you a bone. I had to go all the way through the warranty dispute arbitration process to get my POS corroding sport rims replaced and the truck was still under the base 3yr/36k warranty. Per this site, every GD dealership in the country was replacing or refinishing rims under warranty and the service manager where I bought my truck told me to take a hike.

I have general disdain for all facets of the car dealership – from sales to the financing/business office to service. They are all vultures trying to squeeze every last penny out of you. When they realize you’re not going to play, they turn from your best friends to complete pricks, on a dime.

What was the question?
 

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30YRTOYOTAPARTSEXPERINCE
04 Camry; 09 Sienna
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6shooter is all to right here. The rapport with the dealer does go a long way. Most people don't tend to think about that, they just assume the dealer is a rip off. If you are a good customer and something happens, you stand a better chance at getting goodwill work done than if you just go in just past a warranty and have never been to the dealer or just been in once, etc. No need to repeat what 6shooter stated because he hit on the head.

another thing to consider is that if you have the work done at the dealer, the whole repair is covered under warranty for 12 months unlimited mileage, whereas if you have your friend do it, only the parts are covered for 12 months. So you get into that is in mechanical failure or parts failure, etc. Also, when you bring your car to the dealer, most,if not all, should be checking to see if there are any open campaigns and if you have a specific complaint they have access to the latest and up to date TSB where you friend may not. I know this forum has a lot of information as well as the internet, so that may not be the biggest concern, but I thought I'd chime in as someone who works at a Dealer.
 

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30YRTOYOTAPARTSEXPERINCE
04 Camry; 09 Sienna
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W.S. is a 100k mile fluid unless extreme dirt or towing conditions are met, whereas the T-IV is not. T-IV can be easily changed by anyone, where W.S. requires a special type drain and fill tool and it needs to be hooked up to the computer at normal operating temperature and then the computer tells the tech how much fluid it needs. If you have a T-IV trans you'll have a dipstick, if its W.S. you won't. That is the easies way to check, but If you have a dipstick, pull it out and check it because it will state which fluid is required.

That is another thought of mine. The truck is about to turn 30000. So, I really only have a couple of trips to the service dept. before my warranty is up. I will definitely not be visiting after the warranty has expired, unless I have to. But for now, I may take it in.

I have to get the rear leaf TSB and have a slight rattle around the glove box that I need to get checked out. Truck also has a slight tick that I want to get checked, could be an exhaust leak or just the sound of the motor.

Another question that I have is. The 30000 mile service recommends a transmission purge. It has two different options. One with type III/IV trans fluid and the other is with W.S. type trans fluid. What is the difference? How do I know which my truck has? There is also a note in my brochure that says that the purge is not needed for autos with W.S. fluid. So, I'm a little confused. The cost for the type III/IV fluid is almost double the cost. I was also shocked to see that Toyota recommends a transmission purge and spark plug replacement at 30000 miles, but oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
W.S. is a 100k mile fluid unless extreme dirt or towing conditions are met, whereas the T-IV is not. T-IV can be easily changed by anyone, where W.S. requires a special type drain and fill tool and it needs to be hooked up to the computer at normal operating temperature and then the computer tells the tech how much fluid it needs. If you have a T-IV trans you'll have a dipstick, if its W.S. you won't. That is the easies way to check, but If you have a dipstick, pull it out and check it because it will state which fluid is required.

Thanks, TOYOPARTSMAN! I will look for the dipstick. I had no idea. Learned something new today :D
 

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30YRTOYOTAPARTSEXPERINCE
04 Camry; 09 Sienna
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Glad to help. Not all of us Dealership guys/gals are bad. Just remember that. I am on here to offer information, answer what questions I can, assist the members, and maybe along the way make a sale or two. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.

Just so you know, I offer TN members 30% off MSRP and only charge actual shipping costs plus a dollar or two for materials, etc. We don't over inflate shipping costs to make up for the discount. We are here to offer members a place where they can get Genuine Toyota OEM parts at a reasonble price.

Good luck to you and let me know if you need any thing at all.

Thanks, TOYOPARTSMAN! I will look for the dipstick. I had no idea. Learned something new today :D
 

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Take off, eh!
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^ANYWAY, the 30K service is pretty basic. If an aftermarket "shop" couldn't do that, then they're not really much of a shop.

But yes, if you kiss ass, you'll get treated WAY different than, for example me, who posted $hit about my dealer. (search for it). Trust me on that.

I think overall, NO, there is no LEGAL way the service (dealer vs non-dealer) can be discriminated against. That would be a fun court case. Prob only take 10 fricken years

I'm sorry if I sound like a prick to you Toyota employees - I'm sure you are leagues above what I had to deal with. Wish you worked where I live.
 

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6shooter is all to right here. The rapport with the dealer does go a long way. Most people don't tend to think about that, they just assume the dealer is a rip off.
While I agree 100 percent that it would be wonderful to build a rapport with a dealer, most of the dealers that I have run into don't want to build a rapport with a customer. They're out to maximize the amount of money they can charge today, rather than making me feel like I'm only being offered services I really need and building my trust. A great example is when the "x,000 mile service" includes lots of things not even mentioned in the maintenance guide and a couple I've never heard of.

I'll reiterate my earlier post in this thread - trust is everything. If I felt like I could trust the dealer, I wouldn't mind going there at all. The problem is that I feel like I'm being fleeced and/or treated like a moron every time I step into the service department. I know all dealers aren't like that - it's not fair to generalize. But my own experiences have been so bad that I dread going there even as one of those "s**t customers" who wants something fixed under warranty because it's really broken, and not just because there's a TSB that says it's likely to break.
 

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30YRTOYOTAPARTSEXPERINCE
04 Camry; 09 Sienna
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I just wanted to share this with the forum. I had a "good" customer who owns three toyota's. In fact, he actually swithched from another dealer to ours because he didn't like they way he was getting treated at that one. Now, he had work done here over a year and a half ago, out of warranty, and the same problem occurred. Now, we could have told him sorry, in fact, that was what I initially said. I directed him to our service manager who has more options to work with than I do. Well, he didn't return his phone call right away, other customers and such and I got him back. As I looked further into it, I discovered that he and his wife bought one car from us and serviced all three with us.

Long story short here, as I looked into it, and yes he was out of warranty and I could have left it at that, we here at the Dealer, on my suggeston, have decided to just take care of it in house.

With that being said, if it that customer only had one Toyota, and never brought it here, bought the part somewhere else and had someone else install it, chances are I would have just sent him on his way.

Now, its not that they kissed our A*#, in fact the opposite, it is us, as the Dealer, who should be kissing you, the customers A#*. I appreciate each and everyone who patronizes my store. With that being said, I know that some of you in here are anit Dealer, and probably with good reason. Some of you may have even had good experience at the Dealer. All I can say is that not everyone at a Dealer, and Every Dealer are the same. There are genuinely good people at most Dealers. You all can look at some of my posts and see that I have offered a lot of information on here without no expectations. Some have taken advantage at the discounts that I offer. What is most important is that I am believe in building relationships, whether on here or in person, or on the phone. If anyone on my staff did anything less, they wouldn't be on my staff, PERIOD.

I am truly sorry, on behalf of all the good and decent people at Dealerships worldwide, that any of you have had a terrible experience at the Dealer.
 

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Clearly, the industry needs a lot more people like you! :chug:
 

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Clearly, the industry needs a lot more people like you! :chug:
Agreed. I never understand how a business employs people who come across burdened by customers. You have to understand people want value and a good deal. Clearly you seem to applicate your customers.
 
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