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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Driving with wife and a friend and 04 Highlander started skipping badly and 3 dash lights came on. 165000 miles on it. zero repairs since new except one brake light switch. . Have done maintenance like brakes and timing belt.. Was in town, turned around went back near my neighborhood, at about 4:10 on a hot summer afternoon, went in the indie Toyota (only) shop , "can I come in tomorrow morning? We are booked up all day tomorrow Friday they said , but lets see what it is- they close at 5:00. Mechanic with laptop or a scanner came out to car , passengers still in my car, upped hood, said front middle coil was bad, went inside, said we do not have one tho it is supposed to be a stock item for us, will order one, maybe be here in morning, I said what do I do?, they said , Oh we have a used loaner coil one for you , they installed that , check engine lights were gone, back on road at about 4:45! will get new (Toyota oem) one when it comes in.

They said aftermarket coils were in price close to Toyota/denso etc (which were $100) but aftermarket was poor quality (is that true?

great service
update 10:30 next day they put in Denso coil
 

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South Carolina - I see that - but how about the name of the shop?

Meanwhile, and especially considering your repairs outlay to date, I'd treat the extra cost of an OEM coil as an insurance payment. It is very difficult with aftermarket products to reach to the quality of most (if not all) of the OEM electrical and sensor goodies on Toyotas.

The price is higher primarily for three things: decades of collaborative work in designing the products between for example Denso and Toyota engineering, decades of strong quality control screening by Toyota, and profit to Toyota and the dealer. I consider the profit to Toyota as pay for the decades of design work and screening. The profit to the dealer? I guess it's a hefty delivery charge...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
shop says they get 3 deliveries a day. dont lnow from what source (dealer or parts house)
they work on toyota lexi only
 

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South Carolina - I see that - but how about the name of the shop?

Meanwhile, and especially considering your repairs outlay to date, I'd treat the extra cost of an OEM coil as an insurance payment. It is very difficult with aftermarket products to reach to the quality of most (if not all) of the OEM electrical and sensor goodies on Toyotas.

The price is higher primarily for three things: decades of collaborative work in designing the products between for example Denso and Toyota engineering, decades of strong quality control screening by Toyota, and profit to Toyota and the dealer. I consider the profit to Toyota as pay for the decades of design work and screening. The profit to the dealer? I guess it's a hefty delivery charge...
somehow the japanese can get the chinese or other non Japanese manufacturers to build good stuff for them.
Meanwhile the american companies ,including american sellers (Napa, oreiilys etc managers sit back and let the chinese etc build junk in many cases in the American companies name, without any on site Quality control.
 

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somehow the japanese can get the chinese or other non Japanese manufacturers to build good stuff for them.
It's not exactly 'somehow.' There's a lot of 'how' behind it, and it all began with Japanese junk circa 1948-1953. A relatively small contingent of Japanese manufacturing leaders, stung by constant criticism of dismal Japanese quality, glommed on to statistical quality control as espoused by an American, W. Edwards Deming. Out of that and a number of other origins, Kichiro Toyoda began defining an evolutionary schema of manufacturing that got its official name (Toyota Production System) finally in 1992.

Stated simply, it says there is a right way to manufacture things, and a right way to keep production moving from raw material to finished product. Neither way is easy at first, but mastering both makes it easy (relatively) to make good products cheaply. Toyota basically said, make your stuff our way or we won't buy from you... and, if you stop making stuff our way, you're gone.

Interestingly, both ways become easy with practice and the right attitudes. It's akin to a Ted Williams continuously studying what goes into making a hit in baseball.

Also interestingly, Toyota put a lot of effort into showing its workers how their efforts result in greater profit to Toyota... and why greater profit is good for the workers. It's not just in the paycheck... the best benefit a company can give its people is continued employment and for a long time, once you joined Toyota, you had a job for life. That's changed thanks to economic pressures. What hasn't changed is Toyota's investment in training and its support in enabling workers to gain education.

The 'Toyota Production System' (or bits and pieces of it) has a lot of names in industry these days - 'just in time' manufacturing, 'lean manufacturing', 'six sigma manufacturing', 'continuous improvement', 'design for manufacturing', 'agile manufacturing', and others I'm forgetting (I spent 30 years writing about this stuff).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's not exactly 'somehow.' There's a lot of 'how' behind it, and it all began with Japanese junk circa 1948-1953. A relatively small contingent of Japanese manufacturing leaders, stung by constant criticism of dismal Japanese quality, glommed on to statistical quality control as espoused by an American, W. Edwards Deming. Out of that and a number of other origins, Kichiro Toyoda began defining an evolutionary schema of manufacturing that got its official name (Toyota Production System) finally in 1992.

Stated simply, it says there is a right way to manufacture things, and a right way to keep production moving from raw material to finished product. Neither way is easy at first, but mastering both makes it easy (relatively) to make good products cheaply. Toyota basically said, make your stuff our way or we won't buy from you... and, if you stop making stuff our way, you're gone.

Interestingly, both ways become easy with practice and the right attitudes. It's akin to a Ted Williams continuously studying what goes into making a hit in baseball.

Also interestingly, Toyota put a lot of effort into showing its workers how their efforts result in greater profit to Toyota... and why greater profit is good for the workers. It's not just in the paycheck... the best benefit a company can give its people is continued employment and for a long time, once you joined Toyota, you had a job for life. That's changed thanks to economic pressures. What hasn't changed is Toyota's investment in training and its support in enabling workers to gain education.

The 'Toyota Production System' (or bits and pieces of it) has a lot of names in industry these days - 'just in time' manufacturing, 'lean manufacturing', 'six sigma manufacturing', 'continuous improvement', 'design for manufacturing', 'agile manufacturing', and others I'm forgetting (I spent 30 years writing about this stuff).
wonder what Jeep and Fiat think about it?
 

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wonder what Jeep and Fiat think about it?
Fiat I don't know, except for one division, Ferrari. When I was writing about this stuff, Chrysler was bludgeoning its suppliers, pushing costs down to them and further ruining them by cutting how much they'd get paid and stringing payments out 180 days and more while demanding immediate shipment. That was 1989-1993 or so. Chrysler was proud of the quality of the parts but apparently failed to notice that their best suppliers walked.

Fiat/Ferrari in the same time period invested in incredible automated machining systems with 20+ stations in a row, turning out perfectly machined engines. Each station was a 2-story high automated machining center.

Every 4 or 5 machines, scientists with clipboards touched screens, making tiny adjustments every 30 minutes or so.

Not a single human hand touched any of this while in the 20+ machine system.

Meanwhile, at the end of the system, out came beautiful shiny fully machined engine blocks. They were fed one by one to a huge guy in a thick leather apron standing next to a thermal pot that held liquid nitrogen. Tongs in one hand, he'd dip a valve guide in the nitrogen for a few seconds to shrink its size, then maneuver it into place and whack it into the block with a 2-kilo hammer.
 
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