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2015 Venza
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I'd rather have teeth pulled without Novocain than take any of my vehicles to a dealer. They'll skin you alive on parts and labor, and IF you're lucky they'll at least do the job right.

Having been in the repair business (German high end, THAT'S why the wife drives a Toyota ;-), I can speak from experience. Think about it, you interact with a person who's NEVER gotten under the hood of a car, the service managers job is to sell, upsell, and separate you from as much of your money as possible. Dealer techs don't make any money unless they can pump out the work, there are very few who can pump out the amount of work necessary to make a few bucks and do it competently.

Once a dealer tech gets some experience, if he's any good, he'll go work for an independent or hang his own shingle.

I'll tell of the first time the Venza went to the dealer, it was for the free oil change and maintenance (first three years.) The Venza has 20inch low profile tires, which should never be plugged, unless it's an emergency, after which you take it somewhere to fix it right. One tire was leaking, dealer called and said it would be $25 to patch "correctly." I authorized, didn't want to deal with that thing myself, I don't do low profile.
You guessed it, when I took a look, the tech had put in your basic tire plug.

I pointed this out to the service seller, he returned my money and I took it to a shop which patched it correctly.
 

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176 Posts
Yes. The common sentiment on YouTube videos of changing the oil on 2017+ Highlanders is why didn't Toyota put the oil filter on top of the engine and make it a screw-on filter.
If it’s on top then you have break the seal on the filter to get the oil down to the pan. Then down to drain the oil, back up top to change filter and fill with oil.

If it on the bottom, then drop the filter and replace. Drop the oil and your done. Back up on top to oil fill.
 

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555 Posts
I highly recommend taking it to the dealer while under warranty. Every repair or maintenance done on the vehicle is uploaded to Toyota. That way there can be no denying that maintenance was done properly or that you've reported a problem under warranty. It also keeps records that CarFax uses so if you plan on selling or trading it in the detailed records could increase the value.
 

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If it’s on top then you have break the seal on the filter to get the oil down to the pan. Then down to drain the oil, back up top to change filter and fill with oil.

If it on the bottom, then drop the filter and replace. Drop the oil and your done. Back up on top to oil fill.
As much as I despise German engineering (overcomplicated) most of them are have oil filter cartridges on top the engine. They use a suction machine to get the old oil out and with the filter on top they don't have to put the car on a lift or take off any underbody splash shields. They do still have the drain plugs but if it's only taken to the dealer for service the plug will never be removed for the life of the car.
 

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2021 Avalon XSE Hybrid
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4,106 Posts
Normal routine maintenance, I do myself.
I don't care that Toyotacare will give me 2 free oil changes and a few tire rotations. I go to America's Tire and buy lifetime rotation and balance (yes, you can buy that for your factory tires, not just when you buy new tires). The dealership is just too much of a hassle... need an appointment, can't just drive in, and even with the appointment, it's a 4-hour ordeal.
I can do my own oil changes and fluid/filter checks in 20 minutes and be on with my day.
I can drive into America's without an appointment and typically be out in an hour for a rotation and balance.

For work that I can't do myself (because I live in a condo and use the parking lot), I go to the dealer.
Too many independent shops in my area are just hack and slash. I've had several vehicles come out of those shops with serious issues or incomplete repairs.
The Toyota techs don't work on 100 different vehicles... they work on Toyota, and they have factory Toyota parts. Go to an independent shop and you'll end up with a rebuilt alternator that's not going to last 6 months.
The dealer isn't that much more expensive, and the job is done properly.

I'm not talking about oil changes... dealers mess those up all the time, usually overtorquing filters and drain bolts, but they aren't putting their experienced guys on oil changes.
 

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I actually had a Honda dealer call me after I got home from having my Pilot in there and said that they think a tech left a tool under my hood. I went out there to look. It was a CORDLESS DRILL!!! How that thing didn't fall out of the battery compartment and into the fan or belts I'll never know.
I have a dashcam (front and rear) in my HIHY now though so it is recording all the time. So if I want to, I can see everything they did to my vehicle.
 

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How can you see what happens under the vehicle, or under the hood while it is up?
 

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2021 Avalon XSE Hybrid
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I actually had a Honda dealer call me after I got home from having my Pilot in there and said that they think a tech left a tool under my hood. I went out there to look. It was a CORDLESS DRILL!!!
Cordless drill or cordless impact driver? They look similar, and cordless impact drivers are extremely common tools... replacing air tools in many applications.
 

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2008 Toyota Camry Base / CE
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13,520 Posts
People forget things. It sucks. People make mistakes. It sucks. I forget things. It sucks. I make mistakes. It sucks. The only difference is that some people are on a time crunch because other people want their stuff completed as fast as possible while the other people can spend an entire day if they wanted to get their stuff completed.

If I see a mistake that I can deal with myself, I'll deal with it. Complain? Unfortunately for me that's not something I do often unless it is of dire mistakes.

People aren't perfect. If you are, congrats. Now do your own car work and then make a thread when you screw up. Then I can tell you to look at an electrical wiring diagram, Toyota TIS, a Toyota Parts Website, and Rock Auto.
 

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People forget things. It sucks. People make mistakes. It sucks. I forget things. It sucks. I make mistakes. It sucks. The only difference is that some people are on a time crunch because other people want their stuff completed as fast as possible while the other people can spend an entire day if they wanted to get their stuff completed.

If I see a mistake that I can deal with myself, I'll deal with it. Complain? Unfortunately for me that's not something I do often unless it is of dire mistakes.

People aren't perfect. If you are, congrats. Now do your own car work and then make a thread when you screw up. Then I can tell you to look at an electrical wiring diagram, Toyota TIS, a Toyota Parts Website, and Rock Auto.
i believe i made a mistake here myself reconnecting fuel line in the engine bay :(
now have to undo the union bolt, did not torque it down yet TG! and put it under the fuel return hose so that it is kosher

341789
 

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but the worse mistake would be if the doctor office calls you back after a procedure to say that they may have buttoned you back up too soon and left something or other inside of you :(
 

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I actually had a Honda dealer call me after I got home from having my Pilot in there and said that they think a tech left a tool under my hood. I went out there to look. It was a CORDLESS DRILL!!! How that thing didn't fall out of the battery compartment and into the fan or belts I'll never know.
I have a dashcam (front and rear) in my HIHY now though so it is recording all the time. So if I want to, I can see everything they did to my vehicle.
Had similar happen once with work done on my '98 Accord. It was coolant/AC system work and when I lifted the hood after getting home I found one of those infrared temp sensor guns. I kept it but lost it long ago.
 

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Is it me or does anyone get nerves when you have work done at a dealership,
and they take your ride behind close doors???

What ever happen to the days when you could talk to the mechanic after working on your ride?
Nothing beats to have your own mechanic. I would not take my car to the dealership if they pay me. Many times they hire students right out of mechanic school.
I only had two mechanics in the last 30 years or longer. One retired and recommended the second one. Never got screwed.
 

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Back in the 70's we took our company van to the local Chrysler dealership to have some warranty work done. We picked it up the next day and when we went to drive it off the lot, it had the most horrible vibration I have ever felt in a vehicle. It felt like someone was beating on the bottom of the van with a giant sledge hammer and, we were only going 15 mph. We turned around and brought it right back in, they put it up on the lift and, low and behold, the driveshaft was bent in the middle and was almost hitting the floor of the van. The service manager told us we drove it in there like that. Sure. Like we could have done 70 mph on the interstate for 30 minutes to get there with a kinked drive shaft. You literally could not drive it over 10-15 mph. They offered to give us an estimate on how much it was going to cost us to repair it but we were having none of that. It took us 2 hours of arguing and going up the chain of command to the dealership's owner before the mechanic finally admitted he "partially" dropped the van off the lift and that "might" have bent the shaft "a little" but he thought it would be "alright". So, they installed a new shaft, at their expense, and I have never been back to a dealership of any kind since. The main reason to go to a dealer was, as my Dad used to say, if you have a problem you can't figure out, they have seen hundreds of the same cars and are very familiar with what has been going wrong with them. Now, we have the internet and sites like this one which actually do a better job of sharing diagnostic and repair information that is vehicle specific and folks that have been there, done that, share their experience and tell you what to do and NOT to do on a given repair. I have not bought a new car since the 90's and even then I never went back to the dealership for anything. I do all my own work and, hopefully, always will.
 

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2012 Base Tacoma 4x4, 2007 Camry XLE
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1,330 Posts
Is it me or does anyone get nerves when you have work done at a dealership,
and they take your ride behind close doors???

What ever happen to the days when you could talk to the mechanic after working on your ride?
I can speak to the mechanic at the Toyota dealership I purchased my vehicles at.
Just simply ask them.
I fully trust the dealership I use. It is the ONLY dealership that I can say that about.
Any other one in my past years I never trusted...
 
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