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Questions for Toyopartsman

1749 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  TedL
Hi, Gary, I was hoping you could answer a few parts questions for me and the group.

- How long, in practice, does Toyota keep "all" parts available for a vehicle?

- Has Toyota USA issued a statement on compatibility of Red & Pink coolant? I've seen a TSB issued in another country in 2002, but can't find a USA pronouncement.

- You indicate that your service dept. doesn't routinely change the idler and tensioner when doing a TBelt. I think you said you don't even stock them because the failure rate is so low. Is the failure rate really as close to "never" as this implies, or do you order a few dozen each year, as needed?
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I'll help to the best of my ability.

Keeping All parts in availability for a vehicle is only required Bby law as long as a warranty period in in effect. Look at ford for instance. Over the last 10 years with Toyota, I've noticed that for the most part, toyota tends to keep stuff around for an unusually long length of time compared to other manufacturers. I know I can still get parts for FJ40 cruisers. There are also cars that the parts dropped off of a little more rapidly such as the Corolla FX and other short lived models. It's really a matter of demand for the part. High demand means it will stay around a while, as no demand means it will phase out faster. Interior componants like trim usually will disappear in color but stay around in gray for a while as well.

I couldn't find the official statement regaurding mixing of the coolants, If you mix, you will have to use the properties and intervals of Toyota Red coolant. Mixing Toyota red into Pink is OK if you dont mind the downgrade in lifespan of the coolant. You can go UP from red to pink but if your vehicle is older then 04, you still use the timetable for red coolant for your intervals. It's common to see people top off red coolant with pink since they don't have to add water.

We don't change the idler or tensioner when we do timing belts unless there is a reason to do so as replaceing them all would be an extra expense that not every customer needs to take on. Water pumps and drive belts are treated the same way. We generally keep "most" tensioners/pumps and belts in stock in case they are needed. Every dealer has a different practice for stock levels and parts they keep "on hand".

I hope this helps as i know it's not the 100% definate answer you were looking for but hopefully it's a good solid start.
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Hey TedL,
HATEnFATE pretty much has it down. When it comes to idlers, I hate to use an absolute like NEVER. Because those parts fit so many of out Toyota's and Lexus' that they are around. Since I am not a High volumne store, I don't have the need to stock them like say and higher volumne store does. It really comes down to a percentage game. Again, if I am doing a belt, the small percentage of the time that needs Idlers, compounded with the number of times I need them, does not warrant me to stock them.

Other than a warranty and safety issue, which safety I belive is mandated by a minimum of 10 years by the feds to keep, the other items are again based on supply and demand and percentages. So many cars = % of opportunity divided by how many will remain, etc. Believe me, there is a whole section dedicated to numbers for these things. Again, it is the absolute word "all" that we have to get around.

As far as coolant, I have not come across anything official regarding the mixing of Pink and Red coolant. On this, I play it safe, what came out goes in. That doesn't mean the statement of upgrading or mixing isn't a possibility, it just means that I am a bit more conservative than most.

What I do disagree with HATEnFATE is the fact that when doing a T/belt, we do the belt, drive belts, water pump, seals, and coolant. It is a precautionary thing. I do agree with HATEnFATE on the fact that each dealer does do things differently, and if their shop does water pumps as needed, so be it. I'd hate to have to tell a customer that after I charged them X amount of dollars that it will now be an extra $ for a water pump we could have done with the belt. But that is me. I am not, by all means, second guessing HATEnFATE, I am just pleasantly disagreeing with him.

If the idlers are done as a common practice at a dealer, I will agree with HATEnFATE, I think that that dealer is unneccasarily over charging for something that is not absolutely needed as a precaution. If it is needed, I never have a problem telling someonel. But I think you know my position on the Idlers, If I am not mistaken, didn't I tell you that I didn't think you would need them, or was that someone else in that post? Not sure, but I don't rubber stamp the idlers, they need to be inspected at the time of the job.

TedL and others, I hope I and HATEnFATE, have answered your questions. If not, please don't anyone ever hestitate to contact me via a post, email, PM, phone call, anyway you feel comfortable with.
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Gentlemen, I thank you both. My inclination is to change any "wear" part I remove, if it has significant accumulated time/mileage. The first idler/tensioner combo I changed was for the serpentine on our '97 Voyager with around 120k. I was so pleasantly surprised by how it quieted the engine that I just automatically figure to change them to avoid the noise.
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