Last post on May 11, 2013 at 4:28 PM
You are in the Toyota Land Cruiser
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Land Cruiser, SUV
#114 of 232 Re: Is anyone on line right now? [hypnosis44]
Feb 22, 2008 (9:15 am)
Thanks, steelcruiser and hypnosis44. I wouldn't dare touch the job myself but I'm a little paranoid about the dealer. I complained that the transmission fluid should have been changed at my 90k service, and they told me that, even though Toyota recommends the fluid change, they just topped off the fluid because it looked fine and they were trying to save me money. When I questioned them further, they said they would do a "flush" for the price of the fluid, but after reading this thread and realizing that a flush can and will harm the transmission seals (to paraphrase hypnosis44), I now question why the dealer would advise me that a flush is better for the vehicle than simple fluid changes done more frequently. Oh, and yesterday, I asked about the installation of an auxilliary cooler, hypnosis44; I used your precise nomenclature, but they said they didn't know what I was talking about.
I feel so leery of trusting the dealer at this point. I've had other issues with them this past year as well. For instance, there was a notation on a previous Toyota service invoice that I needed a power steering flush, but when I brought my LC in at 90k, this wasn't done. When I questioned this, they told me that the issue was subjective, that one mechanic thought it was needed, but another didn't. Can you advise me about power steering flushes? Are these as tricky as transmission flushes, or is there anything I should know about these before I have this done?
Also, last August, they said they adjusted the camber bolts at no charge, but after they did this, I experienced that "floating" sensation that some of your other posters describe. I felt I had less control, and that I didn't have solid contact with the road. When I complained about this, they told me that they didn't remember adjusting the camber bolts. Then I took my LC to a local tire shop to inspect. They told me my shocks were bone dry and were the original shocks. When I called the dealer to ask about this, I was told that the original LC shocks should last up to 200k miles. I had the shocks changed at the local tire place anyway, and now my LC feels much more solid and the ride is a lot quieter.
I wish I could find a good independent LC mechanic, as my LC is no longer under warranty. My engine still sounds very loud to me, and has for a long time. A Nissan mechanic told me that my fan clutch is stuck and to take it back to Toyota because the fan clutch can be serviced. But when I asked the Toyota service manager about this, I was told he'd never heard of a fan clutch "service", only a replacement.
If you have any thoughts on any of these topics, I'd greatly appreciate hearing them! This forum is fantastic. I read every post of all your Land Cruiser threads before buying my LC in 2003. (It's a 1999 LC, by the way.) Thanks!
#115 of 232 Re: Is anyone on line right now? [bethgimel]
Feb 25, 2008 (8:46 am)
Without adding to your anxiety, I'm dumbfounded at the dealer's comments about your shocks lasting 200K! The symptoms you described are pretty typical of failing shocks, hence something which should have been at the top of their list of things to check IMHO. Are they any other dealers in your area? See if you there are any Landcruiser club chapters near you?
Many of these maintenance items can be done DIY and all it takes is someone to show you how and de-mystify them for you.
What part of the country are you in?
H-44 didn't want to suggest your method--though I like it and have used it--as I think the OP is more interested in an "easier" approach.
I'm on the run right now, but I'll post up my thoughts about dealers ASAP.
Beth hope some of this is helpful to you.
#116 of 232 Re: Is anyone on line right now? [steelcruiser]
Feb 25, 2008 (8:19 am)
Thanks, steelcruiser! Yes, your comments, and those I've received from other posters, are enormously helpful. You don't add to my anxieties by confirming my fears about this dealer. I did think his comments about shocks lasting 200k was nuts but hearing it from you is a great relief.
I look forward to hearing any other advice you may be able to offer when you have time. How do I find an LC "club"? I live in the desert about 90 miles east of Los Angeles. I'd travel as far as L.A. if necessary, although of course it would be more convenient if you knew of a club or independent mechanic closer to this area. Thanks again!
Feb 25, 2008 (6:08 pm)
Here are a couple of links (below) that may be helpful. Marv Specter is Mr. Landcruiser. Suggest you see if you can come up with a couple of recommendations. If you're in the Ventura area I can steer you in the right direction, but that's a long haul for you.
See if you can reach Marv on the phone, and tell him what's going on. I'm sure he can offer some additional help to you. For additional piece of mind you may want to get several recommendations, and if one keeps coming up, that might be the one to check out.
#118 of 232 Re: Is anyone on line right now? [bethgimel]
Feb 25, 2008 (7:11 pm)
Remarkable! I hope you are able to find an LC club and/or an independent LC mechanic. That dealership is totally out to lunch on virtually everything and probably a hazard to your car.
There are a number of after market transmission coolers available. Any "offroad" specialty shop should be able to help you there. They may also be a good source for finding an LC Club or mechanic.
Try to document the conversation about not wanting to change the trans fluid "to save you some money" so if/when the trans. causes problems - out of warranty or not - you have a record of having tried to maintain your vehicle. Even a certified letter to them, copy the area representative, recounting the conversation could be useful - deny it all they like.
Most shock absorbers are good for a max. of 50K miles of good service - but sometimes far less if the terrain is worse than average. If anyone ever hears of some going 200K we will all be in line for them.
As suggested; I was looking for an easier and "neater" way to change the trans. fluid - either method will work well.
Most power steering flushes I am familiar with involved pumping out the old fluid while simultaneously refilling it with new. Yes, flushes are subjective, but the power steering system takes a severe pounding at very high heat loads - a fluid change is a worthwhile low cost investment. It should not involve any chemicals. (One sometimes used method is to use straight cleaning solvent chasing out the old fluid and then refilling with fresh fluid. It won't harm the seals, but the residue will dilute the new fluid and would seem to provide no real benefit - I can not recommend it.)
I once worked as the used car mechanic at a dealership - watching the new car mechanics work made me realize I never wanted to take a car into one - that was 45 years ago and nothing has changed.
Best of luck too you! Sounds like you are handling it well!
#119 of 232 Re: Beth [steelcruiser]
Feb 26, 2008 (4:04 am)
Thanks for the links, steelcruiser! Unfortunately, I called Specter Off-Road just now, and talked to Roger, who checked with Marv, and they have no shops or independent LC mechanics in my area who buy from them. Roger ran down their list of customers, and found only individuals - LC owners who've bought once or twice. I also checked the LC Club website you suggested. There are no clubs in this area! There really should be, too, because the high desert is a big off-road destination. I'd be happy to accept your recommendation for an LC mechanic in Ventura. Maybe I can just bring my LC in some early morning, and rent a car for the day while it's being checked out.
#120 of 232 Re: Is anyone on line right now? [hypnosis44]
Feb 26, 2008 (9:33 am)
You've voiced my #1 concern - that the service manager's advice has not only been wrong but actually hazardous to my car! I submitted a written complaint to Toyota but the corporate response was simply to forward my email to the dealership. I then talked with the dealer's service director and "customer care representative", who fought with me on every point. "No one remembers" is what the service director told me about the shocks issue. He finally offered to do work on the car for free but, even at no charge, I'm afraid to bring my LC back to him.
There are two Toyota dealerships in this area - they are bitter rivals and, in the past year, have swapped a number of mechanics and service managers. Since owning my LC, I've gone to both. And in speaking to individuals at both dealerships, it seems to me that either they point the finger at one another, or defend one another, depending on how secure in their jobs they feel. I've checked on the web for complaints against the service departments of Toyota dealers as far away as Longo and Claremont, and customer dissatisfaction seems even higher at these places!
I'm definitely going to pursue this with corporate, and will let you know what ensues. I really appreciate your posts, hypnosis44!
Feb 26, 2008 (8:09 pm)
Perhaps a more doable place would be Simi Valley? There's a good tech there named Pat. He's a real gear head and I'm "comfortable" recommending him. While I'm hesitant, because I know you've been through some bad stuff. Pat would be the only one at this dealership that I would recommend as I know him. Even so, I'd guess Simi is probably about 3 hours and change from Palm Desert. What about San Bernadino, Riverside etc?
Re: clubs, maybe find the closest chapter and try to make e-mail contact? I know, this shouldn't be this hard, but.......
#122 of 232 Re: Beth [steelcruiser]
Feb 27, 2008 (6:40 am)
What would you think of my taking my LC to a Lexus dealership? I seem to remember reading in this forum in 2003 that the Lexus is almost identical to the Land Cruiser, the differences being mainly cosmetic. Am I recalling this accurately? There's a Lexus dealer in the Palm Springs area called Desert Lexus, although I've never heard anything, positive or negative, about their work.
Feb 27, 2008 (10:29 am)
They really are identical, however, without looking back at your earlier postings I'm forgetting your principle issues right now. Difference, depending on your would be adjustable suspension etc. I see nothing wrong with it, but since you have a "case" pending with Toyota, not sure how that might affect that. Perhaps stop by the Lex place and get acquainted and see if they can offer suggestions? I always took my mother's Lexus to my Toyota guys for stuff I didn't want to do. But, that's another story =)
What about an independent garage that works on foreign cars? Do you have any friends with Toyotas that might have had some good experiences?