Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Truck Woes Over, by the way

Picture 1
The Truck’s on the Road
OK so we got the truck back up and working. Didn’t cost nearly as much as I had feared it might, which was good, just mostly the lost time.

I had figured – due largely to the timing – that it was related
to the new battery install that it wasn’t running right anymore. I mean it went: fine, battery dies, install new battery, truck no longer idles. Suspicious? Me? Nah! OK, maybe a little.

Anyway, we drove it down to the local Toyo Dealer on Monday, have it looked at. About 3 hours later we get a call, and they tell me it’s ready. To which I reply, “OK how much?” After I picked my jaw up off the ground in astonishment, we went and got it. They said that the problem was a gummed-up Throttle body they imagined. Said that they took it apart to inspect, cleaned it, and that it seemed to idle fine now.

And while I don’t discount that that’s what they did and that it idled correct after that, I still wonder if it wasn’t an electronic thing. I know that it shouldn’t be linked, but I wonder if the now-higher voltages might have spiked the TPS sensor or something, maybe it was out of whack. And taking it all apart and re-setting it is really what solved the problem: they reset the sensor to within parameters. It’s a theory, anyway.

Toyo vs. Joe-Schmoe Mechanic
When The Girl had mentioned to some peeps that she was going to take it in to the Dealer for inspection and service, most everyone balked. “You’re gonna get ripped off!” was the general consensus. And yeah, look, I get what you’re saying. Yeah, the dealer typically charges more, but you know what? They know the vehicle, and if there’s problems, it’s on their dime. That’s peace of mind. Joe-Schmoe, maybe he jiggles a few cables and says that he thinks it’s this or that, and it should be ready in about an hour and cost $75. Maybe that doesn’t fix it though, and now he thinks it might be this other thing over here, but it’s going to be another hour and at least $150. Make that, $150 more.

Yeah, Joe-Schmoe may quote a lower price, but… You know, I’d rather pay someone who knows what the problems are a little more upfront, than pay “some guy” a little, now, a little later, and then some more in a few… You get me.

So how Much?
OK OK, I’ll tell you instead of just hinting. The initial quote for time & investigation was $135. When they called to say it was ready, the quote had fallen to $105. That’s right; the price dropped $30 from the quote. How often does that happen?

Yeah, We’ll stick with the Dealer, thanks.

Also looked…
At the new 4runners. When I paid, they went to bring the Tundra around to me, I walked out to see what they’re like in person. They look pretty nice on the inside, and I like the setup and everything. It’s definitely a lot more finely-appointed than my 1997 model.

They’re also much more expensive for what I’d want. MSRP of $38k. And then it makes you think: Is it ever worth it to pay that much for something that’s not going to do much more than what you currently have? I mean, that’s
the price of a home somewhere, you know? What does it have that my 4Runner doesn’t? Not much. Leather, a more powerful engine that won’t do 75mph any faster than my model drives 75mph. It does have some nice amenities, to include actual cup holders instead of flimsy foldout shits like mine.

No, in all reality, I don’t foresee myself spending anything like that figure to get better cupholders and leather. However, if someone were to
give me one… I wouldn’t protest.


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