2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

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Old 10 May 2006, 10:20 am   #1 (permalink)
fcrow
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Default 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

Recently I brought my 2003 Camry SE to the dealer for an oil change. The
car has been problem free since I bought it new, and it has been well
maintained. It has 44000Kms or 27000 miles. The dealer recommended I get a
sheduled service for $106Cdn, which includes an oil change, tire rotation,
and a thorough inspection. The inspection report recommended machining all
4 rotors ($400Cdn), flushing power steering oil($90), and servicing the
maintenence-free battery ($38). I can't believe the rotars need to be
machined after such low mileage, and the brakes are working fine with no
squeaks or vibrations. I have not heard of power steering needing to be
flushed, and $38 to brush of a little white crumbly stuff on the battery
and apply a dab of grease is simply too much. I can do it myself in a few
minutes.
I declined all of this work, thinking it was either very expensive or
unnecessary. Am I being cheap here, or is this reasonable for a car of
this age and mileage?
Appreciate your comments.
Thanks
fc..

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Old 10 May 2006, 10:46 am   #2 (permalink)
Andy Hill
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

fcrow <fc@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Recently I brought my 2003 Camry SE to the dealer for an oil change. The
>car has been problem free since I bought it new, and it has been well
>maintained. It has 44000Kms or 27000 miles. The dealer recommended I get a
>sheduled service for $106Cdn, which includes an oil change, tire rotation,
>and a thorough inspection. The inspection report recommended machining all
>4 rotors ($400Cdn), flushing power steering oil($90), and servicing the
>maintenence-free battery ($38). I can't believe the rotars need to be
>machined after such low mileage, and the brakes are working fine with no
>squeaks or vibrations. I have not heard of power steering needing to be
>flushed, and $38 to brush of a little white crumbly stuff on the battery
>and apply a dab of grease is simply too much. I can do it myself in a few
>minutes.
>I declined all of this work, thinking it was either very expensive or
>unnecessary. Am I being cheap here, or is this reasonable for a car of
>this age and mileage?
>

Maybe you shouldn't flash the ol' Platinum Mastercard in front of the dealer --
sounds like they marked you as a sheep in need of fleecing.

Agreed -- 3 years old & 27K miles shouldn't be due for any fluid changes other
than oil (well, maybe coolant, but even that's pushing it). If the brakes are
working fine (stopping OK, no pulsing or vibration), then machining the rotors
would be silly. And the battery service...pardon me while I wipe the Coke off
the monitor -- that's just hilarious.

Try to find a decent independent mechanic -- your dealer gives me the heebies.
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Old 10 May 2006, 11:10 am   #3 (permalink)
timbirr@mailcity.com
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs


fcrow wrote:
> Recently I brought my 2003 Camry SE to the dealer for an oil change. The
> car has been problem free since I bought it new, and it has been well
> maintained. It has 44000Kms or 27000 miles.


Unless you are feeling pulsing or some other weird feeling on braking,
skip the rotors.

I don't know about Canada, but 30,000 miles is the magic number for a
variety of "warranty required" items to be taken care of here in the
states. One of them being some sort of tranny service, I believe
(sorry my '03 is at 48K and and remembering back to 30K is beyond
me...).

So, while I believe you were correct in your failure to take advantage
of the dealer's kind offer, check your manual and be prepared for some
$200+USD in service in about 3K (or 4828 kilometers), unless the
Canadian requirements are different..

t.

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Old 10 May 2006, 11:16 am   #4 (permalink)
Nobody Important
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

fcrow wrote:

> The inspection report recommended machining all
> 4 rotors ($400Cdn),


If you run your fingernail along the radius of the rotors, does it catch
on deep-ish grooves?

I think you're being reasonable about not paying for the PS flush at
this time.

The issue with the battery is that if there's too much of a voltage drop
across the crud on the positive terminal, the starter will draw more
current than it's designed for. In a pathological case, the windings
will actually fuse. However, the starter is only on for a second or two
under normal operation so there's not enough time for a large heat build
up. You can't do any harm cleaning the posts with a wire brush or
sandpaper every couple of years, and it only takes about 5 minutes.

As you probably know, changing the oil is very easy (even easier if you
buy a valve from fumotovalve.com) - there's no reason to pay someone
else to do this unless you're disabled, lazy or you consider it beneath
you. Toyota lubes all the locks and door hinges as part of the service,
which is kinda nice but you can do that yourself too.
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Old 10 May 2006, 12:49 pm   #5 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

Well they have to pay for those free donughts so what did you expect.
Rotors need nothing done till pads are replaced unless you brakes
pulse-grab.
Power stering flush 90$, it isnt even listed in the manual as to even
change the fluid, you can easily use a meat baister to remove fluid.
38$ to clean battery terminals, gee they charge as much as my lawyer
per hour. Find a local mechanic, drop the dealer.

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Old 10 May 2006, 03:08 pm   #6 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

Sounds like you need a better lawyer ;?)

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Old 10 May 2006, 08:12 pm   #7 (permalink)
hoerschy
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs


<timbirr@mailcity.com> wrote in message
news:1147277426.670881.139360@v46g2000cwv.googlegr oups.com...
>
> fcrow wrote:
>> Recently I brought my 2003 Camry SE to the dealer for an oil change. The
>> car has been problem free since I bought it new, and it has been well
>> maintained. It has 44000Kms or 27000 miles.

>
> Unless you are feeling pulsing or some other weird feeling on braking,
> skip the rotors.
>
> I don't know about Canada, but 30,000 miles is the magic number for a
> variety of "warranty required" items to be taken care of here in the
> states. One of them being some sort of tranny service, I believe
> (sorry my '03 is at 48K and and remembering back to 30K is beyond
> me...).
>
> So, while I believe you were correct in your failure to take advantage
> of the dealer's kind offer, check your manual and be prepared for some
> $200+USD in service in about 3K (or 4828 kilometers), unless the
> Canadian requirements are different..
>
> t.
>


The warranty book for my wife's 2003 Camry says that at 30,000 miles, to
change transmission fluid if the car is run under "special operating
conditions". Otherwise, it says to inspect the transmission fluid.


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Old 11 May 2006, 08:36 am   #8 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

Oil change is always a good idea.
I also do regular tire rotations to equalize wear.
Machining four rotors sounds odd. This is not a maintenance item.
Machining the rotors removes material. Try visually checking the
rotors. You'd be looking for uneven wear - primarily grooves in the
surface. Generally, rotors only require attention when brake pads are
replaced since the pads will wear out first.
You can also visually inspect the power steering fluid for
discoloration - see if it looks worn and old, or fairly fresh and
serviceable.
I like the idea of flushing the power steering fluid to extend the life
of the steering rack which is quite expensive to replace and there is
evidence that clean fluid allows the seals to last longer. There's a
lot of hydraulic pressure required during operation, IIRC something
like 1200 psi. First see how the fluid looks to you.
If you have "white crumbly stuff" on the battery, you should probably
remove the connections at the terminals and clean the posts thoroughly.
Seems like some batteries never do this and others always do. One
theory says that there may be a tiny leak in the seal between the
plastic case and the battery post so you could try applying a light
film of the battery grease you get at auto parts stores at the base of
the post, also lightly coating the battery post, then install some of
those inexpensive felt washers (red and green) before reattaching the
battery cables.
Regarding cost. Seems to me, the dealer prices are always high. Just
seems to be the way it is. That's one reason I do my own mechanical
work. They are entitled to a profit and to cover the cost of equipment,
training, etc., but like I say, it always sounds high to me. I had the
power steering flushed once, then have regularly sucked the fluid out
of the reservoir with a battery bulb ($3) to avoid having to pay for
the service again. Motive products brake bleeder around $50 allows you
to also flush the brake fluid professionally. There's a lot you can do
in the home garage with the right knowledge and tools, and of course,
the online groups can be invaluable.

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Old 11 May 2006, 10:21 am   #9 (permalink)
Rob
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

My original rotors lasted 100,000 miles, do not machine them now.
You can flush the power steering with a battery filler bulb and buy a
quart of Toyota ATF fluid. Just did mine yesterday. Clean the battery
terminal yourself. Dealer is trying to screw you.

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Old 11 May 2006, 11:50 am   #10 (permalink)
Big Kahuna
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Default Re: 2003 Camry. Maintenence Costs

Just a 2-center:

I don't think dealers are trying to "screw" folks; that's just what they
(pretty much all of them) charge for the various services.

Personally, I think it's nuts. The last time I was there, I saw they
wanted $35 to "install" the cabin air filter. Sheesh, that's one screw!








But whatever floats your boat....

It's just a choice: if you don't want to do it yourself, pay someone
else to do it and that's their price. Simple.
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