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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to Toyota 101 of Redwood City. I walked up to the service desk and asked how much would it cost if I do a 15k service. So he looked into his computer and came out with something like 250 bucks. I find that way overpriced so I lefted and went another Toyota dealership. Daly City Toyota charged me $139.88 for a 15k service. I find Toyota 101 of Redwood City a ripped off. What do you think I should do. The BBB or Toyota Corporation
 

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Actually Daly also overcharged you. The only extra item to do at 15K compared to 5K is air filters (cabin and ICE). Maybe a few more checks, but no additional procedures.

So exactly what did they claim they did for your $140?
 

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In May, I also had a 15K service. Here's the breakdown:

PARTS: oil filter-$5.73, 5 qts. Mobil oil-8.40, gasket-1.04, brake cleaner-4.58, cabin filter (installed by owner)-16.47, air filter (installed by owner)-21.20.

LABOR: lube, oil and filter, check all fluids-11.60, rotate 4 tires-15.00, brake inspection and adjust rear brakes-29.95.

TOTAL (with tax): $117.42

I thought this was pretty fair, except I question the brake adjustment, although I do a lot of hilly driving.

As to the $250 estimate from the above dealer, I'm not surprised as typically these service dept. (including mine) attempt to dupe owners into following their made up maintenance plan, full of unecessary extras.
 

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I forget, those air filters can add up to a bit of change.

And they added the brake clean/adjust. I suppose that's reasonable for 15K. I don't know if I would do it at 15K intervals though. 30K maybe.
 

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Did they throw in title to any bridges with that check up? I've not paid more than $50 for any of my checkups. The one this Saturday (30k) will be more because of filters, but otherwise just lookin at stuff, changing oil, and moving tires around.

Perhaps question the dealer again. Otherwise, live and learn. Go to toyota.com and print out the particular items for your maint. period. Hand that to dealer or mechanic when you go.

Best,
 

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Hey, wayneswhirld (& others),

My 5,000 service was only $17.95 + tax (for tire rotation---had a free 1st oil chg.). My 10,000 service was $34.45 + tax (oil chg & tire rotation). And my 15,000 service was $35.90 + tax (oil chg & tire rotation only---before hand took out engine air filter & cabin air filter myself & chk'd them & found them to be in excellent condition so told dealer NOT to touch them).

However my BIG question to you is : how did they have the nuggets to charge you for install'g 5 quarts of oil in an engine that only holds either 3.6 or 3.9 (I don't remember which---one is U.S. quarts & one is English Imperial quarts)? Did you have them remove the overfilled amount & give you credit back off your bill? If not, Is your MPG less than before (as many here have reported)? You may also be look'g at an oxygen sensor replacement & manifold clean'g soon if you're still running with 5 quarts in the crankcase (or was the 5 quarts just your typo error?).

Everybody needs to look at their scheduled maintenance manual & take it up to the service manager/service writer when they start to write up your work order & just SPECIFY to do ONLY what you read off to them directly from that manual---no more, no less. Only then will they stop ripping us off. $250 & $140 are way out of line for the 15,000 mile service for Prius (oil chg & tire rotation ONLY). Even $117 is too much----I believe $35 to $50 should be about the norm for the first 3 scheduled services.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
 

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My dealer charges quite a bit for oil change and tire rotation, about $50. This is for the mini 5K service. A-la carte isn't much cheaper if at all cheaper and includes inspections. Once I get my free replacement tires from them though, its bye-bye with them. Many places nearby are competing for oil change AND tire rotation services combined.

The Toyota recommended service at 15K miles does not include air filters unless you drive in conditions under the "Note".

Dang! I keep getting 15K mixed up with 30K, and I follow the 30K interval! Still, I'd recommend checking those filters at 15K. They can get dirty fast in what we would think are normal conditions.
 

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Just buy the filters from them. Even for a complete non do-it-yourselfer like me, both filters take about 2 minutes to put in and you don't even have to dress down.
 

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The key is don't ask for the "15K service". Look in your book and ask for the specific services for which you are due. Ask for oil change and tire rotation, and specify how you want your tires inflated. I usually ask them to double check that the oil isn't overfilled.

Then I go home and inflate the tires correctly the next day.
 

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Ct. Ken V said:
Hey, wayneswhirld (& others),

...my BIG question to you is : how did they have the nuggets to charge you for install'g 5 quarts of oil in an engine that only holds either 3.6 or 3.9 (I don't remember which---one is U.S. quarts & one is English Imperial quarts)? Did you have them remove the overfilled amount & give you credit back off your bill? If not, Is your MPG less than before (as many here have reported)? You may also be look'g at an oxygen sensor replacement & manifold clean'g soon if you're still running with 5 quarts in the crankcase (or was the 5 quarts just your typo error?).
Ken,
I want to thank you for bringing this up. Fortunately, in checking the oil level (warm), it is right at the top hole on the stick. So it's a case of overcharging by one quart, which they also did at the 10K service, but 4 qts. at the 5K. And I have specifically asked them NOT to overfill--so they didn't but just overcharged. I'll take that up with them. Btw, my 5K service was $24, 10K-$41. As to the filters, I definitely needed replacement at 15K in that I travel some dirt roads and had a major mice invasion in my cabin filter (which now has a dryer sheet stapled to it to discourage mice, and I always engage recirc. when parked).

EDIT: Just to clarify above since it reads like they overcharged by 4 quarts at the 5K service, but rather, they charged for 4 quarts of oil rather than 5.
 

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maint costs

I hope lots of Prius owners read this thread and exert a bit of cost control at maintenance time. Not all Toyota shops, it would appear, are dealing entirely fairly with their customers.

1) know what you need
2) know what those things should cost
3) get that price or go elsewhere.

DAS
 

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I too ran into the same problem when calling around to dealers on the peninsula for service, and here was my experience:

My 2005 Prius needed it's 30K mile service done back in May. So I started calling around to various local dealerships (Bay Area of California, specifically the Peninsula, San Bruno/Daly City/Burlingame area). They all wanted $300 or so for what amounts to an oil change, tire rotation, a couple of easy filter changes and a bunch of inspections. This is the same price that our 2004 Sienna w/60K miles would be charged. This was just plain mercenary on their part. I was so upset by this that I ended calling the Toyota Customer Experience line to voice my displeasure at this. Who dutifully opened up a case and contacted the dealership that I normally go to (Melody Toyota). Who in turn got back to me the next day.

I ended up spending a fair amount of time talking to the dealership's customer service rep about their pricing for service. I pointed out that there was a local dealership (City Toyota) that was willing to do it for much cheaper by charging me for a minor service ($89.88) plus the cost of the engine air filter ($25 or so). I also pointed out that it was unfair to charge me the same price a Sienna would be when the Prius requires a lot less work. To me it felt like they were ripping me off by charging me for services that they weren't going to perform. Was I subsidizing someone elses repair work at that point? At this point she said she'd contact the service manager and figure out how to solve the problem. Their solution was basically to match what City Toyota was going to do: minor service plus the engine air filter. They couldn't give me a good reason why a Prius would be charged the same amount of money that a Sienna would be.

Unfortunately, when I actually took the car into the dealership, they again tried to charge me the $300 for their 30K service. I pulled out my maintenance book and said "Just do what is required in the book" and that pretty much ended that argument. And to add insult to injury, they managed to set my tire pressure to 32 psi all around, overfilled the oil, and forgot to change the engine air filter (the technician missed that part of the work order because it was on the same line as the oil & filter change). However, I didn't discover this until I had left the dealership and gotten to work. So I had to take the car back again to have them fix the problems. I took the service manager to task about all this. I stressed that these were basic things they should be aware and it doesn't speak well to the kind of service they are providing. He acknowledged the problem. Whether anything will get fixed remains to be seen. At this point, I believe he wants me to go to him directly when requesting service in the future. We've been taken our Toyota's to this dealership for 10 years now, and for the most part they've been fine, but this latest incident has left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. And when I was called a few days later to ask how my service was, I basically said I was not satisfied and they hadn't fixed everything to my satisfaction (this of course was before I went into the dealer to get the stuff fixed).

The larger problem I see is that the local dealerships all like to use a generic maintenance schedule that makes it easier on them when creating work orders, and more importantly, helps to pad their bottom line. I have seen some variance in price amongst the dealerships for the various services, but they're all built around generic services that most cars will require, and add in services that they don't.

Unfortunately, these dealerships are independant businesses. Toyota has little control over them. However, that doesn't mean we're powerless. We can vote with our pocket books and demand that we get charged only for the services that are actually performed/needed. Also, calling into Toyota's customer service number to complain can have a positive effect. Dealers don't like having Toyota corporate calling them up and saying "You've got a customer with a problem, what's going on?" I'm willing to bet that the number of complaints a dealership gets is directly tied to the level of support that the corporate offices provide to their dealerships, whether it's extra cars in their monthly allocations, assistance with promotions, or how quickly the technical staff gets back to the service department when a particular nasty service problem surfaces with a car. Not to mention the damage to Toyota's overall reputation with consumers. People who have bad experiences with a dealer, whether it's in the service or sales department, will talk to their friends about it, and that can make or break a new car sale...
 

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8) My 2004 Scheduled Maintenance Guide only indicates (a) Replace engine oil and filter; (b) Rotate Tires; and (c) Visually inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs plus a grocery list of INSPCTIONS. I see nothing about changing filters unless driving in desert or dirt roads, even then it comments "Inspect." My 20,000 mile maintenance is nearly due and reads exactly the same as the 15,000.

My Dealer (Toyota of Richardson, TX - Dallas area) used oil I provided (3½ qts Mobil-1 5W30), their filter, rotated the tires [MY PRSSURES: 40/38], did the State Inspection due ($35) and delivered a freshly washed Prius for a total of ~$85.00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
City Toyota v.s Other Dealerships

So I took my car to City Toyota in Daly City. What I had them do and whatever was recommended was to change the oil and filter, brake inspection clean and adj brakes, rotate tires, 19 point insp and replace the cabin air filter. I find this reasonable compare to other dealerships in the Bay where they didn't even add in the cabin airfilter at first and than added and charged me addition $50. The only other dealership was going do it around this price is Putnam Toyota in Burlingame. The total service charge was $142.36. I got great service and they got it done less then 2hrs. I would like to add that City Toyota is willing to beat other dealerships price for service.

TO DEVPRIUS - I called Melody Toyota of San Bruno and asked them how much for a 15k service and they give me a quote of $190 with the same service as City Toyota. The person that answer the phone was also rude and the service advisor didn't even know what the hell he was talking about. I guess next time before anyone get their service done by a dealership, call around, it is probably the best thing to do and may even save you some money
 

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What "brake adjustment" is needed? They are self-adjusting, aren't they?
I haven't had to manually adjust brakes since I drove my old VW built 35 years ago.
 

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Not to mention the damage to Toyota's overall reputation with consumers. People who have bad experiences with a dealer, whether it's in the service or sales department, will talk to their friends about it, and that can make or break a new car sale
That's the truth. I have great faith in the Toyota vehicle, but the dealers around here may have me go Honda or even Hyunday instead. I've heard great things about Gateway Honda, but not so much for Sun or any other Toyota. Well, I have heard some good things with Toyota in Homosassa, but that's a bit out of my way. Toyota corporate SHOULD be controlling the dealers more. As you said it is THEIR reputation on the line. No price gouging, neither on service or on price. MSRP max. If you charge over that, we get a big cut over that since we MADE the car. Treat the customer the way you would want to be treated. We want loyal repeat customers and so do you. For every customer that legitimately complains, there are 10 that do not and won't come back.

Once in a while, it is a reasonable thing to at least inspect the brakes and adjust. Usually if it is adjusted, it is set a tad loose and it will self tighten. It can't loosen though so if it becomes too tight for whatever reason, it will drag until the shoes wear down. Often they need to release the tension some to get the drum back on.
 

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KTPhil said:
What "brake adjustment" is needed? They are self-adjusting, aren't they?
I haven't had to manually adjust brakes since I drove my old VW built 35 years ago.
That's a very good point that I will bring up with the service dept. soon. I will post back with their answer or should I say "excuse".
 

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KTPhil said:
What "brake adjustment" is needed? They are self-adjusting, aren't they?
I haven't had to manually adjust brakes since I drove my old VW built 35 years ago.
They snug up the parking brake. It is very noticable as you don't have to push the pedal down nearly so far to lock it. Toyota has done that for all my cars over the years in scheduled service, and I like it.
 

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They'll probably claim its more in the cleaning and inspection than the adjustment itself. The rachet has to be brought close to the correct setting or else it will take forever to get to the right setting and you'll have no rear brakes (not even parking) until it gets there.

I'm not saying that it justifies the boatload of money they ask, but first they have to take the drum off, before that the tires if they are not doing a rotation, they may have trouble getting that drum off if the brakes are tight, then they have to carefully clean the dust off because of environmental factors, set the adjuster to the right point so that the drum will go back on, but not so loose that you won't have rear brakes for a while, then put the drum back on, and then the tire. Repeat for other side.

My dealer charges $75/hr so even 15 minutes would be $18 in labor. The little things add up and can sneak up on you.
 
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