Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

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SeaEngineer
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Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by SeaEngineer » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:21 am

I have 2011 Camry with 65K miles and today Toyota dealer charged me $78 for oil change ( synthetic oil ). I think it used to be around 60.

Few things I like at Toyota dealership:
1. They check lot of stuff like ( tire tread, under the hood , brakes , transmission liquid etc ) and give recommendations ( although I am bit skeptical )
2. Free wifi and coffee :-)

For my newer car which is still under warranty - I always go to dealer. Where do you do your maintenance for your older cars ?

Question:
Which place has similar quality in terms of maintenance and cheaper ( If there is anyone here from Seattle Eastside - please feel free to suggest specific shops too )

sport
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by sport » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:50 am

I take my Camry to a private mechanic who specializes in Toyotas and Hondas. As far as I can tell, the workmanship is good, no unnecessary work is done, and the prices are reasonable. I've used this shop for roughly 30 years.

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William4u
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by William4u » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:41 pm

A good Independent Mechanic that specializes in Toyotas would be ideal. There are a few in every middle-sized city. Any good independent mechanic (automotive technician to be more precise) would work well too.

Dealer mechanics tend to be more trained on newer cars but are often unfamiliar with older models. Almost no one takes an older car to a dealer (thus the lack of experience at dealers with older cars).

Also, a good dealer mechanic can often make more money by going independent. Many newbies just out of tech school start at a dealer, but then move on when they have mastered their craft.

Theseus
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Theseus » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:44 pm

For most of the routine maintenance I just take it to my neighborhood trusted mechanic. There is not much to the routine maintenance these days. I used to do a lot of it myself for my Toyota Corolla and I can't imagine why would I pay a dealer price for something as trust worthy as Toyota.

But now that I have an Audi. And I found out the hard way, that the parts are so expensive for independent mechanic that it is "cheaper" to go to the dealer with an AudiCare package.

emoore
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by emoore » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:52 pm

For all my cars I do the regular maintenance. It's easy enough to do oil changes, filter changes, brakes, etc. I only take it to a mechanic if I can't figure it out or it's too much of a pain.

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William4u
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by William4u » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:02 pm

Good synthetic 5 quart containers of oil can be had for $10-12 or so with rebate. In the last 12 months I've bought a few Mobil 1 5 quart containers for $13 after rebate, and a few Pennzoil Platinum's for $10. Many oil companies have a sale with rebates a few months a year. There is an M1 rebate right now for $12 for 5 quarts... https://mobiloil.com/en/promotion/mobil ... obil-super

I use oversized Fram Ultra Synthetic filters, which can last 25,000 miles. I change my oil at 10k miles or once a year, whichever comes first (almost always it is 1 year that comes first). I change the filter every other year. It costs me an around $15 per year per car for the full synthetic oil and filter that I change myself. It is a hobby, and I enjoy it the way people like fishing.

I also do my own brakes hoses fluids and belts. I changed my timing belt and water pump last spring. But the super-easy stuff is basically the oil, filter, and brakes (brakes are more intermediate-to-easy whereas oil changes are very easy). Youtube has videos that can explain it.

PS- The best forum for these questions are at bobistheoilguy.com.
Last edited by William4u on Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenkat
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:03 pm

We take all our cars to a local mechanic shop that was recommended to us and is located close to our house. Been in business since 1974. Good prices and if they recommend a service, I trust that they are not running up the bill.

Teague
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Teague » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:34 pm

I usually take it to the big shade tree in front of my house. Can't beat the price, and the mechanic is a heckuva guy.
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TheEternalVortex
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:40 pm

I've been using YourMechanic. They come to you and my house already has free wifi and coffee ;).

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wander
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by wander » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:03 pm

$78 for oil change at the dealer is not too expensive. I pay almost $40 for synthetic oil + filter and I have to change oil myself. The reason I change it is because I know I do not mistakenly pour in regular for synthetic oil or over-torque the oil drain plug.

sk.dolcevita
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by sk.dolcevita » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:10 pm

For those who do their own maintenance: what do you do to raise your car sufficiently and safely? Any particular product you can recommend?

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wander
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by wander » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:15 pm

sk.dolcevita wrote:For those who do their own maintenance: what do you do to raise your car sufficiently and safely? Any particular product you can recommend?
I use ramps.

Swansea
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Swansea » Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:35 pm

I use ramps, slip a floor jack underneath for back up, and chock the wheels.

killjoy2012
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:11 pm

sk.dolcevita wrote:For those who do their own maintenance: what do you do to raise your car sufficiently and safely? Any particular product you can recommend?
Ramps. They're a lot quicker, easier and safer than jack stands IMO.

Where do I go? Into my garage/driveway.
Where should you go? If the dealer is too expensive, you should seek out a reputable mechanic through word of mouth. Or trial & error.

I personally feel oil should be changed at least 2x/year regardless of mileage or oil quality used, including the filter. I use Amsoil over the winter for an extended drain interval, and Mobil 1 EP (cheaper) or Amsoil (better) over the summer. Cheap insurance.

jharkin
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by jharkin » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:22 pm

Another vote NOT to use dealer service unless its very specialized service that requires special manufacturer specific equipment only the dealers have (like some specialized computer diagnostics for European luxury brands). As a matter of fact, the few times I have had mechanics screw up service they where dealers - dealer shops tend to hire inexperienced techs, especially in the oil change bays.

Most pro mechanics start out at dealer shops and then go to independents or start heir own shop once they have experience. Find and indie you trust and build a relationship - you will get better work for cheaper in the long run.


Anyway I'm another who DIYs most minor service. Also second the BITOG forum for oil and service advice.

arsenalfan
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by arsenalfan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:24 pm

+1 for local Asian car specialist for my Honda.
You can usually google to get comparative repair prices for big repairs.

arsenalfan
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by arsenalfan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:24 pm

+1 for local Asian car specialist for my Honda.
You can usually google to get comparative repair prices for big repairs.

arsenalfan
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by arsenalfan » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:24 pm

delete double post

onourway
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by onourway » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:31 pm

I do basic stuff myself most of the year - oil changes, brakes, sometimes get into bigger stuff on my older cars - especially electrical as it's hard to find a good tech who actually knows how to troubleshoot rather than read a computer. I invested in a good fluid extractor a few years ago and it makes oil changes MUCH simpler. Most of our vehicles don't even have to be raised anymore and there is no mess.

Otherwise I use my local independent who specializes in my make of vehicle. They are extremely fair and very conveniently located. I drive that make specifically because of this shop.

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dratkinson
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by dratkinson » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:08 pm

sk.dolcevita wrote:For those who do their own maintenance: what do you do to raise your car sufficiently and safely? Any particular product you can recommend?
Many YouTube videos of DIY ramps.



If your vehicle brand is less popular, your repair choices may be limited. My '90 Montero's Mitsubishi brand is not as well known as Toyota/Honda so no recognized independent specialist. And I'm no longer willing to be a test subject to winnow the quality of independent shops as the work of the last to touch it (I was afraid of high dealership prices and trying to save a dollar) used cheap parts/materials (re-manufactured oil pump failed <30 days and water pump failed ~25K miles, liquid head gasket was leaking before water pump failed) resulted in catastrophic engine failure... but outside the warranty period. So I now take it to a dealer. I'm no longer interested in doing my own work.

To find a good dealer, call the brand's national office and request the name of the regional dealership with the highest customer satisfaction rating. They might not want to provide this information (would take business away from other dealerships), but they can be persuaded. "Either give me the name of your dealership with the highest customer satisfaction rating and I will have my Montero repaired, or I will scrap it and buy a Honda." This method saved my Montero. It was sitting dead in my driveway when dealer's tow truck arrived, and one week later it was running again and sounding like factory new.

Bottom line. It costs less in time/money to do the job right the first time. The trick is to find the right shop to do the work. I'm satisfied enough with a recommended dealer that I don't want to chance anything less just to save a dollar.



Think my last dealer oil change was ~$45 for high-mileage oil (blend of dino + synthetic). Don't drive that much so will change it again next year when I take vehicle in for some deferred maintenance and inspection.
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likegarden
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by likegarden » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:51 pm

I had a 13 year old car, brought it happily to a good dealer service shop for many years, but they probably were no longer training for repairing 13 year old cars, plus things kept braking because it was an old car. So I fixed that and bought a new car.

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mmmodem
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by mmmodem » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:21 pm

I was happily paying my dealer $70 to do synthetic oil changes. It was when they raised the price to $100 to match all the local dealers that I bought ramps and started doing my own changes. I would love to be able to pay my dealer $78. Material cost is already $35.

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by gd » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:32 am

The fourth local mechanic we tried was trustworthy, and we use him for older cars. An advantage of car repairs over, say, major house repairs is that you do it so often that you can get a useful survey of the local options, hopefully there aren't too many disasters before you find one that suits you. Once found, BTW, we accept his advice and never argue or quibble about work, and don't begrudge a markup. Example is taking a tire in to patch, he said no and I bought a tire from him rather than go to the discount tire dealer. Like local hardware and clothing stores, I'll pay to support local businesses and preserve my community as I'd like it. I've found local recommendations to be surprisingly unreliable in all areas, from house and car repairs to doctors. Not all cars are accessible for stuff like oil changes-- my old VWs were easy, old Civics were fairly easy, Fords awkward, Fit I didn't even try. And I bet I'm not the only person who swayed noticeably towards buying a Subaru when they opened the hood at the dealer and saw the oil filter sitting right on top.

user5027
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by user5027 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:46 am

A local independent mechanic that I have known for 39 years.

pc95
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by pc95 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:01 am

Goodyear, and always haggle....always

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sunny_socal
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by sunny_socal » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:29 am

OP your car is not exactly "old", it's actually a rather recent model and low miles. A real creampuff :wink:

Since you don't drive that much, might as well continue taking it to the dealer.

I do all my own oil changes, filter changes and brakes jobs for our vehicles. For tires we shop at Costco, they aren't cheap but I like their service, their tires and the road hazard warranty (I do also buy tires at Sears since they tend to have excellent prices and a good local shop.) For anything else, the cars taken to the dealer (ie. timing belts, valve adjustments.)

I don't do 50/100/150k service as pushed by dealers and shops. I tend to decline all the recommended service that results from their "free 100-pt inspection." In one instance I had a drop of oil left over from an oil change that I had just done that morning. Tech said my engine was leaking oil and that I needed to drop the pan and add a new gasket. Head was also leaking oil, that would cost $500 for a new gasket! :shock: I went on my belly and wiped off the drop and said "problem solved" and went on my way. Service is the biggest profit center for dealers, not new cars (BTW I sold that car with the "oil leak" to my brother, he has now 200k miles on it and there is no leak, of course.)

afan
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by afan » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:45 am

2011 is hardly an older car.

We use both a local mechanic and a dealer. The local shop is closer and cheaper and the guys are honest. But for an increasing number of things one needs specialized computer equipment and programs that they do not have. For those we use the dealer. For anything big the dealer also offers a loaner, making it a better deal than the local shop.
When we had an older car, during the years 15-20, it was always a challenge for the local shop to get parts. That put the car out of commission for days while they searched. The dealer always managed to get parts promptly. So, counterintuitive, we found for an old car the dealer was better than the local shop.
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Watty
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Watty » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:53 am

A seven year old car is not an "older car" since cars last so long these days and even when it does get to be an "older car" a typical dealer may have a dozen mechanics so your car should be directed to one that worked on cars your age when they were new.
IvestForEngineers wrote:I have 2011 Camry with 65K miles and today Toyota dealer charged me $78 for oil change ( synthetic oil ). I think it used to be around 60.
The big thing that you did not mention was that they did not try to add on some other unneeded $500 repair.

There is no question that a dealership will not be the cheapest way to maintain a car but if you have a reliable dealer service center (yes they do exist!) then you might want to just stick with them.

With either a dealership or independent mechanic I will gladly pay top dollar for a mechanic that is honest and does not try to do unneeded work. Around here AAA opened auto service centers about five years ago and they don't seen to be too bad as far as adding on unneeded work.

One issue with dealers though is that they will usually try to use the manufacturer's brand parts when lower cost non-OEM parts are available. If you ask about non-OEM parts they will usually use those but you will have to ask.

I drive more miles than you and I normally only keep my cars for about ten years. The Hondas and Toyotas that I drive have been so reliable that they have needed little non-routine maintenance before I sold it.

A good one-owner car that had been dealer maintained will also get a large premium when you eventually sell it if you sell it yourself. The last car I sold was a nine years old Camry with about 130K miles on it. It was in excellent condition and I had the records showing that it had been maintained by the dealer. It sold for way more than the "book" value in part because it had been dealer maintained. "Book" values are only averages but there are some people that are willing to pay way above that for a one owner excellent condition ten year old Honda or Toyota that was never in an accident and was dealer maintained. Your car would also have low miles for its age. That is basically the holy grail for used car buyers. The guy that bought it was buying a car for his daughter to take to college so he was looking for the best car that he could find.

I sold that Camry for about a third of what it cost new which made buying my next new car a lot more reasonable.

The high resale meant that I basically got my money back for having paid extra for the dealer maintenance. The funny thing is that even though he did not say it I could tell that the guy that bought it thought I was a idiot for having it dealer maintained, but he is that one that paid me a lot extra for having had it maintained by the dealer. :D

If you are not planning on keeping the car for the real long term then having it dealer maintained might be worth it for the resale if they are not bloating their repairs.

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Rupert » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:29 am

I agree that a 2011 car is not an older car. I still have a 2004 model. For that 2004 model, I take it to an independent mechanic who specializes in Japanese imports. I would not take it to the dealer unless my independent recommended I do so (there are a few things that only the dealer can or will fix, even in an older car, e.g., seatbelts and other safety equipment). Dealers specialize in fixing new cars, and they tend to repair things the most expensive way. An independent will often be willing to do a "good enough" repair, which is often the only repair that makes financial sense on an older car. Also, I have found that dealers will only use OEM parts. Once your car gets so old that OEM parts are no longer available, the dealer will actually tell you to take your car to an independent for repairs.

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by sport » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:43 am

About 25 years ago, I took my Mazda to the dealer for repairs. The automatic seat belt on the passenger side stopped working as well as a rear speaker. The dealer wanted about $200 to repair each item. That would be about $800 in today's dollars. I did not want to spend that much, so I investigated the problems. I fixed the seat belt with a spray of WD40, and I repaired the speaker with a short piece of string. Total cost was $0.00. Of course, I never went back to that dealer's service department.

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by F150HD » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:59 am

IvestForEngineers wrote:I have 2011 Camry with 65K miles and today Toyota dealer charged me $78 for oil change ( synthetic oil ). I think it used to be around 60.
what is the oil change interval, 5000 miles? 7500? 10000? you're doing 2x a year?

Unless you're doing your own maintenance (which is sounds like you aren't) that cost sounds typical. Have seen some dealers let one buy oil changes in bulk and get reduced cost (i.e. buy 4 changes at reduced cost per change).

some Harley Davidson dealers quote $120+ for a basic oil change. :(
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.

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F150HD
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by F150HD » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:00 am

William4u wrote:Good synthetic 5 quart containers of oil can be had for $10-12 or so with rebate. In the last 12 months I've bought a few Mobil 1 5 quart containers for $13 after rebate, and a few Pennzoil Platinum's for $10. Many oil companies have a sale with rebates a few months a year. There is an M1 rebate right now for $12 for 5 quarts... https://mobiloil.com/en/promotion/mobil ... obil-super

I use oversized Fram Ultra Synthetic filters, which can last 25,000 miles.
so you're suggesting the OPs dealer should run to Walmart and buy oil for the OPs car when they arrive for an oil change. Then fill out a rebate form for the OP and have the rebate sent to them. (OP isn't doing the work themselves)

Would never put a FRAM filter on any vehicle I own.
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.

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SeaEngineer
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by SeaEngineer » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:17 pm

OP here.
This is my first post ( have been reading these forums for last 6 months or so - And Bogleheads is replacing Reddit for my "kill time" :-)
Thanks a lot everyone for responding. This is amazing place.

Few people mentioned $78 is not that bad for oil change. I think you are right. I took my car for oil change and rear bake pads ( 6 months back they mentioned I should change my rear brake pads soon and they had coupon for brake pads). Once I went in - the service adviser recommended me to change Brake rotors along with brake pads without even looking at the car. I declined the service and just got the
oil change ( in this case even oil change went up by $20 ). This is what motivated me to look around.

For some who recommended that dealer maintained car will bring premium ( sorry I am not mentioning all the user names here - hope this is OK etiquette ) - I agree , but I think we will keep this car for long time - hence trying to look for reliable and cheaper.

Compared to my 2014 Audi - this is older car - everything is relative :-) ( This is one of the splurges I couldn't resist - hoping to keep it for another 10 years and recoup money).

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bottlecap
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by bottlecap » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:08 pm

I'd try to make the day I drive it off the dealers lot be the last time it's been there. No reason for dealer service unless it's something your mechanic can't do. "Inspections" are a joke. Have any Indy tell you what you need.

I like to test the Indy mechanics by asking them to check things I know don't need replacing just yet, like brakes. If they don't try to snow me and their prices are otherwise reasonable, I give them a shot.

Good luck,

JT

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dratkinson
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by dratkinson » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:51 pm

gd wrote:... I bet I'm not the only person who swayed noticeably towards buying a Subaru when they opened the hood at the dealer and saw the oil filter sitting right on top.
+1.

And the Subaru engine has a timing chain.


My partial list of requirements for my next vehicle: Engine must have timing chain and hydraulic lifters.

Was surprised to discover, when reading the owners manual of my new (then) '86 Isuzu Trooper, that it had solid lifters and required periodic adjustments. I thought that requirement when away when I sold my '73 VW bay-window bus.
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:35 pm

I am gravitating back to the dealerships from the independent we have used for years. Their service and attention to detail have declined and their prices have crept up to approximate the dealership's prices. I have my eyes open for another independent, but I'm not hopeful. When one of the dealerships does something incredibly stupid, I will intensify my search for an alternative.

Boats day
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Boats day » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:53 pm

I own a lexus and have it serviced at a Toyota dealer for oil changes.

If you switch to conventional oil you will lower your oil change total.
My oil changes with tax are$39 and every 6th one is free. Most dealerships
Use oil changes as a loss leader to bring you in the doors. BTW lexus dealer ship is $99
For an oil change. All Toyota mechanics can work on lexus engines as they are all most ideal tical.

There are lots of options on synthetic oil but I think it's over kill for a 6 year old Toyota.
I do use synthetic oil in my bmw tho.
I do have a independent Mechanic to do other repairs as "stealer ship " prices are very expensive.
My indy mechanic does not want to do oil changes as they are low margin and he can make way more money doing good other repairs.

Happy travels.

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Mike83 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:28 pm

I have had good experiences at Hyundai dealers and very good experiences at Acura dealers (multiple cars over many years). Just the opposite experience at Toyota. So I guess it depends. Now I tend to but cars with 4 or 10 year warranties, and trade them at that point.

When a customer surveyor called DW for her opinion of a service call at Toyota, she nicely gave the dealer 4 out of 5 since she got no update call for four days while it was in the shop. The dealer shared it with the young service manager, who then called my wife on the phone. Hew told her if she ever did that again he would come over to her house and beat her, since she almost cost him his job. Unfortunately this is a true story.

Another Toyota dealer changed my transmission fluid during a routine visit. They forgot to put the drain plug back. Transmission burned out 200 miles from home. They replaced it at a the remote location, for free, with a 3 day wait. I drove it home, and the transmission burned out again, seems that the second dealer also forgot to put the drain plug back. Unfortunately this also is a true story.

Other Toyota dealers have refused warranty service on a front wheel bearing that was leaking at 400 miles past the 36,000 mi warranty, and Toyota corporate refused to fix a 3 year old car with their infamous and well know sludged engine fiasco.

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by feh » Mon May 01, 2017 12:26 pm

emoore wrote:For all my cars I do the regular maintenance. It's easy enough to do oil changes, filter changes, brakes, etc. I only take it to a mechanic if I can't figure it out or it's too much of a pain.
+1

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by squirm » Mon May 01, 2017 12:35 pm

emoore wrote:For all my cars I do the regular maintenance. It's easy enough to do oil changes, filter changes, brakes, etc. I only take it to a mechanic if I can't figure it out or it's too much of a pain.
Same here,I take it to, me, myself and I.

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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by William4u » Mon May 01, 2017 8:29 pm

F150HD wrote:
William4u wrote:Good synthetic 5 quart containers of oil can be had for $10-12 or so with rebate. In the last 12 months I've bought a few Mobil 1 5 quart containers for $13 after rebate, and a few Pennzoil Platinum's for $10. Many oil companies have a sale with rebates a few months a year. There is an M1 rebate right now for $12 for 5 quarts... https://mobiloil.com/en/promotion/mobil ... obil-super

I use oversized Fram Ultra Synthetic filters, which can last 25,000 miles.
so you're suggesting the OPs dealer should run to Walmart and buy oil for the OPs car when they arrive for an oil change. Then fill out a rebate form for the OP and have the rebate sent to them. (OP isn't doing the work themselves)

Would never put a FRAM filter on any vehicle I own.
1. Fram Ultras are some of the best filters made. They aren't your grandpa's orange can. This is the consensus on BITOG, the main website on such matters... https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/u ... er=2956943
2. I would suggest the OP could buy the oil and then do with it as he/she pleases. I know folks that stock up on oil on sale and then bring it to their mechanic when they need the change. Walmart will change the oil your give them, for example (although I would not let anyone other than a trained mechanic or myself do that). Others change oil themselves (which is very easy with ramps, takes 10 minutes and is overall easier than going to a mechanic IMHO). If you can turn a screwdriver, you can change oil. It is more trouble for me to have others do something I can do in no time at all.

We'll See
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by We'll See » Mon May 01, 2017 9:22 pm

IvestForEngineers wrote:I have 2011 Camry with 65K miles and today Toyota dealer charged me $78 for oil change ( synthetic oil ). I think it used to be around 60.

Few things I like at Toyota dealership:
1. They check lot of stuff like ( tire tread, under the hood , brakes , transmission liquid etc ) and give recommendations ( although I am bit skeptical )
2. Free wifi and coffee :-)

For my newer car which is still under warranty - I always go to dealer. Where do you do your maintenance for your older cars ?

Question:
Which place has similar quality in terms of maintenance and cheaper ( If there is anyone here from Seattle Eastside - please feel free to suggest specific shops too )
You don't have an older car. They are doing a fair amount of inspection hopefully for that price. Also, your Camry does need synthetic. Put decent quality oil in it and run it for another 10 years and sell it for 5k to a new boglehead...!

chrisam314
Posts: 37
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by chrisam314 » Mon May 01, 2017 10:30 pm

OP,

I drive a 2004 Highlander. Another plus of doing maintenance at the Toyota dealer is the database at https://www.toyota.com/owners/. When I got my car I knew I would be moving often for career/school and wanted to make sure wherever I took my car could specifically see all of the work that had been done. Also, I have been living in apartment complexes (not conducive to doing work on cars.)

I haven't found the upsell to be bad. If they recommend something I kindly ask they note it and then go watch youtube videos/research online. However, in my experience most dealers have stuck to the recommended maintenance schedule provided by Toyota. Also, they typically have coupons/loyalty points that bring down the price of things like oil changes. I just paid $21.95 for an oil change (regular not synthetic) and a tire rotation. I purchased the tires there after researching competitors in the area and finding the price to be practically identical. Maybe check for coupons online at this dealer you like?

Also, now this may sound crazy - just ask for a lower price. I have been amazed by how many times in life I simply just ask a sales/service person to do better and sometimes get 10-15% knocked off the price. Be polite and friendly and say to the service advisor - "I've taken my car here loyally, and would like to continue to but $80 is just too high for an oil change, can you do better?" Then just be quiet and see what happens.

One advantage you have is that the Camry is worked on all day at dealers, and a good part of the day at independent shops because it is such a popular car. I think you will do fine regardless of choice. To echo others above your car is not old yet and with mine at 13 years old I have not heard word one about not being able to source parts. The average car age in the US is 11.5 years. There is huge aftermarket for common parts for common cars (like yours). It also helps when the parts are reliable so you don't have to replace them at all. Enjoy. :beer

tibbitts
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by tibbitts » Mon May 01, 2017 11:06 pm

dratkinson wrote:
gd wrote:... I bet I'm not the only person who swayed noticeably towards buying a Subaru when they opened the hood at the dealer and saw the oil filter sitting right on top.
+1.

And the Subaru engine has a timing chain.


My partial list of requirements for my next vehicle: Engine must have timing chain and hydraulic lifters.

Was surprised to discover, when reading the owners manual of my new (then) '86 Isuzu Trooper, that it had solid lifters and required periodic adjustments. I thought that requirement when away when I sold my '73 VW bay-window bus.
Yes, but then you'll find out that to replace the water pump you have to remove the timing chain. I think you're good on the hydraulic lifters, though.

sport
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by sport » Tue May 02, 2017 1:47 am

We'll See wrote: Also, your Camry does need synthetic. Put decent quality oil in it and run it for another 10 years and sell it for 5k to a new boglehead...!
The owner's service manual specifies synthetic.

dbr
Posts: 31328
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by dbr » Tue May 02, 2017 7:58 am

I don't have the slightest interest in doing my own auto work. In my living situation it is somewhat impractical anyway.

I go to a local garage around the corner from my house. They are excellent and have stood us well for years. Before that we went to another independent that was also excellent though a little bit of a drive back and forth. I have a newer car that goes to the dealer. So far my experience with them has also been excellent.

Ervin
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:59 am

Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by Ervin » Tue May 02, 2017 9:06 am

chrisam314 wrote:OP,

I drive a 2004 Highlander. Another plus of doing maintenance at the Toyota dealer is the database at https://www.toyota.com/owners/. When I got my car I knew I would be moving often for career/school and wanted to make sure wherever I took my car could specifically see all of the work that had been done.
You can always log the service manually, on the same site.
RIP, Mr. Bogle.

lazydavid
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by lazydavid » Tue May 02, 2017 9:10 am

William4u wrote:1. Fram Ultras are some of the best filters made. They aren't your grandpa's orange can. This is the consensus on BITOG, the main website on such matters... https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/u ... er=2956943
There's a report of a complete failure of a Fram Ultra in less 5k miles on the second page of that thread. That saga has its own thread as well:

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/u ... er=2958258

To Fram's credit, they really took care of the guy (sent him a case of replacement filters, a bunch of stickers, and a training DVD used by their techs), and gave a plausible explanation for the failure. They think it was dropped in the store, resulting in the leaf spring being weakened and eventually failing. Not terribly comforting, but definitely plausible.

jharkin
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Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by jharkin » Tue May 02, 2017 12:27 pm

dratkinson wrote: My partial list of requirements for my next vehicle: Engine must have timing chain and hydraulic lifters.

Was surprised to discover, when reading the owners manual of my new (then) '86 Isuzu Trooper, that it had solid lifters and required periodic adjustments. I thought that requirement when away when I sold my '73 VW bay-window bus.
Still lots of solid tappet engines out there - Many Honda engines, BMW M cars, lots of other brands too.... Hydraulic lifters are difficult to package in overhead cam designs so you dont see them as universally employed as they are on American pushrod V8's and V6's.

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F150HD
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Re: Car maintenance for older cars - where do you go ?

Post by F150HD » Tue May 02, 2017 3:05 pm

William4u wrote:
1. Fram Ultras are some of the best filters made. They aren't your grandpa's orange can. This is the consensus on BITOG, the main website on such matters... https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/u ... er=2956943
subpar build and pleat count. Much better choices out there IMO.
William4u wrote:
2. I would suggest the OP could buy the oil and then do with it as he/she pleases.
OP wasn't asking questions about changing their own oil. You gave advice to a completely different question. :)
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.

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