So, my car is nearing the 60,000k mileage mark and my upcoming scheduled maintenance is around the corner. I brought the car to Toyota as usual and was hit with a massive quote for just the spark plugs.
$700 for spark plug.
$400 for transmission flush
$160 for cabin and engine filter
$120 oil change.
Across the street from Toyota is an independent shop, so I asked them for a quote:
$336 for spark plug ( using OEM spark plugs )
$360 transmission flush.
As you can see, their transmission service is almost the same as the dealer but the spark plug is a massive difference.
I will have my dad change the cabin and engine filter.
I’m curious to know if i should just let Toyota do the transmission flush and the oil change and do the spark plug at the independent shop.
No…Any trusted independent can do it. This isn’t a Bogati where you need special knowledge. Every mechanic should be able to work on vehicles manufactured from thee most popular manufacturer sold in the US.
Transmission flush is a scam. Known to ruin higher mileage transmissions too. ATF is expensive and you don’t know what quality fluid or used fluid they’re flushing it with. Just drain and fill with ATF every 15k miles and it’ll be fine. Or 10k miles for severe service / city driving. Should be cheaper too.
There was a video I saw where a Camry was worn out at 200k miles. Turns out the dealer was probaly just using cheap regular oil for the oil changes but he was doing 10k mile oil changes assuming it had sythetic oil in it.
From what I’m seeing for the 2020 rwd 4-banger engine model the spark plug replacement job doesn’t appear overly complicated. Remove engine cover , remove coil assy, unscrew spark plugs , etc. No dealing the the intake manifold blocking the path. Turbo engine, so maybe there’s something turbo-related in the way? Or maybe the plugs are quite expensive ? In any event, concur w/MM above, decide which shop you want to use and have them do it all. Unless there’s a clear reason, I’d be inclined to defer on the ATF fluid flush for the reasons described above. But there is some risk in deferring too. Unless you prefer the diy approach, there is some advantage to using the dealership, b/c they will almost certainly have the most Toyota experience and will have Toyota’s recommended special tools. And if something goes wrong, it be be easier for you to claim all the responsibility is w/Toyota.
These prices are ridiculous.
My advice: do it yourself - it’s not rocket science, and no matter how mechanically un-inclined you may be, there are plenty of detailed instruction videos on youtube.
And finally, there is no reason to do flush - drain and fill regularly is perfectly sufficient. On newer Toyotas, there is no dipstick, and it’s somewhat tricky to fill trans to correct level but - again - you can do it yourself.
If you have a disability and are unable to DIY, then it is hard to DIY… Some members on here are not able to DIY and are here for advise… I’m sure Stephen Hawking as smart as he was, even after watching YouTube videos, would still have a hard time being a DIYer… Gezzzz
And some people no matter what their health condition is, should Never be allowed to work on vehicles…
You have a point. They are at the mercy of “business people”.
Not sure what advice can be given in this case other than DON’T BELIEVE A SINGLE WORD and do your homework - all information is readily available online.
BTW, wasn’t Stephen Hawking labeled “so-called (or bad?) scientist” by an individual who definitely should not be trusted with anything more complex than a shovel?
First, check your owners manual for the preventative maintenance schedule. It will tell you how often each service is recommended.
You may find the spark plug interval is 100,000 miles or more, there is no benefit to doing them sooner. The ATF may say lifetime so it doesn’t have to be done at all. When the first lifetime ATF came on the market, there were issues but from what I’ve seen lately, unless you pull a trailer, they will last a lifetime, but you may want to do an ATF drain and fill every 60-90k miles.
A flush is not necessary. If you do the ATF, do it at the dealer unless your independent can show you that he has the Toyota ATF in stock. I would not recommend a flush at an independent even if he has the Toyota ATF in stock because you don’t know what has been his fluid exchange machine in the past.
And That is the reason Mr Clueless33 is here, for advise so he doesn’t get ripped off, and who knows, he could be working 100 work weeks as a business owner and doesn’t have the time or energy to DIY… lol
That is just so wrong on soooo many levels, no wonder you hate the world and think everyone in the business world is out to get you…
If everybody in the world was just like you, you would be out of a job and completely useless as would everybody else in the world, we all have our weaknesses as well as our strong points…
I know a lot of State Troopers that will tell you that they know every motor vehicle law in the state and many more and can tell you the proper way to work a major wreck, but don’t ask them to even check the oil in the vehicle that they spend 8-12+ hours a day in… Some people are just not mechanically inclined in ANY way and should never operate anything more then cleaning out an electric pencil sharpener… Then some people have disability’s that keep them from working on things, I am almost in that category after working on things almost my entire life, yes I started taking things apart and repairing them when still single digit age with no help or training, some of them were my grandmothers wind up alarm clocks with a lot of little gears in them, yes a few different clocks… But the last time I built my transmission, I had to bolt by bolt etc, tell my buddy how to install in order my own transmission because I was just not health wise, able to get under the car or stand for more than a couple of minutes, so I sat in a chair by the car and told him how to do it as well as handed him tools…
Everything is NOT as B&W as some people make it out to be… I have done my share of building/remodeling/roofing/electrical and plumbing, as well as being a master technician for 35+ years, but for the last few years I have had to pay someone else to do all that stuff as well as have someone else (good friend that I mentor and or my son for automotive stuff) do all that crap for me…
And yes @Clueless33, I think my daughter has a little bit in common with you as she has 2, 11" rods and 18 screws in her back since the age of 12…
Too much of a blanket statement to chalk it up to “laziness.” I know some people who aren’t lazy, but shouldn’t even be allowed to operate a screwdriver. IDK if the engine in question here is a transverse mounted V6, or not. But that is beyond what many should be expected to DIY.
If it is a transverse V6, the rear spark plugs are a PITA to change. If this Lexus model is RWD, then the engine might not be transverse which makes it much easier. The independent shop price is reasonable.
I am always paranoid that whoever works on the car, won’t change the rear plugs but if you can’t DIY then you don’t have much of a choice. Just ask around for a reputable shop and keep going to them to establish some relationship.
Might be best to do one thing at a time and see how it goes with the shop.
The service writer may have used menu prices for the V6 Camry, Toyota doesn’t market a rear-wheel-drive V6 sedan, Toyota service writers wouldn’t have service prices on their desks. Labor for spark plug replacement for the IS300 is about half that of a Camry.
Was a transmission flush recommended? This would require a unique adaptor to connect the machine to the transmission. The transmission cooler on this Lexus is not located in the radiator like most cars, it is mounted on the transmission. The technician will likely tell the service writer that this transmission cannot be flushed.