Took my 2005 Toyota Sienna XLE, which has 78,000 miles on it, to the dealer for a safety-recalled install of a new soleinoid. A free repair. Car was running perfectly when I brought it in. When the Toyota dealer called me to tell me car is ready, he also tells me the following: (1) car is leaking coolant from the water pump, (2) car is leaking oil from the upper oil pan and (3) front lower control arm bushing is torn. Cost for (1) 891.05, for (2) $1,100 for just the water pump but he recommends doing the timing belt too for $1,300 and (3) control arm repair is $1964.05. Total cost: a whopping $4155.10. I told him just to give me the car and I would take it to my own mechanic. I thought he was lying because I keep such a clean garage I would surely notice two leaking fluids on the floor.
I have a mechanic I trust about as much as you can trust any of these guys. Took the car to him and only told him I was planning to take a carload of elderly relatives on a long trip in the next two weeks… asked him to check car thoroughly and let me know if it needed any work. Also told him my dad thought that given the car’s mileage it might be time for new timing belt. Mechanic calls and tells me my car is in “fantastic shape… nothing should prevent you from having a smooth and safe drive.” Recommends doing timing belt along with water pump “fairly soon” since it is getting up to the time/mileage for such a repair. Tells me cost of such repair would be $868.00. But says this is not a repair I need to do prior to the trip.
So here’s my question… Is there some reason that the dealer/1st mechanic could have seen these other problems while he was installing the soleinoid? Or was he just conning me? My inclination is to trust my own independent mechanic when he assures me the car is safe to drive – and that he must have done a thorough job of inspecting it because it was in his financial interest to find something wrong with the car.
My husband and now my father are saying that I should have told my mechanic that another mechanic had recommended these other repairs so he could look specifically at those areas of the car. I say that would have just resulted in tipping him off when I really wanted a fresh look at the car.
I would be interested in the thoughts of knowledgeable folks about these repairs.