Fair price for spark plugs/tire, pressure test etc

I had Firestone put Platinum spark plugs in, do pressure test of cooling system, clean the brake rotors and put 1 new tire on w/40,000 mile warranty and $10 road hazard protection. It cost $305. Is that fair? It’s about 74,000. They also said I need other things totaling about $500 more. Should I go back to them? I have always gone to Firestone w/my car.

Platinum spark plugs = waste of money for a Toyota Corolla. Use the plain NGK plugs that cost $3 each, and save the platinum for wedding rings.

Clean the brake rotors? Brake rotors get wiped clean every time you step on the brakes.

Should you go back to them for $500 more foolishness? No. Find an independent local mechanic who’s been recommended by others in the Mechanics Files:

Thank you. I should have asked before I paid.

[i]  put 1 new tire on  [/i]  

Hold on there.  You did not say, so I have to ask.  Do you now have mis-matched tyres on your car?  That is one tyre with wear and one new on the same axel?  If so you may have created a situation that could cause you to loose control under some conditions.  You should have closely matched tyres on the front and likewise on the back.  If you have two tyres with better tread than the others, be sure to put the best ones on the back wheels.

firestone is like all other national chains…the mechanics work on commission. That means they will ALWAYS try to find something wrong to sell more/expensive parts so they can make more money. Find a good independent.

Platinum spark plugs may be required on the Corolla–they are on my 4-cylinder 2001 Camry.

I agree. My Sienna recommends replacing spark plugs at, I think, 120,000 miles. If you put something cheap in a car, not the recommended, you mess up the maintenance recommendations. Use whatever is recommended for your car as part of your maintenance program.

A good rule of thumb is to put in the same brand and part# plug that the engine had from the factory.
An exception is NGK and Denso are generally interchangeable in Japanese engines.

My 2006 Matrix/Corolla uses iridium plugs.

Thanks to all you guys for responding (you must be guys, you know so much about cars). That’s what I have always liked about Firestone is they have a list of recommendations from Toyoto Corolla of what’s needed when, what to use, etc. Of course, it’s past the warranty since it’s a 1996 car, but I want to keep it in the best shape I can and use what they recommend since I know so little about it. But maybe an independent would have the sameinformation.

Yes, in Montana,I trusted the Firestone guys, but here in Nevada, I felt like they were taking advantage of my ignorance. They charged me $188 for labor, $97 for parts and Ithink the labor is where they went over thetop. And when I left after I paid, they didn’t seem very helpful or tell me where they left my car or what I should do next to keep safe because I have to drive long distances a couple times a month. Safety was my concern. Thanks for the list again, that’s helpful. Glad to give business to some honest independent people.

I had the same thoughts as Joseph when I read “1 new tire”.

Re: the spark plugs, it’s been many years since any manufacturer recommended less than platinum tips. Most now spec irridium. Irridium is some 8X harder than platinum. It erodes a lot slower, providing you with a good spark for a longer time. The should have put in (or recommended) the plugs speced by the manufacturer. NGK and Denso are both OEM providers for Toyota, so one of them is the way to go.

Brake rotors don’t need to be cleaned. They’re self cleaning. Was there a specific problem? If not, and they just “cleaned your brake rotors”, than you got ripped off. Don’t go back there.

Why did you have the system pressure tested? Are you having a cooing problem?

In summary, the work you said they did leaves me with an uneasy feeling. More detail might help.

What is says is “resurface rotors front both” It’s an item from their list so I thinkit’s a legitimate job and cost $72. Yes, they said the coolant was low and they thought there was a leak but there wasn’t. it was probably just low because I haven’thad any service for about 4 yrs. The platinum spark plugs sounds like about right for me since it’s an old car (1996) and I don’t need the top of the line (iridium) but I don’t want the cheapest either. The 1 tire I’m stuck with since I can’t afford more than one now. I appreciate all of your input. So $188 labor, $97 for parts is too much? They did a winter car care checkup, too $13 included in that.

The prices sound reasonable for the work done.

Resurfacing rotors is common when doing a brake job, as is just replacing them (my preferred option), but unless you were having shimmying when stopping or a brake job was being done there should have been no reason to resurface them.

Yeah, 1996 would be platinum.

Monitor your coolant level and post back if it drops.

Yes, he said the rotors didn’tneed to be replaced, but should be resurfaced. Once again,thanks for all your help. When i get ready to get the rest of the work done (~$500) I’ll talk to you guys first.

“Platinum spark plugs = waste of money for a Toyota Corolla. Use the plain NGK plugs that cost $3 each, and save the platinum for wedding rings.”

Nearly every manufacturer requires platinum plugs today (Chrysler is the only exception I can think of) and I’m just about positive that is the case with the Corolla.

You really don’t save any money with copper plugs when you have to change them out every 30,000 miles. Might as well spend a couple extra dollars per plug and go with platinum and go at least twice the change interval.