Worried about dealership repair tomorrow

So I’m taking my 2002 camry LE into the dealership tomorrow. It has a pretty violent jerk when pushing the accelerator pedal and then releasing it. It also does the same thing when turning off the cruise control.

The dealership looked at it today and swears it’s two of my motor mounts. I already replaced two of them myself because they were obviously in bad shape. I can’t really see anything wrong with the other two, though. I asked him how sure he was and he said he was very sure that was the issue.

This is not cheap to fix. I’m just wondering, if they do this work and I pay all this money, what if it doesn’t fix it? Do I have any recourse? I’ve had other mechanics look at it as well and they disagree with the dealership (except they don’t know what’s causing it.)

This is stressing me out now. I almost feel like telling them not to fix it and just living with it.

With your first paragraph I figured it to be a motor mount, but then It’s not here in front of me either.

I’d keep the appointment and ask then to come and get you when they get it on the lift. Then they can point out the bad mounts and you will see why they want to change them.


Problem is I already paid for the mounts which is the majority of the cost. I feel stupid for doing that now. I’ll try that but even if they are bad and doesn’t fix it do they have any responsibility for mis diagnosis of the problem? I mean even if they need to be replaced that’s ok but I wouldn’t want to except for the problem I’m having.

Which two did you replace? This sounds like it could definitely be a bad motor mount or two.

I'm just wondering, if they do this work and I pay all this money, what if it doesn't fix it? Do I have any recourse?

It never hurts to plead your case and say that you paid this money expecting that the car would be fixed, but the reason I do most of the work on my cars now is because I never, not once, got a mechanic, dealership or otherwise, to see it my way. I know that there are mechanics out there who will stand behind their diagnoses, but they’re rare, at least where I live. Hell one time a dealership charged me a diagnostic fee to tell me they didn’t know what was wrong. I raised hell about that one, but it didn’t do any good.

Don’t just live with it, though - violent jerks like that indicate something that needs to be fixed, and if you don’t fix it, it’s gonna break other things that will then need to be fixed. You could quickly break enough stuff that it would cost more than the car is worth to fix.

If you’re worried that the motor mount diagnosis is incorrect, take it to an independent local mechanic (NOT Jiffy Lube or AAMCO or any other chain) and tell them the symptom without telling them the dealership’s diagnosis and see what they say. If they concur, have whoever is charging less fix it.

Taking a thirteen year old car to the dealer? Are there no independents where you’re at?

With a 12 year old car why are you going to the dealership. I would get another opinion and estimate from an independent shop. Will the dealership guarantee the problem will be fixed? I doubt it, if the problem is still there they will just say you needed motor mounts anyways. Which you may. On the other hand this just might fix it. But an independent shop will probably be about half the cost.

I replaced the dog bone mount and the front mount. They are saying the two side mounts are both bad. I can’t do those myself they are too hard for me. There is no back mount on this engine for some reason. I have taken it to 5, yes 5 mechanics. All independent. All 5 said it sounded like motor mounts but mine looked fine. What’s weird is the two I replaced were definitely bad and it did NOTHING to make it better at all. The entire engine was moving all around and now it’s not.

All 5 said it sounded like motor mounts but mine looked fine.

They SAID that yours look fine? What did they say when you then asked them “so then what is causing this symptom?”

3 of them said they just didn’t know. 1 of them said it could be the transmission but they couldn’t find anything wrong with it either. 1 of them had a bunch of guesses. Possibly throttle body, spark plugs, or ERG valve. He didn’t sound very sure. I replaced the spark plugs but no change. Didn’t really do the rest because don’t want to throw tons of money on guesses.

And yes the mechanics said my motor mounts looked fine. Sorry missed your question. They said only the rubber boot on them looked a little dusty but they did not look damaged at all.

Also, the best mechanic I know was one of them and he said he tried to “get movement” on those two mounts and could not. I don’t know exactly what he did to try to get movement but he said he was pretty sure they were fine.

Well then I would definitely not have the mounts done. Describe the jerking to us in as much detail as you can, please.

It’s a single jerk. Nothing audible. My first thought was that it’s the transmission, feels like it happens when downshifting maybe? I can’t tell though. If I mash the pedal then almost immediately release the pedal it’s a big jerk, like a lurching motion. If I barely press the gas and let it off, it’s still there a little but but not very noticeable. There is also a slight hesitation when accelerating, not that much but more than any other automatic I’ve ever owned. If I accelerate fast and let it shift up through the gears without release the pedal it shifts perfectly smooth. Also, when shifting from reverse to drive or drive to reverse with a very small amount of momentum (almost stopped but not quite) it is a very violent jerk. When on the highway and turning off my cruise control, massive jerk.

I just thought of something. I tested it while in neutral. It does it even in neutral so that can’t be the transmission? It’s not as bad, maybe 3/4 as violent but definitely does it.

Just out of curiosity why did you pay for the mounts ahead of time?

They had to order them and said I needed to pay for it first before they would.

I’ll just tell them to give me the old mounts and if they’re not really broken plus it doesn’t fix my problem I will plead my case the best I can. I mean it really seem like a motor mount and every mechanic is agreement on that. Even though it’s only one mechanic, he’s the ONLY one who says he’s sure what the problem is. I just don’t know what else to do.

Yes, always ask to at least see the old parts.

I’d still insist that the mechanic come and get you to show you where they are bad, before he even removes them. Then you may also learn what to look for in a bad mount.


My regular guys are up to the same per hour as a dealership, sometimes a dealership is needed, sometimes they are better equipped to handle problems, not to worry, if that is not the fix, go on from there, if tat is the fix, life is good.