Zoinks....$2200.00 state inspection repairs

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    So I live in PA, where we have to deal with a yearly vehicle inspection. Typically, I expect to have to get new brakes or new tires every year. I bought tires earlier this year, so really only expected to have to get new front brakes, so when my Toyota dealer called and said my 2003 4runner needed the following, I was very surprised.

    Front Brakes and Rotors
    Front Seat Track
    Front wheel bearing
    rear track bar

    Im not sure how much of this is BS. I know toyota is hurting financially due to auto sales being low, and their other recent problems. The say the front seat track is broken and allows the drivers side seat to move back and forth, but I see no evidence of this.

    I do plan on taking it to a non toyota dealer for a second inspection and second opinion.

    The thing that sucks is I had EXACTLY $2,000 set aside for a vacation this fall...
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    The only thing you may need is the brakes done. If you're at all mechanically inclined you can put in new pads yourself for <$50. They always say you need new rotors. I doubt it. The rest of that crap is Toyota trying to rob you, IMO. I'm pretty sure an inspector won't care about "seat tracks.". FYI, stay away from dealers for any repairs or maintenance.

    As far as the bearing goes, find out if it's bad and have it fixed by a non-dealer, if you care.
  3. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
    Front brakes, rotors and a rear track bar require aligning the car no?

    I bet the biggest chunk of that $2200 is manhours.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Ask some of your friends for a nice friendly garage to take your car to be inspected. This sounds bogus and you may be able to get a sticker w/o spending over 2k.

    I had an inspection one year (here in MA) and the garage I randomly pulled in told my I needed the spark plug wires (from the distributor cap) replaced because they go bad and they cannot give me a sticker w/o spending 200 bucks. I went to another garage and they laughed so hard coffee spilled out of their nose. the first place was trying to take me.

    I don't know the laws of PA but clearly getting a second inspection (from a reputable place) may be a good move on your part.
  5. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I'd definitely take it to an independent garage, I wouldn't trust the dealer.
  6. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Sounds like they're taking advantage of the system to make some cash. We're friendly with our independent mechanic and always have things done at his shop...he trusts that we'll keep giving him business, we trust he won't rip us off.
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. I would definitely get a second opinion OP.
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Agree with all above.

    You have reached the point of diminished returns on an '03 going to a dealer.

    Ask about, for a good auto mechanic shop.

    Word of mouth is probably your best source for this information.
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Wow that is simply ridiculous. As for rotors unless the metal is too thin a reputable shop would just turn them.

    For that price you could get yourself a great tool set, Chilton guide and all the parts needed to do the repair yourself. If you are mechanically inclined that is.

    Checking the O'reilly site
    - Front Brake Pads $20 to $80 a set (standard to premium, standard is fine)
    - Rotors $100 to $200 a set (standard to premium, standard is fine)
    - Wheel Bearing $100 each (though you may be able to just repack it)
    - Track Bar could not find (may have different name that I do not know)
    - Seat track, I doubt it is the whole unit just one of the many parts making up the track which would probably be $30 to $50 and needs to be ordered through the dealer.

    For each of these I would ask for the specific part numbers as it would make them easier to find if you did the work yourself.

    The brakes, rotors and bearing should not need an alignment. I have never replaced a rear track bar but after looking at the part it does not appear to be adjustable. So I would not think replacing it would require an alignment.

    Even if an alignment was needed afterward it would cost about $200 if some parts are needed.
  10. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    The Mystery Machine is difficult to maintain, eh Scoob?
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    sounds like a rip off to me. brakes are expensive in man hours and can be in parts as well.
    For example I did the brakes on my car myself. They are not hard to do just really messy and time consuming. You should have your front rotors at least turned which cost about 15 bucks per rotor. If they can not be turned you have to replace them.
    For my car I have brembo brakes on front and those things took out my rotors so I had to replace them as well. Between new rotors and pads for my car it was around 300-400 in parts alone. It just depends on the car. Oh btw my car is still all stock and a Sentra SE-R Spec V.

    I got around 60k miles out of those stock pads so not to bad.
  12. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I think that all depends on the type of relationship you have with your dealer.

    For instance, my parents have a great relationship with the local dealership here. I can't tell you how many times they have given us discounts or just straight out completed certain minor repairs for free.

    That said, I certainly don't doubt that some dealerships will rob you blind if given the chance.
  13. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
  14. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
    There's a reason they're called Stealerships. I had an inspection go bad once with my Mercury Sable to the tune of $450 and needless to say it was the last time I ever set foot in Pep Boys. And another one where my stealership thought that the battery wasn't being secured properly and charged me $100 to replace it. Two days later the battery died and got a free replacement fortunately but that's enough about me.

    Walk around the vehicle while having him point out the exact problems on the vehicle that are listed in the report. Have them cross check them with the inspection standards and don't be lulled by this line "Because we're a dealership, we need to check for things that aren't in the inspection standards." That's untrue and my stealership pulled that one on me for the aforementioned battery. Get an exact invoice sheet for the work needed to be done and see if there's a real glaring red flag or two, because there should be. Then thank him, pay for the inspection and get out of there and go somewhere else.
  15. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    You can put NEW rotors in for around $20 each. I wouldn't bother turning them. I doubt there's anything wrong with them anyway on the OP's car.
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Maybe for CHEAP CHEAP back rotars but I have never seen front ones go for that little.
    On my car if I put those on it they would be chewed up quickly and my front pads would still look brand new. Problem with my brakes is they are pretty hard on rotors. Places here what I have and they are not shocked at the wear and tear from them. My pads have a higher metal content than average and if I used bottom of the line pads they would get toasted as well.

    Point I was making if one has odd ball parts or certain equipment it can be very costly. I happen to have equipment on the odd ball side that makes it fairly costly.
  17. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Update: 2nd opinion

    So this gets more ridiculous.

    I took my 4runner to a local independent garage that I have used before and as far as I know is honest.

    His inspection is very different than the one I had a mere two days ago.
    According to this guy I need:

    Fog Lamp
    Front brakes and rotors
    Rear Brakes and rotors
    Emergency Brake (odd because not once in the seven years of my ownership of this car have I used this)

    Unfortunately I don't have the time to go around and get a third and fourth opinion, so Ill have to pony up whatever crazy sum of money this guy wants to repair my car.

    Its pretty amazing how a car inspection can be so drastically different between two shops.

    Also, the reason I took my 4runner back to the dealer for an inspection is because:

    They offer free inspections if you buy your vehicle from them
    Free car rental
    I had a coupon for 20% off any repair that is more than $200.00
  18. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    The emergency brake is a result of the rear brake problem. Seriously, you could do these yourself for much less than $200, IMO, despite RP’s cost estimate. Since you went to this other shop, why didn’t you post what they’d charge?
  19. IBradMac macrumors 68000


    Jun 27, 2008
    Dealership service is always expensive. Take it somewhere else.

    Do NOT mess around if you have a wheel bearing out. Get it fixed, like yesterday.
  20. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    I didnt post what they charge because I have not received an estimate yet, but I had my front brakes done there 3 years ago and they ran around $350.00 for the rotors, pads and install..Ill be getting an official estimate tomorrow before I give the ok to do the work.

    If I had the tools and capability/aptitude to do this I would...but I dont have either, and I have no mechanical aptitude at all...heck, I get irritated using a screwdriver.

    As far as the wheel bearing goes, this second person did not mention it..I do not know if I should bring it up or not.

  21. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Get your inspection and THEN get the bearing fixed. Like the poster stated earlier, you need to get that fixed. But get the inspection first.
  22. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    PA inspection is a scam.

    They can fail you if the drivers seat has a visible spring.
  23. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Why listen to people who WANT YOUR MONEY instead of people who just want to make your life difficult?

    I mean the actual inspections place will TELL YOU whats wrong, if/when you fail that is.

    Based on what the state of PA says is busted, get it fixed specifically. Then return and pass the test.

    Its moronic on all levels to take a car for repairs to a dealer if not under warranty.
  24. bob.loblaw macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2010
    How many miles are you driving per year? Brakes should 30-40k miles or more.
  25. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    According to PA vehicle inspection section E, I see no mention of the fog lamps needing to be in working order to pass inspection.

    Emergency Brake says it must be able to hold the vehicle still on a 20% incline on ice or snow while the vehicle is in neutral.

    It also mentions the seat track in section 175.80.

    My advice, take it to a PA highway patrol station and ask if they will inspect it. Tell them you have been to two different locations and they tell you different things.

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