A prius related victory

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by JamienEssex, Jan 10, 2021.

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  1. JamienEssex

    JamienEssex New Member

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    Hello. First time poster here, and I wanted to share a story of conquest I recently through. It's a little long, so forgive me.

    My girlfriend drives an 08 prius and the check engine light came on. I ran the codes and got the p1121 code, leading me to here and doing some research, resulting in me thinking it was the faulty coolant control valve. Wanting a second opinion, because it isn't my car and I'm no mechanic, I took it to a local place for a diagnostic. Here's where it gets crazy.

    The guy took 2 days diagnosing my car. When he finished he told me that it would cost $1000 to replace the broken parts. I asked him if it was indeed the coolant control valve, and he said no, and that it was actually a failed inverter water pump and inverter module. He charged me $250 to tell me that. I resisted the urge to tell him to go piss up a rope. He also didn't quote me the hourly rate when I dropped the car off, and it's my fault but I didn't sign any paperwork. So, I paid the guy and drove away.

    I went back on priuschat, learned how to test the inverter pump and lo and behold, it was working fine. There was turbulence in the inverter coolant reservoir, and the line was passing liquid. I called him back and told him that the pump seemed to be working greatr, and asked if he had mistakenly misdiagnosed it. He said no, "my guy did it and the inverter pump failed, along with the inverter module." I was suspicious, and fumed all day, turning it over in my mind. Obviously this guy works with cars all day, and I have never even changed the coolant, let alone diagnosed a hybrid's engine problems. I needed to do the work myself because I couldn't afford the insane price tag of the fix. But I also didn't want to replace parts that weren't broken.

    I decided to call him back one last time. I said to him, "Hey, you're sure the inverter pump is bad? because I really think it's the coolant control valve, which it is showing codes for. He doubled down, and told me what he had previous. I hung up, ready to start buying and replacing parts. Then, 10 minutes later he calls me back. Says, "Hey, you know what? I think it is the coolant control valve, you're right bro sorry about that. I'll go ahead and refund you the money for the diagnostic."

    Long story less long, the guy was completely scamming me, having me do repairs that weren't needed and my check engine light would have come back on, and I would have gone back there and he probably would have made up some other felonious problems to beat my wallet. What a charlatan. So I came back on prius chat and found
    https://priuschat.com/threads/p1121-coolant-control-valve-replacement-with-pics.102648

    I ordered the part, took the old one out, and it was indeed stuck like many have shown. I fixed it, drained and replaced the coolant while I was about it, and the 08 is running like a dream.

    Anyway, I wanted to say thank you to all who put in the hours making posts on here and discussing, because armed with the knowledge you gave me, I was able to put it to that donkey and fix my own damn car. If you're in Pasadena, don't go to Crown Automotive, or you may go into debt trying to keep your car on the road.
     
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  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing this... I wish more people held dishonest mechanics' feet to the fire and made them nervous... Soon as he realized you had a more accurate diagnosis than his mechanic he started getting nervous about someone exposing his corruption and caved in and gave you your money back. Wish we could do that for all the fraud victims who show up here on PriusChat.
     
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  4. JamienEssex

    JamienEssex New Member

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    Thank you for the welcome. Right yes, I was thinking about the BAR. Do you think I should make a complaint? I certainly don't want him to do it to the next person. I would quote your reply but I haven't posted enough it seems.
     
  5. Calimobber

    Calimobber Member

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    Yeah I might consider making that complaint. If he did that to you, he is doing that to everyone. Im sure lots of people are getting scammed out of allot of money.

    Years back I was at a gas station and my tires were getting low on thread and I was thinking about getting new ones but I had plenty of life left. A gas station worker walked up and was like hey it looks like your tires are pretty bad and unsafe to drive on. We can put it on the lift and check them out. We have new ones you can buy if we cant fix it. I almost fell for it and was like oh really? yeah sure lets check them out.

    Shorty after I saw him say the same thing to 2 other cars on his way back inside and I felt like an idiot. Too many companies out the are super shaddy and just trying to trick people into giving their money away.
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    These places rely on a fresh supply of victims, a blight!
     
  7. pasadena_commut

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    Unfortunately inverter pumps can fail intermittently, at least for a while, before they go totally. I briefly had a Dorman pump in the car instead of an OEM one and it would crap out every once and a while. It seemed like it had a problem starting when the car turned on, usually it would start, every once and a while it wouldn't. If it was a hot day or we went on the highway when it wasn't running the car would throw the inverter pump code. Just turning the car off and back on was enough to "fix" it - until the next time. Replaced it with an OEM pump and no problems since.
     
  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    While there's no shortage of dishonest mechanics... There's also no shortage of auto repair shops that have a hard time finding decent mechanics to hire. So on the one hand this all seems dishonest, but on the other hand it could simply be a lazy mechanic that know the most common problem with Prius cooling system is Inverter cooling pump so rather than learning more, lets just assume that's the problem and not bother with what the error codes are actually pointing to. It's hard to know the truth unless you find other customers with similar experinces.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Seems like every time I hear the name Dorman it’s not good news.
     
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  10. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Always remember to have at least 1 15amp fuse in case the pump shorts and causes fuse AM2 to blow. There should be a spare in slot 24 but check anyway.

    Stuck on the side of a road. AM2 fuse blows right away. | PriusChat
     
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  11. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Many would feel that 250 for a generic (right or wrong) diagnosis is quite excessive, and about double what the dealership would've charged for something similar. If you didn't have an invoice, and didn't offer them any contact info, then I would say go for it.
     
  12. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Member

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    I like the concept of what Dorman offers, but their execution of almost everything they do is just terrible.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    IIRC they bought the battery-rebuilding business from ReInvolt, which had a decent rep, at least at the time of the sale.
     
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  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    Yes. Reinvolt owner even appeared in one of their infomercials.
     
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