legal aspects of doing own oil changes, etc under Warranty.

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by The Big Sleaze, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. The Big Sleaze

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    Used up my two free Oil Changes at dealer but now got another "visit dealer" message at 17,000 miles.

    Was told 20yrs ago that you just keep receipts for oil and filters and that counts as "proof" that oil changes were done. I guess now I can take a cell phone pic and email to myself of receipts and "the operation in progress". Anything else I should do?

    Anyway to reset "Visit dealer" without doing so? I guess I can visit them to get tires rotated and computer checked (rolls eyes) and let them know I changed oil myself.

    I am thinking of paying them the $200 to change the AFT fluid since that probably ain't TOO much more than buying special Toyota Prime ATF at dealer and I've always struggled to get ATF level correct on even old American V-8s.

    Any other stuff I need to know as a take over routine maintenance coming up on my one year mark?

    Walmart mailorder has Mobil One 0-16 full synth (can't find in stores) and filters. Any faves on filters? Whats up with goofy "filter only"? Is that supposed to be Eco Friendly and more mess or what?
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    They quoted $200? Ugh. Up here I get 4 litres of Toyota ATF WS for $9.14 (CDN) apiece, plus two replacement washers for around $2.50 apiece. You raise and level car, remove underpanel(s) as needed, drain fluid, replace drain bolt (with new washer), remove fill bolt*, run hose extension on a funnel down from above, and pour in new fluid till it starts coming back out. Reinstall fill bolt (new washer again) and torque (requires 10mm male hex "socket") to 29 ft/lb**. Recycle left over fluid (maybe 1/2 liter, or less), as Toyota recommends to only use fluid from freshly opened bottles.

    * it's a good idea to break loose BOTH bolts at the outset; you don't want to drain the fluid and THEN encounter a problem loosening the fill bolt.

    ** That's a third gen torque value; I can check and post 4th Gen Repair Manual except. Torque value might be a little higher.

    IIRC, my first question here was along those lines. I've done every oil change, 3 transaxle fluid changes, a couple of brake fluid changes, and about 3 brake services. Kept receipts (buy most everything at dealership parts dept, they note the vehicle on invoice) in a chronological binder, and keep a text file log of what's done and when, what the kms were.
     
  3. The Big Sleaze

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    "and pour in new fluid till it starts coming back out."

    Sounds like a plan. I DO have 4 jack stands and a floor jack, and flat level garage. Any tips on where exactly to position floor jack and jack stands to do min "damage" on my new car (which I assume is fairly 'soft' underneath)?

    PS-on old A/Ts it was always about two levels for two temps and you were supposed to add some, then drive around a bit to warm up and then check, add, cycle through gears to spread ATF, add bit more. I never seemed to get it right and always ended up adding too much.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I raise the front first (with wheel chocks fore-and-aft of the rear wheels), support on safety stands, raise the rear, going a little beyond level (judging with a level pressed against underside of rocker panel crimped seam), place rear safety stands and lower rear of car onto them, aiming to be near-level. I DON'T use the proscribed scissor jack locations, found them way too flimsy and skittish. The red rectangles show where (and the cradle orientation) I use:

    upload_2020-12-1_15-7-3.png

    Here's a snap of a front, driver's side jack stand:

    upload_2020-12-1_15-10-18.png

    I don't have a good pic of rear safety stand placement, but it's turned 90 degs, at a heavy gauge hump. There's an oval slot with a rubber plug, you can't miss it. :)
     
  5. The Big Sleaze

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    thx but I've got a 2020 Prime. Are those pics of a 2010? I wonder how much diff.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    if toyota denies warranty, what does it cost to sue?
     
  7. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    See “Resetting the message indicating maintenance is required (U.S.A. only),” Owner’s Manual (PDF), page 494.
    If the work you’re planning to do isn’t covered in the “Do-it-yourself maintenance” section of the Owner’s Manual, be sure to review the relevant information—including the general and specific precautions against serious risks of personal injury or property damage—in the Repair Manual (more info) and technical service bulletins.
    If you have a question about your legal rights, I’d encourage you to consult a lawyer who knows your state’s consumer and automotive laws. That said, in the Warranty & Maintenance Guide (PDF), see the text under “General Information,” page 30: “You should keep detailed records of vehicle maintenance, since under some circumstances they may be required for warranty coverage. These records should include date of service, mileage at time of service and a description of service performed and/or parts installed. [...] Toyota will not deny a warranty claim solely because you do not have records to show that you maintained your vehicle. However, damage or failure caused by lack of proper maintenance is not covered under warranty.”

    The Toyota Warranty Policy and Procedures Manual, available by subscription to techinfo.toyota.com, has nothing to say about what is, or isn’t, adequate evidence of proper maintenance. That document has more than 350 pages and covers many other aspects of dealer-level warranty administration in minute detail, so I’d have to assume that the sufficiency of customers’ records doesn’t often come up as an issue.

    For myself, I keep the records Toyota suggests, plus copies of any paper or electronic invoices for parts or labor, and for parts I’ve installed myself, the “Toyota Genuine Parts” label or boxtop, as evidence of the origin and manufacturing date.
     
  8. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    [I am quoting Wikipedia, which is not your lawyer, just a reliable source. Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act - Wikipedia ]

    You are in the US, so you do not need to use the dealer or dealer parts, just do the service. Be able to prove you did, a receipt for parts is a good proof.

    "Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty. This is commonly referred to as the "tie-in sales" provisions and is frequently mentioned in the context of third-party computer parts, such as memory and hard drives." Toyota very rarely hints that only Toyota parts can be used, the ATF WS is the only one I am aware of.

    If you worry about the wording, "Under the terms of the Act, ambiguous statements in a warranty are construed against the drafter of the warranty." So the more confusing it is, the more rights you have.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah that occurred to me in middle of night lol. There may be sim on yours but yeah, need to look it over. Front point is at front end of longitudinal body rails, fwiw.

    I can post 4th Gen fluid change excerpt in bit.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Here's a so-so pic of 4th gen underside, and my take on comparable safety stand points (pdf with that image (without mark up) attached as well). Also, I've attached a few Repair Manual excerpts, for basic maintenance.

    upload_2020-12-2_7-20-6.png
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Note: Unless you just are paranoid or want another way to waste money........it is WAY too early to be thinking about changing the transmission fluid.

    I personally think that it is more likely to cause a problem if you mess with it.......instead of just letting it go like the recommendation says.

    And if you are not "tight" for money, why NOT let the dealership do your maintenance .......since they apparently have done OK on the first two visits ??
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    An early change of trasnsaxle fluid may be the best course of action. FWIW, having done 3 transaxle fluid changes:

    first change, around 10 months and 12K kms: drained fluid was markedly darker
    Second change, around 3 years and 40K kms: drained fluid slightly darker
    Third change, around 6 years and 64K kms: drained fluid indistinguishable from new
     
  13. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And you know that darker fluid indicates some kind of degradation........how, exactly ??
    Hint: It is entirely possible that it does NOT indicate any kind of a problem.
     
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  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    For $40 and an hour out of my life, I don't sweat it.
     
  15. The Big Sleaze

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    What Mendel said about dark ATF fluid on first early change. Plus I didn't notice that my "new" Prime actually had 40 miles on it.

    Why DIY vs Dealer even if I got the money? When was shopping I asked a very basic question about Primes, "Can I charge up the main batt by just driving around, or is the main batt NEED to be plugged in to charge". The salesgirl brought out their Service Dept's "Prime expert" mechanic who insisted it was two diff systems and the main batt could ONLY be charged by plug in and anyone who said diff was LYING". Plus, I went for APPOINTMENT oil change and they took two hours longer than quoted, blue-balling me twice with "another 45 mins". IMO is likely they screwed up real bad but I just don't know it, yet. Did they actually change the filter or just the oil? Why would I believe they actually changed the ATF if I paid them $200 to do so, since not doing so wouldn't void my Warranty and get them in big trouble with Toyota?

    When shopping, I also asked if any of the Primes had charged up Batts, just because I was curious what EV mode was like. The Sales Manager (who also works Service Advisor desk) went into full Major Drama mode about how "at a dealership this size that sells as many Primes as we do, it would cost thousands and thousands a month in PG&E to charge all our Primes". IIRC its about Fifty Cents to fully charge a Prime, at top mid-day rates, which would work out to about a nickle per Test Drive.

    My Auto Repair Industry grey beards tell that "even as late as 20yrs ago being a mechanic at a Dealership meant something, now its ALL just retarded monkeys who specialize covering up their own screwups."

    Only reason I'd go to Dealer for service is strictly legal so any failures would be an all-Toyota issue.

    IMO one of the Great Failures of post WW2 and certainly post 2000 US Govt is failure to address the Car Dealership Problem. On one hand there are major Safety, MPG, and Smog reasons the Public (and Govt) has good and valid reasons to want people in newer cars, yet one of the biggest reasons people avoid buying a new car is Dealers being so god awful in all respects, and fear of getting ripped off. To their credit, Tesla has been fighting (and IIRC losing) against this anti-consumer legal racket regime that Dealers operate under, but I digress.
     
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  16. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    A color change does NOT necessarily indicate a problem......unless maybe it smells "brunt" too.

    If that was the standard, people who use Mobil 1 oil would be changing it about every 500 miles. :eek:

    It's OK to digress a bit.
    It's a matter of personal preference. I understand that.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    The observation I made was that my first, very early transaxle fluid change was by far the darkest drain fluid.

    I was trying to debate the first paragraph in your post #11 @sam spade 2.
     
  18. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I did the ATF change at 36K miles on my Gen3 and on my previous 2017 PP, both at a dealer for the cost of $~180. But both cars I traded in shortly after that service. With the way I am driving my current 2020 PP, I will not even get to the first maintenance at 5Kmiles before I will trade it in for a new 2021 PP next year.
     
  19. The Big Sleaze

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    maybe there is Assembly Grease and Break In Lube.

    IIRC on old American engine rebuilds they'd smear fine grit paste on cams to "self polish" and break in. IIRC my brand new 1989 Toyota Truck 22RE engine needed oil change after first 500 miles because it was "break in oil".

    BTW, what size tube is used to fill ATF into the tranny? I'm assuming it will be same size on 2020.
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I recall it was around 5/8" (16mm), and had a little room to spare.
     
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