trying to find reliable mechanic!!

Discussion in 'Local Prius Club Main Forum' started by ashleya, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. ashleya

    ashleya New Member

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    Can anyone help me? I am trying to get an accurate diagnostic on my 2001 Prius and so far I have gotten two totally different results (both were almost $4,000 estimates). I get the feeling I am being "taken" (I guess that is what I get for being a girl) and need to find someone reliable that will help me. Any suggestions? Anywhere in the phx-metro area would work.
     
  2. sdtundra

    sdtundra Senior Member

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    Uhm, i took my truck to that place on Ocotillo near the corner of Ellsworth a long time ago for an oil change and they seemed pretty straight forward. I dont know if they do other types of work though.

    PS Queen Creek rocks, lived out there from August 07-January 08
     
  3. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    While we await more help from Phx locals, how about telling us what symptoms you observed, what error codes they found, and what these different diagnoses were?

    And welcome to PriusChat, Ashleya
     
  4. ashleya

    ashleya New Member

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    Well the problem I am having is my parking brake is turning itself on. The light for it goes on while driving and then the car drives really sluggish. And of course the check engine "!" is on. The first dealership said I needed a new battery that the one I have is on 3 cells (whatever that means). The second dealership said it wasn't my battery but an electrical component inside the battery, the serpintine belt needs to be replace, and a gasket is allowing oil to drip into the engine. Those being the main three. Then I apparently have leaky rear shocks, need 4 new tires, and I forget the other thing. I just don't understand how I can have 2 totally different work orders here. This is all coming after the very first time I took it in for the check engine light and they said it was my gas cap..... grrr......
     
  5. M. Oiseau

    M. Oiseau 6sigma this

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    Cartalk.com, Car Talk, recommends a shop named Toyauto in your area. Might be worth checking out.
     
  6. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    Sorry, I don't know of any non-dealer mechanics in the area who work on Prii. I've only taken mine to Tempe Toyota (Elliot & I10) so far, and they've been ok. Couple of screw ups, but they've always made good on things. The guy I've dealt with there is Javier and hes been a big help getting things set right when they weren't quite.

    Rob
     
  7. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Sounds like quite a muddle, but we can work through these one by one. The 12 volt battery may need to be replaced, any shop can test it. The original battery from Toyota will be 150-200, and fully compatible substitutes for about $100.

    Again any shop can tell you if the serpentine belt needs changing, and do it. Also they can determine if there is an engine oil leak.

    Unfortunately it is a very common to claim that rear struts or front shocks are leaking. Again all you need here is someone honest to do the interpretation. If the tires are worn to the legal limit you need new ones. It is possible that the parking brake needs adjusting, or maybe only its switch that tells the rest of the car that it is engaged.

    None of the above require a hybrid-skilled mechanic.

    Loose gas cap could set a check engine light. But so could many other things. We need to get to the bottom of the sluggish thing, whether it is brakes or somethig else. I have 2 guesses right now but please let's start by clearing away all of the non-hybrid issues, then find someone to scan for DTCs and subcodes specific to Prius.

    Phoenix is a pretty big town; there must be at least one honest/competent Toyota shop there. C'mon team.
     
  8. sdtundra

    sdtundra Senior Member

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    Dealership-wise, I took my Tundra to the Toyota Dealer off of the 202 Santan by Power Nissan and CGCC Pecos Campus
     
  9. ashleya

    ashleya New Member

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    I'm not worried about the shocks or tires. I know I can figure those out on my own. What concerns me is the oil leak and the "ecu" component they say needs replacing. They want to charge $700 to change the gasket for the oil leak because they say they have to take out the entire engine to do it. The exact terminology on it its "reseal front engine cover." The other is "REC replace battery ECU to start." That sentence is going to cost me $1850. It seems a bit high. Especially since no one can say for sure that it will fix the parking brake problem. Has anyone else had any problems like this?
     
  10. chris_wass

    chris_wass New Member

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    I recently had a check engine light ordeal and sluggishness that turned out to be multiple issues, the main one being the engine coolant pump failing, and the others were recall items that the dealership that I had been going to failed to replace. I had been going to Camelback Toyota, who did not do the recall items that they were supposed to. It was the Riverview Toyota on 202 and Dobson that finally fixed all the problems. I dealt with Dean Anderson at Riverview (480 655 4472), and he was very professional. I didn't feel like he treated me "like a girl".

    If you want to go to someone independent, my friend takes her 2003 Prius to Virginia Auto in downtown Phoenix. (602-266-0200) She has been happy with them.
     
  11. ybnormal

    ybnormal New Member

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    If you think it may be the hybrid battery, ONLY take it to a dealership. If a non Toyota trained mechanic works on the electrical drive system it will void any warranty. (I got this information from a friend who owns a body shop after my Prius was in a crash.) Toyota sends all the Prius mechanics to train in Japan. No locally train mechanics are trained to work on the Prius. Each dealership is supposed to have at least two trained Prius mechanics.
     
  12. jeff vividracing

    jeff vividracing New Member

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    vividracing 480-966-3040 x 239
     
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