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How to Confirm What Mechanics Have Told Me

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by gutira3, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:02 AM
    #1
    gutira3

    gutira3 [OP] Member

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    I took in my Tacoma to get a small lift today. Before they started work, they called and said a few things "needed" to be done. I am not skilled mechanically, and the $800 additional made me wince.

    First they told me the struts needed replacement - left side was "shot" and right side was leaking. I authorized the additional work.

    Then they said my lower ball joints were bad (ie, loose) and my front brake lines needed to be replaced. They told me the alignment likely would not hold if I didn't replace the lower ball joints today. So I asked that they not do the alignment yet.

    Is there any way somebody without much mechanical skill like me can look at the ball joints and the brake lines to verify this additional work?

    I generally use Firestone for my mechanical work - I feel like they do a good job and they are not constantly calling me with additional work. Should I just leave it to the professionals, and take it there and ask them to check the alignment and brakes and see if they find the same things?

    Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!!
     
  2. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:06 AM
    #2
    Jester243

    Jester243 mod status????

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    If you doubt them take it somewhere else for a second opinion.
     
  3. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:12 AM
    #3
    gutira3

    gutira3 [OP] Member

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    Should I be worried about getting it lifted and not getting the alignment done for a day or two? The guys said I was going to destroy my tires if I didn't get the aligment done today, but I don't know if he's exaggerating and trying to get an extra buck out of me. I have to drive about 100 mi before I can get it in for a second opinion.
     
  4. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:14 AM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Always tell them NO!! until you can look at it yourself or get a 2nd oppinion.

    They're trying to rape you BIG TIME.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:14 AM
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    Jester243

    Jester243 mod status????

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    If it were me and I was not confident in the quote, I would ask them to hold off on all work. Then get the second estimate and go foward from there. Do the brake lines need replacement do to wear and tear or deu to the lift going on and the increased length necessary?
     
  6. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:15 AM
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    Delmarva

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  7. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:15 AM
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    Jester243

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    No fair you type faster than me :)
     
  8. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:17 AM
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    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

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  9. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM
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    Killer Red Taco

    Killer Red Taco NorCal Rock Whore

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    How much were the struts that they put on? also what brand and or model?
     
  10. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:20 AM
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    gutira3

    gutira3 [OP] Member

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    They said the brake lines need to be replaced due to wear and tear. It's only a 2" lift.

    So, do I not need to worry about driving 100 miles before getting the alignment done. Checking the recall link. If there's a recall, I should be able to get them replaced at a Toyota dealer for free, right?
     
  11. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:21 AM
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    gutira3

    gutira3 [OP] Member

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    Struts were about $70 each. They did not tell me the make. They said they were not charging me any additional labor.
     
  12. Jan 21, 2009 at 11:32 AM
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    kmok

    kmok Plastidipped ma Hootus!

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    You should be able to, I need to take my truck in to see if that has been replaced yet...
     
  13. Jan 21, 2009 at 12:10 PM
    #13
    JDCPA

    JDCPA Well-Known Member

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    I hate to differ with everyone else but it sounds like they are giving you good advice. A seven year truck very likely has strut problems and if you change one you should change the other. Ball joints are typically replaced when they are around five years old. If they are bad the truck can not be properly aligned. I'd also look into replacing the tie rod ends. The brake lines are typically the first thing changed when you are trying to get better feel in the pedal. I'd tell them to go ahead and do the work but I tend to keep my vehicles very well maintained. It pays for itself in the long run.
     
  14. Jan 21, 2009 at 12:23 PM
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    Toy4Life

    Toy4Life 668: The Neighbor of the Beast

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    You won't destroy your tires in a day or two or 100 miles if you can't get the alignment immediately. I wouldn't put it off for very long though.
     
  15. Jan 21, 2009 at 4:53 PM
    #15
    swsteven

    swsteven Well-Known Member

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    well if it was me ,as soon as they call me and tell me what was wrong , i would of told them give me a few minutes to call them back, drive my happy ass there and suprize them and tell them to show me and finger out whats wrong, that will shake them up really good lol ................ normally if he said your shocks are leaking , u can see your shocks are wet
     
  16. Jan 21, 2009 at 4:55 PM
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    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    definitely get the lower ball joints done thru the recall......dont let them charge you for that!!
     
  17. Jan 21, 2009 at 4:58 PM
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    HerNameIsLucy

    HerNameIsLucy I miss Lucy. :-(

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    You can call your local Toy dealer and give them your VIN. That's what I did (they even told me what date they were replaced and where).
     
  18. Jan 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM
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    RCBS

    RCBS "Cause I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag."

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    wear & tear on a brake line? what are they trying to say...that they are cracked? i would ask for an in-depth explaination on that. 'course they'll say..."well don't call us when they fail and you rear end someone" to scare you into replacing them. i've never heard of a brake line wearing out. if the fittings aren't rusted off and theres no fluid coming out from a hole or tear...they are fine.
     
  19. Jan 22, 2009 at 1:21 PM
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    gutira3

    gutira3 [OP] Member

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    Ok, now I'm about to sound like the total noob that I am, but I thought I was getting a suspension lift. They put Revtech spacers on the front, and blocks and an extra leaf spring in the back. They put in new Bilstein shocks in the rear.

    This is the only place that I found that specializes in 4x4 work in West Lost Angeles. The idea of joining a club is a good one - thanks.
     
  20. Jan 22, 2009 at 1:24 PM
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    gutira3

    gutira3 [OP] Member

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    Yes, they were saying the brake lines in the front are cracked. However, check this out. The brakes were not spongy at all before taking my truck to them, and the parking brake lever did not come out very far when setting it. NOW, after picking up my truck with the lift completed, my brake pedal goes almost to the ground! And the parking brake lever comes out much further than before. I thought the parking brake lever only worked on the rear brakes. Again, I'm a total noob and apologize for sounding like an idiot, but I'm really curious as to what the F is going on here.

    Also, how about the previous poster who said that it is normal for brake lines to wear out in five or so years? My truck is 7 years old.
     
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