Last week I took my 2002 American-assembled Toyota Tacoma Pre Runner to the shop for its first unscheduled visit. The truck has served me flawlessly since the day I got it.
When I bought it the dealership offered a lifetime-oil-change plan for $250. I knew when I bought it that I was going to drive it into the ground so I smiled, chuckled a bit and bought the oil plan. I was pretty good at getting the truck in for its oil change on time. The dealership over time got tired of seeing me visit for my free oil changes.
On the first tune up at 100,000 miles the mechanic put the truck up on the tower and the Service Manager walked me out to my truck to show me the bad news. He told me that during their check up on the truck they spotted the seal on my water pump going. They showed me the water pump and you could see the seal having oozed over the edges of the case. I kept quiet letting him tell me that it needed to be replace at the cost of $300.
I smiled and said that nothing was wrong with the water pump and that all I wanted was the tune up. The Service Manager insisted that the pump was going bad and if I did not replace it that day I would need to sign a waver so that if the engine overheated and blew they would be free from the liability.
I signed and was on my way.
A few years later I noticed that the rock plate on the undercarriage of my truck was wire tied to my truck not bolted as it had been. On one of my routine oil changes I asked the Service Manager if they could bolt the rock plate back into place. I told them that I had only had service through them and it made sense to me that their mechanic had used the ties in place of the bolts.
I was told that my truck's rock plate was difficult to take off and put back on each time I visited and they decided to use the wire ties…. I insisted that they bolt the plate back on…I was very angry at this point. The Service Manager refused due to the fact that my truck now had 300,000 miles on it and all I ever did with them was the free oil change….
Didn’t she get it? My truck never needed service other than the oil changes and well the smog and tune up. I chose to use another shop for the truck's second and third tune ups because frankly I did not trust the dealer any longer.
The truck never failed to start, it never stalled….
Well as I started to write last week the truck was sluggish going over American Canyon. I could tell that something was wrong…. I was losing power. I drove her (the truck) to the only shop that I know and trust and left her. The shop called and told me that the motor was shot and asked me what I wanted to do….. Let’s drop a rebuilt engine in her….we can get another 100,000 out of her….
Can you tell that I like this truck?