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Outrageous dealer labor charge

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Recently took my 2010 RX 350 to dealer for oil change prior to taking long trip. Service advisor informed me that my water pump was leaking and needed replacement, after only 43000 miles. Not wanting to take chance next day on planned trip, I succumbed to an outrageous replacement charge of $935, of which $700 was for labor ( a 2.5 to 3 hr task ).  In addition, I was shown that my timing cover is leaking and needs resealing ( only a $ 2740 +tax job! ) Supposedly the engine must be pulled out to do this job. In my area there are few independent mechanics. It seems today that many people are sort of forced to use dealers for repairs. My suggestions to you readers are to not wait until just before a long trip to have service, and try to find a good honest independent wrench who you can patronize. Perhaps a toyota dealer might be less expensive otherwise?

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Oh, my!  This sounds like the service writers at my nearby Lexus dealer who would make even the most minor fluid weeping situation into a federal case.  You have to remember that most service writers get incentives (either money or keeping their jobs) based on the amount of service they sell.  Services writers are really sales people and may have to meet quotas which mean they sell services whether or not they are needed.  We've gone many years with tiny amounts of fluid weeping around gaskets - never enough to drip from the engine or to require topping up fluid levels.  The only reason we changed the camshaft cover gaskets on one car to stop slight oil weeping was that it was going to a 14 year old nephew and we wanted the car to be perfect for him.

I even had a Lexus dealer service writer try to embarrass me into having a brake job by telling me that I was going to kill somebody since my brakes were going to fail at any time.  I informed that service writer that I had just measured the brake pad thickness myself and found that they were still far above the 1 mm minimum acceptable thickness.  I actually think that that particular service writer had no idea what the brake specs were - their job was to sell, sell, sell.

So ... it's buyer beware ... all the time.






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