Author Topic: 90k mile time bomb on a car?  (Read 8466 times)

sonjak

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90k mile time bomb on a car?
« on: February 23, 2016, 08:21:04 AM »
HI all, 

My Toyota yaris recently hit 90k miles.  I have always taken good care of it with regular maintenance, careful driving, etc. and I've been the only driver for most of its "life."  There have been a few IMO somewhat expensive repairs but mostly it's just been typical oil change/etc. maintenance.  About five weeks ago, I paid $600 for the 90k service and was told that it would need new brakes next time as well as new tires.  Okay, I was expecting those one of these days. 

A few weeks later, the check engine light comes on and it turns out it's an emission control system and it needs to be replaced to the tune of $1200.  Ouch but okay, it's been a good car and that's why I have an emergency fund.  Last night on my way home, the check engine light came on again.  I don't know what it is yet  it's not running rough or anything so maybe nothing (the only other time the light's come on was last year when it turned out to be something like air in a hose or similar and so basically nothing) but I'm starting to wonder if it's time to start over?  I have never owned a new car before so I don't know if this is normal or not.  Will I be replacing a lot of expensive things for the next year or so and then it'll be good for another 9-10 years?  Or is it time to call it and think about something new?

I bought the car new for about $12,500; it's nothing fancy but it's been a good reliable car for me.  I expected to drive it until 200k+ before it died and then buy another one or something similar.

I would really appreciate any input.  Most of my circle either buy new and replace before this point or always buy used and wouldn't be able to answer this question.

Thanks,
Sonja

zolotiyeruki

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 08:34:37 AM »
Lots of cars have several maintenance items that come due around the 90-120k mile mark.  The good news is that once you get over that hump, you'll be good for another 60k+ miles.

You can save yourself a ton of money if you do your own maintenance.  If you're not willing or able to do that, there are still several things you can at least check.  You can check your own brakes--all you need to do is pull off the wheel and look.  You can check your own fluids levels.  You can check your tire wear.  In short, you don't have to take everything your mechanic (or especially your dealer) says at face value.  Brakes don't need to be replaced at a specified interval, only when they're actually worn out.

Your check engine light can be diagnosed for free at AutoZone.  Go there, walk up to the counter, and tell them you have a CEL and you'd like them to check the codes.  They'll walk out with you, hook up a gadget to the car, get the codes, walk back into the store, and print off a receipt telling you exactly what's wrong.  Then you can take that to your mechanic, or you can tackle the project yourself.

jda1984

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 08:43:28 AM »
I have a check engine light on in my car.  It's a minor evap emissions issue.  The local mom and pop shop said it's not a big deal and might be the gas cap doesn't seal completely.  They said they could fix it if I want, but it's not something that will affect the operation of the vehicle.  Maybe yours is the same/similar issue?  I'd certainly get a second opinion from a place not actively trying to sell you additional services. 

If you're in a state with tight emissions laws/testing, you might need to get it fixed anyway.  My state doesn't have testing.  On the flip side, if you sell, the buyer will either want this fixed and/or negotiate the price to cover the cost of fixing it, so probably better to fix and keep it in my book.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 08:55:30 AM »
Fix and keep the car....

Jack

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 09:04:21 AM »
Generally, if the CEL comes on steady, it's a minor problem (often emissions-related, and possibly not worth fixing). If the CEL is blinking, it's a major problem and you should pull over immediately and have the car towed to a mechanic.

Now, the fact that the mechanic "fixed" the issue causing the CEL for $1200 and the light has come back is a problem. It suggests to me that the problem was diagnosed incorrectly and the $1200 was wasted. Look at your service records to see what the mechanic diagnosed and changed, go to the auto parts store to have them check the code, then post all that info here so we can assist you further. (The step after that will be to back to the mechanic and demand he fix it properly this time, for no additional charge, but you need to be armed with the right info to get him to agree to that.)

coolistdude

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 09:17:11 AM »
Generally, if the CEL comes on steady, it's a minor problem (often emissions-related, and possibly not worth fixing). If the CEL is blinking, it's a major problem and you should pull over immediately and have the car towed to a mechanic.

Now, the fact that the mechanic "fixed" the issue causing the CEL for $1200 and the light has come back is a problem. It suggests to me that the problem was diagnosed incorrectly and the $1200 was wasted. Look at your service records to see what the mechanic diagnosed and changed, go to the auto parts store to have them check the code, then post all that info here so we can assist you further. (The step after that will be to back to the mechanic and demand he fix it properly this time, for no additional charge, but you need to be armed with the right info to get him to agree to that.)

+1. Reputation is important to mechanics. It is okay to convey you are displeased that the light came back after spending $1200.

Mr. Green

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 09:36:23 AM »
I noticed you didn't say how old you car is. There are some components where actual age is just as much of an indicator of failure as the number of miles traveled. If your car is 7-10 years old you may find some components need replacing even if you have only driven 5,000 miles per year. Tires, for example, dry rot over time. Rubber seals break down. Electronic components can fail with age.

Cassie

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 09:40:15 AM »
WE fix our cars at that mileage. You have to expect to spend $ on older cars. It is still cheaper.

coolistdude

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 09:43:52 AM »
WE fix our cars at that mileage. You have to expect to spend $ on older cars. It is still cheaper.

Yes it is. My formerly thrifty coworker is convinced it is cheaper to lease 2 cars for he and his wife ($250 alone in insurance) because he had to stomach a $4k repair on his old $10k+ car. They spend about $400/month on leases. He realized in conversation that he could do the repair every 10 months before he'd break even on his leases. Maybe he'll wake up...he just got married so I am doubtful until they realize how expensive and time consuming it is to have a kid, or one of them loses a job.

Syonyk

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2016, 09:45:03 AM »
Your own OBDII reader is worth the money if you own an older car.  I have a bluetooth gizmo that I pair with an old Nexus 7 for reading codes from vehicles, and generally pulling data off them during operation (cheaper than the alternatives to do this).

But, yes, some spending at 100k miles is fairly normal, and once you get the issues/maintenance taken care of, the car should run with no problems for another long while.

robartsd

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2016, 09:49:08 AM »
You certainly want to know the code that the CEL is indicating. It is possible that it is entirely unrelated to the work that was recently done on your car (potentially due to an incorrect diagnosis); but it is also possible that the mechanic did not properly fix the problem. If the original diagnosis was incorrect, it might be hard to make a case that the mechanic cheated you, but if it turns out that this is the same problem you were having before the mechanic should be willing to make it right without any additional charge. Many CEL problems involve a sensor in a hard to get to location going bad.

When the car's computer detects something wrong (often emissions related, especially at startup) it turns on the CEL and saves a diagnostics code. Some conditions are only intermittently detected but the computer keeps the CEL on until it is reset by a mechanic or a certain amount of running and/or startups without detecting the error condition. If the mechanic reset the CEL without properly fixing the problem that caused it to come on, it is possible that the intermittent nature of detecting this particular problem is the only reason it took a few weeks for the CEL to come back on.

Syonyk

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2016, 09:50:21 AM »
My formerly thrifty coworker is convinced it is cheaper to lease 2 cars for he and his wife ($250 alone in insurance) because he had to stomach a $4k repair on his old $10k+ car. They spend about $400/month on leases.

"Oh, man!  This repair will cost me $2000!  That's unwise use of money.  I'd better spend $30,000 instead!"

**sigh**

I've heard that so many times, from so many people.  I think it's almost always one of two things:
1. "I want a new car, and this is a convenient excuse that is socially accepted as a reason to get a new car."
2. "I literally don't have the emergency fund or credit to deal with this, but the dealership thinks I can add another low monthly payment to my budget."

There was a Dave Ramsey radio clip from a while ago where someone was bitching about how after having scraped and saved to build an emergency fund, the differential had gone out in their truck, and this was going to cost $2k, and on and on.  Ramsey asked them how big their emergency fund was.  "$12,000."  "So go fix the truck."  "... oh."  It had literally never occurred to this woman that the point of an emergency fund was to be able to pay for things like that - she'd lived her whole life "on the edge" and didn't realize she was a good distance back from the edge now.

I've kept some perfectly serviceable cars out of the junkyard in my life.  "Pay more than the junkyard" is a low cost to obtain a perfectly good car that needs a few repairs.

sonjak

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2016, 10:21:29 AM »
Thanks for all the input! 

I appreciate knowing this is normal for this age of car.  It's a 2007 so almost exactly 9 years old.  I definitely want to avoid buying a new car for as long as possible (it makes me queasy to think about a new car actually) but I also don't want to be stupid about continuing to fix it over and over if that isn't going to get me a reliable car.  Sometimes it's time to just move on. 

I did have to get the emissions issue fixed last time since I live in a city/area that requires that.  And they checked the issue and put me in a loaner for free at my request.  Since I had just had it in there for them to check everything, and them giving it all green, I was not okay with the engine light going on again that quickly and having to pay for it.

I have been getting it fixed at the dealership and overall, I trust them.  Not completely but re. the brakes - I had a nail in my tire about a year ago and took it to Les Schwab.  They told me I needed new brakes so the next time I took it in to the dealership for service, I told them I needed new brakes.  They checked and said no, they're still good for awhile.  So I don't trust LS anymore but the dealer more so.  Maybe it was a long con, but ...

I appreciate the suggestion about AutoZone.  I will look and see if there is one close to me or on the way to the dealer.  I was going to take it in for them to read the code tonight after work so if I can get to AZ first, it will be interesting to see if they tell me the same thing.

catccc

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2016, 11:44:54 AM »
Our 2005 toyota matrix is around 165K miles now and we are sticking to the plan to take it to 200K miles.  In the last few years, it's gotten new shocks/struts ($1,400), new clutch/flywheel ($1,100), tires (hundreds several times over, so bad/stupid... need to rotate regularly), two new door handles, and most recently, a new mass airflow sensor, that was causing the CEL to be on. 

I would research the CEL code and try to troubleshoot it with a cheaper fix before dropping $1,200.  I know, you already did that.  But if the light came back on, have the ODB code read and do a little research specific to the make/model and see if there are any typical issues.

acroy

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2016, 12:03:53 PM »
90k is barely broken in,
Your repair/maintenance costs sound high. I suggest shop around for a trustworthy independent shop.
Best of luck!!

Slow&Steady

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2016, 12:15:12 PM »
My 2006 Toyota Prius has 270k and runs like a champ!  I bought it new and have completed all suggested maintenance on it, with just a few unexpected repairs/fixes required.  I am firmly in the camp of keep it until the mechanic laughs at me for fixing it, and at that point I will probably fix it one last time. The day I drove it off the lot my goal was to drive it until at least 300k miles, we are almost there and I am thinking about increasing that goal.

During one of our visits to the shop for an unexpected repair I was dreading the cost so decided to look up what my exact car was going for on Craigslist. I decided that unless the repair was $XX OVER the cost to replace my exact vehicle than we were paying for the repair. Turns out it was something small so I didn't have to make that decision.

aFrugalFather

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2016, 12:15:22 PM »
Drop in the bucket.  My family has Toyotas over 250,000.  Unless you rely on it for business in some way, just fix as you go.  Just look at the worse case scenario as to breaking down.  If you are just tooling around town in safe areas then no worries.  If you drive into war zones on a regular basis at night for critical business, well then the calculation might change.  Everyone has different use cases. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2016, 12:34:21 PM »
Dealerships in general have a reputation for charging a lot for repairs, and recommending more maintenance than is actually necessary.  You should be going by the maintenance schedule in your car's owner's manual, rather than any recommendation from the dealer.

Cassie

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2016, 01:01:39 PM »
We never repair at the dealer and we quit repairing when our trusted mechanic tells us too. They can't even take our $ with a straight face.

use2betrix

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2016, 03:37:01 PM »
I have a check engine light on in my car.  It's a minor evap emissions issue.  The local mom and pop shop said it's not a big deal and might be the gas cap doesn't seal completely.  They said they could fix it if I want, but it's not something that will affect the operation of the vehicle.  Maybe yours is the same/similar issue?  I'd certainly get a second opinion from a place not actively trying to sell you additional services. 

If you're in a state with tight emissions laws/testing, you might need to get it fixed anyway.  My state doesn't have testing.  On the flip side, if you sell, the buyer will either want this fixed and/or negotiate the price to cover the cost of fixing it, so probably better to fix and keep it in my book.


This sums the issue up perfectly. Our Camry did the same thing around 100k miles. It'd be about $1500 to fix. We've had several shops tell us the same thing as the person above. It's been on for over a year. Every couple months we go to autozone to have them run the check engine code for free to make sure no other issues pop up.


We bought our Camry with 88k miles a couple years ago. It's had some of the issues and costs your Yaris has. Most of those are more related to about the mileage and age of the car. I expect a car to have a decent amount of items replaced between around 90-120k miles and then be good another 80-100k miles.

Our rear struts will be next to be fixed. If I spend $1000-$1500/yr on repairs and long term maintenance, then I'm still coming out ahead.

tobitonic

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2016, 03:38:18 PM »
We have two minivans (one by Toyota, one by Honda). Our plan is to drive both to 500k or more unless repair costs exceed replacement costs, at which point we'll buy replacements, starting all over again. I do basic maintenance myself (fluid / tire / filter changes) and plan on taking them to independent shops for bigger things (timing belts, etc).

The secrets, as I see them, are to buy a reliable vehicle from the start, to be willing to learn and perform basic maintenance, and to find an independent shop you trust for the stuff you can't or don't want to handle.

The biggest factor, by far, is the vehicle chosen. In our case, I've seen examples of Siennas and Odysseys from the generations I chose with 700k+ and 600k+ miles on them. As with anything else in life, if you buy things built to last, you get to keep them a long time.

jrhampt

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2016, 10:10:37 AM »
Here is the solution that worked for me, and it is both easy and free! 

I have a 2001 Toyota Echo with 110k miles on it that has needed only very minor repairs over the years (new tires, etc), most of which my husband has done.  The check engine light came on about 2 years ago after I left the lights on and had to jump-start the car (no idea if those two things were related).  My husband replaced the mass air flow sensor, and the light came back on.  I ignored it for a while, since there didn't appear to be anything actually wrong with the car, and it ran fine. 

Then I had to take it in for emissions testing, and they automatically fail you if the check engine light is on.  They said it looked like the O2 sensor needed to be replaced, so my husband replaced it.  The check engine light came back on.  At this point I was at a couple hundred dollars in parts, but nothing too expensive...but I still needed to pass emissions.  So my husband read online that if you disconnect the battery, press down the brake pedal for about 10 seconds, and then reconnect the battery, it resets the warning lights.  I did this and drove straight to the emissions testing place earlier this morning.  They passed me, so I have to assume there is nothing actually wrong with the car.  The light will come back on eventually, but it just has to stay off long enough to pass.  Problem solved until I have to disconnect the battery again and reset the warning lights in another 2 years for emissions testing.

ETA: I do own one of those things that gives you the diagnostic codes that someone else recommended upthread. 
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 10:17:40 AM by jrhampt »

JLee

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2016, 02:27:38 PM »
Here is the solution that worked for me, and it is both easy and free! 

I have a 2001 Toyota Echo with 110k miles on it that has needed only very minor repairs over the years (new tires, etc), most of which my husband has done.  The check engine light came on about 2 years ago after I left the lights on and had to jump-start the car (no idea if those two things were related).  My husband replaced the mass air flow sensor, and the light came back on.  I ignored it for a while, since there didn't appear to be anything actually wrong with the car, and it ran fine. 

Then I had to take it in for emissions testing, and they automatically fail you if the check engine light is on.  They said it looked like the O2 sensor needed to be replaced, so my husband replaced it.  The check engine light came back on.  At this point I was at a couple hundred dollars in parts, but nothing too expensive...but I still needed to pass emissions.  So my husband read online that if you disconnect the battery, press down the brake pedal for about 10 seconds, and then reconnect the battery, it resets the warning lights.  I did this and drove straight to the emissions testing place earlier this morning.  They passed me, so I have to assume there is nothing actually wrong with the car.  The light will come back on eventually, but it just has to stay off long enough to pass.  Problem solved until I have to disconnect the battery again and reset the warning lights in another 2 years for emissions testing.

ETA: I do own one of those things that gives you the diagnostic codes that someone else recommended upthread.

In most cases, that will not work -- each state's emissions requirements have a specific amount of OBDII monitors that are permitted to be in a "not ready" state.  When you've cleared the ECU by disconnecting the battery, numerous monitors go "not ready" and do not go "ready" after quite a few miles (generally enough time for any glaring problems to be noticed by the ECU).

I'm glad it worked for you, though! :)

mtn

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2016, 02:37:11 PM »
I DIDN'T fix it on ours, and the car will be junked. But the car was already a serious turd by that point, and we could forsee at least $3000 of repairs in the next year on it. So we passed.

Do you have emissions testing where you are? I'd probably buy an OBD-II reader, and keep reading the code every time the light comes on. If it is emissions related and your gas mileage is staying the same, I'd keep resetting the light--assuming you don't have emissions testing. Which is the reason we couldn't do it.

JLee

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2016, 03:21:43 PM »
I DIDN'T fix it on ours, and the car will be junked. But the car was already a serious turd by that point, and we could forsee at least $3000 of repairs in the next year on it. So we passed.

Do you have emissions testing where you are? I'd probably buy an OBD-II reader, and keep reading the code every time the light comes on. If it is emissions related and your gas mileage is staying the same, I'd keep resetting the light--assuming you don't have emissions testing. Which is the reason we couldn't do it.

Sometimes it's a really easy fix.  I replaced a throttle position sensor once ($50 from Toyota, two screws and a clip) and a gas cap (I forget...$23 from Toyota?).  If the light keeps coming back, something is wrong and should be fixed, though I understand the cost-prohibitive aspect for those who don't DIY (but..learn!). :)

mtn

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2016, 03:36:36 PM »
I DIDN'T fix it on ours, and the car will be junked. But the car was already a serious turd by that point, and we could forsee at least $3000 of repairs in the next year on it. So we passed.

Do you have emissions testing where you are? I'd probably buy an OBD-II reader, and keep reading the code every time the light comes on. If it is emissions related and your gas mileage is staying the same, I'd keep resetting the light--assuming you don't have emissions testing. Which is the reason we couldn't do it.

Sometimes it's a really easy fix.  I replaced a throttle position sensor once ($50 from Toyota, two screws and a clip) and a gas cap (I forget...$23 from Toyota?).  If the light keeps coming back, something is wrong and should be fixed, though I understand the cost-prohibitive aspect for those who don't DIY (but..learn!). :)

I don't disagree--but I had a few issues with this approach--first of all, I didn't have time. This would have been a stop-gap vehicle, and it needed to be fixed yesterday. If we had another vehicle, I might have fixed it. Secondly, it was January. In Chicago. And I don't have a garage, or even my own parking spot. Thirdly, I (and our trusted mechanic) could not pin point the problem. We could keep throwing money at it, but until I had an ASE mechanic certify that I had thrown $450 at it, I couldn't pass emissions unless I got lucky on the first guess--I would have started with the Charcoal canister at $200, since that was the most likely culprit. But that still would have left the ticking time bomb of the timing belt, the brakes, the new wheels (2 were dented to the point that we were... uneasy driving on them), tires, and the horrible smell that we couldn't get out. Oh, and the lifter tick. That was getting louder.

Largely, I agree. If this car had been maintained well by my brother in law (or if the interior was at least clean) I'd have fixed it. But it was too far gone.

JLee

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2016, 03:58:54 PM »
I DIDN'T fix it on ours, and the car will be junked. But the car was already a serious turd by that point, and we could forsee at least $3000 of repairs in the next year on it. So we passed.

Do you have emissions testing where you are? I'd probably buy an OBD-II reader, and keep reading the code every time the light comes on. If it is emissions related and your gas mileage is staying the same, I'd keep resetting the light--assuming you don't have emissions testing. Which is the reason we couldn't do it.

Sometimes it's a really easy fix.  I replaced a throttle position sensor once ($50 from Toyota, two screws and a clip) and a gas cap (I forget...$23 from Toyota?).  If the light keeps coming back, something is wrong and should be fixed, though I understand the cost-prohibitive aspect for those who don't DIY (but..learn!). :)

I don't disagree--but I had a few issues with this approach--first of all, I didn't have time. This would have been a stop-gap vehicle, and it needed to be fixed yesterday. If we had another vehicle, I might have fixed it. Secondly, it was January. In Chicago. And I don't have a garage, or even my own parking spot. Thirdly, I (and our trusted mechanic) could not pin point the problem. We could keep throwing money at it, but until I had an ASE mechanic certify that I had thrown $450 at it, I couldn't pass emissions unless I got lucky on the first guess--I would have started with the Charcoal canister at $200, since that was the most likely culprit. But that still would have left the ticking time bomb of the timing belt, the brakes, the new wheels (2 were dented to the point that we were... uneasy driving on them), tires, and the horrible smell that we couldn't get out. Oh, and the lifter tick. That was getting louder.

Largely, I agree. If this car had been maintained well by my brother in law (or if the interior was at least clean) I'd have fixed it. But it was too far gone.

Oh absolutely - I didn't mean to imply that your decision was improper. I wanted to clarify that a CEL doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be an absurd expense - sometimes fixing it is really quite easy and inexpensive.

Dee18

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2016, 06:16:12 PM »
One thing I learned on MMM was to not ask for " the 90,000 mile service." Instead, check the owners manual and see what is involved. At least do the super easy stuff (like changing filters) yourself.  Figure out what else on the list might have already been done.  Check prices for the remaining items you don't want to do yourself at a couple different places.  I found my mechanic on the Click and Clack website. When you are told something needs repairing, google it and see if the "symptoms" match what you've observed. 

use2betrix

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2016, 06:18:52 PM »
We also just reset the CEL and took it and passed emissions testing.

MoonShadow

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2016, 06:36:09 PM »

I bought the car new for about $12,500; it's nothing fancy but it's been a good reliable car for me.  I expected to drive it until 200k+ before it died and then buy another one or something similar.

I would really appreciate any input.  Most of my circle either buy new and replace before this point or always buy used and wouldn't be able to answer this question.


I have a history of buying used cars around 80K mileage, and rolling them till 140K+.  As has been noted by others, once you get the maintenance & repairs that come around 90-10K, you are likely golden for another 30K.  If it's already pushing 90K, then it's not a lemon, and 90K isn't "worn out" for most things. 

sonjak

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2016, 07:58:53 PM »
Just wanted to give an update. 

I went by AutoZone on the way to the dealer last night and asked them to check the light, which they did.  Turns out it was the same thing I just paid $1200 for them to repair.  I got my print out and I went to the dealer and dropped it off without telling them I had gone by AZ and knew anything.  The dealership called me today to report that the part they put in before was faulty and would be fixing it for free.  So I'm happy with their honesty and that I didn't have to pull out my evidence or push back like I was prepared to do.  I should have my car back tomorrow (he said they had to order the part).

That being said, this situation and all of your advice was enough of a kick in the butt to ask some friends and I have a recommendation for a local mechanic who is trusted so I'm going to go that route for future issues (unless stuff the dealership "fixed" comes up again).  Thanks again for all the input/advice!

mtn

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2016, 06:59:42 AM »
Just wanted to give an update. 

I went by AutoZone on the way to the dealer last night and asked them to check the light, which they did.  Turns out it was the same thing I just paid $1200 for them to repair.  I got my print out and I went to the dealer and dropped it off without telling them I had gone by AZ and knew anything.  The dealership called me today to report that the part they put in before was faulty and would be fixing it for free.  So I'm happy with their honesty and that I didn't have to pull out my evidence or push back like I was prepared to do.  I should have my car back tomorrow (he said they had to order the part).

That being said, this situation and all of your advice was enough of a kick in the butt to ask some friends and I have a recommendation for a local mechanic who is trusted so I'm going to go that route for future issues (unless stuff the dealership "fixed" comes up again).  Thanks again for all the input/advice!

What is wrong with the dealership? FWIW, we have about 4 trusted mechanics in our area that WE trust. One of them is a dealership.

Jack

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2016, 07:46:46 AM »
Just wanted to give an update. 

I went by AutoZone on the way to the dealer last night and asked them to check the light, which they did.  Turns out it was the same thing I just paid $1200 for them to repair.  I got my print out and I went to the dealer and dropped it off without telling them I had gone by AZ and knew anything.  The dealership called me today to report that the part they put in before was faulty and would be fixing it for free.  So I'm happy with their honesty and that I didn't have to pull out my evidence or push back like I was prepared to do.  I should have my car back tomorrow (he said they had to order the part).

That being said, this situation and all of your advice was enough of a kick in the butt to ask some friends and I have a recommendation for a local mechanic who is trusted so I'm going to go that route for future issues (unless stuff the dealership "fixed" comes up again).  Thanks again for all the input/advice!

That actually speaks well of the dealership. At least they strike me as competent, if not inexpensive.

What part was replaced? I'd like to gauge how much the repair "should" have cost, so we can figure out how much cheaper a competent independent shop would have been.

Retire-Canada

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2016, 08:08:27 AM »
The dealership called me today to report that the part they put in before was faulty and would be fixing it for free. 

Thanks for the update. Glad you got it sorted. :)


sonjak

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2016, 08:13:59 AM »
Just wanted to give an update. 

I went by AutoZone on the way to the dealer last night and asked them to check the light, which they did.  Turns out it was the same thing I just paid $1200 for them to repair.  I got my print out and I went to the dealer and dropped it off without telling them I had gone by AZ and knew anything.  The dealership called me today to report that the part they put in before was faulty and would be fixing it for free.  So I'm happy with their honesty and that I didn't have to pull out my evidence or push back like I was prepared to do.  I should have my car back tomorrow (he said they had to order the part).

That being said, this situation and all of your advice was enough of a kick in the butt to ask some friends and I have a recommendation for a local mechanic who is trusted so I'm going to go that route for future issues (unless stuff the dealership "fixed" comes up again).  Thanks again for all the input/advice!

That actually speaks well of the dealership. At least they strike me as competent, if not inexpensive.

What part was replaced? I'd like to gauge how much the repair "should" have cost, so we can figure out how much cheaper a competent independent shop would have been.

I appreciate the input!

It was the Evap system with blocked charcoal cannister.  Parts replaced: Canister Assembly and Filter, sub-assembly.  These two parts together were $957.  They charged $250 for labor.  He said it was a fairly easy fix so they didn't charge as much for labor as they sometimes do.

mtn

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2016, 08:16:21 AM »
Just wanted to give an update. 

I went by AutoZone on the way to the dealer last night and asked them to check the light, which they did.  Turns out it was the same thing I just paid $1200 for them to repair.  I got my print out and I went to the dealer and dropped it off without telling them I had gone by AZ and knew anything.  The dealership called me today to report that the part they put in before was faulty and would be fixing it for free.  So I'm happy with their honesty and that I didn't have to pull out my evidence or push back like I was prepared to do.  I should have my car back tomorrow (he said they had to order the part).

That being said, this situation and all of your advice was enough of a kick in the butt to ask some friends and I have a recommendation for a local mechanic who is trusted so I'm going to go that route for future issues (unless stuff the dealership "fixed" comes up again).  Thanks again for all the input/advice!

That actually speaks well of the dealership. At least they strike me as competent, if not inexpensive.

What part was replaced? I'd like to gauge how much the repair "should" have cost, so we can figure out how much cheaper a competent independent shop would have been.

I appreciate the input!

It was the Evap system with blocked charcoal cannister.  Parts replaced: Canister Assembly and Filter, sub-assembly.  These two parts together were $957.  They charged $250 for labor.  He said it was a fairly easy fix so they didn't charge as much for labor as they sometimes do.

That is a little bit higher than a lot of shops, but only because they're using OEM parts from the factory. For some reason Toyota's can't manufacture a car that doesn't eat through the canister and charcoal filter. I probably wouldn't have fixed it IF you didn't have to worry about passing emissions.

(My knowledge based on a 4Runner and a Camry)

Jack

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #36 on: February 29, 2016, 09:47:00 AM »
What part was replaced? I'd like to gauge how much the repair "should" have cost, so we can figure out how much cheaper a competent independent shop would have been.

I appreciate the input!

It was the Evap system with blocked charcoal cannister.  Parts replaced: Canister Assembly and Filter, sub-assembly.  These two parts together were $957.  They charged $250 for labor.  He said it was a fairly easy fix so they didn't charge as much for labor as they sometimes do.

That is a little bit higher than a lot of shops, but only because they're using OEM parts from the factory. For some reason Toyota's can't manufacture a car that doesn't eat through the canister and charcoal filter. I probably wouldn't have fixed it IF you didn't have to worry about passing emissions.

(My knowledge based on a 4Runner and a Camry)

So, the first hit on Google for a Yaris vapor recovery canister shows about $250 for the part (and given that it's just some emissions thing, I wouldn't expect getting it OEM to be important). I don't really know that "two parts" actually needed to be replaced; I'm speculating because I'm not familiar with Toyotas, but I wouldn't be surprised if replacing only the canister (and not the "assembly") would have been an option had the service been carried out by anyone other than a dealer.

Sonjak, I'm guessing you probably paid more than twice as much as you needed to for a shop to do it, or more than 4x as much as the cost of installing the new part yourself (which would have been a good option, given the utter lack of urgency unless you were about to renew the registration).

mtn

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #37 on: February 29, 2016, 10:42:55 AM »
I can't speak for the Yaris, but on the Camry and 4Runner they're usually replaced together. I'm not sure if is something that can be replaced separately, but it very well may be.

For some reason the OEM ones seem to be made of unobtanium, they're ridiculously expensive. I'd like to have my FIL register the Camry that is sitting because of it in Wisconsin where he owns some land. Not sure if that is possible though.

Gevans17

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2016, 08:01:42 AM »
Autozone will pull the CEL codes for free. the code #s do not tell you exactly what is causing your problem, but rather where to look for the problem. suggest you find another mechanic that you trust. you can also Google the code #s and get a lot of info about what may be causing your problem.

AZDude

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2016, 11:05:38 AM »
Think of it this way. $12,500 means you would need the check engine light to come on 10 more times, each costing $1,200 before it becomes cost-effective to just buy a new car.

Gevans17

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Re: 90k mile time bomb on a car?
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2016, 08:14:23 PM »
you need a new mechanic