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Pricey74

Head Gasket Worries

16 posts in this topic

Can anyone help?

I've an Avensis estate, 2.0D4D. 57 plate, 85000 miles

the temparature guage has started rising, mainly whilst on the motorway. Another symptom is that it takes a while for warm air to come through the vents, even when the guage is in it's normal half way state. Then it will come through warm and stay warm. I had a head gasket go on another car and I remember steam coming from the exhaust. I've checked the exhaust and it seems fine.

I'd really appreciate some advice

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I`d bang in a new thermostat :yes:

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is the coolant level dropping at all?

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Took it to Toyota today. It's the head gasket. They told me that it went two years ago (66.000 miles) and had been repaired before I bought it.

They are keeping hold of it while they ponder what to do next.....Gutted!

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is the coolant level dropping at all?

Yes it was very low.

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Took it to Toyota today. It's the head gasket. They told me that it went two years ago (66.000 miles) and had been repaired before I bought it.

They are keeping hold of it while they ponder what to do next.....Gutted!

Hard to bear, like you I hoped it wasn`t going to be that !

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Spoke to Toyota today. They are completely replacing the engine for me. Free of charge.

A happy ending. Thanks for your advice too.

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Spoke to Toyota today. They are completely replacing the engine for me. Free of charge.

A happy ending. Thanks for your advice too.

Good news Phil, betcha pleased you bought a Toyota :D

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Hi people,

My Lexus IS220d has the same Avensis / Rav4 engine as reported above. I was hoping someone could help me with my issue. As experienced by many others, I started getting the temp gauge shooting up to maximum and then coming back down. The car wasn't overheating as such, but coolant was overflowing from the radiator.

Anyway, I rang Lexus Birmingham, who were very helpful and asked me to drop it in as it may be the head gasket. My car has done 108k and is just under 5 years old. They gave me a courtesy car (THANK YOU) and got onto diagnosis. It is in fact the head gasket which has gone and ordinarily would be covered under the extended warranty which a lot of us know about (for others: Lexus extended their standard warranty to 110k / 7 years due to head gasket issues). HOWEVER, it turns out that the head gasket had already been replaced in my car at 60k miles. They rang me up and said that as such, it is no longer covered under the extended warranty because the issue had been addressed at 60k. I am trying to look at this with reason and can see their point. However, my question is how long should their repair (at 60k) be expected to last and of course, if the same issue materialises again (within the extended warranty period), should they not take ownership of this specific issue?

They got back to me today after speaking with Lexus/Toyota and said that they won't contribute to the repair at all. The key reasons being that 1) The Head Gasket has already been replaced and 2) Although it has full service history, it's not dealer servicing.

I've read some excellent customer service comments about various dealerships and would hope that I can report another soon but I wonder where I technically stand if they don't cover it? Although the repair was done at 60k, it has happened again and surely, if it's within the the extended warranty period, they should attend to it??? Obviously, its may bank account at stake here, so I'll by default be partial but hope some of you guys out there can help me with advice, thoughts and even more welcome would be any similar experience where the head has gone twice within the extended warranty period?

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if you search the Avensis & RAV forums you'll find that several people have had 2 or even 3 engines (not just gaskets) replaced.

The 2nd gasket on your car lasted 48k v the 60k on the original - perhaps the work was not done properly or the block had some damage?

(iirc Toyota switched to replacing engines rather than gaskets because work wasn't being done to standard in some cases albeit this policy may have changed again more recently)

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Hi Scott,

Thanks for the info. I've read most of the posts about the repair, followed by repair, followed by replacement. Seems more apparent with Avensis than Lexus, but possibly because there are much higher volume of sales. I'm just quite astounded with Lexus not even entertaining the thought (well, perhaps entertaining, but not assisting). I have doubts that the repair was either 1) done effectively (as you mention) or 2) was a bi-product of the true cause (which I gather to be carbon clogging). However, they can't confirm if the current breakdown is due to that and I should find out tomorrow what the original repair at 60k was due to.

After reading post after post with Toyota, almost offering a 'no questions asked' service, I'm set aback by Lexus's contrast stance. If all fails tomorrow with their Customer team, I think I may have to resort to getting it done by an Independent garage and will get an engineers report alongside the repair. If the root cause is due to anything covered by the extended 110k warranty, I may well have a legal case to pursue; but of course nobody (myself or Lexus/Toyota should have to resort to that).

The only uncertainty I have about the carbon related aspect is that I haven't noticed any loss of oil. Apparently, it would lose over 0.5l per 600ish miles if it was carbon deposit related. Would anyone know if this is firm enough to accept or is it just another brush off by the dealer?

Karda

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Hi all,

Just to let you know that Lexus have said a short and quick NO. Although the car is less than 111k miles and under 7 years old, their reason for not honouring the extension on the standard warranty (carbon related symptoms only) is due to the last couple of services not being done at the main dealer. I think a very shallow excuse, but they won't budge an inch. They say the extension is a goodwill gesture and they are free to decline. My argument remains that it is a known problem and they aren't acknowledging the probability of the issue being related to the engine (not how it's been driven!). My only option now is to get a repair done locally, get an engineers report to confirm the root cause and then seek legal advice. With a bit of luck, I can drop the bill at their doorstep eventually. Thanks for the help and hope this is useful to others. If you have a dealer history and your car is less than 111k / 7 yrs, play it safe and keep servicing at Lexus. In my case, they have quoted £3600 plus parts (which I think come to £1000 with a new head). £4600 would get me a smallish motor with a working engine built to the spec and quality stated when sold.

Good luck to you all.

Karda

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Hi, I can agree with you that having your car service by an indie rather that Toyota/Lexus is a poor excuse for not accepting resposibilities. My 08 plate Avensis has just had the head gasket done - fortunately the head/block was ok. However Toyota was not interested in paying a penny towards it citing it was out of warranty and not serviced by them. I was lucky enough to have a secondhand warranty and they put the maximum claim of £1000 leaving me with circa £230 to pay. This has made me decide never to buy another Toyota - in fact my Son is going to buy another car and was thinking about buying a new Toyota as he was impressed by the level of quality. However, my experience has put him off and we out this weekend to look at a KIA Ce'ed which has a 7 year warranty...yes 7 years Toyota...are you listening!!!!! If I like what he buys I will be very tempted to chop mine in for a new one too. Too badd Toyota - you have lost TWO customers because of your inflexibility. Shame really as when i bought the car I was extremely impressed with it - now......I reserve judgement. Sour grapes perhaps?? you bet ya!!!!

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Hi Robin,

Interesting - what mileage was your engine.

Tbh, if I hadn't known of Lexus extended warranties to 111k, I would be a fool to approach the dealers for the repair. It was only through research (and virtually every independent garage I spoke to referring me back to the dealers) I learned of the extension of the warranty.

The only reservation I have at the moment is that Lexus may not have officially extended the warranty to the widely read 111k. I don't see anything official from them, so may potentially be a pitfall with my pursuit. However, beyond this, a friend of mine (repair garage owner) made some enquiries on my behalf and after speaking with another Lexus dealership, he said they'll take it in and do the job FOC. Now, I wonder if this is going through the same cycle as with Lexus Birmingham; i.e dealer says 'yes', offers courtesy car, 2 days later Lexus so 'no'. Or I wonder if they will do it within the extended warranty without any questions? Not sure if any of you know if different dealerships have different ways about getting these kind of things done??? Don't want to mention the delarship just yet - but will do happily after I know where I stand.

I think my next course of plan is for this sister dealership to take the car in and see what happens. If I have the same obstacle, I think this would then be exhausted and would need to resort to what was PLAN B a couple of days ago (independent garage repair, diagnosis and legal advise for claiming from Lexus).

This is incredibly frustrating people, so thank you for some encouragement and good advice!

Karda

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Hi Karda, my Avensis has done circa 76k with a full service history - although serviced at the company I work for as they run a fleet of various cars. This was used against me in my claim to Toyota. Also they said mine was outside the chassis range for this problem so wasn't covered. They said the engine had been 'modified' by Toyota so that this type of problem should not happen. WRONG!!! why has mine gone then???? I am very lucky that mine was covered by a secondhand warranty which covered the claim up to £1000 which left me with £226 to pay. What galls me is the repairer reported that there was crusting around the water pump and should be replaced @ £116...would you like us to replace it sir...without drawing breath. I told them to leave it as I was short of cash and as a Technician i would do it when it became a problem. Since then I've looked at the pump and its perfect!!! They also reported after they did the job that the low oil warning light was coming on (oil level was ok) when road tested and it needed looking at which they would charge me for!!! Hang on, it was fine before you took the engine out!!! NEVER again. I'm looking to p/x it for a KIA. Sorry to harp on but sometimes its good to let off steam.

Robin the Technician - I fix, therefore I am.

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Hi Robin,

Thanks for the info. I've been pulling my hair out over this! It really is a matter of principle - they have acknowledged a fault, they've done many many repairs/replacements, yet they won't even contribute in my scenario. I even can't comprehend why I'm being discriminated ??? When I challenged them about why it was necessary to have a full dealer service history, their reply was that that assures credibility that the correct parts/oils/liquids have been used when servicing. My local garage can evidence that they have purchased service parts from Lexus and of course, there will be signs of it when they look under the bonnet. I said that was a moot point because they would have to prove to me that the engine had been damaged as a result of poor or improper maintenance. There was a moment of silence! They say it is a goodwill gesture and although they can't demand Lexus servicing in the standard manufacturer's warranty, they can do so in the extended warranty (my research confirms this). My response was that I was not to know of this issue with their engine and had I known there was a conditional extended warranty, I would have had Lexus servicing for peace of mind. Their response to that was that they weren't to know of who had ownership of the car as it wasn't touching their network. Isn't that yet another shallow excuse?! If they endeavoured to proactively track their customers (even without causing too much bad press), how difficult can that be... ESPECIALLY when I have been receiving Lexus literature through the post and an MOT reminder as well as invites to events. I suspect they're revenue generating rather than cost generating! Although there isn't an official governing body for the motor trade there is a mediation service provided by Motor Code. I've given them the background over the phone and they've asked me to complete a form so they can liaise with Lexus on my behalf. However, they are little more than a Citizens Advice Bureau service, so not expecting too much.

I know times are hard but they are equally hard for most of us. I myself have AA Breakdown Repair Cover, but £500 minus the excess doesn't go very far. IF I had known about this potential risk to my engine, why on earth would I not have taken more adequate cover? If there is a product defect which they are responsible for and don't proactively remedy, why should the customer pay for the subsequent damage? Isn't the non Lexus servicing a cop out to the detriment of customers who have paid a premium on a Lexus, only to eventually discover there is a common fault which they may fix as a 'goodwill gesture'.

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