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Bit of a long post about a main dealer, who for the meantime will remain nameless...

About a month and a bit ago I had a problem with the brakes beginning to squeal badly on my 4.2. Despite Anchorman's valiant attempts in his guides, brakes are one of those things that I do not feel competent to play with - so began a bit of a saga (or comedy) of errors.

I took it down the main dealer and they diagnosed a stone had been caught between the disk and pad - result was advice that new front disks were needed. Fair enough I thought - but the 100K service was due in a couple of weeks - "will it last safety till then?" Service receptionist disappeared, then came back with "yes, ok till then".

Couple of weeks later I took it in for the 100K, making sure that the replacement front disks had been ordered in. Then halfway through the day I got a phone call - the mechanic had looked at the brakes and the disks were fine - no sign of scoring - did not know about / comment on the stone in pad story. However the disks were apparently 'lipped' and so I was told that during the service they had ground off the lip on the front disks (disk thickness was still ok) and made sure that the relatively new pads were deglazed. This left a question as to what the previous mechanic had been playing at, since what I had been told was a load of :censor: Oh well...I had not been charged for anything over the standard service.

Move on a week and the brakes can be heard squealing again, this time like the brakes are intermittently binding - I had a morning off work so took it back and said "please can you sort, because you were meant to have done it". The previous diagnosis and the works done at the 100K service had been to the front disks and when driving it sounded like it was coming from the front, but difficult to tell. Main Dealer then took the RAV in, took off the front wheels and looked at the brakes again. Standing in the workshop with the dealer principal I explained what had happened and I had been told so far, he looked at the disks and said that there was "no way" that the disks had been 'ground' and they would not have done that - but hang on, that's what they had said the week before???? :blink: "We'll investigate that" - but in the meantime they stripped and cleaned the front brakes while I waited and free of charge on the basis that something should have been done which apparently had not.... Again fair enough, but pretty poor that I had now apparently been lied to twice, still (deep breath) let's give them benefit of the doubt... :blink:

Then day before yesterday the squeal returns, this time I get home and the intermittent binding is now constant - so I can identify that the offending brake is the rear, now actually smelling hot. Right need to do something as I have a long trip to make and cooking the brakes is not clever - so yesterday took a chance to get back again to the Main Dealer - now quietly fuming and exasperated :ffs: , but explain nicely what has gone on, point out that they have had three chances to spot this and it is now a safety issue. :help: So they take it back into the workshop, strip the rear brakes down - since I asked nicely. So I am sitting and waiting, then the service reception chap comes out - " yup rear brakes are binding, but there is a problem, when we took out the pins, they broke...and we have not got any in stock until tomorrow" :censor: - ok, I need some wheels for tomorrow - so when a courtesy car comes back in I get it that evening. All not before I have been out of the office for most of the afternoon, problems problems

So today take my spin off for work in the courtesy car, get back this evening and the rear brakes have been sorted, again free of charge - "so we get there in the end" I think. :huh: No.

Service hand over my key and the fob is broken - WTF? :eek:

Deep breath again, point out that I had given it to them as pristine as the courtesy car key I am holding and they are giving it back broken - not acceptable. Service chap says " I took it from you, put it in the ignition, turned it and it broke - it was already broken" NO way - stood my ground and second time round I get " it must have been weakened somehow". Yeah, but point is YOU broke it - YOU replace it. Service guy goes off to chat to Dealer Principal - comes back. Result new key ordered.

I am honestly flabbergasted...so it has been at the dealer's cost financially (so far - so presumably their heart is in the right place), but massive inconvenience to me (and work issues), had to drive a substantial distance in the courtesy Yaris (not bad but slow), plus I have lost all confidence in these guys. It's all reactive, but should be right first time.

Oh by the way, this is the same dealer who generally leaves some sort of small problem at every service over the last 7 years and a couple of years ago reversed the car into another when it was in for service - result that time - repainted rear bumper.

So - saga/comedy hopefully now (almost) over - what do you people out there reckon? I am seriously wondering about ever going near this dealer again, but unfortunately it is some distance to the next nearest option. Overall this is just sad, Mr T's reputation going slowly down the plughole.

Over to you for comments...

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sadly, your tale is not uncommon in Dealers of all types of cars. I've heard an argument that the mechanics may be dealing with make of car, then have to switch when the dealership changes franchise/car manufacturer.

A mechanic is a mechanic. they are no more special just cos they work in a dealers. They can be as badly trained as anyone, and often the outcome is that they replace parts instead of fixing.

So I stopped going to dealers years ago. More recently I tried a Renault truck dealer - horrendous!! Awful and incompetent, but cost our charity £2000 !

Now I use non-dealers. For the cars, I use a specialist garage who are renowned for their tuning and conversion/engine work on Jap cars. OK they have got it wrong once or twice but have put it right ...they almost always test drive cars themselves before releasing the car.

On Toyota brakes - I'm not a lover. The calipers stick causing overheating which leads to pad material transferring to the disc - just not a good design for our grit ridden roads.Don't worry tho as it happens to everyone. All the time.

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Getting your car serviced in the very best facilities is the surest way to protect its value. A full Toyota service history will help you achieve stronger resale value when you want to change your current vehicle, compared to a similar car without that coveted service record. The personal attention you receive from your Toyota Centre or Service Outlet results in outstanding customer service.

As you'd expect, we only ever use genuine Toyota parts which come with at least a year's warranty. Some even have unlimited mileage warranties subject to normal wear and tear. Plus, we only allow approved technicians,who are required to undertake our specialist Toyota training, to work on your car.

Well that's what it says on the Toyota website. Perhaps you might wan't to remind the dealer principal of what he/she has signed up to.

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My other car, still unsold, is a Smart ForTwo (Mercedes branch).

I let that service at a specialist because i knew (from both experience and a special forum) that you could let it be serviced at a dealer, but they would and charge you excessively, as well as not repair but replace most, and not to forget regularly 'miss' doing things they put on the bill.

That specialist costed me a 3 hour drive (back and forth in total) but it was worth it, since it saved me quite some money.

A lot of people from that forum went to him or another specialist mechanic and they came from further distances.

And yes, i have been in for several issues with my Smart nonetheless (broken side window - costed me 5 days without my car), broken turbo pressure meter, costed me 90 euro's while it would have costed less at that specialist (but without that meter i couldn't drive).

So yeah... It does take some looking around, but there is a lot of things you can do to save you a load of money.

Still looking for a specialist Toyo repair shop in the Netherlands though. Prefferably one which specializes in RAV4.



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I'm with bothwell buyer on this one. I've used an ex toyota dealer in kettering for servicing every toyota I've had since about 1986. He uses genuine toyota parts, and I'd wouldn't even consider having either of my current motors serviced at a dealer(3dr rav 4.2 and iq3). To them you're just a job number , bosh it through , charge it, and no personal interest. When i had the exhaust split in 2 a couple of months ago ,it was a phone call on my way to work and a call in on the way back , up fixed and running again in about hour and a half, he checks my fault codes for free and i can chat with the fitter working on my car. i bought my iq3 from an essex toyota dealer about 6 weeks ago, and I'm still waiting for a locking wheel nut key that i found was missing about a month ago, i'm getting the run around feeling on this one.

On the toyota service history front , it depends on which toyota dealer you deal with.When I changed my old 4.1 rav I had a rubbish valuation from a toyota dealer in northamptonshire as it had a full NONtoyota service history,but in the west midlands it went up by 2 grand, geezer was pleased as punch with it,full service history and all the bills etc.I got the same with the 4.2 when i was stupidly thinking of changing it to to a new 5 door xt4 , rubbish valuation, even though they kept pestering me to change it because they were desperate for good 3 door jobs as there was a shortage, she's on 125k now, and apart from the exhaust is probably bomb proof.

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