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JohnnyBlues

Toyota service spark plug issue

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Hello my 2014 rav4 went in to my main toyota dealer for a major service including sparkplugs and then I get a call saying the ceramic has broken when removing the plugs and has entered the engine and I now have to pay estimated 5hrs labour to remove the head to do the clean up and this may have caused engine damage.

I'm completely miffed by this call and was told these things happen but rarely.

What's everyones opinion on this and where do you think I stand ?

Appreciate your help

Many thanks 

John.

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I'm sorry to hear this because it doesn't sound good...

In the first instance I would say that having a full service history with Toyota is going to be a must here if you pursue this. I'm not familiar with the RAV4 and so don't know if this would be a first plug change from new. If so then I would expect them to come out very easily indeed. If they have been changed in the past and overtightened then I suppose damage of the ceramic could have occurred but its all a bit tenuous.

Utimately it their word that it just broke with no contributory causes or incorrect removal procedure and with no way to prove or disprove. It may or may not have just broken up

If you have a full service history then I think you could reasonably argue that some defect has been either present from new or that some previous work has not been done correctly, even to the extent of including the current work in that.

It might be worth asking to have the old plugs back in your possession but very hard to prove what happened. 

I hope you get this resolved satisfactorily.    

 

 

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I for one would not be prepared to pay for that, it’s their mistake and should be picked up by them .  I would be contacting Toyota U.K. with your concerns over the dealer .

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Toyota should pay for the repair. 

What if they incorrectly fitted replacement brake disc and pads causing damage is that also your fault and chargeable.

Stand your ground you have left your vehicle in good faith as they are the experts.

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I can't remember hearing this ever happening to any one I know. on any car.  Perhaps others have heard of this situation?

This is just a guess, but I suspect that a technician has casually, not carefully, inserted a spark plug socket with some force, broken the ceramic top of the spark plug (!) without even realizing his mistake, and then as the plug was lifted clear, the ceramic debris has entered the spark plug hole.

I can't see that this problem is yours to pay for remedying.

On a lesser note, I would have thought that some ingenuity with an endoscope and a vacuum line could possibly remove the debris, with any risks attached to this borne by the dealer, but that's another question.

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The Toyota garage is at fault. No need for you to dig into your pocket.

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You only generally break the ceramic when you use a dodgy tool or don't seat it cottectly when removing the plug, it was probably stuck and the tool slipped

In my opinion it's their fault (assuming your car ran OK before and you hadn't tried to service yourself) you shouldn't pay anything, you paid them to do a job and they broke your plug so therefore they fix it. 

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Although I had never heard of this it seems that as with many things, if you look hard enough you can turn up info in a general sense. 

As I mentioned earlier, I think it crucial that the car has a full and proven history and if so then you can probably argue that if they say that the plug genuinely 'just broke up' then it would be reasonable to say that it must have been a manufacturing defect or assembly issue from when the part was either first fitted from new or removed/replaced in a previous service. Providing you approach this correctly I think you are in a fairly strong position. Examine the removed broken plug to check it is the correct type/manufacture for the engine. 

This is interesting.  

Snip from:

https://www.designnews.com/ford-spark-plugs-break-during-removal

Despite following the Ford procedure, I still broke three out of eight spark plugs while removing them. Ford expects that some of the plugs will break during removal, even when their procedure is followed, so they provide instructions in the TSB for removal of the broken plugs. The plugs can break in one of three modes:

  • The lower portion (tube) of the Shell remains in the head, and the rest of the plug comes out.
  • The entire porcelain insulator and lower portion of the Shell remain in the head.
  • The upper section of the porcelain breaks off, leaving part of the porcelain in the head with the lower portion of the Shell.

 

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Thank you for all the replies, after being put on the spot with there phone call and a acceptance of the bad news you have all confirmed how In hindsight i feel about this . 

I purchased the car from the same dealer has a used approved vehicle about 16mths ago and recently purchased the extended warranty.

I will be contacting the dealer again first thing Monday morning and will post how this plays out.

Many thanks

John.

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9 hours ago, JohnnyBlues said:

Thank you for all the replies, after being put on the spot with there phone call and a acceptance of the bad news you have all confirmed how In hindsight i feel about this . 

I purchased the car from the same dealer has a used approved vehicle about 16mths ago and recently purchased the extended warranty.

I will be contacting the dealer again first thing Monday morning and will post how this plays out.

Many thanks

John.

Why not have a chat with Citizens Advice before ringing you Toyota dealer. More ammunition at hand.

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