The exhaust on my Toyota needs fixin’. I got two quotes. One from a local Toyota Dealership and one from a locally-owned ‘Mom-n-Pop’ run auto shop that my dad referred me to. Dad told me he takes his car to the Mom-n-Pop place all the time, has for several years, and wouldn’t think to take it elsewhere.
I took it to the local Toyota dealership first. This is what they tell me: “The exhaust system on a Toyota is all one piece. The flex pipe on your exhaust system got punctured somehow – which is why it’s making that noise. Unfortunatley, in order to fix the flex pipe problem – we have to replace the entire piece, which includes the catalytic converter. There’s no way around it – the whole thing needs to be replaced. It will cost you $1700.00.”
*Gasp* OK. I call my Dad, he gives me the referral to the local “Mom-n-Pop” that he always uses. They tell me this: “The Toyota dealership was right, and wrong. The Flex Pipe is punctured and needs to be replaced. We can replace the Flex Pipe for you, without having to replace the entire exhaust assembly. It will cost you $159.95 plus tax.”
Let’s be honest here. My Toyota is not brand new. As a matter of fact it’s a 1999 Solara with 103,000 miles on it. But, it’s a Toyota – – so if you know anything about Toyota’s .. as long as you take care of them with regular checkups, oil changes, etc… you can drive those babies to 200,000 with no problem. I love that car and the thought of getting a newer one never occurred to me. Do I really need a $1700 brand new exhaust system on it? No.
Yea, so I just saved $1500.00 by getting a quote from a local shop. The dealership didn’t even give me the option of just replacing the Flex Pipe versus the entire exhaust assembly. They didn’t even provide any lubricant with that quote!! The nerve!
Let this be a lesson to you – don’t take your car into the dealership for repairs and servicing, at least not without getting a second opinion from a local shop first.