1999 Camry LE Automatic, Mileage: 170000Km
I took my vehicle to one of the local Toyota Dealerships for a Detailing package. The package included cleaning an d shampoo of the engine compartment.
The day that I picked up the vehicle I was able to drive it for about 1 hour before returning to work. Later that day the car would not start anymore. Before it was towed back to the dealership I was told that the alternator was damaged and the battery discharger. The technician at the dealership confirmed that after running a diagnostic test. I am trying to understand if the damage could have been caused by the cleaning of the engine. The person at the dealership is arguing that the alternator is fully sealed and that the fault occurred due to the alternator being old and that they see things like that happen all the time. A mechanic friend of mine; however, tells me that if the electrical components in the engine are not covered properly during cleaning, damage can result easily to the alternator. Your opinion in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
This is just a coincidence. Any damage to due to engine wash would have caused the car not to start at all as water sometimes gets on plugs, wires or air cleaner.
August, 20, 2007 AT 6:37 PM
I feel that you are un lucky as this problem is not un known, normally you would have no problems cleaning the engine as long as normal care is taken like not spraying high pressure water into the electrical componets at close range. You only have the word of the person doing the job that he /she did not do this, there is no real way to prove it so go get the alternator o/hauled and you know where not to send the car for a clean next time.