HELP! Girl scared to get ripped off at dealer

Tiny
DZIABO
  • MEMBER
  • TOYOTA PICKUP
Hello, I have a 1996 V6 4x2 extended cab toyota tacoma. I have had this car since it was brand new and it has been very good to me over the years. Now it is pretty old and has 166,000 miles. It gets serviced reguarly and gets extended mile oil. It usually does not drive more then 35-50 miles a week at most since I take the train to work. Today I had to drive 50 miles down the freeway for an appointment. The car was fine until I got to the freeway exit coming home and when I stopped at the light and hit the gas when it turned green it seemed like it "pulled" getting started. I looked down and saw the "check engine light on". I stopped at the gas station and put more gas in since it was low and started and stopped the car a couple times and popped the hood. It seemes to be running ok and hasn't done the "pulling" thing again when I hit the gas but the light is STILL ON. I am really upset about this- it always comes at the worst time. I am wondering if the battery can have anything to do with this? I do know I have needed a new battery for awhile and I am not a total idiot when it comes to cars I have taken auto classes and such before but long ago. Whenever I take it to the dealer I get ripped off and I am leaving on a trip on Monday and need my car and I am scared to drive it. Can someone help me? Does anyone know what problems could stem from the "Check Engine Light" and what I should expect from a car repair place? Thank you so much I am so worried.
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 4:56 PM

16 Replies

Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Don't be worried. It won't help, just make it worse. You don't have to go to the dealer, but don't go to a chain.

IF the engine is running fine and there are no abnormal conditions then don't stress out.

The light may go out on its own.

It means there was (is) something that affected the emission system. Unless it's flashing or a drivaiblity problem, have it checked out within the month.
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
DZIABO
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much! That was quick.I really appreciate the information. I just called Toyota and of course it costs 100.00 bucks to run the diagnostics.I just don't have tons of money to spend on this but I have to if I want to drive. This is why I was asking about the battery- I know I need a new one and maybe that has something to do with it? Anymore information would be very helpful. Thank you so much! :)
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 5:13 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
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http://www.2carpros.com/dia/index.htm

Why do you think you need a battery?

And no it won't affect the check engine light other than temporarily turn it off because it will erase the computer's memory.

Try a reputable independent shop ir your going to take it in...you don't need the dealer.

You can buy a code reader or stop at an autozone and they can read the codes...just don't let them try to diagnose it by their guessing.
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
DZIABO
  • MEMBER
Thanks again Paul- I have been thinking I need a battery because it has been 3-4 years since I replaced it and my father keeps wanting me to put in a new one. We usually do the maintenance work on the car together, changing oil, break pads, tranny fluid, batteries etc. It just passed emissions in March when I had the registration renewed. I am just really hoping that it isn't anything big and that it can be fixed at low cost or easy to fix on my own with my Dad helping me. There hasn't been anything worng with the truck in a long time and I guess my luck ran out again. :) Thank you so much for helping out. I don't know- I guess I will have to start calling places and ask how the diagnostics checks are, I just don't want to chance driving it and have something even worse happen because of it but I need my truck on a daily basis and I don't have another car. Sigh.
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 5:46 PM
Tiny
DZIABO
  • MEMBER
FYI- my truck is an automatic transmission in case that has any effect on anything. :)
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 5:51 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
My Pleasure.

Batteries last 5 years on average.

If there is an autozone around have them read the codes and get back to me. Or it may be worth buying a code reader. I can probably help you through this, especially since you and you Dad are willing.

If you at least get the codes we can better determine how important this is. Again. Don't stress out over it, it isn't a big deal. Cancer maybe, but not a check engine light :wink:
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
DZIABO
  • MEMBER
Yes- you are right. Cancer is a lot worse then the check engine light! You are also right about calming down and getting this fixed. I want to say thanks even again for this- I have called a couple places and diagnostics readings are about 100 bucks wherever you go. Next I will call autozone at your mention of them. The dealer (where I hate taking my truck because they have ripped me before and think I am dumb because I am female) seems to have the best deal with 100 for the test and IF there is anything wrong the 100 bucks goes twoards repair. Everyone else so far says 100 plus the parts and repair. I am going to go get the codes read by tommorrow and if it is something you think I can fix I would rather do that. Thank you so much you are really making me feel better about this. I will get back to you as soon I can here. Autozone is next on the call list here. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 6:18 PM
Tiny
BUZZSAW
  • MEMBER
Going to the dealer isnt a rip off, remember who gets paid there, theres a lot of over head, thats why they charge so much, does it get fixed right the first time, if it doesnt then its time to bitch, me working for toyota 8 yrs would say its 02 sensors, ck engine light is a computer prob any way, not an engine issue, there should be a time table on top of the battery, if you marked it
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Friday, September 21st, 2007 AT 11:48 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Precisely why you should avoid the dealer.
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Saturday, September 22nd, 2007 AT 11:16 AM
Tiny
BUZZSAW
  • MEMBER
Precisely why you should avoid the dealer.[/Quote:5a9651be21]
yea but if you just sticking parts on that dont fix nothing then your the only one getting paid
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Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 AT 2:22 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
How ironic, you condemned the O2 sensors, without pulling codes. Nice.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/30961_cystal_ball_1.jpg

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Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 AT 4:42 AM
Tiny
BUZZSAW
  • MEMBER
A 96 just doesnt have that many comp cks, that millage, 02 sen should have been put on at 120k, I will put my 26 yrs of working on cars up aginst your service writing anyday, 8 yrs of which were at a toyota dealership

Why don't you try me only 8 try 38yrs I was born when it was Toyopet
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Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 AT 7:59 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
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You're wrong. And you don't know me. You want to make a game of it?
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Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 AT 8:50 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Why don't you try me, only 8 try 38yrs I was born when it was Toyopet/Datsun that's where I started 38yrs ago and am still learning at my age as it changes. Half of it came from Japan being a half breed japanese. So let the games begin. Bring it On.

Stick with the computers and finish school young buckaroo
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Thursday, September 27th, 2007 AT 5:07 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
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Buzz,
You beat your chest pretty hard, but short of that your too often in left field. Last time I checked OBDII started in 96. True that several codes are related to an O2, But that represents a VERY small portion of the possiblities of the codes that may be stored in the PCM. Your puking out "it's the O2 sensors" is the equivelent of playing:


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/30961_bondgirlsroulette_1.jpg



But using someone else's money. Then to say. "theres a lot of over head, thats why they charge so much" just validates why it is foolish to go there. Common business sense says that if there is high overhead, there will be high charges. It doesn't mean you'll get high quality. Dealer parts do not mean higher quality. Dealers also use the aftermarket for certain parts. It doesn't mean you'll get a tech that cares anymore than anywhere else, especially if he isn't covered adequetly for diagnosis time. For the record diagnosis means actual testing, not spitting out "it's the O2 sensors". Yeah , maybe it is, but you don't know that the dealer hasn't put them in when she was at 120,000 miles do you?

Raz is right, stay in school and think about what your doing and saying.
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Thursday, September 27th, 2007 AT 6:12 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Enough already. Dziabo, Autozone will scan the PCM for free, take it there and get the codes and get back to us
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Thursday, September 27th, 2007 AT 10:01 AM

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