On the 'Net since 1994 Mark Miller Toyota
It's unconscionable that Mark Miller Toyota would try to bill me without having done anything to fix my car... and how the problem finally got diagnosed correctly and fixed.
Mark Miller Toyota Inc. 11/12/11
730 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Dear sir or madam,
On 8-9-11 I brought my Toyota Camry to your repair shop, and you didn’t find anything wrong with it. It continued to malfunction.
Next, I took the car to a small repair shop, Mecanica En General, Joshua Emissions, 258 W. Lucy Ave, in Salt Lake City. The men there test-drove it and established that I needed a new air intake valve. They, like you, also found that there were “no codes in the system”. But they diagnosed the problem nevertheless. I know that because a part was replaced the car now works normally and it has not failed in the three months since.
You did nothing except to look and to bill me $58.12. Because you did not take enough interest to find the problem, because you were not fastidious and because you did not help, I now ask for a refund of the amount I paid you.
Enclosed is a copy of my receipt and a picture. I will post what actions you take on this request and how quickly you reply, on the internet.
The Bill from Mark Miller Toyota
My refund check with a conditional apology -- if applicable -- from from Mark Miller Toyota
What happened next -
In the Fall the Camry failed again in the same way several months later. I poked around on the Internets and discovered JustAnswer.Com. What a fiasco that turned out to be! The mechanic there told me me to replace the Idle Air Control Intake Valve. Then JustAnswer continued to charge my credit card monthly until I noticed accumulated charges. I disputed those charges with my credit card company. More about that here.
Joshua, my mechanic replaced this Idle Air Control Intake Valve and everything seemed fine afterwards. Camrys and other brands use such a valve; when the vehicle idles, air still needs to reach the engine else it can die when trying to idle at stop signs.
But about five or six months after Joshua had replaced ($40) this valve, the same thing happened again! Joshua checked a bunch of things (free of charge). I didn't understand it, but it had to do with the pressure on the tubes coming to this valve. He found nothing amiss, but frequently the car continued to stall at stop signs -- with never and engine check light on the dashboard.
I had purchased a second Idle Air Intake Valve online from Parts Geek ($139). Amazon has this part and it sells for ($141) there. I had used a non-Toyota aftermarket part. Since replacing this valve fixed my problem once, I thought I'd try an original Toyota part ($285) from a local Toyota dealer. Joshua seemed ambivalent as to whether this would work, but I wanted to try it anyway. Again, Joshua's shop installed this part for me ($40) and he replaced its gasket also.
This may have fixed the problem! Its too early to tell -- I've only driven this car for about two weeks now, but only on short trips. So far so good. Before, this problem had been aggravated when the car had been on driven longer trips.
No! It's happening again now, many months after the problem first reared its head. The car again stalls at every third stop sign or so -- even on short trips. Once, on a hot April day, the car became difficult to start. That evening, parked in the garage, the car's battery drained. I bought a new one from Sears the next day -- even though the Sears technician tested it and said that this three year old battery was OK.
And how all this finally resolved
In the spring my daughter Sonya, who lives in England, asked me to go to my local Wells Fargo bank to deposit some money into her account. On that trip to the bank, as it happened, quite by accident, I ran into an old friend who is many things, and a good a mechanic too. Years ago, Howard, with his wife Leslee, and I, rented apartments in the same house. I hadn't seen him in ages. It dawned on me that he might have some insight into this and so I asked him if he'd like to take a crack at cracking this problem. To my delight, he accepted.
I learned from aa1car.com - this site has a good description of what this sensor business is all about.
Howard, fiddled (or whatever it's called that he does) with the car and found a questionable O2 sensor. He replaced the sensor ($146.57) and this seemed to fix the problem -- but not for long.
Next, Howard found that the Engine Coolant Sensor which detects the coolant temperature was acting erratically. Howard explained that this thing is connected to the car's mainframe (sic), as he calls this car's computer. Replacing this thing ($40.68) seemed to fix the problem. Howard test-drove the car and so did I. So far, half a year later, everything is copasetic. Stay tuned...
If it hadn't been for my daughter needing some money causing me to have crossed paths with Howard that day, I'd still be contemplating calling Tom and Ray Magliozzi, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers of the Car Talk weekend radio show about this.
1st Idle Air Intake Valve online - Parts Geek
Labor - Joshua
2nd Idle Air Intake Valve online - Parts Geek
Labor - Joshua
O2 sensor - Howard
Engine Coolant Sensor - Howard
Mark Miller Toyota is unethical and was useless as tits on a boar. All Mark Miller wanted to do, it seems, was to bill me, get paid and say good-bye. Mark Miller didn't take the time to look seriously into my problem. It seems that Mark Miller doesn't care. My next Toyota Motor Car car won't be purchased there. But I'll certainly use its sales clerks to demo the newest Toyota offerings. Then I'll go elsewhere to make a purchase.
Evolve Beyond Belief...
Pick one up for a friend!
On the 'Net since 1994 168 Auto Repair
61 West 2100 South Salt Lake City, UT 84115 (801) 682-5395
Timing belt replacement
Oil pump, o-ring & gasket
Replace valve cover gasket
TOTAL came to $ 398.93
They even offered to give me a ride home, if I needed it.
*** UPDATE ***
Later, I took my Toota there for replacement of a front axle. Then the transmission had a large hole, punctured by the axle. My mechanic told me that 168 Auto Repair had forgotten to put oil/fluid into the axle and that's what caused the breach of the transmission housing. I don't know for sure what happened. I'll buy a Tesla; Tesla doesn't have these parts. That can't happen again with this car.
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Page updated 2017-10-14