Says 51 – Toyota Tercel fixed, looking at SUV’s

I got my Toyota Tercel fixed on Friday May 11 and it only cost me $252,00 total… and that included having them service my front brake calipers. While it’s fixed, I’m also pissed off as this is the same oxygen sensor that I had replaced back on October 01 2010.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been looking at getting an older, small SUV like a Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, (Red Honda in Pic) Hyundai Tucson, and the Mitsubishi Outlander. I had looked at North American SUV’s and the only one I even considered a possibility was the Saturn Vue, even though it’s been discontinued due to the recession of 2008. When I called the dealer and asked how long parts were going to be available, he hesitantly told me that they were already scarce and that any parts had to be ordered from the USA and that usually took a couple of weeks. With that, I decided to cross the Saturn Vue off my list and just stick with the imports. So much for Made in America pride and know how. In my researching SUV’s I was amazed at how many North American cars use Japanese or other countries engines and drive trains. Detroit may have the engineering knowledge to make a better, more fuel efficient vehicle, but they can’t or don’t want to deliver. They are good at selling the sizzle and not the steak. And then, when they get into financial trouble, (like in 2008) it’s the taxpayers that bail them out, thanks to the corrupt and inept government officials.

I feel I need a bigger vehicle with more cargo area than the 11 cubic feet I presently have. I’m looking for something that can carry all my stuff and where I still have some room to move, beside just being able to drive it. I also want a vehicle that is higher off the ground as I’m getting tired of having to watch small things I’m driving over that hit the bottom of the car. I also want a vehicle with bigger tires as the Tercel’s 13 inch wheels just seems to drop into the smallest pot hole, where my old Nissan pickup truck just rolled over them. I’m looking at getting an older 1999 – 2005 vehicle as that is all that I can afford.

I’d like to buy a vehicle out here in Saskatchewan as they use very little salt on the roads in the winter time and the vehicles are not rusty like in Ontario. But buying a car out here is also more complicated as it’s out of province and I still need to get it safety certified and emissions tested back in Ontario if I am to get plates for it there. If I don’t find a reasonable one out West, I’ll just wait until I get back to Ontario and buy one there.

I’ve also started searching Kijiji for a room or a bachelor apartment to rent in Woodstock and the surrounding area. I’ve found a few, but whether they’ll still be there when I get down to Ontario is another question. My ex-wife said that I could stay at her apartment a couple of days while I looked around for a place

Says 46 – Oxygen sensor issues with my car

May 2 Tuesday Last Friday, my mother had been over for a visit and I drove her home. When I left her apartment building, I drove over a speed bump and my 1999 Toyota Tercel hit bottom. A of couple blocks later, I noticed my engine light was on, and my first thought was that something jiggled loose when I hit the bump, even though I didn’t hit it very hard. When I got home, I called the local Toyota dealer, Taylor Motor Sales in Regina, Sask. and made arrangements to take it in on Monday.

I took it in on Monday morning and told them the story of when the light came on. They checked it out and told me that an oxygen sensor was faulty and that they would have to order it. While he told me that, he also presented me with an invoice for $137.50.

I asked the service rep, “Did he check to see if it was a loose connection.”
He said, “No, that they would check it when they put a new one in and that they had to order one.”
I asked, “How does the mechanic know if it’s not just a loose wire and not a faulty sensor if he never physically checked it? I told you I went over a bump and the engine light came on shortly after that.”
His reply was, “If it’s just a loose wire, he’ll see it when he replaces the oxygen sensor.”

I got off my chair and pointing to the invoice he had just given me, and with a sarcastic tone to my voice, I asked. “Why would I pay $556.60 for an oxygen sensor, plus labor, plus taxes, for a part that I don’t need, if the problem is just a loose wire. And that’s not counting the $137.50 that you’re charging me today for this report. I’ve had an oxygen sensor replaced by a Toyota dealer before and it was just over $200.00 in total. This is ridiculous.”

Anyway, we got into a little argument and I tossed my debit card on his desk. As he was processing it, I exclaimed in a voice that was loud enough so that all five of the service reps and their customers would hear, as well as others in the open area, that I would never come back for service and neither would I recommend anyone else to do so. He then tossed the card back at me in an act of defiance and I caught it before it slid off the desk. I asked him why he was angry; he wasn’t the one that was being gouged? He didn’t say anything, but glared at me.

The next day I went to see my sister’s mechanic and arranged for them to do the work. He quoted me $210.00, parts, labor and taxes. I also decided to call Toyota Canada and let them know that I was not happy with their dealer. I gave them all the details, including invoice number, service representative, etc.. That’s just bullshit, and as long as car dealers that can get away with gouging, they will.