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Normally I do my oil change myself on all equipment I own.
However I have never done so on my 2012 Highlander ( purchased a few years old) They charge around $65 for fully synthetic oil.
It looks like I would do the labor for free.

Every-time I go there I get sucked in to do some additional work.
I said, no more and I bought the special wrench to remove the oil filter.
I had to take it one last time due to my busy life.

At that time they offered me lifetime oil change for like $250.00 It was a great deal since they did count the last oil change as part of it. So practically I only paid $185 for it
Yesterday I went for an oil change and of course they came with 4-5 things that need fixed or replaced.
The lady said that the car needs realignment ( the car has less then 100k miles)


A few days ago I drove my car in a tight turn in the parking lot and the almost new tire squealed a bit. So I thought she might be right.
When the car was done I incurred a charge of $103.00
She gave me a computer print out with all the diagrams and alignment info.The only misalignment was the thrust angle( rear end).
The angle was 0.26 degree and was supposed to be 0.11 degree.
I dont think 0.15 degree makes any difference at all but im not a mechanic.
My conclusion is that they got me again.
Next time I go, I wont buy a darn thing even if they tell me the car will explode.
 

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That's how they make their living. Everyone in the building gets a commission on the upsells. Is there a mileage limit on the oil changes?
Is the thrust angle adjustable on that vehicle?
 
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That's how they make their living. Everyone in the building gets a commission on the upsells. Is there a mileage limit on the oil changes?
Is the thrust angle adjustable on that vehicle?
First question I dont know and the second: I dont know.
Im not smart enough to read what they put in front of me to sign
They told me for as long as I own the vehicle.
I assume they are not dumb enough to put on paper things that could not be done. This is a Toyota dealership
 

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Brings to mind someone named P. T. Barnum. LOL.
 

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I had my Suburban front end aligned twice and it still pulled to the left so hard, that in 5 seconds it would be in the center median if I took my hands off the wheel.



asked around and found a good alignment shop.
they fixed it, and gave me a printout.... it was amazing that the difference between what the other shop's printout showed, and the good printout showed.


both were "in the green", but the last one fixed it correctly.
I hate it when the shop manager says, "it is in the green, that is all that matters".


like hell it is, I can prove it.
 

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The difference in thrust angle is negligible but what really amazes me is the fact that they told you it needed an alignment in the first place. What that tells me is that they already had it set up on the alignment rack with all the sensors in place and ran a preliminary test on it to find out that the thrust angle was out. I find it hard to believe they would go through all of that during a simple oil change risking the owner would say no to the alignment. Either that or they simply guessed and once they put it on the rack and found nothing wrong they cranked one of the rear cams to give the out of range reading and then cranked it back. When we bought my wife's two year old Corolla with only 6,000 miles on it I bought the repair plan for oil changes and any repairs. It was a bit pricey but with my failing health I can't do the work I used to do. BUT, I made it quite clear to the dealer AND to the service manager that I was going to be able to watch all work being done on the car before I signed off on those papers. He was well aware of the fact that I am a retired master tech since he had o deal with me inspecting cars for prospective buyers who hired me. He actually tried to hire me as a mechanic a few years before so he knows I will be watching every move they make. I am not going to allow anyone to "create" an issue so they can repair it.

And the reason I did not take the job offer? I told him I was too honest to work for a dealership! He laughed and said he fully understood my point of view. That was why I was inspecting used cars before people bought them from a dealer.
 

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I had my Suburban front end aligned twice and it still pulled to the left so hard, that in 5 seconds it would be in the center median if I took my hands off the wheel.



asked around and found a good alignment shop.
they fixed it, and gave me a printout.... it was amazing that the difference between what the other shop's printout showed, and the good printout showed.


both were "in the green", but the last one fixed it correctly.
I hate it when the shop manager says, "it is in the green, that is all that matters".


like hell it is, I can prove it.
They may have just rotated the tires. That's where a pull comes from most of the time.
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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Nope,

they did not need to rotate the tires, I had already done that before with the 1st shop, and it did NOT stop the truck from pulling to the left.


it was so bad, that even while pulling the Toy Hauler, it would still land up in the center median in about 15 seconds of taking hands off the Steering Wheel.


It is soooo nice now, that I can drop my hands off the wheel, and it tracks straight down the road, with, or w/o the trailer hooked up.


On our return trip home from Florida/South Carolina.....
hit a chuck hole in Memphis, broke the belts on the LF tire.


In Alma, AR the bouncing became so bad that I stopped at the Walmart and bought two brand new tires for the front. It still tracks perfectly straight.
 

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If a Highlander has a solid rear axle, I would think that there is no thrust angle adjustment. Only independent rear suspension has an adjustment, there will be a readout for it, but the only thing you can do is set the front end to track with the rear.

I have been told by shops that my F150 needs alignment., I said no thanks, I currently have 65000 miles on the second set of tires, the first set went 48000 miles(OEM) the truck has never been aligned. I just rotate them once a year.
I was a Ford mechanic, for 15 years, About the last 5 years at that garage, they wanted you to upsell everything. Talk people into doing scheduled maintenance early. We had one guy that told everyone that their transmission needed serviced. A 27-30k miles item. He was selling them at 15k.
I got tired of service writers getting creative. There is enough stuff wrong with most vehicles, you don't need to dream stuff up. I tried to school owners on why there is a maintenance schedule, and where their ride was in it's life. More like this stuff is going to need fixed in the next 6 months, year, and so on. And what they could expect cost wise for different items. Not "your brakes are worn out, if you don't take care of it right now, you will surely die"
 

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I got more or less drummed out of my last job because I wouldn't try to upsell things customers didn't need. It's why I retired early. You wouldn't believe the snake oil they came up with to squeeze every last dime out of people. I wanted no part of it.
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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Our 2007 Pontiac Vibe is at 98,000 miles plus, and still on the OEM set of brake pads.
Antifreeze has never been changed, they say don't do that, it is permanent.


Transmission oil has never been changed.


Engine oil get changed out once a year, with full synthetic.
it runs just fine.
 

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Normally I do my oil change myself on all equipment I own.
However I have never done so on my 2012 Highlander ( purchased a few years old) They charge around $65 for fully synthetic oil.
It looks like I would do the labor for free.

Every-time I go there I get sucked in to do some additional work.
I said, no more and I bought the special wrench to remove the oil filter.
I had to take it one last time due to my busy life.

At that time they offered me lifetime oil change for like $250.00 It was a great deal since they did count the last oil change as part of it. So practically I only paid $185 for it
Yesterday I went for an oil change and of course they came with 4-5 things that need fixed or replaced.
The lady said that the car needs realignment ( the car has less then 100k miles)


A few days ago I drove my car in a tight turn in the parking lot and the almost new tire squealed a bit. So I thought she might be right.
When the car was done I incurred a charge of $103.00
She gave me a computer print out with all the diagrams and alignment info.The only misalignment was the thrust angle( rear end).
The angle was 0.26 degree and was supposed to be 0.11 degree.
I dont think 0.15 degree makes any difference at all but im not a mechanic.
My conclusion is that they got me again.
Next time I go, I wont buy a darn thing even if they tell me the car will explode.
Sorry for the late response.
To decipher your readings, if your vehicle spec is .11 you would want to go to .10 and have a reading of .05 on the left and .05 on the right as opposed to say .10 on the left and .00 on the right. And yes the .15 can create a pull or drift, although in my opinion and experience, if you’re .25 or less out of spec. you’re still in pretty good shape.
Just to clear a few things up, thrust angle is the tracking of the rear axle. It is not adjustable per say, but I’ll explain how it can be improved if out of spec. Maybe!!!
If it is a solid axle, or independent suspension, imagine drawing a straight line through the wheel center line left to right, or visa versa, and then a perpendicular line to the vehicle. This would mean the rear wheels are both directly next to each other and in a straight line with the vehicle. On an alignment rack you would want to see zero on both sides, and a total toe of zero, but that usually never happens. The rear axle is almost always “tilted” to the left or right. If you were to hold a pencil up and tilt it to the left, you could imagine if wheels were hooked to it they would both be left tilting as well. To equate into alignment language, the left wheel would have negative toe, or be outward pointing, and the right wheel would have positive toe, or pointing inward. Negative readings are numbers less than zero and positive above zero. This is where your “print out” could read in spec on the total toe measurement, but obviously be out of spec side to side. So, thrust agle can be adjusted if the axle is loosened and pryed to try and shift it in its mounts, but that gives you very little adjustment. You may or may not get the .15 needed. Usually a vehicle that was hit or backed hard into a curb will tweak the frame or axle mountings thus sending the thrust angle out of spec. On an independent rear suspension, most have individual toe adjustments on either side, but even if both sides are at zero, that doesnt mean the wheels are in a straight line relative to the vehicle. Hopefully that clears it up a little.
As far as “upselling”, I worked as a line mechanic my whole life, and yes I tried to upsell but honestly. If I had a vehicle in the air and saw the tires had edge wear or tapered “saw tooth” wear, that is a visual that the alignment is out. As far as knowing if the thrust angle is out, a machine would be needed.
 

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If a Highlander has a solid rear axle, I would think that there is no thrust angle adjustment. Only independent rear suspension has an adjustment, there will be a readout for it, but the only thing you can do is set the front end to track with the rear.

I have been told by shops that my F150 needs alignment., I said no thanks, I currently have 65000 miles on the second set of tires, the first set went 48000 miles(OEM) the truck has never been aligned. I just rotate them once a year.
I was a Ford mechanic, for 15 years, About the last 5 years at that garage, they wanted you to upsell everything. Talk people into doing scheduled maintenance early. We had one guy that told everyone that their transmission needed serviced. A 27-30k miles item. He was selling them at 15k.
I got tired of service writers getting creative. There is enough stuff wrong with most vehicles, you don't need to dream stuff up. I tried to school owners on why there is a maintenance schedule, and where their ride was in it's life. More like this stuff is going to need fixed in the next 6 months, year, and so on. And what they could expect cost wise for different items. Not "your brakes are worn out, if you don't take care of it right now, you will surely die"
It actually is possible to get a thrust angle error on a solid axle vehicle. On leaf sprung vehicles it is usually caused by a broken center locating pin in the spring pack and on coil sprung vehicles the causes can be many but usually it is bad suspension arm bushings. In these cases the vehicle "dogwalks" down the road. I have been behind pickup trucks that were so bad you could see the inside of the front tire while looking past the outside of the back tire driving down the highway!! I had this happen on my own truck when I broke that pin four wheeling and it is not a comfortable experience, I have no idea how people drive down the road at 70 MPH like that.
 

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I got more or less drummed out of my last job because I wouldn't try to upsell things customers didn't need. It's why I retired early. You wouldn't believe the snake oil they came up with to squeeze every last dime out of people. I wanted no part of it.
Mrs Nobbie had the Chev into the dealer for an oil change and the notes at the bottom of the invoice recommended a dozen tests and fluid checks.The total was $800.00. They forgot to put in a price for ice skates for the devil because hell would freeze over before I went for that scam.
 
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