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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

$3,100.00 engine repair?!?
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Zenia    Posted 11-23-2004 at 11:49:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Whoa Nellie. My Tacoma had been making a faint knocking sound. One mechanic said it didn't sound like anything bad. Another mechanic said he & his second mechanic thought it could be a crankshaft bearing, but he thought it was the piston - a "piston slap."

Since none of those mechanics inspired any confidence, I took the car to the Toyota dealership. The guy there could not hear the sound at first, I had to clue him into it.

Just got a message on my voice mail, that's its engine bearings, they need to tear down the engine and it will be $3,100.00!!! This is a 6 year old truck, worth at least $10K so I am not going to ditch the truck but holy cow, what now. No Christmas here, I guess. I am going to take it to yet another mechanic, the dealer is so much higher than everyone else.

ToyotaPistonSlap    Posted 02-20-2006 at 13:40:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My '99 Tacoma 4x4 8.7L has the same piston slap problem and although it is under warranty, the service manager at a toyota dealer is refusing to place a work order b/c he sees it as "normal."
However, I've done much research online and it is not normal, it is the beginning of an engine problem.
Unfortunately, these mechanics are claiming that I am just paranoid and is making a big deal out of something that will never affect the durability of my car. So, I am trying to gather every toyota owner with the piston slap/cold morning knock sound problems and make a list to present to the TOYOTA it self.
Already, Ford and Chrysler have replaced thousands of engines for their customers b/c they recognize it as a huge problem while GM is refusing to provide that kind of service (shady, isn't it?) I don't know what Toyota's situation is, but I need people to email me if they're interested.

Thanks, Kim

Check Out:

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Ryan jameson    Posted 02-15-2005 at 17:10:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Heck this site out:

Especially the 102 he has a great test specifically for piston slap.

RusselAZ    Posted 11-23-2004 at 20:37:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
After reading all the replies and your description my advice to a "slight knocking sound" on a Toyota with only 55,000 miles and 6 years old would be:

"Turn the radio volume up!"

In other words, when it gets bad enough to be a problem then a mechanic can find it. No one who has answered though could have any idea about what it could be making the noise without knowing if it is a V-6 or 4 banger. They each have their little noises and are caused by different things.

UPDATE -    Posted 11-23-2004 at 17:00:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wow! Thanks for all the replies and the information! I talked to the mechanic at Toyota. He said that he thinks it's the main bearings on the crank, but he did not open it up. He test drove it, stress tested it. He said he has heard the same noise/ seen the same thing with a couple of Siennas, and it was the bearings. He said when he turns on the AC the noise stops, because the pressure shift from the AC compressor. That's as well as I could follow, anyway.

I am taking it next week to a shop called the Toy Shop. They only work on Toyotas, but are much leaas than the dealer. I friend highly recommended them, I'll see.

I did not find any recall information for this truck. I'll check that tech. bulletin. Thanks again!!!

ron,ar    Posted 11-23-2004 at 17:42:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have someone remove the belt completly, then start the engine. Even if the water pump is run by the belt it won't hurt it to run for a minute without it. DO NOT RUN TOO LONG OR DRIVE WITHOUT THE BELT. The newer serpentine belts and tensioners can make some mighty strange noises.
Turning on the AC will put extra strain on the crankshaft no doubt but I question it somewhat. Another trick is to pour a slight amount of water on the serpentine belt while the engine is running. Water will noticably change the belt "grip" and tension. This works much better that any belt lube. If the knock goes away with either of these procedures I would doubt a bearing problem.

rayinmo    Posted 11-23-2004 at 16:59:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Know a fella here locally who purchased a toyota pickup with that slap noise, It had over a100k on it when he bought it So he searched the junkyards in three states found one with 6k on it and purchased the engine for 2600$ . Hauled it home 240 mi., pulled his engine, put the new one in, started it up and it had the same noise, he's been driving it for about 7-8 yrs. now has about 160k on it, Still slappin, Still going. LOL

ron,ar    Posted 11-23-2004 at 16:21:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Only real way to know is remove the oilpan and have look-see at the bearings.
I once had a ford taurus come in with a knock and it was only a broken mainbearing bolt. The head bolts and main bolts were a big problem with the taurus 3.o engine.
Getting back to your problem. That is too much for just lower end bearings. Ask them what a rebuilt engine installed would cost you. Let us know which engine the truck has, we can ask around and see what these things usually cost. When it comes to mechanic work it is perfectly acceptable to get more than one opinion. I have been a mechanic/technician almost 38 years and have seen my share of unscrupulous stunts pulled by folks. I get other opinions on my own stuff when I am in doubt. Don't rush into it if you can help it. Make them explain everything they are going to do for that 3100 bucks. Keep us informed, that is why we are here.

Mugway    Posted 11-23-2004 at 14:04:08       [Reply]  [No Email]

Please take it to a good mechanic,wife had the same problem and I was told the mains were bad told them they were nuts,only 60k. Same as you could hear it best inside with vehicle closed,found out it was an exhaust leak,$120 vs $1800,big difference.

RB/CT    Posted 11-23-2004 at 13:51:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
First it would be rare for a Toyota Dealer to screw someone. Toyota has too good a reputation. Just got rid of my 98 F150, 4.2 v6, it had a squealing sound coming from the bottom end. At 80k it was the crankshaft, and looking online (www.f150online) several dealers had similiar trucks, the crank moves forward, especially with a standard tranny and does the thrust bearings in. Ford wanted 2500 for a rebuilt long block, and 18 hrs labor at $85, an hour. I would be foolish not to put in a new clutch and hydraulic throw out bearing and slave cylynder in it, so the total bill would be about $5k. I sold it for parts for $1800 as the book value was about $4500. (it was a stripper truck) Get a second opinion, or it you do drive it I would put Lucas Oil Stabilizer in at 20percent, l quart and drive it easy. Good luck, my 87 Toyota was the best vehicle I ever owned.

ret    Posted 11-23-2004 at 13:48:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am sure that Ron can, tell you better than I, but rod bearings can always be heard when you gun the engine sitting, or going down the road and then stepping on it and momentarily hearing a high pitched rapid knock. Main bearings can be heard when your truck is under load, a lower kind of thump. A good mech. can tell real quickly if it is bearings. At one time GM had a problem with the flywheel cracking around the hub, very hard to diagnose this sound, this is a tinny kind of noise while idling . Toyota probably don't have this problem. Your truck don't have very many miles on it to warrant bearings, but can be possible I guess. If it is the V6, I think they had some kind of problem, but not sure what. Throw a can of STP in it, that might shut it up
RET good luck

Mike GA    Posted 11-23-2004 at 13:18:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
If I were you I would check for a recall on this problem and contact the toyota main office as toyotas are suppose to be the best on the road.

terry    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:59:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Might have another repair facility look at it. Might be a loose or cracked flywheel or dampner on front of engine. I put a crank in same engine earlier this year. Parts and labor total was $2100 including new balancer unit that was $334. Does not seem like the bearings should be bad with the mileage. Technicle service bulletin EG014-98 shows of a ticking noise heard more so in the cabin of the vehicle. Might be the noise. Call me and i will fax you a copy of the bulletin. Hope it helps. terry

terry    Posted 11-23-2004 at 13:01:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Phone 231 893 3485.

OH Boy    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:57:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have one of your male friends/relatives take it to the next shop for a diagnosis/estimate.

You are right to have the reaction you are having, it sounds like somebodys trying to stick it to ya. My sister in law had that happen to her on more than one occasion and she started having me take her car in for her when it needed something done.

Not that I am any great mechanical whiz but the shops don't know that and are less likely to blow smoke at a man than a woman.

Just a thought, hope you get it fixed.

I bought a Ford Ranger with about 90K miles on it a few years back and it was making all kind of ticking noises. It needed new rocker arms, some of them had little hollow spots worn in them where they lifted the valves. Replaced tham all myself ($200 in parts) and its been running strong ever since, got 175K on it now.

hay    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:20:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
it could be any number of things, but if it is just faint, i would just watch and wait before i shell out over $3,000 for a noise that even the dealer could not pinpoint. look for good oil pressure and if the vehicle runs and performs ok, then it COULD be just a minor valve problem. a piston slap is most prevelant when the engine is cold and a main or rod bearing usually is noisy when there is low oil/oil pressure and a lot of miles or when the engine has been abused severly or gotton extremely hot. disclaimer: this is just my opinion. not to be used as a hard and fast diagnosis.

JoeK    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:19:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Twer my truck,and I was hearin that kinda price,I'd be checkin the cost of a complete"crate"replacement engine as an option.(That would be an entire new replacement engine w/warranty)
Thought here being"reason"for bearing failure,bad oil pump,plugged oil passages,factory defect,scored crankpin/journal,owner abuse/neglect,whatever which would not necessarily be addressed by a simple"bearing job".
And is probably less labor than a teardown/bearing job.Figure the labor at 50+hr my mind says thats 50+hrs less hi estimate for parts.
5+days for a bearing job!??,Not on my dime!
(Of course this is ONLY my opinion and thoughts)

Zenia    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:28:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
The dealership charges $89.00/ hour. Insane. Most other places around here charge $65.00/ hour and up.

The truck has never been abused, far as I know. I bought it for my mother in the fall of 1998. She took a couple of long trips in it. She died in March of 2000. I think it had about 35K on it then. It sat for nearly a year, because I could not bring myself to drive it. Maybe that wasn't good for it? I have had to use it as a commute vehicle the past couple of years, though. I get the oil changed every 3,500 - 5,000 miles, just got it's 50K service. I don't drive it hard. I just got new tires for it a few months ago.

screaminghollow    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:16:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'd check with the better bus. bureau about that dealer. You can get an engine out of a wreck and install it cheaper.

We used to have a repair shop near here, that always found folks needed a rebuilt engine. $2100 cash up front. Folks would get the vehicle back with the same problem, didn't run right. Well it seems the rebuilt engine didn't come with a new carb and that was another $750.00 cash. After the carb, if folks wetre so stupid, it would need a new map sensor or positive vacuum gauge, or even muffler bearings. The only thing they ever did was spray paint the old engine. The police never did a darn thing. (Police station was across the street) One night, the mechanic and owner were mysteriously beat up and robbed. A few weeks later, the shop was torched. It also had the windows shot out a fw times. Eventually, the owner was run off the road one night. They just up and moved one day.

Zenia    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:33:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yikes! I am not even blond or that dumb looking but I think getting taken advantage of by car mechanics might be my lot in life.

Texas    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:06:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Does it make this noise idling or only at road speeds? Could be low octane gas...or any of the things you listed. Im sure a better mechanic will come along here and answer your question.

Zenia    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:12:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
It is loudest at idling, especially when the engine is warm. It is not very loud, though, when I try to clue anyone in to the noise I have to get them to sit in the cab with the windows up and they can pick out the noise after I describe it. Come to find the dealer did not remove the oil pan to inspect, they are guessing based on the noise, too. Argh. I will take it to another shop that specializes in Toyotas for the work. I cannot afford to lose this truck! I cannot chance that the engine will blow at some point. It only has 55,000 miles.

Mudcat49 (who sells Dodge    Posted 11-23-2004 at 20:11:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
UT OH!!! only 55,000 miles on it and only 6 years old! If it were a DODGE it would still have the 7 year 70,000 mile power train warrenty on it and would only cost you a hundred bucks to get it fixed!!!!!!

steve19438    Posted 11-23-2004 at 13:05:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
"It is loudest at idling, especially when the engine is warm."
that is also when the oil pressure is at it's lowest. might wanna mention that to the shop.

KatG    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:23:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Have you checked into a rebuilt engine??? One for my Bravada won't be but maybe $1000??? Keep achecking around Z....KAtG

Really...    Posted 11-23-2004 at 13:58:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
A rebuilt installed should be less than $2k...

Salmoneye, Who Needs A 350 For The Suburban, And A 258 For His CJ

Greg VT    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:22:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would absolutly get some more opinions on this before I let someone tear down my motor. It seems unlikely that your main bearings would go after only 55000 miles on that Toyota.

Piston slap is usually loudest when the engine is cold. As the engine warms to operating temp the rings and pistons expand taking up the slop between the piston and the cylinder and quieting the "slap" caused from the piston hitting the cylinder wall.

Texas    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:18:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Some high schools have auto shops and will repair it for the cost of parts. Its kids working on it, but an adult mechanic supervising. Just a thought.

Zenia    Posted 11-23-2004 at 12:32:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's a good idea! Never thought of that. I have a sentimental attachment to this truck, too, since it was my mothers.

With the costs around here I am tempted to drive it somewhere else for repairs but I migh end up in a shop like Screaminghollow described. Yikes!

Mugway    Posted 11-23-2004 at 13:58:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Please take it to a good mechanic,wife had the same problem and I was told the mains were bad told them they were nuts,only 60k. Same as you could hear it best inside with vehicle closed,found out it was an exhaust leak,$120 vs $1800,big difference.

UncleTom    Posted 11-23-2004 at 16:07:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
What engine is in this toyota? There are 2 different 4 cylinders that they used.Or do you have a v6? I am curious as my son has a 98 tacoma with 180,000 miles on it and he doesnt baby it one bit. He has the bigger of the 4 cylinder engine. Only changes oil, and a starter and battery,brakes and tires is all he has ever done to this truck. He is convinced toyota is the way to go. Please keep us posted on your outcome.

Clod    Posted 11-23-2004 at 17:27:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
3100 bucks? Guess by sound?

Jimbob    Posted 11-23-2004 at 18:51:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wow. We bought are used 4-wheel drive GM Astro van for a lot less than $3100 when it was 6 years old. Been using it for over 3 years without any issue.

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