Local Mechanic vs. Certified Mechanic $$$ (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 6, 2020
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87
Location
Limestone County, AL
Hello all

I'm in the process of finding a local mechanic to do the TB/WP service on my 99 LX.

Found a guy, never met him nor heard of him until a close friend of mine (not a cruiser guy) mentioned this guy was comfortable doing the service. This local mechanic does not have a business, cannot warranty the work and is not a dedicated Toyota/Lexus or even foreign car mechanic - he apparently has experience working at a Jeep dealership as a master mechanic of some sorts and other misc. experience working on other brands (probably Toyota and Lexus, too) on his own time for very little money. He now operates his side-hustle through a certified mechanic's garage whom he does not work for...

All this makes me feel a bit uneasy but maybe the work isn't as in-depth as I imagine it. I mean, most of y'all are doing this job at home yourselves while never having done it before and the results seem to be A-OK, right? So, he should have no problems, right?

What's making all of this tempting to me is he's only going to charge me about $680 out-the-door ... but no warranty if something goes bad... Should I just go with a certified shop? Help.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
152
Location
Duluth, GA
Do some more searching. I had a local shop (2 ex toyota mechanics) do TB/WP/Heater t's/mount 4 new tires with an alignment for $860. They even let me look over their shoulder for a few parts of the install.

I would be concerned about no support after the install.

You can have good or cheap, pick one.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
152
Location
Duluth, GA
Dang that's a good price! Is that parts and labor?

I'd rather have cheap and me just do it. Might take forever but...

That was labor.

Aisin kit $167 Amazon product
Serpentine belt $17 Amazon product
Heater T's from Toyota for $20

Tires were Ironman Country AT (ebay special) 4 shipped for $568

Install labor for all above was exactly $763, I remembered it as $800 :/

So all the above parts and labor totaled: $1,500.00

It's best to get a few quotes.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
87
Location
Limestone County, AL
That was labor.

Aisin kit $167 Amazon product
Serpentine belt $17 Amazon product
Heater T's from Toyota for $20

Tires were Ironman Country AT (ebay special) 4 shipped for $568

Install labor for all above was exactly $763, I remembered it as $800 :/

So all the above parts and labor totaled: $1,500.00

It's best to get a few quotes.

So, $1500 coming from a reputable shop in town is actually NOT a bad price..

I think I'm just gonna order the parts and attempt it myself. Might take a week off work :D
 

suprarx7nut

The YotaMD Guy
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I would not select the person/shop to do this job based on price and I certainly wouldn't want anyone that hasn't done a couple 2UZs. The water inlet piece is likely to break or not seal correctly, bad bearings could be left on when they should be replaced, etc...

Consider it an investment. If you're doing it yourself, use the resources here. If you're paying someone else, make sure your paying them for their expertise, not because they value their own time less than anyone else you could find.
 

MJK

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Mar 13, 2020
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Tucson
This is not a tough job, but it is one you REALLY don't want done half@ssed, with shoddy parts, or otherwise by the lowest bidder.

Do it yourself, or pay someone with a reputation to protect. One saves a couple days hassle, the other $x00.

Watch OTRAMMs videos on YouTube if you can't make up your mind.
 

Eighteen11R

1811SAR
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Dig a little more on your local guy for some satisfied YODA customers too...he may be a diamond in the rough with a serious following which is allowing him to leave a dealership and build his business. DIY vs. DPP (Demonstrated Past Performance) could save you follow-up/come-back dollars. This place exudes experience and know-how. @OTRAMM has some very cool videos and a human answers their phones too.
 
Joined
May 20, 2019
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Location
Las Vegas NV
If you have the time and patience (well yeah you will learn eventually to have one), consider DIY. Not throwing shade at any dealership technicians, but this:
8FACD03F-2662-460E-94D8-80C6283079B8.jpeg

Is the exact reason why I’d rather do it.
Last TB/WP job was done at Houston TX Lexus dealership and whoever did the side bolt of this fan bracket was in a hurry.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Colorado
I got my TB/wp by local shop independent they did heater ts as well. That was $1200 ootd. As some have mentioned I would go with a place that you trust and can warranty their work. Op what state are you in?
 

e9999

Gotta get outta here...
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Your guy can be great or not so great. That would make or break the deal. Yes, some more digging into previous customers etc would help. Remember also that a warranty is only as good as the entity issuing it. There is probably a lot of fine print in any of those. At least if there is no warranty expected you know clearly where you stand.

I find the notion perhaps implied in some comments that it's likely better to DIY than use an independent a bit of a stretch, though. Yes, if you do your own, you will spend more time and be more cautious. No doubt. But just about any mechanic out there, regardless of brand of expertise, has surely way more experience than most of us here. And may be much less likely to make a rookie mistake. I think it's a bit cocky to assume that DIY is always better. Having said that, I'd prefer DIY myself, but I have no illusion that it won't take me 10x longer than any pro, and I know I may well make a mistake if not very careful (which is why it'll take me much longer, I'd feel obliged to read 100 posts on Mud first, etc).

I think one of the deciding factors for me as to do it DIY or not, would be if I'd expect to do the same job again later on on the same vehicle. If so, then that's a big plus cuz the second time will probably only take 1/3 of the time of the first one.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
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Location
Sam's Clam Disco, CA
I'd suggest that the untested local guy may be a good resource to teach you how to do it, as you follow along with the FSM. Get your own parts, pay him for his time, and be his nurse.

Next time you can change your own. It's a 9-5er for a single instruction follower. Start at nine (prepared) and you can drive to dinner at five.
 

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