1) After all the damage to my wheels, etc. I figure I should have the
wheels aligned. A toyota.
Who do you think does the best job? A Toyotal dealer, Firestone,
PepBoys, or a gas station with busy service bays who was recommended?
Someone I know and trust also gave a particular guy at Pep Boys a very
high recommendation yesterday.
The dealer is having a sale this month, so it's the same price as
I was going to take it to the dealer, because I figured that values that
are always fine on cars that only hit chuck holes etc. might be messed
up on mine, given that I knocked a chunk out of my aluminum wheel. I've
considered the possibility I rotated the entire hub assembly on the
strut, though I can find no evidence that I did that**
But a guy I was reading on the web felt that the mechanics at dealers
are all getting paid acc. to flat rate, and that they rush the job to
make more money.
2) Follow=up on my car. Last Tuesday, I think it was, I finished the
front and just as I was about to take it around the block for a test
drive, a young neighbor says, "You know the rear tire is pointing the
wrong direction!" Actually I hadn't noticed. When I took the tire
off, closer to the center line than to the hub, I saw that on the right
rear tire, the forward locating arm was bent, about 25 degrees!
The part is just a metal rod maybe 7/8" thick with a hole on each end.
How much does Toyota want for the part?
$159, can you believe it? Is that because prices in general have gone
up, or is it because it's a foreign car? And Toyota wanted $210 to put
it on. Firestone said it was a 1.1 hour job and wanted $121 to put it
on. And then 80 for wheel alignment, but I'm not complaining about
There are at least two after-market makers of the part and Advance Auto
sells one for 90 dollars. (The only way you can buy it is Ship to Home)
Before I found that, I tried www.car-part.com and it's a great page.
Check it out. It has a long list of names of parts to search for, the
longest list I've seen, and it has a built in interchange book, so it
offers up others models and years that used the same part. (In my case,
the Avalon and Lexus used the same part, for more than one year.) Many
of them are graded A, B, or C, and it has the name, web address, real
address, email address, and phone number, and distance from the zip code
I entered, of the dealer, and added description of the part, like what
color it is for a body part.
It just tells you what yards have your part, and then you call the yard,
verify that it's the right part, and do all your dealings with the yard,
not with car-part.com. I guess recyclers ;-) and junkyards pay to list
the part, whether it sells or not, since I don't think car-part has any
way to know if the part ever sells. Right?
I found 4 used part outlets not too far from me that I didnt' know
about. Well one I knew about and had tried to find, but there was no
sign on the road and I gave up. Now I have the address and they're on a
side road. $50. He says he has 24 of them. If it rains, I'll pick
it up tomorrow. If it doesn't, I still have work to do at home. So
instead of $369, it will be $50 and 1 or 2 hours of my time to install,.
I know I'm slow, but it's only got two bolts. I don't know how it can
take more than an hour once the car is jacked up and on stands. Of
course it always does take longer than I expect.
After this part is installed, I can return the car I've borrowed
(Fortunately for me, my friend's wife just never drives anymore, so she
has it seems no interest in getting the car back. She says, "whatever my
husband says" )
All it will need is alignment.