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Just dropped off my 2013 Toyota RAV 4 Limited Edition (Canada), purchased new. Just over 14,000 km - driven in the city, some highway and largely on weekends. I agreed to the maintenance package, including oil change. They also recommended a wheel alignment and brake service (which is part of the regularly scheduled maintenance but at an extra cost). I declined as both seemed unnecessary (one was to prevent rust on rotors and requirement to have them machined???). I have little trust for dealer service, though I know you can find honest dealers and shops. It is still under warranty which is why I go to the dealer. My question is…do others feel as I do that they are trying to rope us in to work we don't need? It is my least favourite thing about owning a car. The only thing I would have sprung for is wheel rotation.
 

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I wonder too, since we cannot watch them servicing our vehicles. That's why I really liked my Mercedes mechanic. His shop was open and if he knew you well enough, would let you in the shop while they were working on your vehicle.

Yesterday, I took my RAV in for an oil change. It only has 1,000 miles, and I understand that that first oil change is not necessary. But I'm 'old school' and that what we did with new cars in the old days. I have a dash cam, but unfortunately, it shuts off when the cigarette lighter power is off, (when the engine is turned off). Still, there was enough video to see that the entire oil change took about twelve minutes. Twelve minutes! From the time he popped the hood until he made that final dip stick check for proper level.

There is no video to tell if he changed the filter or not. The bill shows oil and filter. It was interesting that he checked the lights and turn signals right after he pulled into the service bay. I'm going to see if I can figure out how to make that cigarette lighter socket hot all the time.
 

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Well machining the rotors to prevent rust is complete BS. If a car sits for a week a bit of rust shows on the rotors braking surface. That's 100% normal. The rust comes off as soon as you drive it again and brake. Rust anywhere else on the rotor doesn't' matter. Machining is done to correct warped rotors, not prevent rust. What it will do is require you to replace your rotors much sooner which is fine if it's required correct warp. Not so much if the only benefit is padding the dealerships pocket for bogus service work and much sooner rotor replacement. Good job on declining.
 

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I'm going to see if I can figure out how to make that cigarette lighter socket hot all the time.
JuneBug can probably help with that. Using his illustrated post here, I made my console and rear outlet always on. The cig-lighter is a different circuit. (I deviated fro JuneBug's procedure by using a chair connector with the back snipped off rather than soldering.)

As Nodnerb wrote, the bit about the rusted discs is total bull****, an insult to our intelligence. That's enough reason to never, ever visit that place again, and if it is a Toyota dealer they should be reported. The discs rust because they are made of the right stuff to endure heat and wear. Hell, mine rust in two days. Applying the brakes once clears the surface immediately.
 

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Hose down your rotor and watch the surface rust form in front of your eyes! That's normal in most rotors.
If your tires are wearing evenly and if you do not have any vibrations when driving at high or low speeds, forget about alignment.
 

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Yep, rotors rust and that is normal. Dealers will try to sell unnecessary services to enhance their profit bottom lines. The dealer's service department where we bought our CR-Vs tried to sell us brake disassembly and cleaning, not mentioned in Honda's service schedule, when we brought the vehicles in for service. I phoned Honda corporate and was placed in touch with an engineer, who basically said that "service" was BS and unnecessary. When I brought my RAV4 to the Toyota dealer for service the rep. tried to sell me fuel injector cleaning "service," and regaled me with their having to replace the fuel injectors, etc. on another vehicle at 125,000 miles because the owner hadn't had the cleaning "service" done. I pointed out that my RAV had only about 9,000 miles on it, then and that I also have an extended VSA if something should go amiss with the fuel system, and the rep. immediately backed off.
 
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The brake service is completley unnecessary!! I have never in my 47 years of dealer service heard of machining the rotors as part of a maintenance schedule. If the rotors pulsate upon braking or they are scored beyond specifications, that is the time to think about machining or replacing the rotor. FYI: If you do your own work you can buy great aftermarket rotors at Brake Performance at less than it costs to resurface them.
Keep an eye on your tire wear. Unusual wear will tell you when it is time for an alignment.
 

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imc22 - I NEVER / EVER have Rotors turned thinner, on a brake lathe / more prone to WARP !!
(warped rotors can send SUV in the ditch, under a panic stop...total waste of money)
- when their bad (after +/- 100,000 Km), just replace with new premium grade brake kit

Quote below from my twin brothers post:
Him & I avoid "stealership's" all together & save much $$.
- even our son, who lives in Toronto schedules his SUV brakes & repairs with my trusted garage owner (2 hour drive)
- in fact, my honest St. Thomas garage owner (South of London) is a personal friend now
- he currently has seven TO customers, that book a holiday from work and save a bundle of cash, saying away from dealers
- my brothers 2 boys live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area / they drive to their Dads mechanic...avoiding ripoff and shoddy-overpriced BIG-CITY vehicle workmanship (as earlier experienced)

**************************************************************

4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Research Results:
http://www.torontogolfnuts.com/showthread.php?t=152179
Brake Rotors and Ceramic Pads - The best value for performance vs. cost on the market !!
For ceramic pad replacement, a lot of top mechanics buy IDEAL pads made out of Guelph, ON, Canada.
For brake kit with slotted rotors and ceramic pads, purchase Black Elite xDS Series Rotors and Ceramic Pads.
MAX Brakes in Ontario: MaxBrakes.com - Brake Rotors, Brake Pads, Brake Drum, Brake Shoes Order: (888) 835-2399, Free Shipping, ships from Richmond Hill, ON.
- Elite Black xDS higher grade of anti-rust coating than Silver Zinc xDS
- Elite Black xDS is made from G3500 grade iron vs. Silver Zinc G3000

For disc brake calipers, I normally source AC Delco, I get from a local auto parts supplier for $70 to $85
depending on the model, while other shops will sell calipers anywhere from $150 to $400 each.

I just did a full brake job on my GMC Sierra Z71 truck for $430 CAD tax included:
4 slotted and drilled G3500 grade rotors, ceramic pads, 2 copper brake lines, 1 front caliper
MAX BRAKES - ELITE xDS BRAKE KIT (KT012983) $265.00
XXXX AUTO PARTS - AC DELCO LF BRAKE CALIPER $70.00
MECHANIC - INSTALL BRAKE KIT, 1 CALIPER, 2 Cu LINES $95.00
A week earlier, a guy at work spend nearly $2K at a Ford dealer, on a brake job on his F150.

My old boss quoted $1,900 for new brakes at Nissan dealer and he asked me to find him a better deal.
TOTAL COST: $523 CAD (4-Wheel Elite Black xDS Brake Kit, AC Delco Rear Calipers, Installed)
SAVINGS: $1,377 CAD – Nissan OEM brake rotors are not the high performance drilled & slotted variety

My friend at work quoted $4,750 for new brakes at Audi dealer and he asked me to find him a better deal.
TOTAL COST: $844 CAD (4-Wheel Elite Black xDS Brake Kit, 4 AC Delco Calipers, Installed)
SAVINGS: $3,906 CAD – Audi OEM brake rotors are not the high performance drilled & slotted variety
Audi dealer quoted $412 each of 4 calipers, an extra $140 just to drain the brake fluid, 11.5 hours of labour.
Since when did a brake job using all new parts take ~ 12 hours x shop rate of $155/ hour + HST = $2,000

I directed my old boss and friend to go to the best mechanic I’ve seen in 40 years and he charges $50 / hour.
This mechanic lives in the same town as they do, but in the past they just went to the Name Brand dealer.

So in a few short minutes, I saved two guys at work an average of $2,640 each on a complete brake job.
 

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At that mileage I would say generally both are not needed. However, it is possible to need an alignment at any mileage if you hit a curb or big pothole or whatever. It will need adjustment just from normal driving. I have them done every 15K miles or so.
 

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Dealers ALWAYS recommend more than is required to satisfy the Toyota Mothership. It's just part of the game. If you fall for it then they made more $$$$. If not then it was worth a shot. It's an age old game and certainly is not limited to the Toyota brand name.
 
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