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I took the FJ into the local dealership service dept. because there was a noise in the front end that sounded like really loud tread noise, but it was not tread noise. I took one of the service tech's for a long ride so he could hear the sound/noise I was talking about. He had no idea what so ever, he could not even take a guess at what it was. I described the noise in this forum & the first two reply's got it right, both front wheel bearings are bad. Now don't you think a Toyota trained tech would at very least be able to take a guess at what it was, if not just know from experience? I ended up taking it to a different shop & took this guy for a ride, he guessed wheel bearing in 5 min's, but could not be sure until he pulled the wheels off. Just wanted to "Tell Toyota" to train better.
 

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Ya, I'm done there as well. I never had the dealer do anything for me, never had a problem until now. My dealership is one of those that look for the lift. As soon as they see it I'm done. I wish I lived near one of those dealer's that didn't look down on the lift, I read here somewhere that some dealer's were installing lifts for people. ???
 

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This is one thing I've never understood. Why do dealerships charge $100/hr for labor and give the techs so little of it. They're getting what they pay for.
 

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He knew. My guess is he was avoiding warranty work ... that is if it was still under warranty. Otherwise he was an idiot. Wheel bearings have a very distinctive howl. Any mechanic worth a turd can pinpoint the bearings and even tell which side and sometimes which side of a particular bearing.
 

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I'm like Mike. I only use my dealership right now, because I'm still under warranty. Once that baby is up, it's going to my mechanic. That is kind of funny that he couldn't tell what it was. I mean, if anything he should have bull****ted you and guessed it was something up front. "Hmmm, I hear what you're talking about, wont be 100% sure till we get down there and check it out, sounds like it's coming from your front axle/bearing area. We'll be able to get this fixed right up for you sir." How old was the guy?
 

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Take it in as a non warranty item and they will have several fixes for whatever noise you have.
I sit there and respond to every bs excuse the service rider gives and they usually send out the manager. I happen to know a lot about the mechanics of a car so them telling me some stupid story about my lift causing a squeak in my rear door is pretty funny or my lift caused an inner fender tear..

We should get every fender tear excuse in writing and see how they contradict eachother! From lifts to aftermarket heavy bumpers... Then bring in a stock one and ask WTF!
 

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This is one thing I've never understood. Why do dealerships charge $100/hr for labor and give the techs so little of it. They're getting what they pay for.
Ok guys I'll give you a first hand look on all of your questions. This Right here pretty much sums it all up. It's not Toyota's fault on the training issue. Toyota does not recruit techs and then dispurse them to the dealers. Each dealership is independently owned and operated they all do their own hiring. Most dealers I have delt with are more worried about their bottom line they want to make more and more every year although cars require less and less maintenance very year. So how do they do this? They start cutting back and raising prices. I came into the Toyota business 11 years ago our shop rate was $70/hr the avg tech I worked with was making $20/hr. Today our shop rate is $120/hr and the avg tech is making $14/hr. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see why the skill level is declining. Most of the senior techs are getting driven out of the business and replaced with a cheaper less knowledgeable alternative.
 

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^^^greed is a b!tch. Thanks for those numbers. Thats ri****ulous.
 

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My dealer has been great and has done most of the work on my vehicles for around 15+ years. I had a '90 pickup, a '90 4Runner, and now the '07 FJ. They did/do normal maintenance and anything else I've wanted on my vehicles. The pickup and 4Runner had 1 1/2" lifts installed by them. The 4Runner had an aux fuel tank installed and the FJ had front and rear bumpers, winch, dual battery, lights, sliders, skid, suspension, and extra 12v receptacles, and my Wet Okole seat covers front and rear. They are really good at getting me in when needed. They work with the local college and sponsor the mechanics training program. I've let them do training work on my vehicles when it was something that the students hadn't seen yet. When I've had a lot of stuff done, such as on the FJ, they've given me a break on the labor. I have no complaints about them. I highly recommend them and there are quite a few people around here who do business with them. They are located in another state 180 miles away also. We have a local dealership in town and I wouldn't take my rig to them if it meant that I'd have to walk if I didn't.
 

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Ok guys I'll give you a first hand look on all of your questions. This Right here pretty much sums it all up. It's not Toyota's fault on the training issue. Toyota does not recruit techs and then dispurse them to the dealers. Each dealership is independently owned and operated they all do their own hiring. Most dealers I have delt with are more worried about their bottom line they want to make more and more every year although cars require less and less maintenance very year. So how do they do this? They start cutting back and raising prices. I came into the Toyota business 11 years ago our shop rate was $70/hr the avg tech I worked with was making $20/hr. Today our shop rate is $120/hr and the avg tech is making $14/hr. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see why the skill level is declining. Most of the senior techs are getting driven out of the business and replaced with a cheaper less knowledgeable alternative.

If its under warranty what does toyota pay the dealers for warranty work?
 

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They start cutting back and raising prices....... our shop rate was $70/hr the avg tech I worked with was making $20/hr. Today our shop rate is $120/hr and the avg tech is making $14/hr. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see why the skill level is declining. Most of the senior techs are getting driven out of the business and replaced with a cheaper less knowledgeable alternative.
.

Sadly, that's the case at all of the auto manufacturers dealerships (not just Toyota). Sigh... so I guess this is progress......

.
 

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Ya, I'm done there as well. I never had the dealer do anything for me, never had a problem until now. My dealership is one of those that look for the lift. As soon as they see it I'm done. I wish I lived near one of those dealer's that didn't look down on the lift, I read here somewhere that some dealer's were installing lifts for people. ???
I bought my FJ from a dealership with 33's and a 2" lift already on it. Plus they gave me the 100,000 7 year warranty with it.
 

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1/2mill90, I'm also in Wyoming. Where are you located and what dealership do you use?
 

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This is one thing I've never understood. Why do dealerships charge $100/hr for labor and give the techs so little of it. They're getting what they pay for.
Thats hitting the nail directly on the head! Perfect observation. And exactly right.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just noticed this thread back at the top of the section. The Tech was very young & I didn't have much confidence in him. Anyway, "Toytech" is exactly right, charge more-pay less to theh's. My Co. is doing the exact same thing, the price for our main service went up $6.00 this year & the tech's are told to spend as little time at the house as possible & get to the next one. I'm kind of glad I was down sized & let go.
 

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I just had this nightmare with Toyota "service".

My job requires extensive highway travel. I checked my logs today - I've driven 679,000 kilometers in 7 years. This is my second FJ. I ordered this one brand new in December 09. Took delivery in Feb 2010. Brand frickin' new. Drove it 33,000 kms - mostly highway driving. So you'd think I know how the vehicle feels.

It developed a growling noise in my front end that at first was fading in and out and then got steadily worse and worse in 2WD only. When I shifted to 4WD it went away.

I brought it in and described exactly the symptoms ( see my post under the Transmissions / Transfer Case / Traction Aid section.)

The service writer typed up that "there was a noise". The tech diagnosed it as ice build up between my rock rail and body and spent an hour chipping it away. They charged me $ 100.00. When the service writer cheerfully called me to tell me the FJ was ready and they figured it as this ice issue, I said "Oh ya? I don't think so the growling was coming from the floor pan, pedals and steering column but I'll pick it up". They then told me I was imagining it.

So I drove it a week until the growling became unbearable.

They test drove it not once, but TWICE. Finally agreed there was an issue AFTER telling me I was "reading more into it than was there" and the other service writer they have there tells me:

"Well, these trucks sound like this after a while, it's normal and you should just get used to it ..."

So the growling got REALLY bad, another test drive, yup, no question about it, tech orders in a whole new front diff.

Just picked it up. Seems OK - but there's a lot of ice and frozen snow and bumps right now so I can't say anything until I find some smooth road.

I have so little faith in them I just can't wait for something to grenade itself under there.

To me it's like marriage - when I married my wife I married her family - it's a package deal - and a vehicle is similar relationship with the manufacturer and its representatives - after sale service.

I'm beginning to hate this FJ.
 

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The car I had before I got my new FJ was (is) over 20 years old so I haven't seen the inside of a dealer for a very long time. I've had a couple of oil changes from the dealer with my 6 mos. old FJ - one where the dealer put in the wrong kind of oil in and then tried to tell me that it was a glitch in the computer and that the right oil was actually in the FJ (Hmmm) and when I took it to another dealer they put the right oil in but proceeded to pump in 1 1/2 quarts of extra oil in there. I know because I have an oil suction device that allows you to pull oil from the dipstick and perfectly measures how much comes out. To that the service writer told me he was going to put his best tech on the job for the 3 oil change. Their "best" tech to do a friggin oil change? The only reason I'm not doing it myself is because this rig is new and I want documentation for warranty purposes. I have very little confidence in the dealers that surround me. I'm in Portland Oregon.
Crap, I attempted to order touch-up paint from a dealer which literally took 4 trips in to talk to various parts people in order to finally get. In the midst of trying to order the paint I went to a different dealer to see if I could get the paint and was told while the parts person was chuckling at me: "Sorry sir, there is no FJ Cruiser in Army Green". Not even an apology when I pointed behind me at my Army Green Fj.
 

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A good mech. would have easily diagnosed a bad wheel bearing, especially the Fj design which is a double Conrad (ball) bearing set typical to front drive vehicles. The whooring noise they make is unmistakable when they go bad. This is another one on my bad Fj design list. The tappered roller bearing design is much stronger. The radial load capacity for any given TR Vs Ball for the same OD ID width is some where near double and the axial load capacity about 50% greater.
 
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