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VVTi Replacement Sticker Shock

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Old 03-30-17, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default VVTi Replacement Sticker Shock

My beloved 2008 ES 350 has an awful VVTi cold start rattle. It now happens every time it's started when the temps drop below 70. The dealer quoted $4500 to replace all of the gears. They said it would continue to get worse, but shouldn't leave me stranded anytime soon. I love the car but hesitate to drop that kind of money on it. My husband wants to get rid of it now; I prefer to keep it awhile. It has 131,00 mi and all of the maintenance is up-to-date. The car looks great inside and out. The horrible (brief) rattle is the only issue.

Is it worth trying to get the repair done somewhere else? Or just let it go and drive it till she dies?
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Old 03-30-17, 09:14 PM   #2
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What is actually happening: the dealer has added up every single nut and bolt that could possibly be replaced (especially if not needed), and each separate labor operation as if they were not related, totaling $4,500.
He will substitute used but still good VVTi parts from an engine he has on hand (the entire engine is worth $500, and he already sold half of it for $2,000), and labor at $200 per hour. If you don't ask him to produce an invoice for the parts you'll never see one, and if you do, his computer will show a Ferrari V12 was installed if he says so.
If you told him "I'm a lawyer" he would **** all over himself, and the price would change dramatically.

Go somewhere else.
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Old 04-20-17, 06:32 AM   #3
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Have you ever had the VVTI solenoid Variable Valve timeing Solenoid Checked?
I think i had some engine rattle or knocking problems and then changed this one part and it made a night and day differeence.
I dont remember if there was a check engine light or not. but its right up top and takes about 5 minutes to replace if you took the plastic off already.

This is just a random comment so it might not fix your problem but its worth a look if anything
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Old 07-14-17, 09:59 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. I ended up taking it to an independent Toyota/Honda repair shop near my home for evaluation and 135k mi maintenance. They were not able to duplicate the problem in the short time they had it, and I couldn't leave it overnight at the time. However, they said it sounded like something they had seen several times before. Not the solenoid and possibly related to the oil line recall repair. They confirmed it shouldn't cause a breakdown or further damage. He thought pulling the engine to change out the cam gears was more risky than just letting it go. He also said the noise should go away for a while after the oil change.
He was right. It has been completely noise-free for a month now.

The interesting thing is the noise did not improve at all whenever the dealership changed the oil...
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Old 07-19-17, 11:45 AM   #5
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Maybe then either the dealer didn't change the oil, or the indie used a different weight oil.
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