My 2001 Toyota Tundra Was Damaged By The Toyota Dealer – Now What?

Reader Question Hello Austin,

I took my 2001 V-6 Toyota Tundra to the Star Toyota dealer in Houston this morning for service because the check engine light was on. They called me later in the morning and told me the engine light being on was due to a disconnected hose, and they fixed it for free. I then authorized over $1200 worth of needed maintenance at 60k including items such as servicing the radiator, power steering system, etc. and replacement of the front brakes.

All seemed reasonable especially since all I had done in the past was change the oil and filters regularly. Included in this maintenance was an engine decarb. I have overhauled a few engines in the 60’s, and had never heard of this, but authorized it anyway. I think it was $125. After reading about it I doubt if it was necessary. The truck ran beautifully when I took it in, and always has.

They called me around 5, and told me they had damaged the engine during the decarb process, and would have to replace #4 rod which required pulling the pan. They told me they found this due to a knock in the engine after the decarb, and that the truck was not safe to drive.

My concern is did they do more damage than they’re saying that might show up later, or should I just forget it and pick up the truck next Tuesday? I am almost in tears from this as the truck was near perfect when I took it in.

Any comments and/or advice you might have will not be used in any way other than to educate me on what I need to do. Man, I really don’t know what to do right now if you know what I mean.

Tommy W.

P.S. I will be purchasing your ebook soon. I just read about you, and realized I should read it.

Hello there Tommy,

Thanks for the email and for buying me ebook. Wowow, what a story! First off I have to say I am impressed that they admitted to the damage…some would not have.

What happened was called “hydraulic”. The piston was trying to compress the decarbonizer material but it was administered too quickly and the piston pushed the liquid as far up the cylinder as it could hoping the spark plug would ignite the material and push the piston back down.

Problem was there was too much decarbonizer in the cylinder, it could not be ignited and the piston could not be forced back down the cylinder like normal…so, the weakest point of the cylinder is the connecting rod.

The rod connects the piston to the crankshaft. I think you are going to be ok, have them replace the rod and see what happens. I have seen this situation before although most mechanics are aware this is an easy situation to get into if you are not paying attention. This was probably done by a younger technician! Hahaha

The only draw back is that there is no way of knowing if there are more than 1 rod is bent until they replace it and start the engine. So, you could be getting more than one rod replaced? I hope they gave you a nice rent car to drive.

Once the rod is replaced, as long as there is no vibration in the engine you will be ok.

Feel better? I am on vacation with my wife and daughters…keep me posted will ya?

Austin Davis

Posted in: Reader Questions

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