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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

‘94 Toyota Camry, Oil Pan and CV boot Problems
Q: I own a '94 Toyota Camry sedan with about 115,000 miles that's given great service. I've had regular tune-ups and work such as timing belt replacement done at the local dealership. After a tune-up (90k) , I was told that the oil pan is severely rusted and that the right front CV boot is cracked and leaking grease. The estimates are $500 and $420, respectively, for the two jobs. I was puzzled since I've taken good care of the car; I've done all but two of the oil changes (about every 3,500 miles), avoided accidents with the car and done mostly highway driving. When I asked the dealer's service rep why I'd need a new oil pan, he said it probably got bent and damaged when the car was lifted to change the timing belt (at their shop, no less!!) Have you heard of a problem such as this? Wouldn't it be the dealership's fault that the oil pan got bent and rusted, and should I ask them to cover the cost of a new pan? Could the CV boot have been damaged at the same time or would that cracking just be due to wear and tear? I've never had these problems with any of the other three Japanese front-wheel-drive cars I've owned. Maybe an offer to split the costs of theses repairs would be a good compromise?

A: Here in New England, oil pan leakage due to rust is not an epidemic, but it does happen with surprising frequency. As for CV boots? Once again, not an uncommon problem. You may ask what I’m comparing your Toyota to. Well a ‘95 Toyota just had to have it’s right side drive axle assembly replaced because the owner drove the vehicle too long with a bad CV boot. The damage, parts and labor on the replacement (new) axle made $500 go bye bye real fast. Rebuilt axles were not available for this vehicle. As for oil pans rusting out, once again there is an early ‘90’s Toyota on the schedule for a replacement oil pan. Recently, we replaced oil pans on a Ford and Chrysler Products. No manufacturer is safe from salt in our region. But you oil pan story has an interesting flip. The Service Writer tells you that some "bright light" used your oil pan as a lift point for servicing your vehicle, (ahh in their shop). Maybe you should have someone else take a look and provide a second opinion. Then proceed from there.

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