I am an owner of a 1996 Toyota 4-Runner with the famed V6 engine, a six year old vehicle. It was recalled three years ago for a head gasket replacemenet due to a "deficient gasket design". It was replaced, and now three years later it is blown again, this time with head and block damage. I always take my Toyota vehicles to the service departments for maintenance and repair, but not this time, and not anymore.
Let's face it, Toyota doesn't survive on auto sales, it's the inflated service costs that is the money maker for them. Anyway, after calling Conord Toyota, then being passed to Corporate/Customer Service, passed back to Concord, then back to Customer Service, they all did not want to claim responsibility and felt that too much time had passed between now and the last head gasket replacement.
And what's more, I had been visiting Walnut Creek Toyota lately for service due to the close proximity to my house. Get this, I was told by the customer service manager at Concord that they might be more inclined to help me out if I was a "regular customer" of their service deparment. Man, what the hell is that? Talk about poor customer service, Toyota is Toyota and that reflects POORLY on the company overall and it's position on customer service. OOOOhhhh, what a feeling.
I am writing to warn people about the so called legacy of Toyota vehicles "going the distance", you know - 200,000, 300,000 miles, this is not a guarantee. If your the owner of one of these V6 motors, beware. I have found out much over the past few days as I have called around to numerous mechanics and they have all told me the same story, which is enough evidence for me. The engine and body style was redesigned in '96. The previous years V6 are nothing but headaches, lot's of head gasket problems.
Now I am learning that the new engines are no different. The mechanic who is currently working on my 4-runner showed me the block/head damage. It needs to be machined. He sends it out to the same machine shop that Toyota does. I also learned that Toyota has so many enignes that need block and head repairs, that they had to rent out a seperate building in the Walnut Creek area just to house all the engine blocks that need machining from head gasket failures brought in from customers, and were talking newer engines, too.
The bottom line is, my recalled head gasket from three years ago caused some minor head/block warpage that Toyota failed to properly repair. The gasket held for a few years, but now I am paying the price for their negligence as I am out about $2500 dollars on repairs of a six year old vehicle. They are playing dumb about all this.
What a shame, they have lost a customer and I am spreading the word to all Toyota owners about these engines. There are many head gasket problems with these V6 engines, it is a poor block desgin and urge anyone who is considering buying or owning one these to reconsider.
The whole reason I got into Toyota's was for their famed reliability. I made the investment thinking that if I kept up with all the maintenance, as I religiously have, it would be a good buy. All I can say is, if you own one, I hope it is reliable for you. If does fail, and have no warranty or it has run out, you will pay.
Now I am stuck with a high priced vehicle that is fairly new, is emaculate in apprearance, and requires basically a new engine.