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Discussion Starter #1
Here in Maryland you are obligated to have your vehicle inspected before you can register it.
My wife just called from the dealership with a suggested $1,200 repair bill so the vehicle will pass MD state inspection:
high pressure power steering hose and fluid flush;
inner tie rod (passenger side) and alignment.

Wow.

This is our first Toyota (many Volvos). We always thought Toyota parts were affordable, I guess not.

Anyone have any luck finding discount Toyota parts suppliers on the web?

Robert
 

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Here in Maryland you are obligated to have your vehicle inspected before you can register it.
My wife just called from the dealership with a suggested $1,200 repair bill so the vehicle will pass MD state inspection:
high pressure power steering hose and fluid flush;
inner tie rod (passenger side) and alignment.

Wow.

This is our first Toyota (many Volvos). We always thought Toyota parts were affordable, I guess not.

Anyone have any luck finding discount Toyota parts suppliers on the web?

Robert
I'm pretty new to toyotas myself but it sounds like the typical dealership runaround. I'm not sure what MD says you need to pass a state inspection, if you had a bad steering hose that has been bad for any length of time you would know because you'd be unable to steer without a lot of effort, somewhere along the lines of twice the amount of effort needed to turn the wheels of a car without power steering. If you had a bad inner tie rod you'd know because your tires would wear unevenly even after an alignment. I'm guessing the tie rod end is just a worn boot, which the state may say you need to replace, and for good reason, it can lead to failure of the tie rod end (albeit several years from now, I've had a torn boot on the tie rod of my saturn for 4 years now) which would result in loosing control of the vehicle. I wouldn't give the dealership money to do it, take it to an independent garage and have the work done for half that price, any brake or tire shop should be able to replace the tie rod for a few hundred dollars, the tie rod end itself is only about $30 at autozone, a little less depending on the warranty and rather it's the inner or outer tie rod end, an honest shop should be able to replace it in under two hours, I'd guess $300 maximum with the alignment.

The power steering hose is any body's guess, if you can see the hose you should be able to see where fluid has leaked, I'm guessing it would leak from one of the ends near where the connector is crimped on. It should probably be replaced if the hose is leaking, if too much fluid leaks out again you could loose control of the vehicle, flushing the fluid would logical once you've got the hose off and it could prevent problems later on, although power steering problems are pretty uncommon on most cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The job is done!

The PS hose was difficult to get to. Lot of time wasted trying to get the old one out and the new one in. That hose is a work of art!

The inner tie rod did not have play on it. It didn't feel as tight as the new one, but no play.

Also, I am thinking that the mechanic had no way of testing for play because of where the thing is. So, my guess is that he put it on the list because it is easier to replace the power steering hose with the inner tie rod out of the way, and he wanted to get paid for that.

As you can see, I am pretty sceptical about dealerships.

By the way the dealership had quoted my wife $1,200 for this repair. Parts and front wheel alignment totalled up to $450. Money saved $750. Or about $75 per hour for my labor. Not bad.

Robert
 
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