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2016 Tundra Maintenance Fail (Warning to Others, looking for advice)

Discussion in '2.5 Gen Tundras (2014-2021)' started by TigerTanker, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:23 AM
    #1
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    I bought my 2016 Tundra Platinum with 10k miles from a dealer in town back in late 16. Not being impressed with that dealer, I took it to the other dealer in town which had been recommended to me by a friend. Ever since, that truck has ONLY been serviced by that dealer ever since. I did this despite being offered free oil changes for life at the purchasing dealer.

    I was generally pretty happy with the dealer over the years and even bought a car from them for the wife.

    My truck is lifted, has all-terrain oversized tires and the primary use is for traveling with my dirt bikes and trailered 4x4 to various venues across the Western USA. I am not mechanically savvy and have a private mechanic for my off-road vehicles and take the Tundra to a Toyota Dealership to make sure my vehicle is properly cared for. I average about 25k miles per year because my road trips 2 x per year average 8-10 thousand miles, not including my weekend excursions.

    Each trip to the dealer included a receipt for a long list of things they checked, very thorough, and I agreed to all and every suggestion or recommendation for service.

    In April of 2021 I took the truck to the dealer a bit early for an oil change because I was going to embark on a month-long trip across the West and would be taking a trailer with my Can-Am 4x4, 2 dirt bikes, and gear.

    On the second day of my trip, the Brake Controller Error warning came on as I drove through the mountain passes of Nevada. The truck was braking fine, so I wondered if the sensors had been kicked on because I'd fiddled with the brake controller button. After considerable thought, I decided I'd take the truck in after I got home. My trip was 5,000 miles.

    When I got home I called the dealer for another oil change, a vehicle inspection of the undercarriage due to my off-road use of the truck on jeep trails, and to inspect this warning light.

    The vehicle was serviced and I was told the error light had come on because the electrical connection for the trailer was dirty. I was relieved and drove the truck home. But, as I left the dealer...the warning came back on.

    I brought the truck back the next day. The truck was inspected and I was told the sensor for the rear right wheel was dirty and had triggered the warning. They assured me that after cleaning it and driving the truck around, the problem was solved.

    A few days later and my next trip took me off-roading into the mountains. On my way back home, 200 miles after leaving the dealer, the Brake Controller Warning Light was back on. I contacted the dealer and brought the truck back.

    After inspection, the dealer told me that they had bad news. My differential was bad and needed to be replaced. Metal particulates were what triggered the sensor and the magnet was pulling them in from the oil. The cost would be $4,600. I was not happy.... I only have 110k miles on this vehicle and I have taken very good care of it. In a sober moment, I said I wanted to think about it before preceding.

    As mentioned, I'm not mechanically savvy. So, I called my private mechanics and asked them what they thought? I told them the story, but also that there was no sound, smell, or any other indication that the differential was damaged or failing. They asked when I had serviced the differential last. I said "What?"

    Turns out, that the dealer never suggested, told me, offered, or performed a differential service. The manual calls for it to be serviced at 30k, 60k, and 90k.... The procedure has never been done. The service manager told me that "the differential only needs to be inspected every 30k miles, and since the truck isn't being used for off-road use..." I could instantly tell he was covering his ass...it's rather obvious that my truck is used for off-road and trailering by appearance and also that the truck for a couple of years was covered in racing stickers, and off-road venue stickers, along with a nearly permanently installed trailer hitch.

    I instructed the dealer to change the diff oil. They did, and then they did it again, free of charge. They told me the metal flakes were still prominent and that the differential indeed needed replacement. But, they felt that perhaps Toyota might be willing to cut me a deal on doing so since this kind of early failure is unusual. I sensed them grudgingly admitting something....

    My next step was to have a third party inspect the vehicle. So I took it to a friend that owns a mechanic shop, he's been in business a long time, I've known him for 14 years. He's serviced some of my other vehicles. So, they changed the oil yet again after 300 miles, and the oil was dark and had metal flake in it, but zero particles. He indicated that the dealer really should have done the oil change at least at 60k, and for damn sure by 90k, and that when it was having trouble they still didn't think of that until they saw my truck three times in a row. He suggested that I might just be ok, and just keep driving the truck until it actually does start to fail (making a noise like a blender).

    So, perhaps the differential only had flakes in it because the oil had broken down entirely and the parts had started to wear on each other, but not actually break anything....yet? There's a chance that there really isn't any serious damaged because it was caught in time?

    Well, I've learned an important lesson. I cannot trust anyone other than myself with vehicle maintenance.



    At this point, I'm open to advice.
     
  2. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:24 AM
    #2
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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  3. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:34 AM
    #3
    Booney

    Booney New Member

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    Any component that had metal parts that wear over time will have metal particles and they will build up causing the sensor to trigger. That doesn't necessarily mean that the item is failing. It the particles are small and there aren't a pile of them then it is just regular wear. Aircraft have what are called "chip detectors" much like the magnetic sensors in a vehicle. We never changed a component just because one was triggered. It all depended on what type of metal it was, the size and shape of the chip and how many chips were in the oil sample. I wouldn't go back to that dealership. They are either trying to screw you out of a wad of bucks or they don't know WTF they are doing.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:40 AM
    #4
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    "Since your truck isn't used for off road use..." - Toyota Service Manager

    yyy.jpg
     
    AircareTundra likes this.
  5. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:47 AM
    #5
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    I tend to agree. Dishonesty or Incompetence...neither are admirable qualities. In this case, it is potentially both. But, I'm trying to be fair and see if anyone here thinks otherwise, I don't want to overreact. I have requested and received a PDF file of my entire service history. I will now go over that with a fine-tooth comb. I did forget to mention above that while they didn't service the Diff, they did service the 4x4 system as per the maintenance suggestion interval for off-road use.... so they performed some of the alternate items on the schedule, but not others.

    I plan on putting all my ducks in a row, then going in for a face-to-face meeting with the Service Manager. I may also write to Toyota Corporate etc. I may ask for them to give me a written warranty for the next 90k miles to cover for premature failure of the diff based upon their failure to service. If they insist the diff is bad, then they can pay for it now or later.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
    gosolo, GODZILLA and 2mchfun like this.
  6. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:52 AM
    #6
    Booney

    Booney New Member

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    It sounds like you might have paid for some services that weren't performed. Having the records is a plus.
     
  7. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:52 AM
    #7
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    Here is the service manual at 30k. It repeats at 60k and 90k.
    32DB5BD4-F732-43C0-8434-AB50F288D0D8.jpg
     
    IndianaGeologist likes this.
  8. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:55 AM
    #8
    triharder

    triharder Sorry, Not Sorry

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    toyota has a website called
    https://www.toyota.com/owners
    Anything done at the dealership should be listed here once you enter you viin. It might save you some some time in recording the maintenance if you can verify the online stuff with your receipts.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2021 at 7:57 AM
    #9
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    My vehicle as it headed out for the last trip. I had taken the truck in at 105k miles, they didn’t change the diff oil even then, even as I’d stated that I was going on a long road trip. This was the 3rd time they’d decided to not service the oil.

    C4796640-3BDC-4D8B-82F8-47F11C5A10B8.jpg
     
  10. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:04 AM
    #10
    dittothat

    dittothat New Member

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    Just drive it until you hear the blender then get off the road immediately. Don’t want that sucker locking up on you on the highway
     
    TigerTanker [OP] likes this.
  11. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:12 AM
    #11
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    You bring up another point. My resale value on this vehicle is now considerably lower.

    If I try to get a trade-in on this vehicle, this issue will severely compromise the value I would be offered for the vehicle. And if I sell it third party, I'm liable for not disclosing it to a seller. It would at least be unethical.
     
    Black Wolf likes this.
  12. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:16 AM
    #12
    IndianaGeologist

    IndianaGeologist New Member

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    Sorry to hear that Op...you'd think vehicles taken to a dealer would flag required maintenance based on the vin and recorded mileage...
     
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  13. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:22 AM
    #13
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    Correct. One could argue that NOT changing the diff at 30k was justified, but at 60k, then 90k?
    Will be going over my records carefully now and see if anything else was missed.
     
  14. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:30 AM
    #14
    hagrid

    hagrid It's called "satire"... look it up.

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    Good Lord, I hope not. Need to save money for fuel.
    Sum Ting Wong.

    How did the metal particles make their way past the wheel bearing and oil seal on their journey to yon wheel speed sensor?
     
  15. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:31 AM
    #15
    Bammer

    Bammer I'm disinclined to acquiesce your request.

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    How is a bad rear anything trigger a brake controller error? Am I that stupid??

    I would have a shop check the backlash in the gears, but I highly doubt the rear diff is bad, and again, how would that trigger the error in the brake controller ?
     
  16. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:32 AM
    #16
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Might be far from home when that occurs. Not a good idea in my opinion.
     
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  17. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:40 AM
    #17
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Dealerships sometimes have lousy service department management. I bought a new 2018 4Runner, took it in for first oil change at 500 miles. Was told done. Checked oil and left. Fast Forward to Jan 21, called to schedule Tundra oil change at 500 miles. Was told no, must be close to 10k. I said "you changed the oil in my 4Runner early, so why not?" Was told no, we lied to you, parts was never billed for oil or filter and we only rotated the tires. Okay!! End of any dealership service for me, fk them and their warranty bs and service centers. Lots of skills, tools, and time here.
     
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  18. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:41 AM
    #18
    Kanobi13

    Kanobi13 New Member

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    Total mall crawler...





    Nice looking rig btw
     
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  19. Jun 17, 2021 at 8:46 AM
    #19
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    I'm turning the pages of the service records they provided me. Other than replacing brakes, in the last 5 yrs they haven't done much other than change the engine oil, rotate tires, new wiper blades. They note/claim that they performed a 30/60/90k service at 60 and 90k, cannot find the records for 30k inspection. Something tells me that I need to have this rig serviced in a variety of areas or else...
     
  20. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:03 AM
    #20
    Green Thunder

    Green Thunder Intergalactic JAFO

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    I’m really curious about this too.

    But either way, IMHO this isn’t the dealership’s fault. At least not blatantly. Sorry OP, but you are responsible for reading the manual. Given what you wrote, you are clearly in the Special Operating Conditions category. Stickers and casual comments to the service advisor won’t necessarily trigger them to recommend the normal services. They could be gun-shy from recommending those services in the past and getting an earful from the customer.

    You also don’t know what was done to the truck by the first owner. Unusual wear could have been initiated by them.

    It sucks and I feel your pain. But there are a lot of other factors here than just blaming the dealership. Hopefully Toyota will help offset the costs.
     
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  21. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:20 AM
    #21
    Bammer

    Bammer I'm disinclined to acquiesce your request.

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  22. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:20 AM
    #22
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    I agree, in the end, it's MY vehicle. Trusting others is a fools game.
     
  23. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:24 AM
    #23
    dittothat

    dittothat New Member

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    I was told from a young age that in life it’s important to have a good dentist and mechanic
     
  24. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:28 AM
    #24
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    Oh, something I forgot to mention.

    After the third visit to the dealer I've not had the brake controller lights come back on. But, now, the "Miles to Empty" feature is stating that my full gas tank range is a whopping 600 miles, not the usual 430 miles. As the fuel decreases, the error rate for mileage estimation continues to be wrong. I've reset the MPG feature, without that helping either.

    I have read the Brake Controller Threads. Does the rear right wheel bearing have anything to do with the differential?
     
  25. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:31 AM
    #25
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Yes, that bearing is sharing oil with the differential, axles, and the left bearing.
     
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  26. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:33 AM
    #26
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    I really want to thank everyone for chiming in. This is very helpful.
     
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  27. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:35 AM
    #27
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    Here is what the Service Manager wrote to me before I had a third party inspect.


    Mr. TigerTanker;


    I have attached the Tundra’s National Service history that is accessed through Toyota’s Technical Information System. I have also since Rob brought this to my attention have conferred with the inspecting Master Diagnostic Technician, inspected the fluid sample which on a white cloth appears fairly clean, and I have also taken a look at the pictures during the inspection from the debris on the sensor. The service history on the truck is excellent. Toyota only recommends “inspection” of the front differential fluids every 15k miles, the rear differential and transfer case fluids at every 30k miles. The only time Toyota recommends replacement of the fluids at specific intervals when under special operating conditions such as, towing, car top carriers, heavy vehicle loading, or driving on dirt or dusty roads regularly. These replacement intervals under these special operating conditions have the front differential fluids replaced every 15k miles, with the rear differential and the transfer case replaced at 30k intervals. To my knowledge you do not operate normally under these conditions. Our technician stated that if he were to inspect the fluid, based on the clarity, it would not indicate the need to be changed and also would not indicate that the vehicle is subject to the “special operating conditions.”


    I have been informed that the Inspecting technician is recommending rear differential replacement due to amounts of metallic debris present, and also a rear wheel bearing as well due contamination from the metallic debris present on the speed sensor. I am available Monday through Friday to discuss the repair needs of the Tundra and any assistance I may be able to provide. Feel free to contact me at any time
     
  28. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:44 AM
    #28
    TigerTanker

    TigerTanker [OP] Tyranny doesn't leap, it creeps

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    Would bad/broken down oil also be a potential cause for a bearing failure? I'm going to assume it is.
     
  29. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:46 AM
    #29
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    First off, I would ignore wheel sensor debris and focus on the internals. If me, and I verified metallic debris in the rear diff. It's coming apart, getting inspected, replaced if needed. Entire housing is getting cleaned thoroughly inside and out. Then all goes back together with new bearings, seals, gasket, and oil. Finally it gets inspected again at 1000 miles, if all is good, I will check it out again after 15k.
     
  30. Jun 17, 2021 at 9:46 AM
    #30
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

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    Definitely, yes
     

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