I was skeptical of going to Cherokee Toyota based on feedback others had written about their service department too often finding items that needed repair. Due to the fact that they are the closest dealer to my home, I bit the bullet and drove the 65 miles each way to have my wife's 2008 Rav4 serviced at 70K miles. They managed to find that the water pump was "leaking" , or so they said. I've had Toyota cars and trucks since the mid 80s and have had few major issues. I currently own three Toyotas; a 1988 pickup, a 2002 Solara, and a 2008 Rav4, I had them replace the water pump, but I sure wasn't happy that it went out at only 70K miles. But then again, it's entirely possible that I was scammed though I certainly can't prove it at this point. It's just my opinion. Funny thing is my 88 pickup truck still has the original water pump. Guess they just don't make 'em like they used to
A few months later I had to have a recall issue on the Rav4 settled pertaining to excessive oil consumption so I took it back to Cherokee Toyota. They did their "test" and found that there wasn't enough oil consumption to warrant repair. I have to put in about 1 quart of oil every 1500 miles or so. Their specs say it has to use 1 quart every 1200 miles or less before they will "fix" it. Again, I've never had any Toyota that leaked, burned, or required oil other than normal oil change requirements. It sure as heck will make me think about ever buying another Toyota.
During the testing, I had them put on four new Michelin tires. The service rep said my front brakes were down to 2mm and needed replacement. Since my wife uses the Rav4 to go hiking and kayaking in the mountains with our little dog, I want to maintain the vehicle in top shape, so I had them replace the front brakes. Again, I'm not sure it needed brakes, but I didn't want to take any chances especially with my wife driving up and down mountain roads.
Three days and about 100 miles after that visit, my wife was driving on some forest service mountain roads with our dog, when she noticed there was a problem with the brakes. She called me and said she was afraid to drive the car so I had to drive 45 miles to her location to pick them up. When I got there, I found that the left front brake caliper had completely broken off and was hanging on the brake rotor held only by the rubber brake line. Both caliper bolts had sheared off. (I have photos). Mind you, it wasn't just one bolt, BOTH bolts had sheared off. I immediately called Cherokee Toyota and they sent a tow truck to retrieve the vehicle. The tow truck driver, who works for them under contract, said "that's pretty scary" when they saw the brake caliper Long story short, they claim that the bolts were "over torqued" by the mechanic. When I asked how that could happen, I was given a load of crap a mile long. Being a retired aerospace engineer as well as having worked for several top auto racing teams, I know a little about cars. I'm so thankful that my wife didn't run off the side of the mountain due to loss of brakes because of some morons' incompetence. It could have happened. I will NEVER go back to Cherokee Toyota. I'd be a fool to trust them again. I can best sum up my experience by saying, enter Cherokee Toyota Service Department at your own risk.
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