My Toyota Corolla at 180000km: Service & preventive maintenance updates

Was surprised and shocked to see that there was an issue with the suspension as well.

BHPian cefiljoseph recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Coco crossed over 179k kms which was about 10k since I got her. This means it was time for an oil service and there was a laundry list of items that I planned to take care of in this service.

To do list:

  • Change engine mounts
  • Get a bumper bracket to fix a previous hit on the number
  • Service window regulators and door locks
  • Clutch replacement
  • AC frame replacement
  • Center console lid repair
  • Brake fluid
  • Brake pads
  • Power steering fluid
  • 180k service
  • Steering rack
  • Check fuel tank
  • Speaker trim replacement
  • Hub caps
  • Right Mirror
  • Remove glue from dashboard
  • Toyota monogram
  • Screw on the dashboard
  • OBD port not staying in place
  • Low beam lights upgrade
  • Light check
  • Suspension works
  • Windshield rock-chip
  • Bodywork

I was willing to do the basic service in Toyota even if there was some premium so the service records look clean and then do the other jobs at a competent garage. Since Toyota typically charges 4-5x prices for most things and I don’t have a currency printer at home I had to resort to getting things fixed at an independent place without compromising on any quality be it in parts or labour.

I asked Toyota workshop in Thane (Lakozy) for an estimate for the basic service and they send me a quote about about 14k. Having a fortuner back in Kerala, I instantly realised its a jacked-up quote.

Even for uninitiated, it can be seen how they add some random cleaning and engine flushing to increase the price around 4-5k which if you put into perspective is a shocking 50 percent increase in the quote.

Happily declined their service and decided to get it all done at a competent place.

Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, my initial plan was to give the car to Wagenwerkz by Jatin who had already worked on our W211 before and did a good job. Moreover, I think it’s a good practice to give cars to someone working with Germans since they are likely to be more skilled after working on cars with low tolerances. My logic was if they can work on a Mercedes well, they can surely work on an old Toyota.

In the meantime I also remembered about CRK automobiles run by aakashk8300 from BeemerBug_06’s thread on his Corolla.

I was following CRK automobiles on social media and coincidentally around the time, saw a post of a Corolla they just worked on.

The work looked decent and it inspired confidence in me to keep CRK as an option. I DMed them asking what was the bill they gave for the Corolla they worked on in the post. Next day, Akash and I connected on call and he explained to me the costs involved. The prices were reasonable and in-line with what I had gathered from my research.

On the same day, a Friday my father had a flight to Kerala so I decided I’ll drop Coco at the shop as well. I called up Jatin from Wagenwerkz to see if he was available to take a look at the car but he told me he was busy and gave me a slot for Tuesday. However, I wanted to get the work done earlier if possible so that we could have the car back in the following weekend when my father and sister would come to our place in Thane. So, I checked with aakashk8300 to see if he was available that day to take a look at the car. Surprisingly it wasn’t that crowded then for him and told I can come to his garage in Dadar once I dropped my father at the airport.

Having gained confidence and this fitting within my schedule, I along with my father decide to give it there only.

I dropped my dad at the airport and then reached CRK Automobiles after a bit of hunting on maps and some calls with aakashk8300 himself.

Once I reached, he patiently explained to me about each and every issue, tried to understand to what ambition I want to fix the car and spoke about cars in general too. We went for a test drive where he found some issues with the suspension, clutch and steering rack. Later I explained some of my niggles with the car like the inaccurate fuel gauge and showed him the list of issues I had with me.

Afterwards, he gave me a tour of the place and showed me some of the cars they were working on. A W115 and W126 caught my eye. There was also a E60 530d which is sort of a rare sight these days because of its reliability or the lack thereof.

aakashk8300 also showed me his two personal cars, both Mercs – one SLK 230K and the other one a W204 200K Pre-Facelift (Review: My pre-owned Mercedes C-Class (W204 C200K)). Both these cars are documented on team bhp and good reads so linking them as well. Being a huge Mercedes lover myself, I saw he had good taste in his rides as well and it assured me that Coco was in good hands. It is always a good sign for me when the garage owner has a tasteful German themselves, they are not just in this business for the money but also their passion which is something I value so much in a mechanic.

aakashk8300 told me that they would open the car the next day on Saturday to see the condition of the internals and then give a detailed estimate.

Afterwards, I took the train back to Dadar but I was still thinking about Coco and hoping she would get the best care out there.

aakashk8300 sent me picture of the internals and told me what parts would need to be replaced.

Clutch and Flywheel was in a bad condition. I was recommended to replace the clutch and polish the flywheel. For the clutch I was given an option for the OEM one and an imported aftermarket one. The difference was around 2k more for the OEM clutch and I decided to go with the OEM one. I also approved the estimate as well. Will share the total cost with breakdown at the end of the post.

Next issue to be attacked was the steering rack.

Upon inspection, there was play in the rack but it was within repairable limits. Decided to get it changed with new boots as well.

Was surprised and shocked to see that there was an issue with the suspension as well. This is because I has changed the struts in front at a garage in Hiranandani called Chandrashekar auto garage. However, owing to poor workmanship, it was installed incorrectly and there was a gap in the suspension strut as aakashk8300 showed me.

Notice the gap in the strut which made it useless. Thanks to Chandrashekar for the work, I am now forced to get it changed again in less than a year. It was truly disheartening to see my go-to mechanic in Hiranandani Estate doing such a job. Now, to some extent I understand that things can go wrong in such jobs but what was truly disgusting is that even after flagging this to Mr. Chandrashekar, he didn’t take any responsibility or accountability for the same. This is now way to treat a customer and is the recipe to ruin a business. Not surprisingly, there was another Corolla owner there who came to report a similar issue with his suspension that was changed there. To say the least, it was truly an appalling experience. Anyways back to the present.

aakashk8300 informed me that a lot of child parts like link rods, bushes etc were torn or needed replacement which is again thanks to Wasan Utrust who conveniently hid this during the sale. Again, a truly horrible thing especially considering it’s a renewed brand supported venture.

I had no other choice but to solve all this at one go and decided to get it all fixed. Gave the approval for all these works. Due to increasing Mumbai rains the work was getting delayed so I was told to expect the car back by the coming Friday which worked fine with me. I was also informed that some of the trims couldn’t be sourced and we agreed to keep it collected and would solve it at one go sometime next year.

All the parts arrived on Wednesday. I decided to go see the work and give an advance as well.

All the component including the front subframe was out when I went to see on Wednesday but rest assured Coco was getting the care it deserved.

Always nice to see good parts.

aakashk8300’s SLK was undergoing bodywork that day and we talked about the car and that’s when I realised it was the same SLK that was featured here on team BHP. I and my friend, Arman also run a social media page @findwagen where he had featured this SLK as well. Truly a small world.

I was told that I’ll get the car by Friday and only some fitting and testing was remaining by then. Next day was Eid and aakashk8300 forgot to account for this when he estimated the timeline. So he told me now the delivery will slip over to Saturday. It was an honest mistake and I myself make these time estimation issues often so I didn’t complain or anything and told it was alright. After all, a rushed work won’t be a good one. The only issue however was my father and sister reached on that Friday night and we didn’t have a car on the next day. It was a minor inconvenience we could put up with.

aakashk8300 updated me with the progress and delivery at around 5 p.m. Unfortunately, I got a meeting scheduled for then and it was so important that I couldn’t skip it. So, my father agreed to go collect the car. However, at noon, during the power window service, aakashk8300’s texted me saying that the rear left window motor has gone kaput and it will need a replacement to function properly. My sister always used to make fun of me for not getting this fixed so I told to definitely get this fixed. This extend the delivery time by a few hours so we agreed to collect the car from aakashk8300’s at his residence around 8:30 p.m. which gave me enough time to finish my meeting and collect Coco myself. The failed motor became a blessing in disguise hehe.

On my way aakashk8300’s mentioned that the parking light was not working and this is something they missed to check . I told it was alright since I was going to take the delivery and decided to collect her.

Upon reaching, I saw coco in her entire glory reborn at CRK. I will let pictures do the talking here.

Got the missing hubcaps replaced too.

I took an extended test drive with aakashk8300’s and noted there was a good difference. I ticked off the completed work on the notes app and took the delivery.

We shook hand and paid him the remaining amount.

On the way back home, I noticed that there was an alignment issue. Upon asking aakashk8300’s, I was told that my tyres had uneven wear and they tried fixing it. The only solution to this would be a tyre change so hopefully it will get fixed in the upcoming tyre change.

On the whole, I was really happy with the work done by the team at CRK and the great service provided by aakashk8300’s. Hoping to make it my go to place for Coco!!

In case anyone was wondering how much all of this costed attaching the breakdown below.

Those reading might find the total cost spend to be high considering it’s almost as much as the car. However, I would like to point out that doing this preventative maintenance would keep her good for the next five years at-least and it’s still far cheaper than buying a car that would give a similar experience today. Also did I mention I love Coco.

Till then, I plan to use the car as much as possible before I go back to Kerala shortly and won’t be seeing Coco for at least a year.

Planning to do some road trips which I’ll write about in another post. I can’t get enough of Coco.

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