cam shaft gear & converter question - Toyota Prius Forum : Toyota Prius Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-08-2016, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Default cam shaft gear & converter question

I have purchased my first pruis, a 2006 with 230k and a new battery. I love my little car, but when I took it into the shop to find out what the MAINT REQ light was all about. After a diagnostics test I was told the Cam shaft gear and the cam converter needed replacing.

My question is, do i pay to have it fixed? If I do get it fixed will I get 100K miles out of the car? It was suggested by my brother that while they have the engine open that I have the rocker arms replaced?

OR do I bail out, sell the car and move on? I do not want a car payment, and I need help trying to weigh my options.
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-08-2016, 09:26 PM
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I think you need a second professional opinion. Was this a Toyota dealer's shop ?
And why did they come to that conclusion ?

Typically the MAINT REQ light means ONLY that a certain number of months has passed or miles have elapsed for some routine maintenance; IE It's time to rotate the tires and change the oil.

And I think your bro needs to update his engine knowledge. I'm pretty sure that it does not have rocker arms......and that most small engines don't anymore. It's called Over Head Cams.
Some even have electrically operated valves and an actual cam "shaft" isn't even there either.

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post #3 of 12 Old 12-09-2016, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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I did go to a Toyota dealership. In a rush to get help I left out quite a bit, it was the Master Maint. that was lit up (the large scary triangle).

The car would not turn over, so we jump started the small battery and the dash said we needed to park on a flat road and engage the parking break. After reading the manual, it maybe that the parking break was not totally engaged and that's what set off the Master Alarm (scary triangle). We wanted to be sure there was nothing else, so the car was taken in for a diagnostics check and that is when they told us that the cam shaft gear and the cam converter needed to be replaced.

Additionally, they said the axle seal was busted and the water pump needed to be replaced. I felt the axle and pump were immediate repairs so they are working on them now. What I want to know is how long can I put off replacing cam gear.. I need to come up with $4k to fix that.

I have never seen oil or water in my driveway, but will have them pop the hood and take a look at my new water pump.

They said the engine is acting like it's towing something and this is making it work harder than necessary, which is causing the exhaust to overheat (running lean) and send a code that the catalitic (sp?) converter is not working, but it is working fine, its the engine working hard.

Obviously, I don't know a thing about cars and my 'bro" was trying to be helpful and save me money in the long run. I'm taking the car to another shop for another quote.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-09-2016, 06:26 PM
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What I want to know is how long can I put off replacing cam gear.. I need to come up with $4k to fix that.

I'm taking the car to another shop for another quote.
I've been on a couple of hybrid/Prius forums for a few years now and have NEVER heard of that diagnosis before.
But then it isn't very common to find one with over 200K miles either.

The "mechanic" who is telling you that needs to explain HOW he knows that.

I personally would certainly NOT put $4K into a car that old with that many miles.
You might be able to replace the entire gas engine with one from a salvage yard for about that .......or less.

And lastly, it would be truly amazing if the car still had it's original CAT converter and that did not have a major problem. Those often give up around 100K.

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post #5 of 12 Old 12-09-2016, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for the information and input. Going to take it to another shop for another diagnostic and see if they come to the same conclusion as Toyota shop did. They gave me the codes from the diagnostics.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-10-2016, 10:52 AM
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thank you for the information and input. Going to take it to another shop for another diagnostic and see if they come to the same conclusion as Toyota shop did. They gave me the codes from the diagnostics.
I highly recommend that you NOT tell the second shop what the first one told you until AFTER they have done their analysis.......and maybe not even then if they come up with a much less expensive recommendation, like replacing the CAT.

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post #7 of 12 Old 12-10-2016, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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I absolutely will NOT share what Toyota shop said until after, and even then ONLY if necessary.

The Toyota shop said a CAT would cost $4500 to replace since they have to take apart a lot of the car to reach it. We don't have a DEQ here so NOT going to replace the CAT.

I actually would rather put $4k into the car if it keeps me from having a car payment for another 3 years. It sure beats a $350+ car payment. Will update once we get second opinion.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-10-2016, 07:09 PM
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The Toyota shop said a CAT would cost $4500 to replace since they have to take apart a lot of the car to reach it. We don't have a DEQ here so NOT going to replace the CAT.
What is a DEQ ??

I think this shop is trying to rob you; really.

That is the most ridiculous story I have ever heard; or if not the top certainly in the top 3.

Where are you located ??

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post #9 of 12 Old 12-11-2016, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in in Columbia, SC. and I agree, I think they are trying to get $$ from me as I received a call from a survey company asking if I wanted to make an appointment to bring my car in for an evaluation and a very good trade in price since my Prius was rated by the dealership as being in excellent condition?!. Geesh!

I took the car to a well known Toyota dealership. We are taking the car to a friends used car dealership to see if they come up with the same diagnostics, and will have them do a 230K tune up on the car since I will NEVER take it back to the Toyota dealership.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-11-2016, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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DEQ is a gov. agency that checks your cars emissions, if you pass you get your tags if not you have to have the emissions problem repaired. CA, OR have Department of Environmental Quality, SC does not. So I will not be paying to have the CAT fixed, the car will not get as many miles to the gallon, not enough to make me pay to fix.
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