This problem only happened once, about a week ago, right after I had an oxygen sensor replaced in the same car. Both problems caused my check engine light to come on. Replacing the vacuum brake booster costed me over $500 inclding part and labor.
by Visitor in Washougal, WA on July 26, 2010
what is your question??
Well, I have a question. I bought a 2003 Solara BRAND NEW (21 miles on it!) and beginning in 2008, with 31K miles, the thing started falling apart. From 2008 with that mileage until now (I have 66,103 miles on the car and it's at the dealership as we speak): The brake booster went out. The idle switch failed. The alternator went kaput. The valve cover gaskets were shot (in 2008); now they are shot again and just got replaced. My oil pan, air surge, and throttle-body gaskets were all cracked. The passenger seat spring randomly broke and popped off out of nowhere while I was driving one day. The tires, purchased three times through Toyota and being of the SAME brand as when I bought the car, refuse to hold air properly. The rotors were bad, but it wasn't due to neglect or wear--it was because they were faulty (warped) on purchase. The clips holding the front fender on completely frayed (and no, I did not hit anything--the service tech said it's because I live in a high-wind area and the wind probably caught the fender just the right way to make a few of them crack. Ummm...yyyyeah...so don't drive it in the wind???).
So, all that said, my question is this: What is the true lifespan of gaskets, why should a brake booster randomly fail, followed by the alternator, and is it maybe the case I bought a lemon? I take that car in religiously--ONLY to the dealership--for ALL of its maintenance and I'm piping hot about all of these failures! Go figure, my extended warranty is expiring in February since I'm sure I won't make the 75K mileage before that time, and I'm terrified about what else could possibly go wrong with the car! Every year there is something major that could have cost me thousands of dollars and seems completely abnormal--or is it? I baby the poor car to death and it really makes no sense to have all of these random failures. Realistically, I have an 8-year-old car with 66K miles on it (which is tell-tale of how often, much, and far I drive it). Would you all think this is to be expected? Thanks. NL