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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(PREVIOUSLY NAMED "B/C OF SPARK PLUG)
Hi everybody, maybe someone out there can shed some light on this:
Three different mechanics in California have told me it will cost around $2,000.00 (yes, 2K) to replace the KNOCK SENSORS in my 2002 Toyota Sienna Symphony. Two different smog places have told me that I won't pass without doing this. I watched a youtube video about exactly this and it does not look like 2000 bucks worth of work.
I have had some minor repairs done on this van already since I bought it used from a Toyota dealership about 4 years ago, and it runs just fine. I would like to keep it but if it's going to cost THAT much I would have to sell it as is.
I am in the process of filing for a repair waiver (fingers crossed).
If that doesn't work, this baby's up for sale unless there is another solution.
Any thoughts?
Thanks for your feedback
UPDATE: will see what new diagnosis is from mechanic in a few days
 

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Because I go to a place called RedBox Toyota here in SoCal Alhambra specifically. They may be able to help if you are local...
 

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My cousin kept his Toyota Corolla SR5 for over 25 years bringing it to them so I know they must be reasonably priced....
 

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$2k is unreasonable for sparkplugs, no matter how high the labor rate. I'm sure CA is slightly higher that here, but the dealers are still under $200/hr. here. Personally, if it drives fine, I would consider taking a short road trip and get it done in the next State over. You could make an appointment at an independent mechanic to change out all 6 plugs (never heard of only changing 1 plug, by the way), spend the night "camping" in the van and drive back the next morning. Better still, make an appointment for a Friday and make a weekend trip out of it.
 

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Can't comment on the 3.0L in the 1st gen Sienna, but my local mechanic changed 6 plugs and 6 COP coils on a '12 Sienna (3.5L 2GR-FE) for $950, parts and labor. That was with Denso coils and NGK Iridium plugs. I'm not sure if the 1st gen uses COP (coil-on-plug) coils or a coil pack. If it's a coil pack, I wouldn't bother changing. If COP coils, definitely change with the plugs if mileage is over 150K.
 

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Maybe get a couple of online estimates?

AAA and Napa have repair estimators. Here's Napa: https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care/car-repair-estimator

In my current area, replacing 6 plugs came in at $303 - $416 for a 2002 Sienna.

Labor costs around here go from $102/hr - $140/hr. You can price out the spark plugs online, and get a rough guess for the number of hours labor.


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In the Bay Area, I had many excellent experiences at Costa Auto Care in Oakland, ranging from alignments to tire installation to timing belt / water pump / crank seals replacement. I would absolutely trust them to replace my plugs and / or give me honest, well-informed advice.

Tell them the full story. They may have other ideas (like double-checking emission sensors).

If you're willing to drive, I'd guess that labor rates in the Central Valley or Reno are less than in the Bay Area.
 

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Ohio. 2011xle fwd. Dealer quoted $1400 last year for replacement of all 6. I plan on doing coils during the same service. Not quite at 150k yet so I’m holding off.
 

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Why are we having this discussion? You can hire a lawyer in Montana to set up an LLC, then register your van to it, and they'll even ship your plates to your house in CA. The cost is less than half of this quote, and Montana doesn't have smog checks or inspections of any kind, and from what I understand, vehicles 11 years old or older only cost $28 to renew. Probably much less than California. Less hassle too.
 

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Hi everybody, maybe someone out there can shed some light on this:
Three different mechanics in California have told me it will cost around $2,000.00 (yes, 2K) to replace a single spark plug in my 2002 Toyota Sienna Symphony. Two different smog places have told me that I won't pass without doing this. I watched a youtube video about exactly this and it does not look like 2000 bucks worth of work.
I have had some minor repairs done on this van already since I bought it used from a Toyota dealership about 4 years ago, and it runs just fine. I would like to keep it but this little spark plug is the only reason I would have to sell it as is - rent or spark plug, rent or spark plug? You know?
I am in the process of filing for a repair waiver (fingers crossed).
If that doesn't work, this baby's up for sale unless there is another solution.
Any thoughts?
Thanks for your feedback
Van might be worth a little over $2000.
 

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Hi OP, I know you said you are in NorCal. But if your car can safely make it to SoCal (San Gabriel area). Then please call up Bruce @ Auto Body Network for a free quote over the phone. Just be straight with Bruce on what is going on and where you are located so he can book a time slot for you and no time is wasted:

1 (626) 285-5489
130 Agostino Road
San Gabriel CA 91776

Look up their Yelp reviews. I know them personally and have been going to them since about 2000. Everyone who goes to them loves them. Quotes are free but at least the guy will give you a straight and honest quote. He will just level with you on what your looking at. Let him know the car runs fine like you said and you need this for passing smog, they have a smog tech in the same area and the smog guy can instantly confirm or deny if that statement is BS and if people are trying to take advantage of you. Generally... if you have a Check Engine light... you will fail smog. No check engine light and you will pass smog.

If the job takes more than 2 hours labor to do, I would say to have any Indy shop change out ALL the spark plugs AND the coils for all cyl's because you don't want to fix one cyl and then a month later a different one goes out causing you to do the job all over again.

Parts are CHEAP in price. Its the labor that costs money. By that I mean the tear down and reassembly to get to the part. But once that tear down is done... swapping out all the parts that generally wear down around that location is peanuts. Do yourself the favor and change all the maintenance items that your car recommends at or around that mileage.

Off the top of my head you should research how much more labor it is to change your water-pump and how old is it (find out if any of the tear down is even in that same area... if its not the same area there is no benefit to doing it now).

Also consider if the Valve covers are leaking and if that can be a combined job with the spark plug labor because they will need to remove the plugs and coils anyways to do the valve cover gaskets.

Also consider if your car has a timing belt (no need to worry on the job if its a timing chain). Timing belts have a recommended year/mileage to change them. Don't skip this important time/mileage because if this part fails... your motor is instantly dead. Generally this job IS combined with changing the waterpump because the labor is already done to get to it.

BTW - I can't believe a quote of $2k for one spark plug, I would expect someone to be giving you a used motor for $2k including the install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, thank you for the feedback....I WAS WRONG.....it's the KNOCK SENSORS, NOT a spark plug (I will change the title of this post)....I read that they are anywhere from $65 - $350 a piece and then whatever the mechanic wants to charge for labor. I have an appointment this week w a mechanic a family member recommended so hopefully will be on the less expensive side. TBC
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
$2k is unreasonable for sparkplugs, no matter how high the labor rate. I'm sure CA is slightly higher that here, but the dealers are still under $200/hr. here. Personally, if it drives fine, I would consider taking a short road trip and get it done in the next State over. You could make an appointment at an independent mechanic to change out all 6 plugs (never heard of only changing 1 plug, by the way), spend the night "camping" in the van and drive back the next morning. Better still, make an appointment for a Friday and make a weekend trip out of it.
i can't risk getting pulled over for 2019 stickers even though my reg is paid up to date
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi everyone, thank you for your feed back, I'm btwn a rock and a hard place. Every number I've called for financial assistance or repair waiver tells me (online and over the phone talking with a human) that I don't qualify for assistance or a repair waiver even tho my monthly income only covers the bare minimum of rent bills gas phone and 2 furry fam members = I do not have savings to cover keeping my van. Everything online that I have researched tells me I'm qualified but all the times I apply or talk to some one they keep teeling me I'm stuck in 2019 so there's no possible way of me getting things right right NOW. Feels like a bs loop.
 

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Hi everyone, thank you for your feed back, I'm btwn a rock and a hard place. Every number I've called for financial assistance or repair waiver tells me (online and over the phone talking with a human) that I don't qualify for assistance or a repair waiver even tho my monthly income only covers the bare minimum of rent bills gas phone and 2 furry fam members = I do not have savings to cover keeping my van. Everything online that I have researched tells me I'm qualified but all the times I apply or talk to some one they keep teeling me I'm stuck in 2019 so there's no possible way of me getting things right right NOW. Feels like a bs loop.
Sounds about like commiefornia. This is why people are leaving and moving to Tennessee and Texas in droves. 🙄

You can do the Montana registration, like I suggested.

You can make your own stickers to look like a current one and it'll probably fool the authorities at first glance so they won't even have reason to stop you.

Or you can just drive with the expired stickers and if you get stopped, just explain your situation the way you did to us just now. Most likely, the officer will see that you've put up effort to rectify the situation in a legally acceptable manner, a fix is in the works, but hasn't happened yet. Most LEOs will let you go with a warning in that type of situation as long as you don't have any other violations. In fact, many municipalities nationwide have instructed their officers to not stop vehicles over registration issues due to the pandemic. You may well be good for a while.
 
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