I started hearing an unusual grinding sound coming from my 2011 Toyota Sienna engine about six months ago. It was irritating, but I couldn’t figure out where exactly the noise was coming from. I ignored it by playing loud music. The noise had increased recently and I suspect it was from the alternator.
On Monday I took our minivan to Ourisman Toyota, which is close to our house, for an oil change. Because our minivan hit 150,000 miles, I suspect they were going to give me a list of recommendations, but they didn’t. They just changed the oil. I informed the advisor about the noise and he said they had to diagnose it for $160 in order to find out what went wrong. Although I didn’t want to do the diagnostic, the technician noted the noise was coming from the water pump.
I knew I had an issue on hand and it would cost a fortune to fix, but I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t want to take it to Phạm’s Auto Care Center because their price would be closed to the dealership. Then I remembered Merrifield Citgo an acquaintance recommended for good service and fair price.
I dropped off my minivan. The service advisor seemed nice. He told me that they would charge $50 to diagnose the problem. He confirmed that the water pump and the drive belt needed to be replaced. The cost was $750.
I checked back my record and discovered that the alternator was replaced in 2018 for $700. I wonder if C&G Specialty Auto Repair and Auto Body didn’t do a good job on it that caused the grinding.
The cost for fixing and maintaining these cars are incredibly pricey. I despise owning cars. I wish I could do away with them. I have been thinking about Tesla simply for the low cost of maintenance. Someone once told me that when there’s an issue with an electric car, you simply reset the computer. If that’s true, I am all for it.
Nevertheless, here’s the breakdown of the cost from Merrifield Citgo:
- Water pump ($184)
- Anti-freeze coolant ($40)
- Drive belt ($18)
- Labor ($396)
The final cost is $716