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View Full Version : Experience/comments with "Toy Doctor"?


corsair23
03-20-2007, 12:03 PM
Ok...So as much as I want to wrench on my own rig I'm running out of time, and oil changes, diff fluid changes, etc. isn't rocket science so I don't think I'll miss out on anything here :hill:

Have this place called Toy Doctor near me that has a special going on to change out the front and rear diffs, Tcase (assume center diff would apply here), and AT fluid (exhange not flush :thumb:) for $189. Seems reasonable as their reg cost is $310 :eek:. I figure the fluids alone would probably cost me upwards of $100 then a full day of my time (yeah, I'm REAL slow) so for $189 :rolleyes:

Has anyone out there had good, bad, or indifferent experiences with Toy Doctor? I haven't called them to see what fluids they use or if they'll let me buy my own and just charge labor. But, this way I'm sure it will get done as I can drop the LX off on my way into work and pick it later that day :thumb:

Red_Chili
03-20-2007, 02:38 PM
Decent. I'd do it.
If they don't use the B-G flushing machine on the AT, it is hardly worth it though. Flush that baby. Your tranny will thank you 50K miles from now.

corsair23
03-20-2007, 03:01 PM
Bill,

Most posts I've read on 80 series PM is that the AT fluid "exchange" (using the AT's pump) is better for the rig than a flush. Maybe I have confused myself :dunno:

nakman
03-20-2007, 03:19 PM
Don't flush!!! Jeff the posts you've read about 80 trannies are all true, not worth the risk IMO, let those little tranny bits stay in their happy little places.

What I'd recommend is exchange the ATF, then every oil change from now on do the 4 quart drop & swap. good to go, forever.


and no experience with Toy Doctor, sorry. But 10 quarts of gear oil is like $90, and 14 quarts of ATF is probably $60, with tax. Obviously depends on what you put in there...

Three Wheel Ben
03-20-2007, 03:46 PM
Don't flush!!! Jeff the posts you've read about 80 trannies are all true, not worth the risk IMO, let those little tranny bits stay in their happy little places.

What I'd recommend is exchange the ATF, then every oil change from now on do the 4 quart drop & swap. good to go, forever.


and no experience with Toy Doctor, sorry. But 10 quarts of gear oil is like $90, and 14 quarts of ATF is probably $60, with tax. Obviously depends on what you put in there...


x2 DON'T FLUSH, YOU'LL THANK YOURSELF LATER WHEN YOUR NOT BUYING A TRANS.:D

Shark Bait
03-20-2007, 03:50 PM
Ben, do you do the fluid exchange? Robbie did it for me right after I got my 80 about 18 months ago. Said I should do it again.

Three Wheel Ben
03-20-2007, 04:00 PM
Ben, do you do the fluid exchange? Robbie did it for me right after I got my 80 about 18 months ago. Said I should do it again.


I can do it, depending on what the fluid looks like you might just need a drain and fill. Every 15k is usually good for drain and fill to keep it nice and red/pink. So every 3rd or 4th oil change.

Hulk
03-20-2007, 04:37 PM
What's the difference between the flush and the exchange? Do both completely replace all of the fluid? I think I need to do this.

corsair23
03-20-2007, 04:43 PM
Thanks all for the input as always :)

I'll wait until later this week to decide on Toy Doctor just in case someone posts up a bad experience. If not I'll be the guinea pig for those of us with that just can't seem to find a spare moment to work on our own rigs (and lack of know how on my part as well) and see how Toy Doctor goes. A guy I work with had the muffler replaced on his '99 ES300 and was pleased with the work but who knows.

The 'coupon' is good thru 4/30/07 if anyone else is interested. I'll also verify what fluids they use.

P.S. Tim...Quick question. How do you know when you've drained off 4 qts from the AT? Is it an eyeball/experience thing? I've got an oil pan but I'd be at a loss to know when 4 qts have drained out :confused:

Shark Bait
03-20-2007, 04:54 PM
With my limited knowledge, the "flush" uses detergents to "clean" the transmission which can be harmful to the seals, etc. and eventually ruin your transmission.

Draining fluid out of the transmission via the drain plug does not completely drain it. I think all you get out is 4 qts. There is still quite a bit of fluid left in it. But evidently, doing this every 15k miles or so is enough to keep the transmission fluid clean enough. The exchange actually pumps probably twice the capacity of the transmission's worth of fluid through in order to end up with completely clean fluid. Kind of like Keith Richards getting a complete blood transfusion to remove all traces of illegal drugs from his body. :D

When I bought my 80 the fluid was kind of brownish, which is bad. I think that's why Robbie recommended another complete exchange after a year or so.

I'll defer to Ben for the completely technically correct answers.

Three Wheel Ben
03-20-2007, 05:03 PM
Flush - outside pump pushes fluid throughout trans and out through cooler lines. Dont' necessarily use detergents or chemicals. Essentially two pumps are running at the same time. May put pressure where it isn't normally.

Exchange - uses transmission pump (the one that provides fluid pressure for operation) to push fluid out of cooler lines.

Drain and fill - pull trans drain plug and drain fluid out of pan (approx 3.5-4 qts) and refill.

Example of why seals don't like to do anything than be normal. It is a brake system buy none the less same principal. RX's suck the fluid out of each caliper using a vacula (air operated vacuum device for exchanging brake fluid) Almost guaranteed to blow (suck) the seal at the end of the master cyl, usually requires replacement of master cyl and brake booster (full of brake fluid). Same method but rather than powering up the vacula just use it as a catch basin and pump the brake pedal while opening and closing the bleeder valve - normal bleeding procedure. Seals stay intact and nothing is damaged.

Red_Chili
03-20-2007, 05:14 PM
My son reports numerous cases of BG-flushed vehicles with over 300K miles and original trannies...:confused:

My Taco is running strong after same a couple years ago.

I've never been disappointed with BG products.

nakman
03-20-2007, 05:15 PM
Well my argument against has always been not wanting to dislodge any little particle that was sitting in a happy little corner somewhere. I never considered the seals, but this won't be the last time I learn something from LexiBen now is it.. :)


But you know about 4 qts drain out when the stuff stops dripping out of the pan. If you raise the right-front it will be a little more, also if you wait a while (like hours) it will be a little more... the rest of your ATF stays up in the torque converter.

Then to fill you just shove a funnel in the dipstick hole, and slowly add back the ATF. I usually stop at around 3.5 qts to check it but end up right at 4. My brother's 4Runner takes 4.5.. and I do this at every oil change. To get really geeky, Raven created a spreadsheet that predicts what % of ATF is new with every 4 quart swap, I'm sure you can find it if you look. Easier, IMO, to just start fresh, then keep it fresh. At only 2 OCI's per year I think the added cost is well worth it.

corsair23
03-20-2007, 05:20 PM
But you know about 4 qts drain out when the stuff stops dripping out of the pan. If you raise the right-front it will be a little more, also if you wait a while (like hours) it will be a little more... the rest of your ATF stays up in the torque converter.

Then to fill you just shove a funnel in the dipstick hole, and slowly add back the ATF. I usually stop at around 3.5 qts to check it but end up right at 4. My brother's 4Runner takes 4.5.. and I do this at every oil change. To get really geeky, Raven created a spreadsheet that predicts what % of ATF is new with every 4 quart swap, I'm sure you can find it if you look. Easier, IMO, to just start fresh, then keep it fresh. At only 2 OCI's per year I think the added cost is well worth it.

Excellent. It is real world experience like this you don't find in the FSM or owner's manual :thumb:. I've seen that spreadsheet as well and also agree it is easier to start with all new, expecially on a rig with pretty much zero known history.

wesintl
03-20-2007, 05:47 PM
unless time is an issue do it yourself. I'll drop by for an hour if you need a hand or supervision. Git'er Done :thumb:

Romer
03-20-2007, 07:53 PM
I did the fluid exchange on the tranny at Toy Car care for $99. The flush is not not good for 80 trannies.

Red_Chili
03-20-2007, 08:05 PM
Hmmm. Didn't know 80 trannies were weak. Wouldn't have expected it.












:lmao:

Uncle Ben
03-20-2007, 09:55 PM
Hmmm. Didn't know 80 trannies were weak. Wouldn't have expected it.












:lmao:

It has something about too much foam on the Latte! :bowdown: :kevin: :lmao: :hill:

corsair23
03-21-2007, 01:05 AM
unless time is an issue do it yourself. I'll drop by for an hour if you need a hand or supervision. Git'er Done :thumb:

Time is the issue for sure...Both :Princess:'s doing the soccer thing, wife going out of town, :blah: :blah: :blah: ...

And I'm slow...Not mentally, I just tend to get really anal about the work which slows the process. Ask the wife how long it takes me just to hang a picture :eek:. Get out the tape measure, hammer, nails, level, pencil, etc. etc., get it all measured out and lined up, measure a few more times :hill:

I want to spend what little time I have getting what mods I can afford installed and ready. I imagine the oil change and diffs are pull the plugs, drain, put plugs back in, refill. Easy but then you have to fartz around with getting rid of the oil...The AT fluid exchange is more involved from what I read but doable.

Realistically though it is hard for me to find a solid hour to work on stuff right now let alone a full day :(. Based on Tim's estimate of the fluids cost it doesn't seem like the Toy Doctor is making much on the deal so maybe there is a 'catch'...Need to call them and make sure it isn't one of those deals where the coupon applies to "most vehicles" but not mine type of thing.

Chris
03-21-2007, 08:30 AM
Have this place called Toy Doctor near me that has a special going on...

Is this the place on Parker? If it is, or is connected in any way, do not even think about using them. :mad:

Red_Chili
03-21-2007, 08:47 AM
OK, if you're gonna slam a vendor, you have to give specifics...

Uncle Ben
03-21-2007, 08:50 AM
OK, if you're gonna slam a vendor, you have to give specifics...

Agreed!

corsair23
03-21-2007, 10:59 AM
Is this the place on Parker? If it is, or is connected in any way, do not even think about using them. :mad:

From what I can tell there are two locations. One at 1370 S Parker Rd and the other at 8061 S Broadway (the one I would use). Not sure if they are owned by the same person or not but they are definitely affliated with one another.

So, what are the specifics behind why you wouldn't consider using them?

Chris
03-21-2007, 11:08 AM
If it's Toy Doctor on Parker in Aurora I'm happy to provide details based on my experience. If it's another location this doesn't apply.

I brought my 1999 Avalon with 180K miles to the Parker location a few years ago. I had a bad axle that was leaking fluid. Their estimate for repairs was written in pencil on a piece of paper from a pad, not an invoice or anything resembling one. They said in addition to the axle I needed a new power steering unit, high pressure hose and all new belts. They also "evaluated" my transmission while they had it on the lift. They determined it was failing and needed replacing. The estimate was between $3000.00 - $4000.00 for repairs. They offered 10% discount in exchange for using their license plate frame.

I went elsewhere and spent under $200.00 for everything needed and drove the car for years w/o any issues at all.

If this is inappropriate delete it. If you feel it's simply answering an inquiry leave it.

Uncle Ben
03-21-2007, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the details! It's only fair to venders that you state your case if you are going to discredit them publicly. From your side of the situation it does appear that they were looking for a "cash cow." :(

Chris
03-21-2007, 11:32 AM
Thanks for the details! It's only fair to venders that you state your case if you are going to discredit them publicly. From your side of the situation it does appear that they were looking for a "cash cow." :(

Yeah, it was disappointing to have that experience since I was looking for a good mechanic at the time. I eventually found one and never hestitate to recommend Ramone Elder - Elder Auto at (303) 756-2886 for anyone looking for a good, honest shop in SE Denver. :thumb:

corsair23
03-21-2007, 02:46 PM
Chris,

Thanks for sharing the experience. I dislike to the nth degree places that try to take advantage of people. Although I must say in that I'm sure there is a fine line between a shop recommending some work that they believe needs to be done and not recommending said work.

In your case though it seems that you proved that the recommended repairs were in NO way needed and just don't pass the 'sniff' test. I'll have to ask my co-worker who recently had his Lexus worked on by the Broadway Toy Doctor location if they recommended any additional work. He is the sort of person that I'm sure an unscrupulous shop would see as an open wallet :( AFAIK he took it to the shop to have the muffler replaced with OEM and that is exactly what they did, no more, no less, and he is happy with their work.

Sure would be nice if I can add them to my 'trusted' list as they are very convienently located...

Maybe we could convince Christo to open up a South location? :)

Chris
03-21-2007, 04:58 PM
Whenever I get a "quote" not on letterhead/invoice red flags are up. When I'm told my tranny is bad and it's not even driven I walk away fast. It was too bad for them since I had 3 cars over 150,000 miles at the time. Shops that treat me well usually benefit quite well. ;)

Now I just have one vehicle over 100,000 miles and it's my FJ62 with 230,000 miles. Not real lucrative for any shop though - it doesn't need any reapirs. :D

Good luck, hope you find someone close and honest. :thumb:

thefatkid
03-21-2007, 07:39 PM
The BG machine is a exchange machine. It goes inline with the tranny cooler and uses the vheicles pump to change the fluid. It does this with a closed tank with a doubble bladder in it. Old fluid pushes in forcing the new fluid out.

Sediments in a good tranny will wear components faster and make it into a bad tranny. They cause sticking in the valve body, this could cause clutch slipping.

Sediments in a bad tranny add that little bit if extra friction to keep it alive for that little bit longer, and a flush could kill it, even a drain and fill could kill it.

The argument that the (fluid exchange model) flush will kill a good tranny is not true. I do belive that a forced flush could cause pump damage due to cavitation.

I belive the BG flush is $139 at Burt but I'm not sure, you might give them a call to check it out. I don't know what kind of machine Elway/Go uses.

Red_Chili
03-22-2007, 09:30 AM
Thanks for the well articulated description!
I really don't understand the 'conventional wisdom' on not using the BG system to change auto tranny fluid... I guess I'd change my tune if someone could point to a single failure caused by using the BG system.

treerootCO
03-22-2007, 10:56 AM
Since were talking ATF....the Lexus dealer was the only shop in town that knew what Dexron VI was. All I needed was a quart for the Allison and I went to all the GM dealers in town. The lead guy in the GM shop said they could care less and if I brought my truck in for service they would use Dexron III. Oxidative and shear stability aside, I am not taking my truck in for service at that dealership.

Hulk
03-22-2007, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the well articulated description!
I really don't understand the 'conventional wisdom' on not using the BG system to change auto tranny fluid... I guess I'd change my tune if someone could point to a single failure caused by using the BG system.

You're missing an option, Bill. The BG Exchange Machine is the good option.

The bad option is the power flush, which is performed at Jiffy Lube and many other places. It also uses a machine (which is where I was confused), but forces the fluid through the system with tsunami power.

I can just see me on the phone now: "No, I don't want a transmission fluid flush -- I want an exchange. Yes, there is a difference. What machine do you use for this? Yes, it does make a difference, and if you don't know, I will find somewhere else to take my Land Cruiser. Fine!" :rant:

nakman
03-22-2007, 11:16 AM
Bill it sounds like everyone's right here. You've been saying flush all along, but in reference to what Fatkid describes as a BG exchange. So if the "BG Flush" is really an "exchange," then I think we can all just get along after all.. :)


edit: and Matt can type faster than me.

Red_Chili
03-22-2007, 11:49 AM
Okey doke. I was confused because the 'oh no don't do it!' was in response to my recommending the BG flush/exchange/clean/evacuation/replacing/partridge in a pear tree/whatever/thingie. :lmao:

Then, there were comments about leaving the stuff in there rather than disturbing it...:eek:

Or just draining a bit at a time...:confused:

Basically, clean the dang thing and put fresh blood in it! :thumb: :blah:

wesintl
03-22-2007, 11:58 AM
In my only auto tranny my flush method it to keep topping it off when it leaks out. 215k later it's still going. :D

I'm sure running it low doesn't help it but at 215 i'm not going in to seal it. It only needs to last another year or so and I have a couple of backup vehicles.

corsair23
03-23-2007, 05:22 PM
Ok...so finally got around to calling "Toy Doctor" on Broadway.

They use Castrol oil exclusively (engine, diffs, tcase).

They are ok with customers bringing in their own fluids but charge an additional $65 due to the "extra work" involved with putting the customers fluids into their pumps...So fluid cost + $65 to BYOF :(

Other "gotcha"...The AT exchange is really a drain and fill, not a full exchange. Tim's mention in a previous post of doing the "4 qt drop & swap" made me question the coupon as it states "up to 4 qts" for the AT. Full AT exhange is $175 using their brand of fluid.

Other thing I checked on was a radiator flush (not just a drain and fill) and that runs $99 using Toyota Red.

So....seems like the good deal isn't all that great of a deal, especially for a person wanting to use a different fluid type than what they use :(

I've got no reason to doubt Castrol oil is good, but I have yet to see anyone recommend it...Might be time for some late night PM duties on my part and just get it done...

Shark Bait
03-23-2007, 05:31 PM
You might try Toy Car Care out on east Arapahoe. Romer mentioned they do a tranny fluid exchange for $99. They're out past the airport.

Romer
03-23-2007, 07:54 PM
You might try Toy Car Care out on east Arapahoe. Romer mentioned they do a tranny fluid exchange for $99. They're out past the airport.


Centennial airport on Potomac just south of Arapahoe Rd.

Call them first and ask if they still Honor the coupon for the $99 exchange

Red_Chili
03-27-2007, 08:58 AM
I've got no reason to doubt Castrol oil is good, but I have yet to see anyone recommend it...Might be time for some late night PM duties on my part and just get it done...
OK, here's one. Castrol is fine stuff. I'm a Valvoline man myself, but would not hesitate (and have not hesitated in the past) to use Castrol.

Pennz sucks. Bonneville experience behind that one.

Uncle Ben
03-27-2007, 09:10 AM
OK, here's one. Castrol is fine stuff. I'm a Valvoline man myself, but would not hesitate (and have not hesitated in the past) to use Castrol.

Pennz sucks. Bonneville experience behind that one.


WORD! :bowdown: :bill: :)

Bighead
03-27-2007, 05:53 PM
Ok...so finally got around to calling "Toy Doctor" on Broadway.

They use Castrol oil exclusively (engine, diffs, tcase).

They are ok with customers bringing in their own fluids but charge an additional $65 due to the "extra work" involved with putting the customers fluids into their pumps...So fluid cost + $65 to BYOF :(

Other "gotcha"...The AT exchange is really a drain and fill, not a full exchange. Tim's mention in a previous post of doing the "4 qt drop & swap" made me question the coupon as it states "up to 4 qts" for the AT. Full AT exhange is $175 using their brand of fluid.

Other thing I checked on was a radiator flush (not just a drain and fill) and that runs $99 using Toyota Red.

So....seems like the good deal isn't all that great of a deal, especially for a person wanting to use a different fluid type than what they use :(

I've got no reason to doubt Castrol oil is good, but I have yet to see anyone recommend it...Might be time for some late night PM duties on my part and just get it done...

Wow...I just went to a place in the Springs that uses the BG machines and did an ATF exchange ( ;) ) and a coolant flush. I brought in my own Mobil 1 ATF and pre-mixed Toyota red coolant and he did the rest. I was actually charged less than the listed service price since I brought my own fluids.

corsair23
03-27-2007, 06:21 PM
Wow...I just went to a place in the Springs that uses the BG machines and did an ATF exchange ( ;) ) and a coolant flush. I brought in my own Mobil 1 ATF and pre-mixed Toyota red coolant and he did the rest. I was actually charged less than the listed service price since I brought my own fluids.

Good find! I can't really fault a business for not wanting customers to bring in their own fluids as I'm sure they make some $$ off that part but I didn't buy the "it cost $65 more as the tech has to put your fluids into the fill pumps" line either. Sadly, had they been more accomodating to me bringing in the fluids and charging a reasonable labor rate (like you found) then they might have had a customer for life.

Personally, IMO changing fluids is a messy hassle that I don't miss doing. It takes me 3x as long to do it and I have to dispose of the oil, procure the fluids, etc. I'd rather be kicking the soccer ball around with the :Princess:s and let the folks that make a living doing this do the work and help make the world go around. Alas, I'll probably just do my own...

What was the name of the place you used Lance? Maybe they have a sister business up here :thumb:

Bighead
03-28-2007, 10:01 AM
When it comes to an ATF and coolant swap, the sheer amount of fluid to dispose of makes me find a business to do it for me. If I do an oil or diff fluid change or an ATF drain and fill, that amount is manageable and easily disposed of at the local Autozone.

Jeff: It was Airport Automotive in C. Springs (719-570-7212 / e-mail: gary@airportautomotive). Gary is the owner/mechanic so I doubt he has another shop in the Denver area but he may have somebody to recommend.

Hulk
03-28-2007, 11:00 AM
You really should try Toy Car Care.
303-799-3895
6844 S. Potomac St.
Centennial, CO 80112
(2 blocks south of Arapahoe Road).

Both Romer and I can vouch for them. They have done amazing things for my FJ40 emissions as well as occasional maintenance on my 80.

corsair23
03-28-2007, 05:36 PM
Thanks Matt...I've seen numerous mentions of Toy Car Care so I guess I'll have to give them a try :) If nothing else than for the initial tranny fluid exhange. I'll drop it off and watch planes at Centennial take off and land as a bonus activity.

Red_Chili
03-29-2007, 10:18 AM
...but I didn't buy the "it cost $65 more as the tech has to put your fluids into the fill pumps" line either. ...
Actually, that is not just a cynical line. It takes a significant amount of additional time, and the fluids in the fill pumps/tanks are bought at a bulk rate and much cheaper because of it.
It hits the dealer/service guy at the bottom line, and he isn't a nonprofit...

But for that reason, I don't do fluids at Burt. Unfortunately they contracted with Pennzoil years ago, and I've made my thoughts on Pennz elsewhere pretty plain. It is prohibitively more expensive to have them use my fluids, but I don't blame them for it.

I had my ATF exchange (:hill: ) done at Tilden's because I could wait for it, and they used my Mobil1 ATF (no cost break), and they used a BG machine.