Toyota Corolla leaves family stranded.

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To start off, this is not a Toyota bash thread so lets not go down that road.

Many of our family members traveled from various locations to TN this past week for a wedding. On the drive to TN, one of my family members text me and said the check engine light came on on her 2018 Corolla that she just purchased not even a month ago. She isn't very mechanically inclined so I asked if the car was driving normal and it appeared to be so I wasn't that concerned and thought it was likely a sensor or something emissions related and wouldn't be a big deal.

She ended up finishing up the drive and had the nearest Toyota dealer check it out the next day. The dealer told her it appeared to be a bad tank of gas and they would drain the tank, use a few additives and get her back on the road to the tune of $600!!! She declined (thankfully) and left the dealer.

We all began preparing the drive home and she let the tank run low and filled back up with fresh gas in hopes that there would be no more issues, by this time the check engine light has turned OFF. Well earlier today I get a text saying she is broke down in middle of nowhere waiting on a tow truck to take the car to the nearest Toyota dealer. She said the check engine light began flashing and the car started slowing down (unable to accelerate).

She was able to make it to a gas station and park the car thankfully.

I did some quick googling and I don't see any sort of widespread issues describing this issue, in fact there are hardly any widespread issues at all with this model. What do you all think? Unfortunately she and her sister are now stuck hours away from home without a car. Hopefully this dealer will take care of this issue, whatever it may be.

Just felt like sharing.
 
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So a thread about bad gas?

She took it to a dealer, they diagnosed the issue, she refused the recommended fix, then she got stranded?

What did she think would happen?!?

You win some and you lose some in life. It seems like your family member lost on this one. I wonder what the cost of being stranded (tow, rental car, maybe a hotel stay, mechanic's bill) will actually add up to.

Maybe a better title would be "Bad Gas Leaves Family Member Stranded After Refusing Diagnosed Fix". I see zero correlation to the make/model in question here.
 
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Based on what premise? $600 to drain a tank sounds quite reasonable, actually. You figure 1 hr to diag, 2.6 for tank r/r and there is definitely a fee to dispose of the contaminated fuel.
plus any filter(s) too. Worth it? In hind sight yes. If it was bad gas, time to submit the bill to the fuel provider.
 
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Based on what premise? $600 to drain a tank sounds quite reasonable, actually.
Replaced the fuel pump in an old Altima a few days ago. Access through a panel under the rear seat. Removed panel and the pump, then drained 7 gallons of 8 year old gas from the tank (the car has been sitting 8 years) in less than 10 minutes with a transfer pump. Gas smelled a little odd, so I'd say it was bad, but still, gas is gas. Poured it into the half full tank of my driver, and it ran just fine.

1. So yes $600 seems excessive. Why the need to drop the tank? If you can't siphon it out the filler, or you don't have access from the top, you could command the fuel pump on and collect it at the fuel rail.
2. What exactly was bad about the gas? I assume it wasn't age. And what about it would cause the car not to run?
 

gregk24

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So a thread about bad gas?

She took it to a dealer, they diagnosed the issue, she refused the recommended fix, then she got stranded?

What did she think would happen?!?

You win some and you lose some in life. It seems like your family member lost on this one. I wonder what the cost of being stranded (tow, rental car, maybe a hotel stay, mechanic's bill) will actually add up to.

Maybe a better title would be "Bad Gas Leaves Family Member Stranded After Refusing Diagnosed Fix". I see zero correlation to the make/model in question here.
I think we will find out tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m skeptical about the bad gas theory. Why would the car drive completely fine on “bad gas”, then leave them stranded on a completely new tank of fuel?
 
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I think we will find out tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m skeptical about the bad gas theory. Why would the car drive completely fine on “bad gas”, then leave them stranded on a completely new tank of fuel?
Bad gas will foul spark plugs and damage injectors. Initially, the problem was probably an intermittent misfire or a lean DTC. Eventually the issue progressed.

Replaced the fuel pump in an old Altima a few days ago. Access through a panel under the rear seat. Removed panel and the pump, then drained 7 gallons of 8 year old gas from the tank (the car has been sitting 8 years) in less than 10 minutes with a transfer pump. Gas smelled a little odd, so I'd say it was bad, but still, gas is gas. Poured it into the half full tank of my driver, and it ran just fine.

1. So yes $600 seems excessive. Why the need to drop the tank? If you can't siphon it out the filler, or you don't have access from the top, you could command the fuel pump on and collect it at the fuel rail.
2. What exactly was bad about the gas? I assume it wasn't age. And what about it would cause the car not to run?
1) Shops charge book time. If you can short cut the process and still charge book time, good for you. But the customer is not entitled to a discount.

2) Contamination.
 
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Smart money seems to be on bad gas, I would guess, but it could of course have been something else (the dealer's diagnostic is about the only info there is here).

This strikes me as a good reason to buy gas that's "guaranteed" - Kwik Trip, QT, Pilot, Casey's, etc. all advertise that they guarantee their fuels in case of something like this happening (some do right on the pump, and others on their website). Do I think that Exxon/Chevron/Shell are good fuels? Yes, absolutely. But there's some peace of mind in knowing that your fuel brand stands behind the fuel (I'd much rather deal with QT or Pilot than some random person running a Mobil in some town that I stopped at on a road trip). That said, I like TT gas and have no issues using any branded fuels whatsoever. It's just that, in (rare) cases like these, having the company stand behind their fuel would be quite nice. Most of the guaranteed brands appear to be high-volume stations too (our Kwik Trip gets a tanker load of 87 every single night), also helping reduce the likelihood of bad gas, although not all of the brands are TT. At any rate, TT + high volume station + guaranteed gas is a winning combination in my book, though I'd, say, pick a clean and busy Love's over a run-down Shell that doesn't get much traffic.


https://kumandgo.secure.force.com/fuelclaim/

https://www.quiktrip.com/Gasoline
 
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Bad gas will foul spark plugs and damage injectors. Initially, the problem was probably an intermittent misfire or a lean DTC. Eventually the issue progressed.


1) Shops charge book time. If you can short cut the process and still charge book time, good for you. But the customer is not entitled to a discount.

2) Contamination.
If whoever comes up with the book time doesn't know of the short cut, the customer is being screwed.
Unless someone mistakenly put some diesel in the gas tank at the station, contamination would be a rare event.
 
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