New to area. Looking for reputable shop in CO springs.

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
Edit for clarity: 2004 Toyota 4Runner SR5, about 252 K miles.

Sorry to repost. I've been up for more than 24 hours and I'll try to delete the other post I put in the wrong area.

I went for a drive at about 2300 yesterday from Texas and about 1000 miles later I'm here. I am having a real rough go of my life and I'll probably be sleeping in my truck. (A shitbox with a multitude of issues including an intermittent heater)

EMT by trade usually but the rough go is rougher than normal.

It's got about 252K on the odo.

Brake is getting real stiff and unresponsive and the break boost won't ever quit. Like ever. If just goes and goes and goes and sometimes takes a breath but it's consistent.

I've taken it to like 8 shops already that were supposed to be good in Texas but they couldn't figure it out.

Just looking for a place that's honest and does good work. Not looking for any favors or anything.

It's pretty chilly up here and I'm afraid my heater is gonna die like it did before. It resurrected like a zombie after like 2 years of not working.

I don't think it's a blend door.

Anyway. Enough rambling. Let me know what you've got. Thanks.
 
Last edited:

MountainGoat

Club Treasurer
Staff member
Cruise Moab Committee
Joined
Jul 4, 2008
Messages
2,708
Location
Evergreen, CO
Pretty much everybody on here is in the Denver metro area. Colorado Springs has a club onto itself - Colorado Land Cruisers. They don't have their own forum, but the do have their own section on Ih8mud. You might do better over there, if you are looking for a good shop in the Springs.

Also, it would be helpful if you could let us know what sort of vehicle you are dealing with. Somebody might have a tip or two for you.

Hope you get it sorted soon. It is a little bit colder up here than it is in Texas. :) Let us know if you get in dire straits, we could probably come up with some way to help get you through.
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
Pretty much everybody on here is in the Denver metro area. Colorado Springs has a club onto itself - Colorado Land Cruisers. They don't have their own forum, but the do have their own section on Ih8mud. You might do better over there, if you are looking for a good shop in the Springs.

Also, it would be helpful if you could let us know what sort of vehicle you are dealing with. Somebody might have a tip or two for you.

Hope you get it sorted soon. It is a little bit colder up here than it is in Texas. :) Let us know if you get in dire straits, we could probably come up with some way to help get you through.

It's a 4Runner 20004.

I'm just gonna idle the car tonight and hope nobody busts a window or something. I just looked and it's going to be 12 at the low. I've never been in that weather in my life. Pray for me.

I don't need anyone to come out or anything. I'll manage until I figure out something better. I always manage to go a little more.
 

shellb

Trail Ready
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
418
Location
Boulder CO
Any cheapish hotels around?

I’d be willing to put you up for a couple nights via PayPal, Venmo, etc. until you can get feet settled.

I don’t like the sound of you sleeping in an idling car all night that already has issues…
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
Any cheapish hotels around?

I’d be willing to put you up for a couple nights via PayPal, Venmo, etc. until you can get feet settled.

I don’t like the sound of you sleeping in an idling car all night that already has issues…

I've slept worse. I'll look for some options tomorrow when I've had some time. I got some thermals and a few blankets too. People acclimate eventually.

The view coming in was absolutely great though. I'm sure y'all see crazier but this is peak for me. Pun intended.
 

Attachments

  • 20211217_130535.jpg
    20211217_130535.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 58
  • 20211217_130527.jpg
    20211217_130527.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 56
  • 20211217_120224.jpg
    20211217_120224.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 63
  • 20211217_115658.jpg
    20211217_115658.jpg
    4 MB · Views: 64
  • 20211217_111815.jpg
    20211217_111815.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 63
  • 20211217_111616.jpg
    20211217_111616.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 59
  • 20211217_111905.jpg
    20211217_111905.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 63
  • 20211217_111900.jpg
    20211217_111900.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 58

patrickhrco

Trail Ready
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
364
Location
Highlands ranch
I second shellb, I’d be willing to set you up in a hotel for a couple nights as well If you need.

So sorry to hear things are rough and I hope life turn around Quickly for you.

Do You have any plans or ideas of what you’re going to do in CO? Are you wanting to be here long term? Do you know anyone in CO?
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
I second shellb, I’d be willing to set you up in a hotel for a couple nights as well If you need.

So sorry to hear things are rough and I hope life turn around Quickly for you.

Do You have any plans or ideas of what you’re going to do in CO? Are you wanting to be here long term? Do you know anyone in CO?
I'm not sure if this killer headache came from going to 54 ft to 6K in a day but at least the Tylenol worked. 😅

I've got no idea, honestly in pretty much anything. In a way I'm relieved to be gone, yet horrified as well. Obviously not a well thought out plan and much has to be pondered and decided.

I'm not sure about long term. I thought about leaving CO and just driving around. I thought about sticking around and trying to get a job.

I know absolutely nobody. Kind of the point in a way.
 

damon

RS Club TLCA Delegate
Cruise Moab Committee
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
811
Location
Lakewood, CO
I'm not sure if this killer headache came from going to 54 ft to 6K in a day but at least the Tylenol worked. 😅

I've got no idea, honestly in pretty much anything. In a way I'm relieved to be gone, yet horrified as well. Obviously not a well thought out plan and much has to be pondered and decided.

I'm not sure about long term. I thought about leaving CO and just driving around. I thought about sticking around and trying to get a job.

I know absolutely nobody. Kind of the point in a way.
The headache is most likely altitude sickness. Drink more water. When you think you have had enough water, drink more. Ask any transplant.
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
In vehicle terms the heater seems to have stabilized for tonight after it went out a few times during the day and as night set.

The break booster assist thing goes 24/7 pretty much. Every few seconds it goes for a few seconds now. If you know what a guinea fowl is (the bird not the mop head rodent) you'll know they go KEK KEK KEK. Sometimes near the firewall it goes KEK and it kicks like a rabbit. You can feel the vibrations with your feet usually. I think that happens more when I'm driving it, but I haven't figured out rhyme or reason to it. On the way up here I thought the brakes failed but they just got really stiff. Air in the lines maybe?

The heater went out once while I was climbing a hill as soon as I started the incline. Not sure if that was coincidence or not. If it doesn't blow hot it blows lukewarm or the coldest I've felt coming from car AC. I've replaced the thermostat 3 times. Not sure if I'm just getting the worst ones or if that's not even related. I supposedly had a coolant leak and the last mechanic said he fixed it, but it wasn't a major leak. Just some hose clamp that wasn't as tight as it could be. New clamp.

I've been told by guy 1 that the 2 hoses coming of the radiator were different temperatures. He said this was a sign that it was restricted. Mechanic shop 1 said the heater core needed something done to it. They said it was too hot. Guy 2 said a heater core is supposed to be hot and I'm inclined to agree, given the name of the part. Guy 2 said they were just trying to get money from me without doing any real work. I needed a coolant flush and we did one with citric acid and water, not with pressure though. Some black gunk came out but nothing crazy (In my opinion). Guy 3 said I need to use a hose and get pressure behind it otherwise it was useless. Mechanic shop 2 and 3 said there's nothing wrong with my car's heat. It likes to play nice for the mechanics I guess. As for me? I'm at a loss.

About 3 years ago it quit for the first time and I popped the hood to find out the coolant reservoir was empty. I was still living at home and my dad gave me coolant. I didn't look at it and put it in. Heat came back on. Later I saw he gave me GMC orange but stuff seemed to be working and I didn't want to mess with it in case that made it worse.

Heat went out last winter too and stayed off. That was not fun. I was getting up for shift belt the sun came up and getting off after the sun went down or before it came back up again. Froze my little fingers and toes off it felt like.

I burped The the coolant as best I could. Nothing seemed to happen. I made sure the tank was filled with GMC because that's what was mostly in it. Sometimes it would stay full awhile and sometimes it would be a little, not critically low.

When we did the whole system flush we put in toyota pink.

I got so used up the Heat being possessed and on a whim I gave up on it. Texas winters are short and I could do without if I bundled up. I'm not sure about here. I think not.

I haven't popped the hood recently so when the sun warms up a bit I'll do that.

Edit: A few minor corrections or clarifications. Also to note that none of the mechanic shops could diagnose the brake issue which was my prior priority at the time. Most of them said there was nothing wrong with it. I don't get how they can say that. This is not normal vehicle baseline. Back then it did make the noise less and more when taxed (braking while driving, used to have to pump the brake to get it to do the one trick pony thing it does). Maybe they really just didn't catch it. I have no idea.
 
Last edited:

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
The headache is most likely altitude sickness. Drink more water. When you think you have had enough water, drink more. Ask any transplant.
My thoughts precisely. I don't know who has pressure chambers here but I'm sure the local services know, should it get that bad. I don't think it will, but at least in my book studies of barotrauma, altitude sickness (and HAPE, HACE) , the bends. Bring at such low elevation and not prevously at a service that would see divers, I've never had first hand experience. It doesn't seem critical so I'm not worried. I'm just needing to acclimate. It's less than half the humidity here and it's 65 degrees warmer back home. I thought a Texas winter was bad.
 

White Stripe

Hard Core 4+
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
1,246
Location
Milky way galaxy
Sorry to hear your having a rough go. I would carefully examine cost of living vs income for wherever you plan on settling. Pueblo for example is more affordable than the springs. Everyone is hiring so work should be easy to find.
 

damon

RS Club TLCA Delegate
Cruise Moab Committee
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
811
Location
Lakewood, CO
My thoughts precisely. I don't know who has pressure chambers here but I'm sure the local services know, should it get that bad. I don't think it will, but at least in my book studies of barotrauma, altitude sickness (and HAPE, HACE) , the bends. Bring at such low elevation and not prevously at a service that would see divers, I've never had first hand experience. It doesn't seem critical so I'm not worried. I'm just needing to acclimate. It's less than half the humidity here and it's 65 degrees warmer back home. I thought a Texas winter was bad.
As a Texan (Houston born and raised), our winters here are easier on the body. While it is colder, the lack of humidity in the air doesn't draw heat from the body as quickly - "cold" doesn't feel as cold as "cold and wet."

If the truck is getting up to temp, but the heater isn't blowing cold, the issue could be with the mixing valve. Its usually cable drive from the slider on the AC controls, and held in place by a clip on the mixing valve. It might be loose and isn't completely opening the valve to hot.

I saw you mention orange coolant. Is there a chance that you have green and orange mixed? If so, thats a bad idea. The two are not friends and will cause "clotting" of the coolant, which can gunk up the coolant passages.
 

damon

RS Club TLCA Delegate
Cruise Moab Committee
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
811
Location
Lakewood, CO
I didn't notice in any of the posts, what vehicle are we working with here?
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
Also, sent a detailed email to Toyota seeing if they knew anything about this. About a few days later all they did was ask for my VIN and see if there were recalls. I knew there were none.
Sorry to hear your having a rough go. I would carefully examine cost of living vs income for wherever you plan on settling. Pueblo for example is more affordable than the springs. Everyone is hiring so work should be easy to find.

Yes. Definitely. Gas is way more expensive here and these vehicles get terrible mileage. It's not worth enough to hope to trade for anything else and I'm not sure I would. Both sentimental value of this being my first car and having it since I was about 16. Lots of memories. Plus it still runs great mostly. I'm still deciding where to make a go at it.

As a Texan (Houston born and raised), our winters here are easier on the body. While it is colder, the lack of humidity in the air doesn't draw heat from the body as quickly - "cold" doesn't feel as cold as "cold and wet."

If the truck is getting up to temp, but the heater isn't blowing cold, the issue could be with the mixing valve. Its usually cable drive from the slider on the AC controls, and held in place by a clip on the mixing valve. It might be loose and isn't completely opening the valve to hot.

I saw you mention orange coolant. Is there a chance that you have green and orange mixed? If so, thats a bad idea. The two are not friends and will cause "clotting" of the coolant, which can gunk up the coolant passages.

When the heat works it works great. According to a mechanic in Houston (who was recommended in the Texas 4Runner group, he pretty much only does offroading vehicles, Runners and Jeeps mostly.) He said he's never actually seen a broken blend door.

But I've considered it. Would the blend door be an issue if it's running super hot and then instantly goes cold without controls being touched?

Coolant was previously mixed and it ran supposedly fine for a year or so. After I flushed it, a few small pieces of gunk came out but not startling. Maybe any is really bad. I don't know. But since then putting in only pink for Asian vehicles it hasn't worked regularly either.
 

damon

RS Club TLCA Delegate
Cruise Moab Committee
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
811
Location
Lakewood, CO
Also, sent a detailed email to Toyota seeing if they knew anything about this. About a few days later all they did was ask for my VIN and see if there were recalls. I knew there were none.


Yes. Definitely. Gas is way more expensive here and these vehicles get terrible mileage. It's not worth enough to hope to trade for anything else and I'm not sure I would. Both sentimental value of this being my first car and having it since I was about 16. Lots of memories. Plus it still runs great mostly. I'm still deciding where to make a go at it.



When the heat works it works great. According to a mechanic in Houston (who was recommended in the Texas 4Runner group, he pretty much only does offroading vehicles, Runners and Jeeps mostly.) He said he's never actually seen a broken blend door.

But I've considered it. Would the blend door be an issue if it's running super hot and then instantly goes cold without controls being touched?

Coolant was previously mixed and it ran supposedly fine for a year or so. After I flushed it, a few small pieces of gunk came out but not startling. Maybe any is really bad. I don't know. But since then putting in only pink for Asian vehicles it hasn't worked regularly either.

The "hot then cold" doesn't sound like a mixing valve. The valve should open and close on its own. That is a strange one. Hard to tell on the internet. I know more about 80 series trucks, and the mixing valve tends to disintegrate over the years internally. A lot of people consider it a maintenance item.

Toyota won't be much help, they will just want you to take it somewhere for a diagnosis.

At this point we need to focus more on the brakes. Clothing can make you warmer, but once you get moving you are going to need to eventually stop.
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
The "hot then cold" doesn't sound like a mixing valve. The valve should open and close on its own. That is a strange one. Hard to tell on the internet. I know more about 80 series trucks, and the mixing valve tends to disintegrate over the years internally. A lot of people consider it a maintenance item.

Toyota won't be much help, they will just want you to take it somewhere for a diagnosis.

At this point we need to focus more on the brakes. Clothing can make you warmer, but once you get moving you are going to need to eventually stop.
Agreed
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28

With my car if you plug in an OBDII reader it breaks the traction control settings. TCS and VSC TRAC light comes on. I've confirmed systems do not work like this and it's not just a faulty light mishap. I have to do this paperclip mumbo jumbo sacrifice in the OBDII to get it back on. And then it works again.

I tell the shops this, even factory trained or Toyota techs and they say "Oh, okay, yeah we'll reset that so it doesn't do that to you"

And then I get it back with the lights on or they come in shortly after because all they did was clear the codes, not recalibrate it.

I've read this is caused by OBDII changing systems around when my vehicle is made and it doesn't know how to communicate with the traction control system and then it just throws a tantrum and deletes it. That's the technical term, undoubtedly.

Has anyone else heard about this or is it just me? Cause I feel like it's just me.
 

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
The "hot then cold" doesn't sound like a mixing valve. The valve should open and close on its own. That is a strange one. Hard to tell on the internet. I know more about 80 series trucks, and the mixing valve tends to disintegrate over the years internally. A lot of people consider it a maintenance item.

Toyota won't be much help, they will just want you to take it somewhere for a diagnosis.

At this point we need to focus more on the brakes. Clothing can make you warmer, but once you get moving you are going to need to eventually stop.
The fella that helped me with the flush said he was a mechanic and owned like half a shop or something? But he's not used to working on these kinds of vehicles. He's used to luxury vehicles.

He did show me the pump that was going off all the time. He said a new part would be a couple hundred dollars and it's pretty much plug and play and it's easily reached.

But my thought is that this pump is just in done feedback loop and is not making its own decisions. Something is telling the pump to go off and it's doing that just fine. I suppose there could be a leak internally in the pump and therefore it's not doing its job causing it to be activated again and again and still causing poor performance of the brakes.

I suspect the issue is elsewhere though. I'm not familiar how to diagnose this for sure. Or if there is a way to do this or I'm just supposed to throw parts at it and hope something sticks.

Toyota dealership did tell me a few years ago that I had tons of fluid in my rear differential (I think that's what they said) (they didn't open anything up so I'm not sure how I'd know) and it would be a few thousand to open it up to look for the problem. But all my fluid levels were good so I'm not sure where it came from. I don't remember what fluid they said it was. After conferring with people who know more than I do, the unanimous consensus was that they were doing unnecessary exploration at exorbitant rates to see if they could get some business.

I dunno. Maybe they were right.
 
Last edited:

Namara

Rock Stacker
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
28
To be clear these current issues predated this incident. I think. You know what. I don't actually have proof of when anything occurred for sure.


I think I went over a giant rock. I'm not really sure what happened tbh. Shop 2 said my skid plate was so mangled I'd need a new one. They said it pushed up into the bay and caused damage to the radiator and other parts so I'd need a new radiator among other things. At a few thousand.

Shop 3 with more relevant experience said there is damage to the skid plate but parts inside seems to be undamaged and they should be okay. They welded back the torn backwards tow point and said they getting a new skid would not fix it because I've got frame damage that basically matches the skid plate so without doing frame repair that would be very costly I'm better off just keeping my skid plate as is.
 
Top