NorCal FJs

FJ Cruisers of Northern California

There has always been the ongoing debate of whether one should sign up for the extended warranty or not. Some say it's a rip off whereas others swear by them. I probably fall into the former category, but opted to buy into the extended warranty for my FJC primarily because it was a first year model and I have heard things about first year models from any manufacturer.


Up until a couple of weeks ago, I wondered whether my investment would have a return. I've been one of the lucky ones who hasn't really had any issues with my FJC. That is until about a month ago when I began to hear a hum that wasn't a result of road noise or tires. It was my wheel bearing giving out.


The hum got progressively worse, so I decided to bring the FJC into One Toyota of first visit there. I met with the service manager, Noah, and outlined the issues I knew about (e.g. the wheel bearing and the leaky axle seal I had discovered whilst visiting Red Eye Fab). The FJC got taken into the shop and I headed into the waiting area. Luckily, the waiting area had free WiFi access and I was able to get work done. About four hours passed until Noah finally came looking for me to outline the issues the FJC was having:


  • Front driver's side wheel bearing
  • Rear driver's side axle seal leaking
    • Leakage got into brake housing, brake shoe and possibly rotor need replacement
  • Radiator leaking
  • Bad water pump
  • Both CV boots leaking


We went into the shop and did the walk around. The technician pointed out methodically all the bad spots. Lots of work to be done indeed. I wasn't really looking forward to the estimate for all the parts and labor until Noah reminded me of my extended warranty, which for some reason I thought had long since expired. Upon checking the system, it was confirmed I was still within warranty, by a mere 700 miles or so. *phew*


The FJC had to be kept overnight and the parts ordered the next day once the full inspection was completed. The extended warranty qualified me for the Toyota Rent-a-Car program, so I was given the choice of a Corolla, Camry or Prius. I found myself driving home in a Prius. Life kinda sucked without my trusty FJC, but thank goodness for the extended warranty.


I got a call the following morning and it turned out the radiator was going to be replaced in whole and had to be ordered with a delivery date the following Monday. In all, four days in the shop were required. Loaner car was covered for the duration of service! Total savings after cost of extended warranty? +/- $700.00. <-- a lot of beer!


It was great to get my FJC back. They even washed her for me. Getting back behind the wheel and adjusting the mirrors brought me back to the night I bought her. The smile returned after a five day hiatus. So, in this instance my decision to go with the extended warranty paid off. Admittedly, the extended warranty isn't for everyone, but for me it was well worth it this time around. All 92,243 miles and countless smiles of it!

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