Single woman needs advice


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Old 02-18-09, 08:51 PM
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Smile Single woman needs advice

I'm told at 60,000 miles my Saturn Vue needs a tune up and a transmission flush. Which one should be done first and what is a reasonable price to pay for these services? I live in Houston, TX.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:17 PM
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First consult your owner's manual. It may call for a tune up at 60 or 75 K but I'll bet you wont find any reference to a transmission flush. Not in the manual - don't do it.
Also, get several quotes before having anything done.
 
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Old 02-19-09, 03:57 AM
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Welcome to the forums! And bear in mind, too, the Saturn tune up consists of changing spark plugs, as the engine is totally computer controlled as to sequence of spark, etc. I would, since you are out of warranty, check with a reputable service garage and set up with them a service regimen. Most will keep your information computerized for future reference. Except for setting the car up on a diagnostic machine after the spark plug change, there should be little expense to a tune up. My wife has a 2001 L400 with over 100,000 miles on it and are quite satisfied with such a set up.
And I don't know what a transmission flush at 60k would accomplish except lining someone's pocket$ with your money. I don't think it is necessary.
 
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Old 02-19-09, 04:41 AM
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A-greed. And don't go for an engine flush either, which has been thoroughly discredited:

Could This Damage Your Car? | NBC Los Angeles

BTW, I would RUN from any place that even hinted that any of these services was "needed".

If you spend more than $100 on a "tune-up" you probably paid too much. As Chandler points out, it's mostly new spark plugs and check the fluids. BUT, it may also include some items that can legitimately be done as preventive maintenance and make the cost slightly higher, such as fuel and air filter replacement.

Side note story, I recently did front brakes on a niece's car. Needed front pads and one of the rotors was damaged, so replaced both rotors. Total for the parts was about $100 and I spent a leisurely hour doing the work. The reason I did the job is that a franchised brake place had given her an estimate of about $425 which included some vague reference to having to rebuild one of the calipers. It boggles the mind that honest garages are going out of business and places like that continue to rip people off.
 
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Old 02-19-09, 09:39 AM
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I am so glad that I go to an independent 2 person shop that will not sell me anything unnecessary. Bonus fact they are VW specialists, will rarely touch anything other than VW and Audi vehicles.
 
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Old 02-19-09, 10:26 AM
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dont bite

your car dosent need a tune up fpr 100,000 miles and the trans flushes are a rip off 200.00 for nothing the shop needs the money your car will be fine steer clear of that shop.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 05:23 PM
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tow guy i maybe wrong but on my taurus the dealer
had to remove the intake to get at the back plugs so i was
well over the hundred the bucks. the taurus has three in the front and three in the rear under the intake making it nearly impossible to get at unless you remove it.
fortuantly i'm at 145g miles so now i'm considering a tuneup only
because my inspection is due.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 06:12 PM
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Agreed; some cars have back plugs that are a real dog. The inside joke at garages is the front plugs are replaced for free and they only charge for doing the backs.

Oddly enough the Car Talk guys weekly column in the paper addressed just this question about scheduled maintenance checks and they recommended comparing prices at both the dealer and an independent using only the exact items listed in the owner's manual. Their bet is that an independent would be a considerable savings.
 
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Old 02-20-09, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy
Agreed; some cars have back plugs that are a real dog. The inside joke at garages is the front plugs are replaced for free and they only charge for doing the backs.

Oddly enough the Car Talk guys weekly column in the paper addressed just this question about scheduled maintenance checks and they recommended comparing prices at both the dealer and an independent using only the exact items listed in the owner's manual. Their bet is that an independent would be a considerable savings.
off topic but on the idea of comparing prices.
1994 nissan sentra 1.6l i needed the cat and front flex pipe.
local garage was 604 and midas was 850.
 
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Old 02-22-09, 09:46 AM
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On the 2.0L VW 4 cylinder engine, all 4 plugs are under the intake manifold. Therefore I have my mechanic do the plugs, since it is kind of silly for an individual car owner to pay $90 for a tool that is used rarely like that.
 
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Old 02-24-09, 08:54 AM
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Many cars have an extensive list of items to be addressed at 60,000 miles for preventative maintenance. I know the 60,000mile service for my '99 Ford costs around $500. And yes, I DO get the transmission flushed, as Ford recommends transmission oil changes/flushes every 30,000 miles. Add in a spark plug change, which involves removing the intake manifolds, and the PM service cost jumps to around $750.
 
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Old 02-24-09, 11:56 AM
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If I could afford the gas, I would love to have another 83 Dodge full size pickup with the slant 6 engine, which I have heard ran fine without oil or water (darn good trick). Talk about easy to work on and you had enough room under the hood to put a cadaver (not trying to be sick, just giving idea of room) on each side of the engine. There was only one minor problem plug and to do that one, you just had to move the alternator a little bit on its guide.
 
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Old 02-24-09, 12:11 PM
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Now I remember why I drive Toyotas.......Beer 4U2
 
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Old 02-25-09, 05:20 AM
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wow!

Originally Posted by risoworker
tow guy i maybe wrong but on my taurus the dealer
had to remove the intake to get at the back plugs so i was
well over the hundred the bucks. the taurus has three in the front and three in the rear under the intake making it nearly impossible to get at unless you remove it.
fortuantly i'm at 145g miles so now i'm considering a tuneup only
because my inspection is due.
I changed my own plugs on my wifes Ford Taurus.. didnt have to remove anything but plug wires and plugs......3.0 V6 maybe different on larger engines?
 
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Old 02-25-09, 08:04 AM
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Not As Hard As You Might Think

Having the spark plugs changed as part of a regular tuneup is important - clean plugs, along with a good air filter, lead to better fuel economy. And that's good for anyone.

It certainly might not be a bad idea to have a shop change your spark plugs this first time - they know what they're doing. However, if you're willing to spend a little bit of time, you can change them on your own without much hassel. Plus, it costs a whole lot less money...

Autolite has some great "how to" videos on YouTube. (My favorite is the first one I've linked below with Dave Buckshaw.) Check 'em out:

YouTube - Autolite's Dave Buckshaw walks through a spark plug change
YouTube - How to install Autolite Spark Plugs | Overview

Good Luck,

Sarah
 
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Old 02-25-09, 09:05 AM
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I'll go against the trend here and recommend to have the transmission fluid exchanged. This will go a long way to stave off any future transmission problems, especially if you want the transmission to last a long time.

A flush can sometimes mean using a flushing agent in the procedure. I recommend against that. All you need is a fluid exchange... old fluid out, new fluid in.

If you don't touch the fluid, you're almost guaranteed to have transmission problems at 100K-150K. With timely fluid maintenance the transmission can easily last beyond 200K.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 09:47 AM
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Depends on the vehicle with that. I have heard that Saab automatic transmissions were pure garbage in the 80's wouldnt know since I could never have afforded to fix one so never bought one.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 10:15 AM
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True. I heard that some Honda transmissions (97-02?) are known to fail at around 90K even with timely fluid maintenance.

Saturn vehicles - at least the older ones - are way underappreciated. The older models were well-built, and given proper maintenance could last a long time. Unfortunately, some people have the mindset of pinching maintenance on econoboxes.
 
 

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