transmision service rip off


Old 05-18-02, 06:33 AM
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transmision service rip off

My wife took her 96 buick skylark in for an oil change at one of those jiffy lube places.
I was at work anyway they told her that the transmision fluid needed replaced with I am sure it did since the car has over 100,000 miles on it.This is what they did for 85 dollars they sucked out the old fluid thru the fill tube and replaced fluid.
I am very unhappy that they did not change the filter and I think 85 bucks is way out of line.
What do you guys think? I hate paying for half a-- work.
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Old 05-18-02, 07:17 AM
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Sucking the fluid out is generally a hokey idea.

All that has to be done in most cases is drop the pan, change the filter, and put new fluid.

It's about 25 bucks in parts and an afternoon if you do it yourself.

I say it's way too high.
Old 05-18-02, 07:47 AM
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Been there done that Michael van, my g/f went to one of those places, to get an oil change and they bilked her for a new pcv valve and air filter both of which arnt very expensive,She didnt know so they replaced them for her by using the scare method"oh your car really needs these replaced, it may break down on you".When I got home and saw the bill I was so mad I called the mngr but what did he care he had his $$$. Ladies dont fall for these type of workers,especially if its a major repair, get 2 or 3 estimates. Its idiots like that making me do my own work on my cars
Old 05-18-02, 08:06 AM
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I guess I have been ripped off

What really chaps my hide is that they did not change the filter I know that 85 bucks is pretty high and I could have done it myself if I had the time.
But what would a good shop charge for a good job?(im still hot).
I wish I would of been there this would not have happend.
Old 05-18-02, 10:38 AM
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trans fluid

What they might have done is a transmission flush.This when they add a chemical that dissolves varnish,then hook to a machine that removes and replaces all of the fluid.I personally dislike not changing the filter because the machine cannot clean filter media,unless it is just a screen,which by the way you have filter media,I know because I cut open a filter this morning to see.We were aproached by a company trying to get us to this service.However if they did the flush,the price is on the low end,I have seen it for $99 or more.Call the place and see if that is what they did.
Old 05-18-02, 01:35 PM
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It all comes down to trust,

When I became a Do it Yourselfer, It just sort of just happened, I guess. It started the first time I trusted someone to fix something of mine & got screwed. It is so bad now(being a DIYer) that at 50 years old, I will dig up my own septic tank & replace it and the leach field & that's nasty. I rented a backhoe & read the instructions then started to dig.

When I hear someone ask did I get screwed by someone that I trusted to fix my stuff, I just automaticaly say yes. Yes If you don't take the 2 hours it takes, to Change Fluids, Filters & Grease on a timed schedule. Yes you like millions of others, who trust others to do their maintaince for them will be screwed.

This I believe is why this really unique web site is here, Do It Yourself (Or get Screwed).Com

As far as I know this is why I today am and will all
ways be a person who asks, What filter is best for this job, instead of. Did I get Screwed?

I fixed a rich mans Computer last week. He just took it in to have the dust removed at a local shop. Some how the Mother board got cracked when the Tech put the covers back on.

After I finished up and was about to leave ,He says to me boy I sure got screwed. Who can you trust today to do a good job?

I guess the same person you could always trust, Yourself, doing it yourself because you know that you and you alone can be trusted to care enough to do a good job.

Yeh I wondered why the guy did not take it back to the shop, and have them put in a motherboard for free, they broke it. Well he told me that if they broke his Motherboard just removing some dust, well just think what they would ruin, putting in a Motherboard.

There is an old saying from a long time ago: If you want somthing done right Do It Yourself. If anyone knows the origin of that saying please let me know. I collect words of wisdon and common sense sayings & there history.

I think if I were you. I would change that filter & gasket as soon as posabile, that new Trans fluid is cleaning & breaking loose junk as you drive. Good luck, Marturo
Old 05-18-02, 01:57 PM
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Yes DIY is the best for some

I do have to admit that it is best done if you do it yourself.
But on the other hand there are people out there that have no other choice such as the elderly that can not work on there own car or house or whatever.
It seems to me that lots of people these days take full advantage of these people by taking there hard earned money and many people have a fixed income and in return they get shoddy work.I see no problem with a person bringing in there car or computer or whatever into a shop to be repaired but give them a quality product.
I have noticed that in these days more people are incopedent I am not sure why but it seems like they just dont care.I know not all people are like this but it is hard to find a good service Tech these days.
Old 05-18-02, 02:33 PM
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If you want recommendations for repairs, my sugggestion (can't imagine why) would be to ask a couple of the local INDEPENDENT towing companies. [I stress INDEPENDENT because you have to watch who owns what - in our home county the largest towing company is owned by the largest dealership group (multi-make) and 95% of the people don't know that]. Anyway, your average towing service probably covers a couple dozen different garages and they will know who's good and who ain't and they aren't likely to steer you to anyplace you might get screwed - very bad for business. Don't guarantee 100% satisfaction on this, but much better than playing yellow pages roulette. Hint: Don't preface your question by naming any garages, i.e. "I took my car to XYZ Automotive last time; are they any good?". Just ask who they recommend for whatever type work you need, i.e. general repair, tranny, body shop, etc.

I personally would never go back to any facility that did a so-called transmission service that did not include filter replacement. Period.
Old 05-18-02, 02:39 PM
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I just had a transmission rebuild done, and thought by paying a premium price I'd get something back I'd be satisfied with-

so, my $1710 paid for the following:
-Good: A now functional transmission, which didn't have forward gears.

-Bad: A transmission leak at the radiator connection, which I didn't have before, which I took it back to them for, but the shop says they looked at the leak and saw that the radiator was repaired before. Leak wasn't at the connection from the hard line, which they said does not get disconnected in the course of a rebuild. I couldn't really verify if this radiator was fixed before, but I do know it didn't leak before. Nonetheless, I accepted that, and will fix the leak myself. Rather disturbing they released the car after the rebuild without noticing this, though!

-Bad: Speedometer drops to zero when driving about 20 miles; my car has an electronic sender, which feeds both the speedo and the computer to control electronic lockup. Again a problem I never had prior to the rebuild.. This has some possibility they may take care of, though- Whether they try to charge me for a replacement sensor under the assertion it was pre-existing will be the $63.99 question. (That's how much the part costs from Autozone if I DIM.) This problem affects transmission operation, so it's not even something I could live with, not having a speedomter and odometer indication. The shop's warranty stipulates the car's odometer must be operational anyway, otherwise the warranty is voided. If I was a suspicious sort...hmm..nah

-Bad: They saw fit to add $10 of gas to the car without asking. Might normally have been good, but they added it to the bill. Okay, if it was necessary, I don't mind, but as soon as I got it back, I filled up, and it took 11.4 gallons to fill up, which makes me wonder what I got for the $10. I've never filled up with more than 14.5 gallons, so even assuming the tank was bone dry, which it wasn't, that would mean 3 gallons might have been put in. I can only assume if they must have put in $4.50 worth of gas, and it was $5.50 for the labor charge to install the gas.. or lunch.

Yes, this all just reinforces my very strong desire to DIY ( though maybe I'd draw the line at septics and cesspools! ) This job I just had to drop off though, because I don't do the pink fluid stuff...
Old 05-18-02, 05:41 PM
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The nature of the beast.

Hey I like the concept! Pay a person to do a job for you as good as he/she would do for themselves. A pipe dream I'm sorry to say.

Why not start a forum called (Just do your best). Do you think it would be as popular as ( Don't bother me, just gimmie my pay check)?

We all like to think we have it worse than the good ol days. Like the Good ol days before 60 minutes uncovered that Garages along the new super Hiways were ripping travelors off as we broke down far away from home.

If you know an old person, and want to help them out, do it no one else will & a lot will take them for every nickle they have. That's the nature of the beast. Dog eat Dog, Who cares I got mine. Not fair but true, you can't make people care about others.

I was trying to make a point, that this whole web site, and all the forums, are about Doing it yourself. Most of us who do it our selfs, are all to aware, that even the parts we use to do it ourselves are poorly made or not finished & even have to be reparied before we can use them.

I can't even pay top dollar to buy a faithful reproduction of a 1972 Chevy Impala Raidator & not have the paint start to flake off in less than a year. The cost was twice that of NAPA and did not even fit that well. I too thought by paying more I would get a good product.

Until we as a nation say, I am going to do the best job I can on my part. So that the next person who has to work with what I have done will have a better part to do their best job on, so it will be worth every penny that the end user pays. So they will get their moneys worth.

From what I have seen over the last 20 years I would not hold my breath. It's called work ethic and it is something that a person believes in or not. Bosses who work people for 39 hours & workers knowing they are being used, reply by doing just as muchas needed to hold on to their job.

I have even seen other workers treat workers who were doing a good job like sellouts. So in order to fit in, don't make waves, just do enough so we all don't have to put in the extra effort.

I said before it all boiled down to trust. I know that people die every year from Tech & parts failures. I worked in an industry that did forensic investgations into auto accidents.

My advice would be to choose your Service Tech as carefully as you do your MD. Or of course, learn to do it yourself. I am really surprised that there are as many answers from DIYers to questions like. Did I get screwed Or is that too much for a job like that?

I am a nice guy & would even stop to see if I could help out if I saw you along the road. However how can I answer a question about something like prices on jobs done in a shop somewhere. My repairs are done in my shop, and I decide what is wrong, I choose the brand of parts to effect the repair & I do the best job I can do. I don't however know what the prices are for repairs because I don't go there.

Sure I care about people, who for what ever reason can't do it themselves. Hey look at our very own Governments treatment of the old and disabled. Cat food or Prescription Meds, a great choice to have to make when you just got your car out of the shop; and the bill is high enough to buy a 650cc Yahama motorcycle new in 1972.

So how can the forums at DYI best serve the most people? Could it be that we could help more people by trying to #1 get people to see that there is a lot more, they can do for themselves. #2 Help the people with answers, who are having a bit of trouble, while doing it themselves. #3 becoming a sounding board for unhappy customers, & elect a group to check all shop prices so everyone who takes their car to a shop will know if they are being charged to much.

There are a lot of things about life that I don't like. The #1 thing I like about life is living in a Country, where I get to choose to do it myself. Oh on a lighter note, I was promised that I would be dead and buried, before I had to redo the Septic system again, LOL Marturo
Old 05-19-02, 11:13 AM
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michael van:
I'm sure marturo did a proper job of repairing his septic field, but will not likely have to DIY again simply because of what he learned when he did it.
He will now be in a good bargaining position with a contractor because of his hard learned knowledge base.
I think that there a good many tradesmen that are nothing more than thieves and should feel the full force of the law. I believe it's called fraud.
It seems to be an area of law that legislators are ignoring.
Why couldn't an inspection agency set up spot checks of service shops and test their abilities and integrity.
There is a repeat broadcast of an investigative reporter's test of a number of repair shop scams being played on Canadian national TV tonight. Why couldn't this be turned into a government testing scheme? I'm sure consumers would be happy to pay for a system of forced honesty.
This idea is probably a long way off at this point and people should at least gather enough information to be able to deal with their trades on a little higher level.
When a tradesman is granted a licence to practice his field of endevour, that licence does not state that he/she knows everything there is to learn about his trade. It is merely a licence to learn. It is then a crapshoot as to what kind of tradesman he/she becomes. Whether the person picks up a bad attitude from his employers and co-workers or is fortunate enough to work for someone that teaches morals and integrity as well as the nuts and bolts.
People never really know who their dealing with and really should arm themselves with as much information as they can to try and level the playing field.
Fill tube draining:
I think they ripped you off by not removing the drain pan and do a filter change. A better way of doing a quick oil change AFTER a filter change and clean-up would be to install a drain kit which I believe is available for most trannies.
After a rebuild I brazed a fitting on the bottom pan of my 600R4 tranny for a temperature guage fitting. I will use this to drain the fluid at frequent intervals and shouldn't have to touch the filter for a couple of years. I got the idea from the old Powerglides where they all had a drain plug and replacing the fluid was a painless event.
Old 05-19-02, 02:50 PM
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Change your fluid and filter every 25k and the tranny will last you the life of the car if properly designed and made.

By dropping the pan, you get to see what's going on in there, including filings, broken parts, etc. Good time to make sure nothing's amiss. Also, typically many pan gaskets tend to leak over time, another good way to fix an annoying problem.

Just drop the pan and change the filter every 25k and be done with it .

My .02
Old 05-20-02, 02:39 PM
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svc rip off

Read this and wanted to add 2 cents worth. First I don't mind paying for service, BUT I want to get exactly what I payed for.
Neighbor went to a fast oil change place, had oil changed and was told A/T fluid need changed. OK so do it. Brought car home and next AM fluid was running down drive and had to be towed off. Another guy had his oil changed, instead of required amount of oil, they over filled crank case by approx. 3 qts to much. On the other hand I saw a cop DIY, drained transmission and put the oil in the crank, not the trans. Seen guys change oil and filter and forget to put new filter on. Cost the service a new engine. Yep I will agree, I dont like the shoddy service a guy gets, seems tho the women and elderly just dont have much choice in the matter. Just have it done and hope it is done right. Some of these fellows have no pride or just dont give a hoot. Probably a lot of these horror stories around.
Old 05-20-02, 05:29 PM
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Cool A state of mind?

I am quite sure that my state of mind, when I punched a clock in the transportation business, cost me money.

From the begining there was one constant I lived with in my mind when repairing Cars, Bikes, & home repair. The one thing I allways thought about was, What I do or don't do can Kill or hurt another person. Heavy load if you care.

Why did I put this blockade to doing a wam bam job in my path? Could it have been those men & women who taught me that human life was more important than profit? The good Mechanics I learned from.

How does it cost a craftsman money to think this way? Easy If you don't care about anything but yourself, you won't take that extra time to double check your work. How could I live with myself if I forgot to check the drain plug, and it came loose on your wifes car on her way home. Then in one moment your whole world would change as her car quit, going down a super hiway. She was killed as an 18 wheeler crushed her in her car that siezed in the middle of the road. I have worked along side some, who just would not care one damn bit.

I will never understand how people who are trusted to work on anything, can just not care enough about peoples lives to do the job right & double check their work.

Short of doing the job yourself, I am at a loss to tell you how to get safe honest repairs. You can pass all the laws you want but it will not change anything, until the people who do the work change.

It is one thing to mess up the repair of your TV & quite another to let a car go out, without making sure the fluids are right. This is not a new problem & it does not effect just the automotive repair service.

It is a state of mind. People and their lives/ paycheck and get by with as little effort as you can. Why else then? I don't understand and I don't think I ever will.

Good luck to you, Marturo
Old 05-20-02, 08:01 PM
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Smile good coments made by all

Me again the starter of this conterversional debate I went ahead and pulled the pan replaced filter and refilled Messy job.
Anyway I have been an aircraft mechanic and still am for over 30 years.I know and maybe I am to critical of proper maintenance done on cars.I wrench all day on airplanes and on my days off I dont want to see another wrench.I guess I just dont see the proffesional attitude lots of times in some gararages.
In aviation there is no room for shortcuts or mistakes.I was watching a show called cops the other day and this lady and her daughter were standing next to a blazing mini van all there stuff was in it what caused the fire was she had her tranmission worked on I can only guess that the fluid must have got on the exaust.
It seems to me that each generation is getting more and more lazy my son is like that.maybe all the high tec stuff is making us more lazy.
I guess you guys are right there will always be a rotten apple in the bag but what worries me is on rotten apple will make all the other ones rotten.
Old 05-20-02, 10:11 PM
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Loud & Clear

michael van I read you loud and clear. for over three decades I have been calling for certification of all mechanic down to and including bicycles.

The Hiways of our Country are filled with every kind of junker it's like a Mad Max Movie. Much too much, is the result of poorly trained mechanics. Why an aircraft Mechanic would be seen as needing training, and testing while an auto mechanic would not need to be, is insane.

I will leave this forum with a not to funny story. When I moved to this area 14 years ago I lived in a little mountain town for a while. There was a NAPA store so I knew at least I could count on having a machine shop for my needs.

One day I just stopped in and worked my way back into the shop. I don't remember the guys name, however I remember the shop.

Nasty comes to mind, as I searched over the lay of the land. We started talking and in the course of our talk I discovered the only machinest did not know how to read a set of Mics or any other tools that will allow a machinest to do his job.

This was where the local shops got their work done & put it back on the road. Needless to say I sent my work to Charollete NC.

Everytime an airplane crashes we have every piece looked at until we find the reason why. I wonder, if we knew just half of the automobile wrecks caused by (Goobers) human error. Would we the people require auto mechanics to pass tests in order to work on cars.

I guess it will become a reality, when we have Discount Airplane parts & gizmos, there is the real answer when you think about it.

Glad your story turned out ok michael van & I can relate to how one feels about getting out of the grease. Bottom line is for the safety of your family, and mine we must do our own work to be safe.
Old 05-27-02, 11:13 AM
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changing the fluid and filter every 25k is wise advise, certifying techs is great advice, say ase. honestly people let us examine the situation here. jiffy lube employees entry level people, would you really want them messing with your auto transmission, being in the trans industry for 30 years i have seen my share of jiffy lube bloopers, gaskets left off filters, over torqued bolts on filters, etc. etc. the average cost of changing a filter and fluid on transmission at transmission shops is 65.00 to 100.00, run away from those 9.95 specials. my site has links to trans shops across the usa.
for the do it yourselfer, to flush your trans system completly without a machine. drain pan, clean pan change filter and gasket, have about 14 qts atf on hand. remove cooler line at radiator point into bucket, add 4 qts atf to trans, now start car, as atf pumps out cooler line add atf, when it is all red, you just flushed system, replace cooler line, recheck atf level and fill as nesecary. road test and recheck level, check for leaks. happy motoring
Old 05-27-02, 02:38 PM
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good transmission shop

I had my trans rebuilt and got a 12 month 12000 mile warranty. Went to Mexico for 4 months and the trans started to leak on the way home. I wound up putting in a case of trans fluid on the way home. I brought the van back to the shop and they told me the torque converter nect had cracked and the 0 ring broke allowing trans fluid to leak, pour out. They fixed it, didn't charge me a dime and it will come back to them many times over. Smithtown L.I., N.Y.

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