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This is why no one trusts mechanics

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    There is a local garage by my house and it is convenient for me to have my fleet trucks repaired and maintained there. I just came from this shop and they recommended that I flush the tranny fluid.

    The problem is, I just had it flushed 5,300 miles ago by another shop. The shop that recommended the flush could see from their records that they flushed the tranny on my other two old trucks, but not on this one. They recommended flushing the tranny fluid but it is still very pink and has good color to it. They were just trying to get more $$ out of me. $173 for a tranny flush on a F-150 that I paid another shop $130.26 to do 11 months ago. Tranny fluid should be good for approx 30,000 miles, no???

    They're also recommending a new serp belt, but the belt that's on there is fine, in my opinion. No cracks at all.

    So anyway, this shop is recommending a flush of the anti-freeze too. The stuff in this truck is not green like it would be on a brand new car, but is there any reason to flush this stuff? I mean, in 12 years of living in the DFW metroplex, it has gotten down to 8 degrees once and typically the coldest freeze we'll see during the winter is around 20 to 25 degrees.

    Would you ever do business with this shop again? I like their location but TRUST is huge when it comes to Check Engine Lights and repairs that are clearly over my head.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Anti-freeze not only keeps the the fluid from freezing but the mix also raises the boiling point of the solution. Yes you should replace it once in a while. I do mine every 60,000 miles. As for the tranny fluid they simply look at the milage and recommend flushing it every 60,000 miles. How did they know you just had it done? Serpentine belt is good for about 20-30,000 miles.

    Preventative maintenance is important and that is what they may be getting at.
  3. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    you need to make a good realationship with your mechanic find a good one research it and ask people unless you can fix it yourself you need to have a good trustworthy one so when you do find the right one make him cookies talk to him all the time and just make friends so they wont screw you
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I think your mechanic is actually looking out for you. The service manuals of vehicles gives recommendations of fluid changes as well as belts. Your mechanic has no way of knowing when or if someone else has already done these things, so they go by the mileage of the vehicle. I think if you had told him you had of already changed the tranny fluid, he would have told you you could wait on that part of the maintenance, but probably would of still recommended the aintifreeze and belt change. Good looking and even new belts break.
  5. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    They were probably going only by your current mileage. Since they didnt do the previous service, they had no idea.
    A lot of the chain places and the dealerships have made their advisors and techs try and upsell.
    It's like the old deal... "would you like fries with that?"
    I wouldnt take it to mean they were trying to rip you off.
    All you have to do is say NO THANKS and that will end that.
    Cooling system maintenance is the most overlooked area on any vehicle.
    Not only is the freeze point important, but also the boil over point and the PH level, not to mention if you have any electrolosys(sp?) going on. Also it adds lubrication to the water pump assy. I would get a coolant flush at least every 2 years, regardless of what coolant you use. I would be leary however of any shop that uses additives and sealants during the flush process. Just flush the old and add in the new.
    If you want to REALLY know how most shops work... ask away... scary sheet!
  6. nt1

    nt1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295


    "If you want to REALLY know how most shops work... ask away... scary sheet!"

    OK, how do they really work?

    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Not if you're towing. IMO I think the fluid should be at drained and filled every 15k miles. Especially on a light duty transmission in a half ton.

    They were in fact probably looking out for you. The color and smell of the fluid isn't the only factor in fluid condition, and plus they had no idea when it was last changed.
  8. Gilla Gorilla

    Gilla Gorilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    If you are towing with that F150 then change the transfluid every 20,000 miles if just hauling around a couple of 21's in the bed then every 30k should do unless it gets really dirty before then. As for the coolant, if it is the green stuff then it should be done at the first 45,000 miles then every 30K after that. If it is the Gold coolant than it should not need it till 100K. That should be pretty much rite out of your maintenance manual.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    When I was 17 I used to work for a small auto shop. The guy was a little crooked. One time he took in a suburban that needed a new exhaust, he told the guy he would do it, and then he had me drive the suburban to a local muffler shop, had them do it, and then charged the guy an extra couple hundred on top of that.
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    I decided to do everything but the tranny flush according to his recommendations.

    DFW Area Landscaper

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