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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something pissed me off today guys. I told a customer of mine who owns a 2007 Cobalt with 44,000kms on it about the electric steering motor recall. She went and had it done.

A week later, she gets a call from the service department telling her she "needs" to have brake service, brake fluid flush, transmission flush, coolant flush etc to a tune of $800. She doesn't understand this stuff so she comes to see me and I show her this bulleting from GM.

Bulletin No.:
04-06-01-029E
Subsystem Flushing
Flushing of A/C lines, radiators, transmission coolers, and power steering systems are recognized practices to be performed after catastrophic failures or extreme corrosion when encountered in radiators. For acceptable A/C flushing concerns, refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 01-01-38-006. This practice is NOT required or recommended for normal service operations.
The use of external transmission fluid exchange or flush machines is NOT recommended for the automatic or manual transmission. Use of external machines to replace the fluid may affect the operation or durability of the transmission. Transmission fluid should only be replaced by draining and refilling following directions in SI. Refer to Automatic/Manual Transmission Fluid and Filter Replacement.

Coolant flush? Certainly. Brake service, yeah. Transmission flush, no. Brake fluid flush? Unless contaminated or dark, no.

I hate anyone taking advantage of the less knowledgable. If your dealership tried to scam you like this, so them this post and the bulletin number. They will find it in their system and when they do, ask them why GM does not recommend it and they do.
 

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And the name of this stealership (to borrow Cudda's terminology) is?

I'd bet if we could see the service department's books, we'd find them full of red ink. I've seen this type of "scamming" before from service departments that are poorly run and not remotely profitable. I took my POS Ford to the dealership to be checked for a warped front brake rotor and four hours later they presented me a bill for new pads, rotors, tie rods, and a front end alignment. After another hour of heated discussion with the service writer, the service department manager, and the general manager, it was determined that all I should have been billed for was a rotor runout check. I was so mad, I didn't even ask to see the old parts. I'm guessing there weren't any to see.
 
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Thanks for the heads up. A lot of people may think the dealer is looking out for you as a customer but in reality they are all in it for the money. Years ago, no one did transmission or brake fluid flushes and didn't have any problems. So what has changed that this is now the norm? Greed?
 

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Something pissed me off today guys. I told a customer of mine who owns a 2007 Cobalt with 44,000kms on it about the electric steering motor recall. She went and had it done.

A week later, she gets a call from the service department telling her she "needs" to have brake service, brake fluid flush, transmission flush, coolant flush etc to a tune of $800. She doesn't understand this stuff so she comes to see me and I show her this bulleting from GM.

Bulletin No.:
04-06-01-029E
Subsystem Flushing
Flushing of A/C lines, radiators, transmission coolers, and power steering systems are recognized practices to be performed after catastrophic failures or extreme corrosion when encountered in radiators. For acceptable A/C flushing concerns, refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 01-01-38-006. This practice is NOT required or recommended for normal service operations.
The use of external transmission fluid exchange or flush machines is NOT recommended for the automatic or manual transmission. Use of external machines to replace the fluid may affect the operation or durability of the transmission. Transmission fluid should only be replaced by draining and refilling following directions in SI. Refer to Automatic/Manual Transmission Fluid and Filter Replacement.

Coolant flush? Certainly. Brake service, yeah. Transmission flush, no. Brake fluid flush? Unless contaminated or dark, no.

I hate anyone taking advantage of the less knowledgable. If your dealership tried to scam you like this, so them this post and the bulletin number. They will find it in their system and when they do, ask them why GM does not recommend it and they do.
Interesting. Toyota recommends a brake line flush every 2 years for my car. My personal mechanic said to get it done with pad changes, which is more like onece every 4 years for me.
 

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My sarcastic motto: "...never bend-over to pickup paperwork the Dealership Service Department has 'accidentally' dropped on the floor."
 

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Manufacturers also like to play the "my vehicle is cheaper to maintain than your vehicle" game. They come out with buletins like the one above to state their position as such. I've always been a proponent of fluid changes in my vehicles but I drain and fill. I don't have access to flush machines.
 

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Brake fluid should be done at some point. Every 2-3 years is generally considered good. Transmissions do have service needs too. A drain/fill every 30-50k miles is generally considered sufficient, depending whether there's synthetic ATF in there from the factory or not.

Coolant should be done per GM's recommendations. IIRC, those are every 5 years or 100k miles, whichever comes first. OP did say it was a 2007, so it's been 5 years.

So the dealer wasn't out of line on intervals. I bet she could have the work done much cheaper at a non-dealer garage, though.
 
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I have been a mechanic for over 30 years now. I can't STAND IT when shops take advantage of people like that.

I did my own mobile mechanic business for about 2 years before I fell into the job I have now. ALL of my business was by word of mouth, but I was busy just about every day of the week.

The office I work at has over 250 people and almost everyone comes to me to ask questions about issues w/ their vehicles and to see what should be done.

I usually take the easy jobs now (brakes, tune ups and such) if I do any at all now, but do recommend who to take their car to for maintenance if I am not doing the job.

I have not worked as a full time mechanic in about 7 years (I'm 49 as of June 10th) and don't really want to get into big jobs anymore.

But If I work on a vehicle, I guarantee my work, and usually save the person at least 50% of what the job would cost at a shop!

I had my own thread on another form where people could ask mechanic questions and I would give advice to help them save money and explain the information they were told by the shop, dealership, etc.

One of the funny things is, I hate getting dirty anymore, but still like working on cars.
 

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Some dealerships,, that I've worked at over the years,, basically have a few service writers,, each having a team of tech's,, That service writer has a base pay, and a sales pay,, just like the salesman. So up selling service, is money in his pocket as well as his teams pocket. Service the customer for their concerns, and then see what they are up for next in the mileage/year area,, of Recommended services. Everyone has to eat. The tech's in the shop, would be complaining to the service manager if the writers weren't pushing the sales.
 

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I never had problems like this, my kids sure do, go in for an oil change, and after the spill, afraid to drive their cars afterwards. Kid goes in for a wheel alignment after I just installed four new ball joints, tell him his ball joints are bad and gives him a quote for 900 bucks. Ha, my son called me in on that one, asked to see the estimate all nicely typed out, guy wouldn't give it to me, tore it up. Loosened the bearings on my daughters car, and told her she needed new control arms.

Stepdaughter goes in last year, comes home with a $2,700.00 estimate on things that had to be done, but she and her mom panicked.

These same crooks don't even know how to do an oil change, leave the filter loose and cross threaded the drain plug. Did that to one of my smarter kids, he took them to small claims court, won, and got a Ford dealer to replace his pan billed to this oil change place. Bill was quite steep, they had to pull the engine to do that.

Want some more examples?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Some of you guys simply aren't getting the point.

It's one thing to check a car and confirm it's needs something. It's another thing to blindly recommend something without knowing if the customer has already had it done or actually needs it.

The brake service was not required because the pads and rotors were new in March. Fluid showed 2% water contamination on tester. Coolant was changed last fall. Because she's a normal person that does not know this stuff, she could have gone to the dealer and paid for all this stuff she did not need.

If you "need to eat" by taking advantage of people then you deserve to starve.
 

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Some of you guys simply aren't getting the point.

It's one thing to check a car and confirm it's needs something. It's another thing to blindly recommend something without knowing if the customer has already had it done or actually needs it.

The brake service was not required because the pads and rotors were new in March. Fluid showed 2% water contamination on tester. Coolant was changed last fall. Because she's a normal person that does not know this stuff, she could have gone to the dealer and paid for all this stuff she did not need.

If you "need to eat" by taking advantage of people then you deserve to starve.
We didn't know all of the maintenance was up to date. Now that we do, it puts things into a different light.
 

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I am extremely wary of transmission fluid flushes. Most modern trannys are fully sealed with lifetime fluid, and nothing good can come from drain/fills IMHO. Considering GM has one of the longest powertrain warranties in the business, second only to Lexus and Infiniti, I will go by my owner's manual recommendations.
 

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I remember when I had my mustang good old jiffy lube told me I need a new air filter. They didn't understand that I had a k and n stock replacement filter in there lol.

If anybody tells you your cruze need a power steering fluid change run run away fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We didn't know all of the maintenance was up to date. Now that we do, it puts things into a different light.
The dealership didn't know either and they didn't bother to check before telling her she "needed" this stuff. One test strip in the coolant and one test strip in the brake fluid and a quick peek at the brakes would have done wonders for not making themselves look bad. I suppose if you throw enough darts, some will stick in the wall.
 
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