Reader Question: Dealer Dishonesty?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Jeff asks: I attempted to get a transmission fluid flush/filter change at my local Ford dealership. They told me this would involve “cracking open” the transmission and that they could not flush the fluid because they didn’t have the necessary equipment. They ended up charging me $270. Any thoughts on this?

My reply: I’m not sure what you mean by “crack open.”  The usual procedure is to either drop the pan or to suck the fluid out. That alone makes me wonder about this dealership. If they “didn’t have the necessary equipment,” then how did they perform the service? And why did they charge you almost $300 to do it? Unless they totally drained the transmission, the cost seems really high – and even then, it seems high. Transmission fluid costs about $6 per quart, retail. A “drop the pan/replace the fluid that comes out” change generally involved 5-6 quarts. A filter kit generally costs about $20. You can see where I am headed.

Which is in the other direction – away from this dealership.

I recommend you do the same.

. . . 

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