Question re replacing Brake and Tranny fluid

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I took my 2007 Civic LX with only 25k miles on it into the local Honda dealer garage for an oil change and inspection.
They told me that I should change the tranny and brake fluids and that
each one would cost a total of $119.95 (each!). Actually I said no to the brake fluid because I figured that I would shop around but I said okay to the tranny fluid because I THOUGHT the guy said $19.95 NOT $119.95! (I only found out it was really $119.95 when I went to pick it up; otherwise I'd have never agreed to this!)
When he explained about the brake fluid he said something about how it all had to be flushed out with nitrogen or something (? not sure, I really didn't pay much attention to the details) and it was a process that required this kind of charge, to get it done the right way.
So my question is: Was I a victim of dealer gouging? Is there any way that changing tranny fluid should really cost that much on a car with less than 25k miles on it? And does it really cost that much to change out my brake fluid?
I am very skeptical because they previously told me I needed new rear brakes. I said no but then about a year later I finally had them done at a local garage for about 1/2 the price of the dealer. That brake job was about 6 months ago. Now, I took it in to the dealer again, as above, and they once AGAIN told me I need new rear brakes! I said, "How is that possible? I just had them done about 6 months ago?!" The guy sheepishly said, "Oh, well, it says here you still have 4mm left so it doesn't have to be done right away!" I said, "Hmm, well, I shouldn't even be CLOSE to needing new brakes at this point!" "Oh,", the dealer guy said, "well, they don't always measure them real accurately..."
Should I report this shop to the State consumer fraud division?
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On 11/12/2011 04:08 PM, JimSo wrote:

why don't you stand outside their service entrance with sandwich boards saying they ripped you off? i'm sure they'll give you your money back real quick.
re brake fluid, yes, it should be replaced every 2-3 years. it absorbs moisture from the air and its boiling point can potentially drop below that of operating temperature. if that were to happen, you'd lose braking. also, regular maintenance keeps the seals healthy since the fluid contains seal conditioners.
re transmission fluid, some people think this should be changed as frequently as possible, but since they're the same people that have never bothered with testing, they're simply working on superstition, not data. look in your owners manual - it'll tell you what the change interval should be, if the car's own service reminder doesn't do the job for you.
to summarize, the dealer is soaking you, mostly, but correct on the brake fluid. but that's just coincidence - just like a broken clock is right twice a day. just go back to your independent, make sure they use honda parts, and you'll be fine.
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I see no reason for the sarcasm but thanks for the response. When you say "but correct on the brake fluid" what are they correct about exactly? About my needing it at 23k or about charging $120 for it? I'm not sure what you're saying.
As far as boycotting them or reporting them, I was referring to the fact that they seem to say "you need rear brakes" whether I do or not, as s.o.p.. If I'm not mistaken this kind of thing is illegal.
They actually put the brake report in green ("okay") on the report, so I guess it was just the guy who spoke with me trying to drum up brake business, moreso than the mechanics actually stating that I NEEDED brakes (I just double-checked my "report" to see what they had actually written.)
What I want to know more than anything, is "What is a reasonable price to pay for brake fluid and tranny fluid changing on a Honda Civic LX 2007?" If they charged $120 instead of, say, $100, okay, fine. But if they charged $120 instead of $60 then I really got taken.
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It needed done, and if you read your owner's manual (which I presume you have NOT read) you would find that the brake fluid change interval is based SOLELY on time, and has NOTHING to do with mileage.
So your thought that "it's only been 23K miles" is irrelevant. A 2007 model year car is at least 3, and possibly 5, years old--and Honda specifies a 3 year interval for brake fluid change.
No one really knows what that service goes for in your area; call the other dealers and find out. But it's not rocket surgery; as jim says, use Honda fluid and have anyone who knows what he's doing handle the work. It might be the same price, it might be cheaper. Hell, it might be more expensive. Call around.

If you want to waste your time trying to police the business world, great. But how about working on the banks and big pharma first?
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Until you fix the corrupt government first, nothing will improve. You may think the banks and pharmaceuticals are breaking the law, but you will notice no one in those industries has been charged or prosecuted for a crime. We have a corrupt and ignorant government that makes the laws that everyone else works under. The government has refined corruption into an art form.
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On 11/13/2011 08:01 AM, Barnie Frankferter wrote:

fix the banks and the corruption will go away. they have the money and the power. politicians are merely the hired goons.
watch max keiser on youtube.
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On 11/13/2011 08:01 AM, Barnie Frankferter wrote:

one more thing: judging by your handle, you think that barney's worthy of mockery. and you're right. but what 99% of people that like to mock [barny and the rest of those ignorant, know-nothing, unable to see the consequences idiots] don't understand is that politicians' behaviors are the symptom, not the cause.
the big picture of all this is that federally underwritten loans allow banks to expand their balance sheets two ways - house price inflation and more mortgages. with zero risk. just like mortgage interest tax relief allows banks to expand their balance sheets because it inflates house prices. just like artificially low interest rates inflate house prices.
the above are just the tip of the iceberg of the many many devices that the banks have managed to slide in under the radar [expanded fannie and freddie] or sew into popular culture [mortgage interest tax relief] and thinking [artificially low interest rates] that advantage only them, not the taxpayers. not even the politicians, much.
politicians, serving their own needs for money and power, are merely taking advantage of the gap between the interests of the banks and the interests of the tax payers. they make a bit of money doing it, but not in relation to the VAST fortunes banks make exploiting their weaknesses and our ability to be brainwashed.
--
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Barnie Frankferter wrote:

That's the point... The banks and big pharma are not breaking the (current) law. And those laws shall remain on the books so long as outright lobbying is lawful.
JT
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On 11/12/2011 9:32 PM, Nunya Bidnez wrote:

Some things you might want to consider:
The service writer may have seen on his computer screen that brakes had been recommended last time, and not noticed that the tech actually marked them green this time.
Are you absolutely sure that the independent shop did actually put new brakes on? You seem to be making an assumption that the independent must be honest and the dealer must be a crook.
Many experienced people on this board seem to agree that only Honda brand transmission fluid be used. Most independent shops don't have that sitting on the shelf. It takes 3 or 4 quarts to do what is considered a routine change. Honda fluid retails around 8 dollars a quart. So your question is whether 120 is too much for 30 bucks of material. In my opinion, if I couldn't do it myself, the answer is yes, it is worth it to be pretty sure the right stuff was used, that the used fluid was disposed of properly, that an insured shop with qualified staff was doing it.
The brake fluid question has these considerations - the fluid is less than 10 bucks, but the amount of work and time is greater than a transmission fluid change. I'm not aware of any nitrogen procedure, you may have that mixed up. Beam explained why it's a good idea to change it.
Do dealers over-maintain? Probably.
Do over-maintained vehicles last longer than under-maintained ones? Probably.
Are over-maintained vehicles safer than under-maintained ones? Probably.
If you don't change your fluids now, will something go horribly wrong tomorrow, next month, next year? Probably not.
I don't know what your Honda shop looks like or what the independent shop looks like, but in my experience most dealership shops are multi-million dollar facilities with inventory, staff, lighting, heat, waiting areas, etc. Few independent shops come close to the investment. Most Honda techs work on Honda's all day long, many independents might get only a couple a week, in between trucks, Fords, Chevy's, VW's, etc.
You invested in the car, you decide how long it should last and who you should trust it to.
I do not work for or own a dealership and never have. In fact my son operates an independent shop. I just tire of the automatic dealer bashing that goes on.
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Hey, thanks to all for the advice and info!
As to "dealer bashing" it is based, unfortunately, on people's experiences a lot of the time.
I have had several experiences with this and other dealers - Nissan for one - in which I was either recommended to do un-needed work, or work is done and not done right, and certainly over-charged, etc.
The "you need a brake job" thing above is a case in point. I believe I did not need a brake job the first time they told me because a) the car only had 14k miles on it; b) it wasn't braking poorly nor making noise; and c) I had another mechanic look at it and they said it was not really in need of brakes yet.
For them to tell me I "need brakes soon" a 2nd time, after I had them installed 6 months ago by an independent who I'm pretty sure is honest, says to me that this dealer is lying and cheating OR incompetent and cannot tell when brakes are needed (I suspect the former not the latter.)
As for not reporting them I think if everyone says "don't report them, it won't do any good" [them being any fraudulent business], then they will for sure go on cheating people; whereas if it's reported something MIGHT change. To me, it's not that difficult to report fraud, the internet makes it very easy usually. To me it's like people who don't vote; if you don't, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
However in THIS case I will not report them because I have no real proof they did anything wrong, and it would indeed be a waste of time due to the lack of evidence. However, if I did have proof I would report them.
Oh, and I agree that we should start with the banksters and Big Pharma and so on, ad nauseum.
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Hey, thanks to all for the advice and info!
As to "dealer bashing" it is based, unfortunately, on people's experiences a lot of the time.
I have had several experiences with this and other dealers - Nissan for one - in which I was either recommended to do un-needed work, or work is done and not done right, and certainly over-charged, etc.
The "you need a brake job" thing above is a case in point. I believe I did not need a brake job the first time they told me because a) the car only had 14k miles on it; b) it wasn't braking poorly nor making noise; and c) I had another mechanic look at it and they said it was not really in need of brakes yet.
For them to tell me I "need brakes soon" a 2nd time, after I had them installed 6 months ago by an independent who I'm pretty sure is honest, says to me that this dealer is lying and cheating OR incompetent and cannot tell when brakes are needed (I suspect the former not the latter.)
As for not reporting them I think if everyone says "don't report them, it won't do any good" [them being any fraudulent business], then they will for sure go on cheating people; whereas if it's reported something MIGHT change. To me, it's not that difficult to report fraud, the internet makes it very easy usually. To me it's like not voting; if you don't, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
However in THIS case you are right; I will not report them because I have no real proof they did anything wrong, and it would indeed be a waste of time due to the lack of evidence. However, if I did have proof I would report them.
Oh, and I agree that we should start with the banksters and Big Pharma and so on, ad nauseum.
Thanks again for the advice and info. I think I got ripped off in terms of over-paying but at least it probably got done right and with good parts/materials. I won't go back to this dealer any more for anything. I'm done with them. I may post a warning about them on Yelp or some other review type web sites based on my experience. I can't say they "ripped me off" but I can say that I came away from the experience feeling that I was overcharged and told I'd soon need to have work done that almost certainly does not need to be done soon. (brake job)
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I really don't think so on the brake job. Labor at a dealership is easily $80-$90/hour, and as was pointed out earlier the brake fluid plus disposal plus rags is the rest of it.
And, it needed done.
The brake fluid would still be a certain cost, even if you took the car to an indy.
Honda Genuine brake fluid is $6 plus shipping from a dealer online, or probably $9.95 from the dealer's service department. Four quarts of that is, in fact, $40. Add in $80/hour labor component, and $120 is not at all out of line for a dealership job.
Does an independent shop charge less than $80/hour? Maybe he charges $60/hour--but he probably won't charge much less, if even that little.
No, I don't think that having someone else change out your brake fluid with Honda Genuine brake fluid for $120 was a ripoff.
That being said, you could always do it yourself. Buy the right tool and spend some time jacking up the car and taking off the wheels, and you're down to the $24 plus shipping--call it $30 to $35--price of the brake fluid in addition to your time and hassle. And that doesn't count the cost of the tool (or a buddy helping you) or the fluid disposal.
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On 11/13/2011 04:15 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

but that doesn't make for a whiny victim story - what the op was really about.
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wrote:

hehehehehehehehehe
busted!
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Hey jim beam, I don't suppose anyone ever told you that you are one of those internet forum aholes....? And by the way, FU and the horse - or I mean, Honda - you rode in on.
I say that because my post was not a whiny victim story, it was a couple of questions re the cost of services and an explanation as to their previous behavior which made me question their recommended services and costs. But for whatever reason (you may want to ask yourself!) you choose to see it as a "whiny victim story". Jheez.
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X-No-Archive: Yes
Hey jim beam, I don't suppose anyone ever told you that you are one of those internet forum aholes....? And by the way, FU and the horse - or I mean, Honda - you rode in on.
I say that because my post was not a whiny victim story, it was a couple of questions re the cost of services and an explanation as to their previous behavior which made me question their recommended services and costs. But for whatever reason (you may want to ask yourself!) you choose to see it as a "whiny victim story". Jheez.
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OK
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On 11/15/2011 03:55 AM, JimSo or Nunya Bidnez - he can't decide who - wrote:

two questions: 1. what do you have against archiving? if you don't write anything you're not prepared to stand by, archive is not a problem.
2. why don't you just stick to one handle? multiple posts from different handles just illustrated you're as disorganized in your usenet posting as you are in your ability to maintain your car properly.

sure, many times. by people like you.
of course, i could have responded with something more appropriate like "rtfm", but i didn't, i took the trouble to spell out information you needed, and why. what i didn't do though was play the game you wanted - the whiny victim "i'll tell my mommy on you" game.

no, you're being revisionist and dishonest. your o.p. could have been simply:
1. what is the service interval for transmission oil?
2. what is the service interval for brake fluid?
3. how much does the dealer usually charge for changing the above on my [insert vehicle details and location here]?
that gives you all you need to make your own decisions - no whiny victim games at all. and the fact that you're now being hostile merely illustrates how diseased and stupid that game playing is.
--
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Ah, another one for whom truth hurts.
You'd rather be shielded from the truth than face any hurt that results from the truth.
Sad.
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On 11/12/2011 08:24 PM, Al wrote:

you're right that dealers have a lot of money tied up in their franchise. but unfortunately, that overhead /strongly/ incentivizes them to recoup their expenses in ways that are expensive the consumer, and a lot of the time, unnecessary. i'm sure we can swap horror stories.
the other aspect of the dealership is whether or not they have experts on staff. you would hope so since they have access to manufacturer tools, diagnostics, training, etc. but unfortunately, most dealers don't like to pay experienced people what they'd get at an independent, so they end up with a bunch of kids who are not much good at anything other than brake and fluid changes. it's a vicious cycle because if the dealer doesn't get the "hard" jobs that come with older cars because they're going to be expensive at dealer rates, they're not going to keep the experienced people on staff. so the kids end up doing this work, and doing it badly. [who is EVER going back to a dealer once they screw up an expensive job?] meanwhile, the good people are working at independents, and because they get all the older cars, they get much more extensive "hard" experience.
you'd think that dealers would do the cost/benefit analysis for not over-charging on new vehicle service in order to keep the vehicle in-house as it ages. but i think they rely on lock-in like proprietary obd/abs/srs codes and supply chain exclusives to take care of that.
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