I recently posted here about using synthetic on my 05 Escape. Thanks
everyone for your comments.
My next question is, How diificult is it for me to change the oil
myself? I haven't really looked underneath yet, but I would like the
convenience of changing it when I want to and not bring it to a shop
and sit around for hours. I change the oil in my Crown Vic and it is
moderately difficult to get under there to get at the filter and the
plug, but I manage.
I realize that the Escape is high off the ground and it will be
somewhat easy to get under the vehicle to undo the plug, but I'm
wondering if I am in store for any difficulty do to the design of the
I generally do most of my own maintenaince including the
major stuff like trans, differential, steering and engine
rebuilds as well as routine maintenance. My bread and
butter work has allowed me to witness too many times when
the dealer used a lack of proof of maintenance to decline a
warranty repair which is within their rights if required
under the terms of the warranty. For that reason, I always
have the dealer handle the oil, filter and lube work while
under warranty. It seems to keep my face there often enough
to establish a good working relationship with them which has
paid off in spades a couple of times as far as getting the
call on a toss-up repair. The couple of dealers I usually
buy from have the fastlane service. If they can't get me
out in 30 minutes, they comp the oil change or give me an
IOU for the next service.
I'll agree with "lugnut" on this one; just because you have the skills to
service your own vehicle under warranty, it does not mean that you should.
Think like a dealer for a moment- you don't stay in buisness by NOT working
on vehicles. And, it in the event that dealer or manufacturer assistance is
required, you would be more willing to go to bat for a "good" customer,
I've never had a dealer do an oil change. It is not the
expense, just the hassle of driving over to the dealership.
I an change it myself in less time that a one way trip to
the dealer. I've never had a dealer refuse warranty work
either. However, for many years I did spend a lot of time
cultivating the guys in the parts department. I always got a
discount, and now one of the former counter guys runs the
parts department. That was really a help on one job that the
service department botched. The parts manager took the
service writer aside and chewed him out on my behalf. It
also may help that I bought a number of vehicles from the
same dealership and they know my face (even if it is ugly).
I generally visit the dealer for maintenance during the warranty period.
This might be some marginal waste of money, but on the off chance that they
might really do all of the checking that they say they do, something might
be caught that might otherwise go too long.
My Civic is at 40,000, and I just had a dealer service done. There are
varying lengths of warranty on different parts of the car, same is true on
my Escape, with the CVT transmission being covered for 100,000, so I don't
really know what I'm going to do long term.
I won't be changing oil for the first couple of years, though.
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
As far as refusing warranty work because the oil wasn't changed at a
dealership, I find that hard to believe. Right now I have my oil
changed by a local shop that does good work. This should be good
enough for the warranty. Nothing is mentioned in my warranty
documentation indicating that it has to be serviced at Ford
dealership, just that it has to be done at required intervals.
So if I have a problem and my car needs warranty service, will I be
refused because I changed the oil myself or it was done at a local
shop other than a Ford dealer? I relaized that if I do it myself, it
can't be proven other than the fact that the appearance of the oil
may indicate that it was changed often enough.
I need to get this straight before I decide to do anything myself.
The service people where I bought my Escape are not very competent. I
have heard some horror stories.
Luckily over the years, I haven't needed any major warranty work
done on my AMERICAN cars. Couple of recalls here and there, but
nothing major. Maybe my luck is on borrowed time?
On Thu, 3 Feb 2005 02:03:13 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XReXXChang.usenet.us.com
I have the dealer do the work because of the hundred things that they say
they are going to inspect, adjust, and monitor, at $1 each ;-)
By law, you are not required to use a dealer for routine maintenance in
order to maintain your warranty. I have them do the work because i don't
want to, and I consider the bozos at Jiffy Lube more hazardous to my vehicle
than not doing the maintenance at all.
I took my Durango to Jiffy Lube for a transmission fluid and filter
replacement. I was changing the oil on it myself, but I couldn't figure
out how I was going to drain a transmission with no drain plug without
making a mess. They didn't have a filter in stock. Kind of odd, I see
lots of Durangos on the road. The local parts house brought one over.
Wrong one, obviously. Some phone calls, dealer-only part. Then they had
to get authorization to buy a dealer-only part... 2000 Dodge Durango 4WD
must be rare. Somebody goes to the dealer and gets the filter. My car has
been on the lift for two hours, causing quite the service backup for the
sole remaining lift. The manager is talking about refilling the
transmission so they can drive my car off the lift when the filter arrives
from the dealer.
Finally, it looked like they were all done. I heard the car start. I saw
the backup lights come on and go off. I instantly new something was wrong.
On fast idle after having cooled down, I didn't see the body lurch at all.
A few more backup light on/off cycles, and the engine was shut off.
A few more tries, with different people looking on. Off comes the pan for
the third time. Something about the filter was in backwards. Reassembled,
everything seemed to be okay. The "best" they could do for my troubles was
to give me 10% off the price of the service.
They insisted no damage had been done to the transmission. I pointed out
that it had been run for at least a couple of minutes with no fluid. They
insisted that it hadn't engaged, so no problem. I had them make note on
the receipt that it had been run with no fluid for five minutes.
Of course, 50,000 miles later, if the transmission fails, they will deny
any connection... but who knows. I have over 300,000 miles on a Chevy
automatic transmission. If the Dodge fails at 110,000, is it inferior
quality Dodge materials, or a lack of lubrication 80,000 miles ago?
Next time, I had my wife take the Durango to the local tire shop.
They changed the engine oil, drained the transmission, oops, no filter.
Refill the transmission. Order part, no dealer in town. Take it back,
replace filter, refill transmission. Two days later, it won't go into
reverse. Take it back, add some fluid. A little while later, stalling,
unrelated, methinks. I take it to the dealer, transmission clutch pack is
shot, not releasing, killing the engine. That's $200 plus labor, some other
service done anyway, $800 bill. As I type this, that seems pretty clearly
like I should have taken it back to the tire place and claimed some cost
against them, and I can't remember why I didn't. I think it was over
10,000 miles later.
A friend called and asked where she should take her car for some diagnostic
repair. All I could tell her was the dealer. I get newer cars serviced so
infrequently, and when they do go bad, it seems like the independents can't
solve the problem, and the dealers can, immediately, that there's just no
point. The dealer is $90 per hour, the independent is $60, but he wastes
time in diagnosis. I take my old truck to the local guy for things I
could do myself, but don't want to, like changing the radiator. Anything
that requires skill, it's off to the dealer.
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
After reading your reply to my post, I see your point. However, the
service dept where I bought my car is not to swift. There is another
Ford dealer in my neighborhood that I can try, but Im' wondering if
they would be ticked that I did'nt buy the car from them.
I heard that their service dept was okay, but the sales dept is
sleezy. The place where I bought my Escape has a decent salesw dept
but service has produced horro stories.
For transmission fluid, I found a great transmission place nesar where
I work and the chareg $75.00 for fluid and filter change.
On Thu, 3 Feb 2005 16:27:31 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XReXXChang.usenet.us.com
They hate it when they make money off of someone who bought the car
someplace else. If they didn't sell the car, then they never want to make
money off of you. Never.
As long as they are making money (and the shop brings in about 1/2 the
profit), they won't mind./
My transmission has over 110,000 mi and never had a fluid change!
Think it's not the location, but the fact since it wasn't at a
dealership, proof of regularly required oil changes needs to be
satified. I've been always told to keep a maintance book/folder of
all work done on a car. Kinda like a medical record, so current
mechanics can find out what work was previously done for any type of
You make some good points here.
You say you never change your transmission fluid in 110,000 miles? I
sort of felt that way too about not having to bother with the
transmission fluid changes but when I bought the Crown Vic I got a
liitle paranoid when several people told me that if you don't change
the fluid you get the dreaded "transmission shudder" after 35,000
After hearing that I thought I get the fluid changed. The guy who did
the change said it the old fluid was clean and no grit in the fliter.
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