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Damage from low transmission fluid

Had my oil changed at a one of those quick lube places. They insisted my transmission fluid was three quarts too full. Said I would have damage if I left it that way and removed three quarts. Started having transmission trouble. Turns out, they didn't know how to check the level properly. After 4 trips back there they have the level back to where it should be but I drove about 200 miles with low fluid. Now my transmission is noisy, sounds strained, and seems to lack power. Anyone have an idea of how much damage was done?



Oh, yea, it's an '95 Eagle summit all wheel drive.
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Comments

  • edited January 2009
    I have no Idea how much damage was done, but something went wrong. My sujestion is if someone want's to tinker on my transmission fluid after it drove in to the garage fine they are responsable for the repair. My guess would be that you havent touched your fluid in quite a while so when they said it was over full then you should have been weary, fluid does not duplicate it self. If they would have said it to be low then definitly put some in it.

    As far as damage is concerned you should consult with them, how long did you plan to keep the Eagle ? Sometimes transmissions that make noise still hold out for quite a while. It sounds like a band is wearing inside the transmission, you should have them pay to have the filter and fluid changed and see if this makes a diffrence, also had Lucas transmission oil with the fluid to help it along.
  • edited January 2009
    With that much driving on low fluid the transmission is pretty much history IMHO.
    There won't be an easy fix or Miracle In A Can problem solver.

    Hope this is documented because you may have to push a bit to get them to stand behind this. An automatic transmission, especially on an aged car with ???? miles, does not take low fluid problems very well at all.
  • edited February 2009
    I am sorry to hear that. Like OK I hope you have good documentation. I would look on this as a legal issue at this point. If nothing else you should now know that those quick oil change places should be avoided at all cost.
  • edited February 2009
    What a terrible case. If it sounds bad it is likely bad. The problem is your vehicle is only worth about $1000 or so. It will likely cost more to fix it. So legally at best you can only get a check for its value.
  • edited February 2009
    To all of the good advice that has already been given, I will add that you have illustrated the typical problem that people encounter after using a quick lube place.

    Due to poorly-trained, time-constrained teenaged employees, coupled with an "up-sell" philosophy, quick lube places are rarely cheaper than a real mechanic's shop would be for the same service, and they are MUCH more prone to making fatal errors. Each month, we read a few posts from people whose (pick one or more) engine/transmission/differential/brake hydraulic system/cooling system was damaged or destroyed by the employess at Jiffy Lube or one of its clones. Now that you have learned your lesson the hard way, please be sure to AVOID these quick lube joints with your next vehicle.

    However, as andrew j pointed out, the book value of your car is such that nobody would be likely to pay for transmission repair or replacement, and a check for the car's book value is probably the most reasonable settlement. That being said, I really doubt that the computerized invoice states something like "we removed 3 qts. of transmission fluid". If the invoice does state something to that effect, then you can probably prevail with a claim. In the absence of hard documentation, this may wind up being a REALLY expensive lesson in why you should not use a quick lube place.


  • edited February 2009
    Did they charge you for this fluid removal? Do you have a repair order stating what was done?Do you have acknowledgement from the lube facility that they removed 3 qts. to much fluid? Maybe you were 3 qts overfull and you trans. was damaged by the overfill.
  • edited February 2009
    "Poorly trained, time-constrained.............up-sell philosophy." That says it all, doesn't it. It's curious that fleet owners pay independant shops tripple the price charged by the chains for scheduled maintenance. Very curious. One of my customers has hundreds of vehicles and employees an ASE Master to change oil and INSPECT vehicles. They took on that expense to reduce down time costs, not the price of the work.

    BTW, how many QUICK-LUBE shops pre-fill oil filters? Or steer to left and right locks to get at all the alemites? Or open brake bleeders while servicing? etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.
  • edited February 2009
    Transmission is toast, they owe you a transmission. They apparently checked the fluid level with engine off.
  • edited February 2009
    Let's go over what the OP has in writing,let's see what is on the record.In God I Trust, all others must prove it.
  • edited February 2009
    Thanks for all the info. I'm planning to get it into a transmission shop today. I feel pretty silly to have let a the employee talk me into pulling out the fluid. They did not charge me for doing it. The car has ~125,000 miles on it. The good news, I guess, is that the receipt does state that they removed 3 quarts. I also have receipts for two of the return visits that show how much fluid was added back in on those visits.

    BTW, this transmission has a procedure that must be followed to check the transmission fluid. It involved putting on the parking brake, running through and pausing in each gear, then ending in neutral. Properly done, the level is checked while in neutral. They checked it in park.
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