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1997 z28 Camaro Convertible Gear Box

I have a 1997 z28 Camaro Convertible. Bright Green with Tan Leather interior. I go the car from my Father who kept it in a Garage in Florida and had about 50,000 mile when I got her 4 years ago. She now has 70k.

I went to Jiffy Lube this July (12) for an Oil Change. They Talked me into changing the Gear box fluids. Now, in my entire Life, I have Never even new there was fluid back there or any reason to change it.

It is now October, and the Gear box is sot and I need an 1800-2500 rebuild.

Several Mechanics I spoke to, when I tell them this story, drop their heads. They basically said NEVER to touch that, and most likely they did not add the correct additives required for my car.

The Rear end is a limited slip diff with a Posi rear.

Is there ANY Way, I can prove/sue Jiffy Lube to make them pay for the destruction of the rear end of my car?

Brett

In part, I agree with those “several mechanics”, and in part I disagree with them.

I agree that most likely those kiddie faux-mechanics at JL did not use the special fluid that is required for your LS rear axle. It is also possible that they drained the differential, but did not refill it. (But, since it took 3 months for the diff to burn out, it is much more likely that the wrong fluid was used, rather than failing to refill it.) In any event, your visit to Jiffy Lube was a major mistake, due to the well-known error rate at these quick-lube places.

Where I disagree with your mechanics is about “never touching” the differential. Personally, I like to drain & refill the differential every 5 years or so. Particularly with a limited-slip diff, the additives may wear-out over time, so assuming that the lube is good forever is not a good idea.

Can you sue them?
Sure
Can you win?
I have no idea, but given the low filing fees for Small Claims Court, you just might want to go ahead and file a claim against the local JL. If you do go ahead with your suit, be sure to arrange with a real mechanic to accompany you, in order to provide “Expert Witness” testimony.

And, in the future, please remember this experience.
There are reasons why most of us in this forum advise that you never go to a quick lube place, and your experience is an illustration of those reasons.

Good luck!

P.S.–Just for future reference, a “gear box” is a manual transmission, not a rear axle.

Jiffy Lube has been sued countless times. They probably have their defense down to an art form. Give it a try but don’t hold your breathe for any settlement. I don’t know how these “Iffy Lube” places stay in business because their service is worse than terrible.

Wow sorry to hear of your troubles! Brett I am a GM certified tech at a Chevy dealer and have owned dozens of 4th gen Camaros both as daily drivers and race cars.

First yes you should change your diff oil. On a street car like yours I would change it every other year or so. The reason is the clutches metal parts wear and moisture accumulates and it contaminates the oil. I live in Minnesota so I change mine and my trans fluid every spring.

Yes it is suppose to have a little tube of posi additive but if they left that out it would not kill your diff. All the additive does is keep the clutches from chattering on tight corners and it would not impact gear or baring wear at all… If you use synthetic oil you don’t need the additive.

I would like to know exactly what failed in your rear end to cost that much. You can get a junk yard rear end for usually around $400 and swap the entire unit. They are a common as dirt and easy to replace as a unit. Check out car-part.com. Depending on what is really wrong with yours that is what I would do.

Even if they did want to fix what you have I have rebuilt dozens of them and even with all new bearings, gears and seals from GM and 5 hours of labor there is no way you could get 2 grand into it. Last one I did at work had a broken spider gear and it was about $400 for the whole job.

I sure wish I lived closer! Feel free to contact me directly I would be glad to help a fellow F body fan out. My email is heyjim@live.com