I kind of feel like i’m getting hosed here. I just took my 2010 Mercury Grand Marquis into the dealer for an oil change, tire rotation & the 30k service. It has 28k on the clock, so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone right? I took out the maintenance book and said “look over the 30k service here and let me know what needs to be done and what it will cost before performing it.”
The service manager comes out with a laundry list of things totaling $716.00. Oil change/filter; air filter; fuel filter; lubricate the calipers; transmission fluid change; flush coolant; clean fuel injectors. In looking through the manual, they’re using the ‘severe duty’ or “special operating conditions” schedule. The car is driven at mostly highway speeds, about 250/300 miles weekly. I’m not pulling a trailer or making long distance low speed trips or operating in the middle of a sandstorm in a desert, so I’m a bit confused as to how my car qualifies as “severe duty.” The guy could only say “well, they recommend it.”
Keep in mind I check the fluids myself almost daily and the trans fluid is nice and clean and the coolant is too. No issues with the way it runs or anything like that either. I feel a bit insulted, but at the same time curious if this is par for the course?
This is how the dealers make their money, not by selling new cars. You don’t have to go to the dealer for maintenance. Save yourself money and stay away from dealers. (unless it’s warranty work)
The way they build cars these days, your car would go 100,000 easy without doing anything to it. (other than regular oil changes, a couple tranny fluid changes, and one coolant & brake fluid flush.)
It’s reallly necessary for you, the owner, to carefully read the owner’s manual, and then determine what you actually need done. My Toyota was in for its oil change wiht only 25,000 miles on it. They recomended flushing the brake fluid (it does not have ABS), and a host of other things. I gracefully declined all these; the next oil change they tried again to sell me on a “maintenance check” for $160 which includes rotating the tires, checking the brakes and looking at many other things that don’t need looking at.
At your mileage, I would at least change the air filter, check the coolant for strength, change the brake fluid if it has ABS. Based on your driving pattern, the transmission fluid and coolant change can wait till 50,000 miles, but the levels should be checked regularly.
The “severe” service schedule is in there for a purpose, but your driving is definitely NOT severe service.
The way they build cars these days, your car would go 100,000 easy without doing anything to it.
I wouldn’t like take a car to 100k miles without an oil change.
But Goldwing is right…You don’t have to take it to the dealer for maintenance. ANY independent can easily do the work…Or do it yourself.
Of the list of things the service manager gave you…a good portion of them is Dealer Profit ad-ons…No need for coolant flush…or clean fuel injectors for a vehicle this new.
Transmission fluid change is probably a good idea…Along with an oil change…and THAT’S it. The owners manual should have listed exactly what needs to be done at the 30k mile checkup.
I had the 30,000 mile service done by the Ford dealer where I purchased my 2000 Windstar. The one item that was done that was not listed in the manual was a change of the transmission fluid and filter. It bothered me that I hadn’t been more specific. I later learned that it was a really good idea, particularly on Windstars of this vintage to change the transmission fluid and filter at 30,000 miles. At 60,000, I had an independent shop change the fluid and filter and they reported that the transmission was in really good shape and that this was a good maintenance practice.
I disagree with your dealer on cleaning the fuel injectors. If the car is running well, this isn’t necessary. Unless you are having problems, I’m not certain about lubricating the brake calipers. The coolant could probably go to 50,000 miles.
While your type of driving may not fit the severe service category in your eyes, in reality almost every car on the planet fits that category.
I’d stick with what the owners manual has to say other than any blurb about seldom if ever changing the transmission fluid. Trans fluid changes should be done about every 30k miles.
You cannot eyeball transmission fluid and engine coolant and determine if it’s good or not.
The oddity there might be lubing the calipers but I’m not familiar with the owners manual on this car. It certainly will not hurt and could be beneficial but normally this is not something done at 30k miles. If you live in Rust Belt state that alone could be reason enough to perform this service.
As to cleaning injectors I’d pass on that IF the car appears to be running fine. As an FYI, one way to determine if the injectors possibly need cleaning is to pay close attention to the engine while it is idling. If it’s glass smooth then skip this procedure. If you feel any subtle stumble or roughness then it’s at least possible an injector cleaning would help; assuming no ignition misses, etc.
This is par for the course, and it’s where the knowledgeable and prepared consumer can come out ahead of the pack.
When I took my Toyota in for a recall the service writer wanted me to get a flush on my manual transmission, which is impossible, even though I had changed the trans oil 2200 miles earlier.
From what I saw and heard while sitting in the waiting room nobody was getting out of there without spending 100’s of $$, except me.
Thanks for the input. I have read the owners manual extensively prior to taking it in for the first service. I’m no mechanic, but I’ve done plenty to my cars on my own. I just really questioned what the heck was going on. I may have the trans done at some point here in the near future, but it won’t be at the dealer. There’s a trans. shop near me that will do the flush for MUCH less than the dealer. I think the service manager knew he had either offended me or insulted me (pick one) when I looked at him and said “uh…yeah, tell ya what. this is what we’re doing today…”