Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Crazy Angry in Baltimore

Hey I finished hour 28 of this weeks overtime and went to pick up my 1995 subaru forester from the local mechanic’s shop. The significant other wanted the transmission fluid drained and changed prior to the 7 hour trip to obtain my child from Grandma’s house. Drove off the parking lot to enter traffic but what I entered was a hugely different driving experience as the transmission was empty. How about everyone else? What do I do, to roast these people? I would like a new transmission. Is it necessary. I would also like to yell, YOU JERKS! Is this too much? according to the tow, I only drove 1 mile but it ran for about 8 minutes.

Unfortunately, the law only lets you recover damages equal to the damage. That means they owe you a 15 year old transmission with no more than XX miles on it. They should also refund the service that wasn’t completed properly. If your diplomatic about it, and suppress the anger a bit, they may be able to do a bit better than that. If you show anger and demand a new transmission, they may just dig in agree to do only the legal minimum.

Thanks for the info! I am so distraught that I was a decade off, it’s a 2005, but the advice holds true. When I evaluate priorities the darn car is up there just under daughter and dog, only the car never talks back!

While you are at it, you might want to check the level of the motor oil.
It is just possible that those morons dumped the trans fluid into the crankcase instead of the transmission.

An overfilled engine will fail, just like a dry transmission, but it will take a bit longer to materialize.

Thanks for the tip, we did suspect that and the oil is too high but are unsure if someone dumpted all 5 quarts of synthetic in or added transmission fluid. Not really sure how to tell if it’s a mix of transmission fluid and oil. I will certainly ask that they drain and replace that too.

The man who towed it was a mechanic, he said this is a common error. They get busy and move. Someone asks about that one job and someone shouts done. It gets moved out and you get a call for the cash. I hate to say it, but it’s another one of those places that hires some young kids and probably doesnt pay attention to what they are doing.

Just for the laughs, the guy who towed it told me my transmission is made out of rice so he wouldn’t have any idea how much damage would have been caused. Cheap shot, but I was nice and tipped anyways. Picking on my ride is like picking on my kid. Just Not Right.

Not just young kids,I have seen veteran mechanics make all level of errors. Why do errors happen in the auto garage? some are bound to happen just from being human but I think that percentage should be under 1%. My personal feling based upon many years in the shop is it is very easy for the shops environment to turn non-professional in the aspect of the working environment (too much horseplay is what I mean).

Not required but it would have been nice if Subaru would have worked on a way to reduce this “common error”, something like a simple identification of what plug is what by color or size fastener, just something real cheap and easy.

If the transmission was “empty”, the car would not have moved from where it was parked. There is more to this story…

They mentioned that it stalled but I noticed that the parking lot is on a hill so when I left I basically was rolling out, it wasn’t until I tried to accellerate that anything seemed wrong. The fluid was just drained so I expect there is some remaining fluid the bill indicates they put in 3 quarts but the dip stick is dry. The car would drive but not really accelerate. I like the conspiracy feel to the more to the story…I am just assuming there is still transmission fluid in my car just not as much as what I went in there with. It drove for less then a mile, just enough to park, get help and have it towed back.

I did notice that the dip stick pulls look identical…thanks Subaru! There is one down deep in the bottom (not oil or transmission) it looked so clean that I have to wonder if someone pulled that one. (I am no expert, just the third daughter of a man who gave up and bought me a set of mechanic’s tools.) The transmission dip was flithy when we checked.

As for whether there was anything wrong withthis car, I say no way. It has 80000 miles and always gets synthetic oil every 3000 at least. We try to take care of it as I would like to drive it for 250,000. My dad drives and old toyota with over 300000 miles. It’s in the blood.

Some more info would be helpful, and I’m assuming this is an automatic.
Any transmission symptoms before this fluid change?
Why the urge to change the transmission fluid only before this trip?
What were the symptoms?

It’s a Subaru so there are 3 dipsticks; engine oil, transmission fluid, and final drive gear oil.
If the transmission fluid was empty then how did the car move at all?

If the final drive oil is was empty (this is the stick down low) then the car will move but it will not destruct in one mile and there will be a whining noise before it destructs.

Again, I’m in agreement with Caddyman. There’s some story missing here.