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Do I really need all the maintence done my local Chevy garage said I needed done?

Dear Click and Clack,

I am 25 years old and back in April of this year I finally purchased a car that is newer with a warranty. It’s been very nice not worrying about breaking down and having a money pit. I bought a 2007 Chevy Aveo LS 4 door sedan, manual transmission at 19,000 miles, still under Chevy warranty. It’s now October and I just hit 32,000 miles (yes, I drive A LOT, mostly highway). I’ve had no problems and even though I do not know the history of this car, I can tell it was well taken care of. I want this car to last forever so I recently looked in the owners manual to see what my service schedule is… it basically says, oil change, get new spark plugs, change engine air filter, and rotate tires. So I called up my local Chevy dealership to schedule the appointment and they told me their maintence package was $469 but included transmission flush, caliber cleaning, fuel injection cleaning, tire rotation, front end alignmentand oil change. But I really don’t believe I need all of that done. I just had an oil change, new tires and alignment done. My question for you guys is: Do I really need all the things my local Chevy garage said I needed? My book says nothing about transmission flush, caliber cleaning or fuel injection cleaning… Like most people, I’m not made of money but I would like to keep my car running smoothly and maintence free for a long time to come. PLEASE HELP!

Thanks for your time. CarTalk is my favorite show, my fiancee and I listen every Sunday!

Helena Haeussler

Concord, NH

At least you read the owners manual. The owners manual will tell you EXACTLY what is needed. If it’s NOT part of the owners manual schedule then it’s NOT required (unless you’re experiencing a problem). The engineers spent a lot of time figuring out what the maintenance should be for that vehicle. Things like Fuel Injection cleaning is a dealer profit maker. Not needed and very expensive.

The only thing I question is the Transmission flush. You say it’s NOT in the manual?? I’d get a tranny fluid change (drop pan and change/clean the filter) every 30-50k miles.

The extra services not in manual will not hurt anything but your wallet. They pad the coffers of the dealership.

Getting a transmission flush on a manual transmission is pure profit and likely does not really happen. If the manual does not mention it, do that every 100k miles. Basically a dealership buys “flushing” machines for large money in hopes of profit. However they need to recommend it to everyone who walks in the door to keep up with the payments for their large investment.

I would call some independent garages and get an estimate for the work what is in the manual. You do not need to visit a Chevy dealer to maintain your warranty. The chances anyway of hitting a warranty claim are beyond low given your higher miles/year.

My local dealership finally bought an alignment rack. They were using a neighboring tire shop before to perform them. Guess what they recommend the last three times I visited.

Her car has a manual transmission.

As has already been said, the dealership is trying to push superfluous services in order to make more money. An independent garage will undoubtedly charge less, but just in case you want to use the dealership, I’m sure that you can “order ala carte”, rather than taking their loaded package. Yes, they will try to talk you into their package deal (that really isn’t much of a deal), but if you told them that you just want the items listed in the manual, I doubt that they would refuse you.

One caution that I want to give you regarding this vehicle concerns the timing belt. While the mfr’s schedule probably calls for replacement of the belt at 60k miles, the engines on these cars are known for breaking their timing belts before that mileage interval. So, if the dealership suggests changing the belt at…let’s say…50k, it would be a good idea to have it replaced, whether by the dealer or by an independent. Otherwise, you risk severe engine damage.

OOPs…I missed that one…

Does GM still use Dexron in it’s manual transmissions??? If so then it is (at least was) recommended to be changed every 50k miles. If it’s gear-oil then that probably never needs to be changed…although I usually change mine every 100-150k miles.

Since this is really a Daewoo with a Chevy badge, I have no idea of what lube is used for the transmission.

I’m not familiar with this vehicle. Probably uses gear-oil. Not even sure GM is still using Dexron in it’s manual tranny’s anymore.

Well, did you tell them that you just had the alignment, tires, and oil change done before this was recommended? If not, then how were they to know?
And how many miles driven since this recent alignment/tire change?

As to spark plugs and air filter it’s quite likely this is needed. The transmission fluid should be changed about every 30k miles.
Fuel injection cleaning (not defined, fuel system or induction?) could possibly be needed depending on the definition.

Caliper cleaning should not be necessary except under limited circumstances. (if you live in a northern rust belt state for example, in which case it’s a maybe.)

What you need and the dealer’s package don’t line up. You can take the car to the dealer and get the specific work you need done, you don’t have to get the package. You have a manual transmission, the trans flush in the package is for auto transmissions. Delete the flush, delete the alignment, delete the tire rotation, delete the caliper cleaning, and delete the fuel injection cleaning. That leaves new spark plugs and a new air filter.

See what the Chevy dealer would charge for new plugs and air filter only. Then check with some local garages and if one is less than the other then go on price. If you really have to have the dealer do the work, tell them the quote by the other mechanic. They’ll probably find a “coupon” and some way to match the price.