Fluid replacement

My GM dealership’s service department has told me that they recommend fluid replacement at 35,000 miles at a cost of over $400. My owner’s manual does not say anything about fluid replacement. Is my dealership trying to make more income?

Yup. Go by your manual. But be sure you look to see if there’s a “X,000 miles OR X years” clause.

There are a lot of different fluids in a car. Which one do you refer to?

For $400 they’d better be suggesting ALL of them!

I hope so! I was just wondering if they specifically called it ‘bulb fluid’.

Bulb fluid? What’s Bulb fluid?

I think that’s exactly the point.

I am a firm believer that not everything that is good for your car is listed as required in the owners manual.

Manufactures like to give the impression of low service requirements so they don’t list many items, it’s not like they assesed the value of doing or not doing the items your Dealer is recommending, you need to think long term (that is unless long term reliable usage is not something you are planning for).

On the other side of the coin entirely is the level of maintiance that many industry periodicles suggest garge owners try to sell to their customers.

It is hard to strike a balance between maintiance that really will pay off and maintiance that can only be laboratory or theoreticaly justified. I relate to your position of wondering just who to put faith in, if you are going to have to part with your money you do want it to go to the man who at least has YOUR best interests somewhere in the formula.

Got it.

Totally agree.

The cheapest insurance against component failure is maintaining the fluids for those components.

People will demand synthetic oil for their engines, but ignore the brake, transmission, differential, power steering fluids, and coolant. Because it’s not specified in the owners manual. But once these fluids are oxydized from heat, that’s when they start damaging the components and the seals.


Agree; the manufacturer’s interest is in selling long maintenance intervals that get the vehicle just past the warranty expiration , but maybe not much further.

The Dealer and service stations, on the other hand, are in the business of selling services, so they may recommend things too often or unnecessary, or in some cases (transmission flushes) dangerous for the equipment.

The car OWNER wants the maximum component and vehicle life at the most economic cost. Industrial companies work the same way; they will use the OEM recommendations as a guideline over the long term, while only following it exactly during the warranty period.

The car owner has to become “car smart” enough to develop his own schedule which will include the manual’s requirements PLUS those addtional tasks or frequencies which will allow the components to last to their full potential.

Even Motor Week’s Pat Goss, the resident repair guru had some rules for making your car last a very long time. He specifically had 50,000 miles cooling system flushes and 50,000 miles transmission fluid and filter chnages, regardless of what the manufacturer says.