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Maintaining My '98 Chevy Cavalier

With 142,000 miles on the clock, is a radiator flush, fuel injector service and transmission (it’s a 5-speed) necessary for my 1998 Cavalier? The local Grease Monkey has recommended these services. What’s the consensus out there? Thank you.

When was the last radiator flush? When was the last transmission lube change? If the answer is ‘I don’t know’, then your probably way overdue. The fuel injection service is unnecessary, unless your having engine problems. The detergents in most auto fuels is pretty good at keeping them clean.

I take your point. I’m embarrassed to say that I am probably way overdue. The Grease Monkey opens in less than two hours. I’m scheduled for an oil change today and I’ll have the rad flushed and the trans lube changed. Thank you for your input.

A transmission is ALWAYS necessary on any car I’ve ever seen.

I’ll try real hard not to take you to task for using a “chain store” lube joint whose “technicians” are working on commission.

I hope that I am in time to advise you to AVOID Grease Monkey, or Jiffy Lube, or any of the other quick lube places. Due to poor training of inexperienced teenaged personnel and the need to move as many cars through the shop as quickly as possible, these shops are notorious for making costly mistakes, such as failure to tighten the oil filter or oil drain plug, failure to actually put oil into the engine after draining it, putting transmission fluid into the brake master cylinder (or vice-versa), and virtually any other type of screw-up that you could imagine.

Those of us who are veterans of this board will tell you that you should seek an independent mechanic who has a good reputation in your town. The cost of service will likely be lower, and the chance of very damaging screw-ups is much less.

The quick lube places are also notorious for pushing unnecessary “flushes” of various systems. Not only are they not necessary in most cases, but when done by inexperienced personnel, they can damage the system that they are working on.

That being said, if your cooling system has not been serviced in the past 3 years, it is due for a flush and new antifreeze/coolant. The other recommended services are unnecessary unless you are experiencing specific problems. But, whatever services you want to have done, have them performed by a real mechanic’s shop.


Yup! A transmission is definitely necessary, but a transmission flush on a 5-speed manual transmission is a bit questionable.

True, but at 142K it can’t hurt, unless the Grease Monkey’s “technician” puts in the wrong fluid and/or leaves out the drain plug. (Synchros need love too.)

Flush?? Can you even do a flush on a manual? In any case all it would need is a drain and refill. No need for a flush.

No “flush” on the coolant either just “drop and fill”

Thanks for the input.