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    60k Car Maintenance question

    I know there are a couple car junkies/mechanics on here, so I wanted to ask a question as a relatively naive car owner.

    Our 2009 Pontiac Vibe AWD is due for it's 60k maintenance check-up and I was a bit shocked by the estimates we got. The dealership down in W. DSM quoted us $700 and a local place here in names $500-600. Does this seem like a fair price? The manual only recommends getting the transmission fluid changed at this mileage, but nothing else specific. We already do regular tire rotations and other general maintenance stuff.

    I'm all for doing preventative maintenance, I just wanted some opinions from some people who are in the know about this sort of thing.



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    What are they doing for the $500-700?



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Perhaps the people on this website can save you $500.

    How often do you change transmission fluid?
    How often do you have an engine tuneup?
    How often do you change brake pads?
    How often do you change oil?
    How often do you change antifreeze?


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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post
    What are they doing for the $500-700?
    That's the weird thing, both quotes were over the phone, so I'm assuming they are just going off of the suggested maintenance from the owner's manual. Transmission flush, coolant flush, tire rotation, and oil change. Plus full inspection (which I have done every time my oil is changed anyway...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    Perhaps the people on this website can save you $500.

    How often do you change transmission fluid? Hasn't been changed since we bought the car with ~12k miles
    How often do you have an engine tuneup? Hasn't been done
    How often do you change brake pads? Had them checked a few months ago, didn't need to be changed
    How often do you change oil? 6k miles, use synthetic
    How often do you change antifreeze? Have it checked whenever in for oil change, not sure when it was last changed



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Tell them what you want done specifically and ask for a quote for those services. The general over-the-phone quote tells you or anyone on here nothing useful to determine if the price is fair.




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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    It cost me $185 to get my trans fluid changed a pickup last summer. I wouldnt think a radiator flush would cost more than $200. Why does a car that only has 60,000 miles need a tune up? While you should get your radiator most people dont. If you chose not to you need treat your antifreeze yearly.


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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Quote Originally Posted by RayShimley View Post
    That's the weird thing, both quotes were over the phone, so I'm assuming they are just going off of the suggested maintenance from the owner's manual. Transmission flush, coolant flush, tire rotation, and oil change. Plus full inspection (which I have done every time my oil is changed anyway...)
    Check your transmission fluid..... Does the fluid look reddish and smell OK(figuratively speaking of course) or is it brownish and/or smell burnt. If it's #1 you shouldn't have to flush the oil unless you pull a lot of stuff or put the car through pretty harsh circumstances. If it's #2 then a flush should be done.

    Same thing with the coolant.....Is it clean and green or reddish if it's a newer care with dextron antifreeze. If so, doesn't really need to be done in normal driving circumstances.

    Going by the suggested maintenance schedule is more to assure maintenance income and not needed IMO most of the time. Like I said, pulling trailers around, or through hills or driving through temperature extremes. I have owned a bunch of cars and know my way around working on a car and I have flushed my transmission once in and flushed antifreeze maybe 2-3 times on high mileage cars that needed it.

    Tire rotation in most instances is $20 and when you buy new tires a lot of shops will do it free of charge.

    But regardless of what you want to do, I would get the details of what their charging you for and we can go off there. If it's some of the shops around, they'll change the oil, not check over anything and make you pay $700 for it.



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    A 2009 should have extended life anti-freeze and that should be good for 100,000 miles. I can think of no reason to be putting that much money into a 3-4 yr old car with only 60,000 miles on it. Does it have a timing chain?


    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    60k miles is at the low end of the replacement interval for timing belts and water pumps in many cars. Don't know if that's the case for you, but that can get pricey in a hurry.

    Timing belt / Water pumps are usually replaced at the same time, and they tend to cost $400-700 (parts + labor + tax). So, if these shops are including that in the estimate, I'd expect them to be rather high.

    If you really are just getting things inspected and a flush/fill, I'd shoot for around $200.


    Last edited by aute19; 02-15-2012 at 02:36 PM.

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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Quote Originally Posted by Acylum View Post
    A 2009 should have extended life anti-freeze and that should be good for 100,000 miles. I can think of no reason to be putting that much money into a 3-4 yr old car with only 60,000 miles on it. Does it have a timing chain?
    It has a timing chain.

    Thanks for all the advice guys. Rep to all!



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Are you handy at all? If so change the transmission filter and fluid yourself. It is slightly more involved than changing the oil but still pretty easy. Trans filters should come with a replacement gasket as well but your car might have a reusable gasket (metal instead of rubber) in which case if it appears to be in good condition just use the reusable gasket.

    Unless your car has a warranty that is voided by performing your own service I would do the work myself.



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Quote Originally Posted by burn587 View Post
    Are you handy at all? If so change the transmission filter and fluid yourself. It is slightly more involved than changing the oil but still pretty easy. Trans filters should come with a replacement gasket as well but your car might have a reusable gasket (metal instead of rubber) in which case if it appears to be in good condition just use the reusable gasket.

    Unless your car has a warranty that is voided by performing your own service I would do the work myself.
    Transmissions are quite a bit more involved than changing engine oil. When you drop the pan of a transmission, in most cases only about 1/3 of the oil will drain and the rest will not unless it is hooked up to a pump and new fluid is pumped in displacing the old fluid thus the term transmission flush. I have done as you said once so I could change the filter on a friends truck but it is quite a bit more involved if you do it correctly.



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Pull out the owners manual and turn to scheduled maintenance. Look at 60k and this is most likely what they are quoting. I'm assuming all filters, air, fuel, oil. Tranny flush, coolant flush also. Plugs should be good for 100k nowadays. Tranny, if not pulling, can wait for 100k.

    If you have your car serviced at the same place routinely, they will/should notify you of needed things. If you plan to get rid of this can before 100k, I wouldn't do anything more than needed.

    Probably have a battery at 4 years also.



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post
    Transmissions are quite a bit more involved than changing engine oil. When you drop the pan of a transmission, in most cases only about 1/3 of the oil will drain and the rest will not unless it is hooked up to a pump and new fluid is pumped in displacing the old fluid thus the term transmission flush. I have done as you said once so I could change the filter on a friends truck but it is quite a bit more involved if you do it correctly.
    I just buy a few extra quarts of fluid and dump it in while the pan is still down. It won't do it as good as the pump system will but it will be good enough.



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    Re: 60k Car Maintenance question

    If you haven't changed the transmission fluid in 48K miles I would think it's time. Changed not flushed. I'm also wondering if your rear deferential fluid needs to be changed? I believe these are pretty much a toyota powertrain so they should be pretty bulletproof.



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