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Nickle and dime me to death :-(

 
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Old 23 Aug 2006, 06:50 pm
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Default Nickle and dime me to death :-(

Just got back from the dealership to get the oil changed. My car has 35,000 miles and I'm being told that I'm now past the due date/mileage for spark plugs/wires, transmission fluid change, brakes (supposedly only 5% of the pad left), air filter change, and a tire rotation.

I can see the tire rotation and air filter needing changed, but c'mon, spark plugs and wires at 35,000 miles?!!! And the transmission needing serviced this soon?

I have a 98 Chevy Lumina that has 115,000 miles and had the spark plugs and wires done at the recommended 100,000 mile mark. The trans fluid was changed (but not flushed) at 75,000 and still looked/smelled new.

This PT is really starting to get on my nerves, being such a high maintenance car. Are all DC cars like this, or did I get "stuck" with another DC car that requires being babied? I had a 90 Jeep Wrangler that I already went down this road with, and really don't want to do it again.

It's not like I'm not a stickler for doing the maintenance on the cars either, I change the oil in my Lumina every 3,000 miles or so and keep and eye on all of the fluids at least once a week. I guess having to take it to the dealership to get the oil changed every 3,000 miles (even though the owners manual recommends 6,000 I think) is getting expensive. We have the extended warranty and after reading all of the problems that people have with getting things fixed under the warranty, I want them to do the maintenance until it's after the warranty is over, so that there is no way that they can say the maintenance wasn't done. We bought the car as a cheap alternative to my wife's Mustang GT, but not so sure it was a wise move. <<Shrugs>>

The service manager told my wife that it would be around $250 to get the front brakes fixed. I just about fell over!!! He told her that the rotors would be $148 to be turned and pads with a lifetime warranty would be $60.00 and some other stuff would bring it up to the $250 mark. I asked the manager why, if the new pads have a lifetime warranty, the originals don't, since they would be the exact same pads. He didn't really like me asking stuff like that, but to me, I don't like being "shaken down" by dealerships either.

I just priced the best ceramic pads from Autozone and they only came out to be $46 and since I just had the rotors turned on my Lumina, I know that they are $7.50 each and it only takes about an hour or so on a Saturday. They guy said that if we waited until the pads were worn out, we could add another $200 to the $250. I just priced brand new rotors, and they came out to $48.99 each!!!

Grrrrr, I just needed to vent to some that can relate to my plight. :-) Sorry for the long post. Later,
Scott


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Old 23 Aug 2006, 09:38 pm
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Scott,

The plugs, wires and pads on the PT are cheap junk. Your lucky you got this far without some sort of rough idle or hesitation while running. The OEM pads seem to be made out of compacted dust. You've probably noticed how dirty your wheels are from the brake dust.

The auto trans is a Very Weak link in the drive chain. The 41TE auto trans has been in the DC inventory for a long time but that doesn't mean it's a tried and proven reliable part. It can't stand abuse, but you don't need to change the fluid yet, 35K is a little early. A lot of us went for a complete flush at about the 50-60K mark.

Nothing says you have to have the dealer do any of the work. Their hourly rate is way above the normal auto shop. A lot of us do our own normal maintenance, such as brakes, plugs and wires but if you can't, shop around for a good price. Just keep good records of anything you do outside the dealer in case you need to go back for warranty work, you can prove the normal maintenance was done.
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Old 23 Aug 2006, 09:40 pm
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get prices from your local mechanic
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Old 23 Aug 2006, 10:11 pm
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scrisp2: Welcome to the Forum!![^] Crewzin has given you good info. I have changed plugs on both cars Get Champion 7440 or 7570 (I have used 7440) set gap at .040 if you have a nonturbo. Get MOPAR Preformance Wires or go to Race&street.com and Maggie will give you the best deal.

For brake pads, I have found NAPA ss-7716X ceramic pads (around $75) work well and really cuts down on the dust.

GOOD LUCK!!!1
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Old 23 Aug 2006, 10:57 pm
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I've got 63,000 miles on the OEM plugs and wires and so far she still runs fine. I bought new plugs and wires but haven't installed them yet. I'm getting 23 mpg so as long as its running this good, I'm not changing anything. My luck, she won't crank in the morning.
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Old 23 Aug 2006, 11:18 pm
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My dealer suggests auto tranny service at 30k intervals. You wait until 50-60k you can kiss your tranny goodbye. I waited until 60k and lost the auto tranny on the '01 PT at 81k. The wife's '04 auto PT we are doing every 30k.....Don't let the dealer do your brakes. They use cheap OEM crap.
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Old 24 Aug 2006, 12:11 pm
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TURN the Stock Rotors? Don't even bother.

Most machine shops will reject them as not having enough metal left after turning.

Upgrade to heavy-duty aftermarket rotors.

(The factory pads are compressed dust. The factory rotors are compressed rust with a layer of foil.)
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Old 24 Aug 2006, 04:10 pm
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by fritz_t_coyote

TURN the Stock Rotors? Don't even bother.

Most machine shops will reject them as not having enough metal left after turning.

Upgrade to heavy-duty aftermarket rotors.

(The factory pads are compressed dust. The factory rotors are compressed rust with a layer of foil.)
On the '01 mine were turned once at 18k. 20k later they were warped and were replaced with better aftermarket ones.


"(The factory pads are compressed dust. The factory rotors are compressed rust with a layer of foil.)"

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