"Suggestive sell" items at oil change place

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Detector195, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. Detector195

    Detector195 Guest

    At the oil change place, they always try to sell me a bunch of
    goodies. Today it was the following:

    1. Flushing the oil system... $30
    2. Flushing the cooling system... $30
    3. Replacing the automatic transmission fluid... $30
    4. Replacing the PCV valve... $10

    This seemed like an awful lot of flushing -- of my money down the
    toilet. I declined all of this stuff. Now for the question: Which, if
    any of these things, are worth doing? If so, how often or under what
    set of symptoms? Can I do the tranny fluid myself without too much
    cussing? I don't do the oil because the filter is inaccessible without
    putting the car up on blocks.
    Detector195, Oct 2, 2003
  2. How many miles do you have? I don't really know about number 1, number 2 I
    had done at 100,000 when the coolant in my 98 SL2 was due for change
    according to factory specs, 3 I believe is a 60,000 mile service but not
    sure cause I've always had manual tranny's, and 4 is whenever it gets gummed
    up and doesn't move freely when you shake it.

    Charles Paluda, Oct 2, 2003
  3. Oil flush: Not really a good idea - if your engine is well-maintained, there
    shouldn't be any sludge in there to flush. If it's not well-maintained,
    sludge and debris could come loose all at once and clog oil passages.

    Cooling system flush: Depends if it's time yet. Be sure to use the right
    kind (either regular green or DEX-COOL, whichever your car came with). You
    can drain and refill the system easily, but to totally flush the system is a
    bit more involved (just draining the radiator, or even the engine as well,
    leaves some coolant in the system).

    ATF change: Again, depends on if it's time. Not an easy DIY job - you have
    to drop the transmission pan to drain the fluid. Some places just connect a
    flush machine to the cooler lines, this does a more thorough job of removing
    the old fluid, but leaves the old filter (unless they changed it

    PCV valve: Should be an easy DIY job. I'd get the valve from the dealer, an
    inappropriate non-OEM PCV valve is reported to sometimes cause oil
    consumption problems on the 1.9L engines.
    Robert Hancock, Oct 2, 2003
  4. Detector195

    Ratbert Guest

    Not on a Saturn. At least, not on mine. It has a drain plug and a
    spin-on filter, just like the engine oil. I found it easier to get to
    the filter after removing the air filter and box. In fact, I found the
    transmission fluid easier to change than the oil.

    To the Original Poster:
    You can get plastic ramps with which you can change your own oil for
    about $20.
    Ratbert, Oct 2, 2003
  5. Detector195

    Tony Guest

    I've found that if you can get to a dealer with one of those 29 minute
    oil change lanes, the price will be cheaper by a few $$$ than the fast
    change franchise places.

    Price to change oil in my old SL-2 at Valvoline - $32 and change

    Price to change oil in my 2001 chevy pickup that takes 6 quarts at the
    dealer - $25 and change.

    I know it's not the same vehicle, but the concept is the same. Both
    were with regular dino oil, filter and the truck got greased (no place
    to grease the saturn).

    I don't know about you, but if you don't do it yourself, I feel much
    safer having the dealer do the changes than some monkey at a franchise
    place. The dealer may employ monkeys too, but I bet they're a better
    trained monkey.
    Tony, Oct 2, 2003
  6. Detector195

    Bob Shuman Guest

    I agree. Same with our 1996 Saturn SL. Easier to change the transmission
    fluid and filter than the oil and filter...
    Bob Shuman, Oct 2, 2003
  7. Detector195

    Detector195 Guest

    I have a set of steel ramps from when I did a CV boot job on my old
    Mazda. But the problem is that the saturn is so low to the ground that
    I can't get it up on the same ramps without scraping the fenders.
    Maybe the $20 pair are lower. I will take a look at the parts store.

    But I have a spiffy new floor jack that I got for under $20, and so I
    may try the old jack and blocks routine.

    And in doing the CV boot on the Mazda, I discovered a much better way,
    which was to simply crank the steering wheel all the way so the boot
    is exposed from the side through the wheel cutaway. Oh well.
    Detector195, Oct 3, 2003
  8. Detector195

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    If you are changing the oil and filter as you should (3 months, 3,000 miles)
    then you shouldn't need this service.
    Nope. If you replace the coolant at the recommended interval (don't know it
    off hand for your car - what year is it?) you shouldn't need to do this.
    This isn't too bad of a deal. Saturns require the fluid and filter changed
    at 30,000 mile intervals. The fluid is about $5 per quart (for the Saturn
    fluid) and you need four quarts. The filter is about $8. So, the parts are
    It cost about $3 from the Saturn dealer, and takes 30 seconds to replace.
    Kirk Kohnen, Oct 3, 2003
  9. Detector195

    BANDIT2941 Guest

    I have a set of steel ramps from when I did a CV boot job on my old
    Mine do that too - I just run the car up on a block of wood before the ramps.
    If you do the old jack and jackstands method, you can also rotate your tires
    while you're at it........
    BANDIT2941, Oct 3, 2003
  10. Replaced my PCV valve this week, and I paid $7.23 from the Saturn dealer.
    Still, I'd pass all the same. I've heard Jiffy Lube valves are lighter and
    don't function as well as the OEM ones.
    Reverend Vertigo, Oct 4, 2003
  11. Detector195

    Detector195 Guest

    Why didn't I ever think of that!
    Detector195, Oct 5, 2003
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