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Trans fluid change intervals

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I have a 2007 Silverado Classic 4.8L V8. While going to the local Chevy dealer for maintenance they are recommending a transmission fluid change at around 30,000 miles. I am currently at 36,000 so I was going to have them change the transmission fluid. When I called to schedule I expected to use the GM Goodwrench coupon that came in the mail. It was for $129.95. However when I called to schedule they said the coupon didn't apply since I have the Dexron-VI and it is really expensive so they said it would cost $220. This got me curious so I checked the manual and it recommends 100,000 normal and 50,000 severe driving/towing. I drive mostly highway miles and don't tow. So I called back to ask and they told me the people at GM are complete idiots on the recommend maintenance intervals. It seems to me they are just after the service money due to a tightening economy.

So I was looking for some opinions since many people here seem very knowledgeable. I did opt to hold off on the routine maintenance. Everything runs perfect and there are no shifting issues.

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I'd go with every 50k if the factory recommends 50-100k. It's far better to over-maintain, but there's no need to be crazy about it. If you were doing lots of towing and stuff, I'd say 30k, but since you're not, I'd hold off to 50k. Proper auto tranny maintenance is the most overlooked thing IMO, and it causes a lot of early trans deaths.

If it were an older truck, I'd also say do it yourself for $50, but I'd probably be taking a truck that new to a dealer for that type of service, too. Shame that the auto trans spin-on filter and drain plug didn't catch on. Saturn S-Series auto trannies are just as easy to do fluid/filter change on as the engine oil/filter.

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I have a 2007 Silverado Classic 4.8L V8. While going to the local Chevy dealer for maintenance they are recommending a transmission fluid change at around 30,000 miles. I am currently at 36,000 so I was going to have them change the transmission fluid. When I called to schedule I expected to use the GM Goodwrench coupon that came in the mail. It was for $129.95. However when I called to schedule they said the coupon didn't apply since I have the Dexron-VI and it is really expensive so they said it would cost $220. This got me curious so I checked the manual and it recommends 100,000 normal and 50,000 severe driving/towing. I drive mostly highway miles and don't tow. So I called back to ask and they told me the people at GM are complete idiots on the recommend maintenance intervals. It seems to me they are just after the service money due to a tightening economy.

So I was looking for some opinions since many people here seem very knowledgeable. I did opt to hold off on the routine maintenance. Everything runs perfect and there are no shifting issues.

I smell some BS here.

Dextron VI is simply the replacement for Dextron III (It's supposedly twice as good, hence skipping the numbers 4 and 5), and I recently filled my transmission with it because there isn't any Dex III available to buy. The Dex VI was not noticeably more expensive than the Dex III.

I personally stretch oil changes pretty far, but I don't have a warranty to worry about. I would be seriously concerned that unless you get something from GM in writing, they could use this to deny a warranty claim later on because you were negligent to change the fluid until 50K.

I agree that they are just trying to squeeze you for some stimulus money.

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Based on the manual stating 50,000 for severe I don't mind changing it at around 50,000. I do mostly highway which would be normal mileage so that is supposed to be 100,000 according to the manual yet the dealer telling me it should be changed at 30,000. This would be 3 times in the normal maintenance intervals as recommended by the manual. I did email and call GM about this. I also checked the costs and even on the high side the filter and Dexron-VI would be $50 in parts so the $220 charge seems very high to me.

I will update with the response I get from GM. Hopefully they will clear this up. I will also call some other local Chevy dealers for the estimates. I like to do the proper maintenance but don't like being gouged.

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Dex-VI is supposed to be an incredibly stable tranny fluid so 50K should be no problem.

Another reason they are likely quoting $220 is that they want to do a fluid exchange with a flushing machine. The goodwrench coupon may be for the standard dropping the pan and replacing the filter and ~5 qts. of fluid vs. the 12-16 qts. sold with a flush.

Many shops are more than eager to sell a flush but hate to have to drop a pan or replace the filter becuase it is more profitable labor cost wise for them to just do the flushes. Doing both would really be ideal but a shop would charge so much for such a service nobody would go for it.

A good cheap DIY option would be to drop the pan/filter @50K, install a drain plug kit on the tranny pan, then change the fluid w/ fresh Dex-VI three times in a row which would flush the nearly all of the factory fluid out.

Edited by fightingbee
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Not sure whether all dealership shops operate this way, but where my wife worked, the service advisors received commissions by the companies providing the products for particular service tasks. Transmission fluid changes were one of them.

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Based on the comments this does sound like a flush for this price. I would expect a filter change would be required similar to changing the filter every time during an oil change. So a flush sounds like an expensive yet ineffective fluid change. I drive the truck easy, some say I drive too slow since I usually keep it on the speed limit. Thanks for the replies.

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As an update to the call and email to GM. I received 2 call backs from what was supposed to be GM customer service reps. Both of them called for the local area which leads me to believe they were office people from the dealership. Neither one seemed to know what I was complaining about. Both said they spoke with the service manager and all I got out of that was that he was firm in his price and would not answer the question of what the service was supposed to be either a flush or a change. When speaking with the 1st one I asked her to find out that direct answer. She typed it in her computer and even read the question back to me. This basically proves poor service and leaves me with a lack of trust in this dealership.

As far as the price being roughly $100 over what it should be they claim they will send me a $100 service voucher for my next service and it can be used at any Chevy/GM dealership.

I have concluded that they are crooks at least at this dealership so future service will mostly be done by myself. I didn't mind paying extra for them to do the work but it looks like the only solution is to get dirty and do everything myself. I am not a mechanic but will learn on some thing but will still need a real mechanic at some point in the future. This will also cost them my next Silverado purchase since I will not deal with them anymore.

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220? Way too much.....

I think with the freeway driving, you could go 50-65k with no problems.

I will be changing our Cavalier at 55k (at 52k now) only because she mostly does city driving. I''ll be doing that change myself (with a few friends), with a new filter and some synthetic ATF for insurance.....

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I am currently at 37k. The bad thing is I could see some extra charge for a pickup they like to do that even though there shouldn't be much of a difference. At about $150 to $160 I would have had it done and not thought any thing different. Then the dealer would have still made a profit and had a happy customer.

Who knows maybe some dealers, their service managers or service personnel will read this and realize that they don't have to be so greedy.

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Go to a place where WYNN'S transmission flushes take place. Do a GOOGLE search of Wynn's. Wynn's helped my 88 Cutlass tranny last until I got rid of it. I bought the car at 55K and got rid of it at 165K. Wynn's is about 100.00 to 125.00.

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I don't like the idea of the flush. I have always used "drop and drain," but do it every 20,000 to 25,000 miles, regardless of how hard the driving has been. With that kind of frequency, I thus far have 256,000 miles on the original trans. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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I did the search for Wynn's transmission and the locate a distributor but it is a chemical company. I will contact them to see if they only sell the products or if they also do the flush. I am not so sure I trust the flush over the drain and refill which also replaces the filter. Either way they should be able to shed some light on it and maybe refer me a place to go.

The dealer prices are just too high.

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