14 May 2015

Don't Touch That!

Neighbor calls...
"Does your new car have a dipstick to check your automatic transmission fluid?"
"Sure" I answered.
I was wrong.

He had taken his new car in to have its initial checkup performed. Before he left the dealership he read the paperwork to see what work they had done.

"Check transmission fluid" and "Check power steering fluid" were not checked on the checklist.
"Why didn't you check those?" he asked.
Their answer surprised him...
"The steering is electric. There is no fluid. There is no way to check the transmission fluid. When the transmission warning light comes on, come back and we'll do the necessary maintenance."

I opened the hood to our new Taurus. Sure enough, the only dipstick I see is to check the engine oil.
The owner's manual reinforces what his dealer told him...
Got a problem with the car?

Take it back to the dealer for service.

How things have changed, huh?


Ed Bonderenka said...

I don't know if that's good or bad.
Thinking Taurus again since I'm almost done with my '99 and I've loved it.

Greybeard said...

Drive one Ed.
The only thing I REALLY don't like about ours is the lack of view out the rear window...
Quietest car I've ever driven.

cary said...

Tough to get used to not checking maintenance items. Things that change don't always improve.

Anonymous said...

I was also surprised when I purchased our first with this "shortcoming". My latest has no engine dipstick! That is just wrong.
Motor On :-)

Old NFO said...

It's getting so there is NO way to even check your car... EVERYTHING will be done by the dealer (at a significant charge)...

Unfortunately Anonymous said...

It gets worse. In some cases, it is impossible to get the diagnostic tools for cars outside their own dealerships.


I can't find a reference now, but one manufacturer argued at one point that even if you bought the car, you were only leasing the software in the car from the manufacturer. Therefore, any attempt to reverse engineer, decode, or interpret the output of the car computer was considered hacking.

There was an old joke in Soviet Russia. What is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist?

The pessimist says "Things can't get any worse."

The optimist says "Oh yes, they can!"