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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I took my 2016 Challenger Scat Pack Shaker with 19k miles in for an oil change. My service tech told me the rear differential fluid change was recommended at 16k. I was suspicious, but I okayed it like an idiot. Then I poked around on the net and quickly became convinced that I was scammed. Twenty minutes or so after dropping it off, I called to have it cancelled. After at least 10 minutes on hold, I finally talked to the service guy (or, more likely, the mechanic) and he said it was already done. I told him I thought I was scammed. What do you guys think?
 

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Not trying to be mean.......read your owners manual some time......good info.
For what it's worth........I am changing my rear diff oil at 5000 miles, just because to me the oil that is in it is breaking in the gear set and all the other parts.
The oil is very expensive for my 2016 HELLCAT but I will feel better and any metallic particles will be drain [not all but most].
I also don't wait past 3000 miles to change my engine oil either, I did it at 1000 and 4000 miles.
That's just me.................
 

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If the tech said the fluid change was recommended and this is not in the owners manual then it was the tech's recommendation which if not clearly stated as such could be I guess considered some kind of scam. Understand I don't mind a tech suggesting an "early" service as long as he tells me it is his recommendation and is willing to spend a few minutes giving me some background. One of the reasons I use a dealership is the techs see lots of cars and can build up a knowledge base of what might be wise preventative maintenance measures. I'm always willing to listen and consideration any tech's recommendation.



Based on my 2nd hand knowledge I don't believe a diff fluid change is called for at 19K miles.


(Used to be, at least for some cars. Back in 2001 I bought a new Camaro Z28 for which no early diff fluid change was called for earlier model years Chevy called for a diff fluid change early. I seem to recall the number being 18K miles. And I had the diff fluid changed in my Z28 at around that mileage.)


Had you asked me before you took the car in I would have advised you to have the diff fluid changed. Years and years ago way before 2001 my auto tech buddies advised me an early diff fluid (and transmission fluid) change was a good idea. I intend to have the diff fluid changed in my 2018 Hellcat at around 10K to 15K miles.
 

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Looking at the 2016 Scat Pack owner's manual the first rear axle fluid change is called for at 48,000 miles and then only if used for police, taxi, fleet or frequent trailer towing. Absent of these, doesn't look like any change of fluid is recommended at all.

Now many do an early change but many also have gotten a free service after complaining about a noise, so you probably did get taken a little.

Call the owner or general manager and ask him to show you where in the maintenance schedule for your vehicle such a procedure is required, he might throw you a bone on something else.

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Before returning to the dealership, I strongly expressed my displeasure and let them know that, if they charged me for the rear differential fluid change, I would be sharing what happened with the world for free, and I proceeded to list what sectors would be included in this info share. I also told them that this "recommended" change wasn't in the manual and it was nowhere online. They said it was "dealer recommended." I said, yeah, some guy I found online was told it was "recommended" at 35K for his Challenger, and he couldn't find a source for that either. When I got to the dealership, I wanted them to show me the document containing this "recommendation."

[And, yeah, I shouldn't have fallen for it. They tried to sell me tires on my last visit, and I said, "No thanks" and checked the treadwear myself. I did need new tires, but it was not as urgent as portrayed.]

When I got to the dealer, nothing was said. They just told me that I owed them X, which was the cost of the oil change minus 10%, leaving unspoken the fact that they were not charging me for the rear differential fluid change.
 

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How did the diff oil look? I changed mine at around 25,000 km (Which would be around 15,000 miles) and it had noticeable break-in wear particles. Not horrible, but it looked a little too gray and I'm glad I changed it. I know the owners manual says you don't have to change it until 48,000 miles/80,000 km, but that does seem excessive in my personal opinion. Especially on the original gear oil. Not to mention a lot of us like to drive our cars hard. The maintenance schedule does also say to inspect rear axle fluid (Which would mean change if it looks like it needs it) at 18,000 miles, which you're close to.
 

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I dumped mine at a 1000, it looked like pearl soup, I like to do a few early changes to get the wear metals out, plus changing it on these is damn 10 min job since there is a drain and fill plug, I forget exact amount but under 2 qts, I refilled with Redline 75w-90 which has the LS additive, 1 beer job on the beer scale 1-10.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did not see the fluid. The service people did not see the fluid until they changed it. The suggestion for change was done without inspection.

I left something out of the story.

The service advisor told me that when they were taking my car to the service bay (after I stupidly approved the rear differential oil change), they heard a noise coming from the rear of my car. They checked and there were three bolts missing from my drive train. They mentioned that I had my transmission replaced (a month and a half after I bought the car), and that they would have to charge me for a repair if they performed it because it was a "workmanship issue" with the other dealership.

When did they inform me of this problem?

Let's back up. I called the dealership about 15 minutes after I dropped of my car and told them I wanted them to not do the rear differential fluid change, because I had done some research, I couldn't find anything suggesting it was necessary or "recommended" by Chrysler, and I felt like I was being scammed. I was put on hold for 10 minutes or so. I was put on hold for at least 10 minutes before I was finally connected with the service department. The person there (the mechanic?) informed me that the rear differential fluid change had already been performed, and I proceeded to tell him I thought I was scammed and, if they did charge me for that portion of my service, I'd share my displeasure. I didn't raise my voice, but I certainly wasn't warm and fuzzy.

An hour or so later, my service advisor called me to tell me my car was ready, and I repeated my complaint. The line went dead. A few minutes later, he called me back and informed me of the issue with the missing bolts on the drive train.

Flash forward to my return to the dealership. He tells me what I owe them. They don't say that they're not charging me for the rear differential fluid change, but they're clearly not. I say tell them to fix the bolts on my drive train. I was going to ask them if it was safe to drive with three missing bolts, then wait for them to tell me I needed to take it to the other dealership if I wanted this problem fixed free of charge. But, by this point, I'm a bit relieved, but still very tense and I just want to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

When they're finally done, they say they only have to charge me for one bolt (I'm thinking they shouldn't be charging me for any bolt), because the guys in the shop found two bolts they already had. I asked them how many bolts the drive train uses. They say six. I'm thinking, I had three of the six bolts missing? Really? If it was making noise, it wasn't that much. But, once again, I just want to get the hell out of there. So I do.

But now, a few hours later, I'm thinking the missing bolts on the drive train was an act of service department retribution -- like maybe I had one bolt missing and the made it three.

How do you think a drive train would be performing with three missing bolts? Do you think I was being punished for standing up to the scam?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I dumped mine at a 1000, it looked like pearl soup, I like to do a few early changes to get the wear metals out, plus changing it on these is damn 10 min job since there is a drain and fill plug, I forget exact amount but under 2 qts, I refilled with Redline 75w-90 which has the LS additive, 1 beer job on the beer scale 1-10.
Yeah, and they were going to charge me something like $190. And shame on me for approving it. I blame my wife for rushing me to get to our swim team registration for one of my daughters. :)

It sounds like a much easier job than the oil change on my car, a Shaker with an air scoop to remove to do the service.
 

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You do realize the service adviser is there to sell products and services. They are part salesmen and some get a commission on sales.
 

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I guess "all's well that ends well." You got a differential fluid change for no charge and you learned a valuable lesson about the true motives of some service advisors.

I'd find a different dealership for warranty work. For everything else .... the knowledge on this and other forums and the "tutorials" on You Tube make it possible for you to do just about everything else yourself.
 

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Assuming they actually changed the rear end fluid that fast...

A Guy
 

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Our diffs are prone to pre-mature noise and theres actually a TSB out there for the fluid change. Maybe they just wanted to sweep it under the rug while they had the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You do realize the service adviser is there to sell products and services. They are part salesmen and some get a commission on sales.
Of course. That explains misrepresentation and other bad behavior, but it doesn't excuse it.
 

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I guess "all's well that ends well." You got a differential fluid change for no charge and you learned a valuable lesson about the true motives of some service advisors.

I'd find a different dealership for warranty work. For everything else .... the knowledge on this and other forums and the "tutorials" on You Tube make it possible for you to do just about everything else yourself.

Oh, yeah. Never going back there again.
 

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"But now, a few hours later, I'm thinking the missing bolts on the drive train was an act of service department retribution -- like maybe I had one bolt missing and the made it three.

How do you think a drive train would be performing with three missing bolts? Do you think I was being punished for standing up to the scam"


Unlikely the current dealer removed the bolts as any form of retribution/revenge. More than likely during the previous repair the bolts were left out or more likely just not tightened properly.


This happens.


'course, you just know I got a story... Way back in 2002 with around 25K miles on my new Boxster I had the car in under warranty for a new rear main seal. Got the car back and the leak was gone. Now skip ahead maybe 10 years. Doing my own oil/filter service and I spot some bolts missing from the stiffener panel in the rear of the car. I don't recall how many missing but a few. There were maybe 12 or 14 bolts in total. I doubt the dealer tech just forgot to put them in more than likely he forgot to tighten a few. An interruption during this task I suspect.


The story isn't over with yet. More recently the CV boots needed to be replaced. Had the car in -- at a different dealer -- and the tech told me he had a heck of a time getting the bolts out of the differential half shaft flanges. The bolt tool bit holes were stripped. Looks like whoever was at the car before -- when the rear main seal was being replaced (which is a tranny out job which requires the half shafts be unbolted from the transmission) -- the tech used the wrong tool bit and while the bolts were tight -- at least none were loose and none fell out -- they were all ruined.


Fortunately the tech managed to get all these out and put in new bolts.


Two examples that "prove" the rule never attribute to malice (or retribution/revenge) what can be explained by incompetence."
 

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I Had the Rear Diff Noise

Our diffs are prone to pre-mature noise and theres actually a TSB out there for the fluid change. Maybe they just wanted to sweep it under the rug while they had the car.
I actually had the premature noise at about 25k miles. Dealer was honest. Said there was a TSB, changed the diff oil under warranty. Noise was gone.
 

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Next, be sure to have your muffler bearings checked at 24K miles and it's a good time to replace the differential girdle springs at the same time, since you have to take them out to get to the muffler bearings.
 
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