There have been many additions in the market of transmission maintenance companies. Good competition is always a driving force, but when it comes to deceiving the customer (whether it is because of the stupidity or profit), it is not acceptable. There are certainly many trustworthy companies in Estonia, but there are also some who might be worthy of staying away. Here are some suggestions on how to distinguish grains from the husks.
What to ask for a dynamic oil change company?
- First of all, find out if the company knows EXACTLY what transmission type and brand is used on your car. Perhaps the exact brand is not produced in the price offer, but it is critical for the correct selection of spare parts and especially for the correct selection of ATF (automatic transmission oil). So, ask the box number or code! It is certainly not enough to say that it is a continuously variable transmission of 5-speed BMW or Nissan. A reliable answer would be BMW 5HP19 or Nissan JF011E or RE0F10A. Knowing the exact code adds credibility that the other party knows what it is doing.
- Ask what the service exactly contains – whether the price includes spare parts (filter, gasket, ATF), oil change, if the transmission training, or adaptation is necessary. If you are given a general answer in the style of “service costs 250 €”, we recommend that you’d be careful. The total price of the service should be aggregated from individual parts and correctly stated in the offer. Ask if there is any extra work that MAY need to be done (e.g. some companies have a transmission in a separate price list).
- Does the price include VAT or not? Especially those companies who only love to sell for cash leave a gray area when the moment of payment for the work comes when the customer is told a 20% extra price. Without an invoice/check, it is very difficult for you later to demand that the work be repaired within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act. And at all, why should the underground economy be supported?
- Find out what type and brand of ATF transmission is used. Is it a licensed oil or a replacement product? In some cases, the replacement oil is also a good choice, but the company should definitely be able to justify it (e.g. replacement of oil with newer oil, etc.). There are a huge number of different requirements and certifications, and even dealers of car parts are often unable to operate in this world, not to mention ordinary service. The reason is not the malevolence of these companies, but the lack of awareness – they use the universal tables of the oil companies, and very often it is stated that they contain both illogical, mysterious lies, and data manipulation. A safer choice when buying an oil is to do it at a car dealership, but in that case, you pay 3-5 times more for the oil than would be fair.
- Find out how long the service will take and whether it is a waiting job. The 3-4-hour service suggests that work is very rarely done and some procedures may be somewhat sluggish. A long time does not mean better service, but rather a time-consuming visit.
- Ask if the vehicle will be tested before the oil change to ensure that the transmission is in good condition. Do not confuse reading error codes with proper diagnostics (Read more here: Why the oil change is preceded by control).
- Is the detergent used in the maintenance of the transmission or not? We are sorry and acknowledge that we have also been the victim of advertising. After the 500th oil change of vehicle’s, we found that the biggest benefit of using a detergent is direct income to the detergent seller. So, since 2012, we haven’t used a detergent because we just aren’t convinced if it works at all. In addition, it is not even possible to get it 100% out from the transmission theoretically.