On three occasions between 2005 to 2008, I took my vehicle to Dana's Transmissions for normal transmission servicing. On the last visit, they damaged the transmission and did not tell me about it until I was ready to leave, claiming the damage was there when I arrived at the shop. The problem is there was no leak prior to arriving that day, and no such notice of such damage and leak until after the service was performed. Further, they simply informed me of the leak and damage, but did not offer to give an estimate for repair. Very odd. Dana's was the only shop to touch the transmission since my last visit to them. Here is a summary of my visits with them during this period:
7/27/2006 mileage 130, 004
8/15/2007 mileage 171, 781
12/10/2008 mileage 211, 715
For an automatic transmission, most manufacturers recommend maintaining fluid every 30, 000 miles. A typical automatic fluid service interval ranges from 60, 000 to 100, 000 miles. The service interval recommended is always to be considered as the time when you need to change the automatic transmission fluid. If you decide to change it sooner it would do no harm to the system. I chose to service it more often because I bought my vehicle new and intended on keeping it through 300, 000 miles.
Concerned, I wanted to get my transmission checked out by an ASE-certified mechanic after leaving Dana's in 2008. They wrote an opinion that the damage to the transmission was due to overstressing the drain plug, thereby cracking the transmission case, which then leaked tranny fluid. They also noted the installation of "JB Weld" around the plug and case, which appeared to have been installed that day. This material acts to temporarily plug holes and cracks in metal. It was also their opinion that this damage could not have been sustained by driving over an object or by an object striking the plug or case in that location. In their opinion, it could have only been sustained by overstressing the drain plug when they screwed it back in following the tranny fluid drain-and-fill service.
Still at the mechanic's shop, the tranny was low on fluid, only a few hours after leaving Dana's, and the "JB Weld" was cracked. The choice was offered to replace the transmission case (estimate $3, 400 inclusive) or put more "JB Weld" over the temporary "JB Weld" patch already in place, until I could bring the car back for the replacement case.
I took this opinion to the owner and manager of Dana's Transmissions, Thom Sheridan and Mike Ridings. They did not want to hear about the technical details of the ASE mechanic's letter. They both agreed to simply refuse responsibility and shun my claim to get needed repairs paid by them.
I took the car to a dealer to see what trade-in value there was toward a new car. Dealers inspect trade-ins and, when they found the transmission damage, told me they could not offer any trade-in value because internal damage was possible to the transmission due to the history of leaking tranny fluid. Yes, I know dealers like to lower trade-in values, but the point is that Dana's Transmission's mistakes are causing me even more expense and trouble.