Mr. Lubebroken transmission


Contrary to advice from friends and the fact that I was going to be pushed timewise to do this myself, which I normally do, in May of 2009 I went to get an engine oil change from Mr. Lube for my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Whilst I was there I saw that they offered transmission oil change. Since I wanted to do this soon myself, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone. The spotty kid told me that they could do it but it would take 30 mins. He asked when was the last time I'd had it done and I said I didn't know because I had only had the car a year. No problem, until they started the work.

Initially they were unable to get to attach one of the hoses from the transmission flushing machine to my transmission because they had the incorrect plug. Fluid went everywhere. Once that plug had been secured the other was inserted, (the transmission flusher circulates by pushing the old fluid out and the new in) and the machine turned on. As it turned out the outlet hose was not attached properly so no circulation occured, which over pressured the transmission and as I discovered later, broke the inspection cover seal allowing the fluid to leak out. After three tries at getting it right the flush was finally completed.

Upon parking the Jeep, I noticed oil was leaking from the transmission area and thought nothing of it as it was a messy affair and there would be residual oil dripping off. Next morning this was not the case. There was a pool of transmission fluid under the car. I took the vehicle back and complained. The spineless manager didn't even confront me and got in his car and drove away leaving one of his staff to deal with the project...

I went into the pit to see what was going. When the vehicle was turned on fluid started dripping from the inspection plate. The employees, because they are not trained mechanics, didn't know what was going on and recommended that I go to a garage they use (why do they use it!). Mistake on my part. I should have gone to an independent garage.

Upon driving there, only a few kms up the road, my transmission was failing badly so much so that 30 km/h was the maximum I could drive without feeling the transmission was going to drop out. They inpected the transmission and told me that the inspection plate seal had gone due to it being over-presssured and is why the fluid was draining out (outlet hose coming off and no flow through during "flush"). Also it was possible, due to flushin, that metal particles from wear and tear went back into it. (There is a magnet on the pan base to collect these particles so they don't go back into the transmission; every automatic car has one.) I asked if they would put that in writing. Of course the answer was no. I got the feeling they were protecting Mr. Lube for future business, after all they were recommened by Mr. Lube. So, due to the fluid coming out, the transmission failed.

$3000 later I decided to sue Rycor Holdings who own the licence for that particular Mr. Lube store. During my research I ask Jeep Chrysler what should have happened. I told them I had 150K on the clock and I didn't know when the fluid had been changed in the past. They said they should have dropped the transmission pan and done an inspection and to remove all metal particles that are attached to the magnet in the pan so they don't go back into the transmission, then flushed it if there were no signs of wear and tear. They said Mr. Lube should not have even attempted to do a change knowing the Jeep was old and that there was no previous history. Several other garages said the same. Non would commit in writing so I lost the court case due to lack of evidence. I wished I told the court to demand to see the video of the event that Rycor Holdings said they had. Another mistake.

I urge everyone who has had problems like these, from any garage, to write them down on the web, just like travellers have one on Tripadvisor. Together we can change and raise standards in garages.


  • N
      Mar 05, 2011


    I forgot to mention that I was asked to start the engine three times during the flush which, according to the garages later questioned, probably helped embed some more metal particles.

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  • V
      May 27, 2011

    I was at Mr lube had my rad plushed, I owned a 2002 nissan maximum that I keep well maintain with no problems. I travel back and forth from vancouver bc and merritt on regular bases. Never over heat once and the tempeture never change year round. I pull in the morning before our trip home to top up the engine oil and check the tran fluid when i was told i need to flush the rad. thinking to myself 2000. km i didnt but again not a machinic and agree, it took no more then 10 minute and they sent me on my way. i start to notice problem the next city but i also got my enjector clean so i figure that i why my rev was acting silly i aslo notice the odur of rad fluid but then think i notice the man spill some one my egine. keep travelling and by the time we almost made the next city my car oil and other lights came i turn off the highway and it just diead, was towed to a mr.lube machenic shop and still waitting. I know its not my fault, i have all my reciept of work i done to my car and keep it well maintain, at the shop they told me the egine is gone and if it over heated, by that point i was so upset and started crying, i need help I can not offord an engine if they denied the claim its there fault. what should i do, i am a single mother of 9 twins and 9 months baby. i am on a waiting list for heart operation . please someone give me advise.

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  • O
      May 27, 2011

    And you waited 2 years to post about it why?

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  • B
      Feb 19, 2013

    Ok, I must admit, reading the above complaints are not encouraging!
    I just lost my engine as of yesterday, my mechanic has said to me this morning that the whole engine block has to be changed!
    My car has only 121, 000km on it and my driving is very minimal. I do my maintenance including oil change regularly with 100% Castrol Synthetic oil, I drive a Bmer. Upon my last oil change at the Mr Lube which was done at 116, 000KM, as per their own recommendation every 15, 000km, I however do it every 8, 000 km, so I am not due until 124, 000km.
    My mechanic however, after a thorough investigation of all possibilities for an engine failure and looking at the sludge and the mess, tells me that they could have not put synthetic oil in your car perhaps the very last time that I was there! It is very possible that a new trainee must have made the error of pouring in the regular motor oil from their pump as opposed to the Castrol Edge containers that Mr. Lube sells.
    I have requested the video film of that day and still waiting!
    Pls advise me as to my chances of getting them to accept their error and make them liable for this costly mistake!
    Much appreciated.

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  • N
      Feb 19, 2013

    Which branch was it? In Edmonton? If it was the same place I went to I will gladly pass to you proof that it was not the first time they screwed up.
    Sue them. It will cost you two to three hundred dollars to get the paperwork from your local court; the fee includes filing the complaint. It will take about three months to get a court date.
    Make absolutely sure you document every bit of contact you had with them - time, day, who you spoke with.
    And yes, get the footage. Make sure it is your car in the footage with the people that you saw working on it. It is absolute proof what they did. And insist that you get it. They will most likely pull a sly one if they see that it was their fault and then say they lost the video.
    Also, get your mechanic to put it in writing that they screwed up. You need proof that the engine failed.
    Another tip - buy yourself a voice recorder with a mini-mic which can be concealed under your lapel or similar. That will scare the ### out of them if this goes to court and they hear themselves ### in front of a judge.
    Good luck.

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  • C
      Feb 20, 2013

    Thank you for your advice Narked!
    This is a location here in the GTA, i have been going there for the past three years for both cars. their own records indicates this.
    How do I persist about the video if they lie that they dont have it?
    Do I need a lawyer and spend money? How would I proceed? which court?
    This might take a while, correct?
    Many thanks again

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  • D
      Mar 29, 2017

    *** HIGHLY DO NOT RECOMMEND MR LUBE (especially the one on Stony Plain Rd, Edmonton). PLEASE look at all other reviews on Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google etc. One CBC Article states they actually ruined and seized a customers motor and did not compensate him So many people have had extremely poor service including myself and family. We took two of our vehicles to the location in March 2017 and they actually put the wrong oil in one of our vehicles (we asked for full synthetic); and then they did not put on the cooling skid plate assembly onto our other new 2017 vehicle on properly which ended up dragging across the Anthony Henday Highway and eventually falling off! Upon speaking with the general manager Brian he offered less than substandard service and made it sound that these types of mistakes happen often at their locations, he said the owner Kyle was going to call but never did. One can tell the problems start from the top and trickle down. If you value your vehicle you may want to strongly consider looking elsewhere.

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