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Why do these quick lube places only have Dexron and Mercon?

Old 10-11-2007, 02:20 PM
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Default Why do these quick lube places only have Dexron and Mercon?

My cousin is coming home for the weekend and has finally decided to get his transmission fluid flushed on his 03 Grand Cherokee. I asked him where he was planning on taking it and he named a local quick lube type place (I'm not going to mention names out of respect for the owners). This makes me cringe to begin with as transmission service needs to be done with more care and effort than an oil change. I decided today to quiz them to make sure they know what they are doing and make sure they have the correct supplies as it has been my experience that places like this don't and surely enough when I asked them which transmission fluid they would flush his Grand Cherokee with they answer "Mercon." I asked them if they had any other transmission fluid and they said they had nothing other than Dexron and Mercon.

For those of you who haven't had Chrysler products or don't know about these transmission fluids, current Chrysler products are only to use ATF+4 as that is their fluid, as Dexron is GM's and Mercon is Ford's. From what I have read there is a slight difference between Dexron and Mercon (additive difference), which probably explains how easy it was for the two to build a six-speed auto together, but there is a huge difference between ATF+4 and those two fluids. Dexron and Mercon can potentially destroy a Chrysler transmission.

I guess the point I'm getting at is every fast lube type place I have been to only have Dexron and Mercon, but never ATF+4. When I observe this factor, it explains to me why Chrysler's transmission reputation hasn't been the best. The problem is too many people don't know their cars good enough to know this and they will unknowingly take their Chrysler products to the fast lube place and drown the transmission with the wrong fluid. In my opinion, these shops should be responsible enough to carry Chrysler's fluid or at least have the decency to inform their customers that they don't have the right fluid so then the customer doesn't have to shell out $2000-3000 when it is completely unnecessary. I understand that it could be difficult to carry every single type of fluid for all the different brands on the market, but I mean really, Chrysler for the longest time was the third biggest seller and there are surely enough Chrysler products that are brought to them to justify caring the fluid (or at least keeping a case or two of bottles for when the customers come in for service).

Any thoughts on this?
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