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Well-Known Member
June 19, 2002
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City, State
Seaford, DE
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT
I just got my 98 XLT back from Ford today and they hand me a list of stuff that needs to be done to my car. It has 88,000 on it (mostly by first owner). They tell me that the car is in great shape been taken care of very well but i need to have 3 things done. Transmission service- $144.00 Cooling system-$59.99 Air Filter,fuel filter and inj. flush- $99.00. Are they trying to take my money or is it time? I know that these system have never been worked on before because i have maintence records from when it had 6 miles on it till now. I like this car alot and want it to last. what do you all think?

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Take it to an smaller/independant trusted mechanic that maybe some of your friends will be MUCH cheaper.

Dealers Rip

Dealers often charge double what an independent shop would charge. Here is my suggestion. Only have ford do the transmission service if they will replace ALL the fluid in the system including the torque converter. If they are just going to drop the pan and change the filter then you can have anybody else do that for under $100. I've talked about changing all of the transmission fluid before if you search for one of my older posts. If you are not handy you will have to take it somewhere because in reality you do need to have the tranny serviced every 30K or so as preventative maintenance. It can get messy if you try to do it yourself and very expensive if you have to replace the transmission. The radiator service you should do yourself. Get a length of rubber hose that is about 3/8" diameter and about 1.5ft long. You can put the hose on the explorer drain plug, open the stop **** and drain out 95% of your old fluid. Then fill the system with 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water. Total cost will be under $10. Put the old fluid in clear containers and label antifreeze, toxic. Many areas have places you can drop off antifreeze for free or pay a shop a couple of dollars to dispose of it. It is still much cheaper than $60. Change the air filter yourself for $5 and forget about the fuel injector and filter flush unless you are having problems. I have a Ranger at 130K and Explorer at 110K with orginal fuel filters which I will eventually change. If you want to buy a bottle of fuel injection cleaner and put it in the tank next fill up it isn't going to hurt but don't expect any major boost in power. Often a long road trip will do a better job of cleaning varnish from the fuel system. rc

P.S. If you plan to do any work yourself, buy a Haynes manual for your vehicle at Autozone. For $15 it will pay for itself the first time you use it. rc

Today i took it to an independant garage and they pritty much cut each price in half. The guy told me that on the transmission he would drain it, flush it, replace screen and the filter and add new fluid. What will ford do that he won't to the transmission, maybe i can get him to do it. i need some answers it goes in tomorrow. thanks ps what is the torque converter??>>>

After you have your tranny flushed and filled check the fluid before you leave I had two seperate shops (one a dealership) go by what the books call for in fluid amount and averfilled my tranny significantly. Evidently they didn't check the level when they where done and I got home to find out I was leaking tranny fluid becuase it was too full.

you can do the air filter and fuel filters yourself without much work. don't mess with the injector flush, they're just trying to flush money outta your wallet. if you wanna clean your fuel system head over to an auto parts store and get two bottles of Chevron's Techron fuel additive and run that through with a full tank of premium gas. fuel filter is relatively cheap i'd get that from ford and air filter can range from 10 bucks at auto part store to 150 for a complete filter charger kit from K&N.

you know i was about to change the stock fuel filter in my '93...cuz i figured it was about time w/110,000 miles...but i looked in my haynes manual and it recommended NOT to change the fuel filter unless it becomes clogged and starts to give you if it's not acting up i wouldnt mess with it...


preventative maintenance is the key, and with 110,000 miles imagine the number of gallons that have passed through that filter, and all the junk that has accumulated in there, i would replace it

high mileage maint

My '92 has 186 on it, and I've had it since 35k. I don't understand the Haynes tip about not changing the fuel filter. Think about it. Filters are there to prevent some catastrophic (expensive) damage to the part it is protecting. Oil filter - don't change it and you're cantaminating the new oil just put in, causing premature bearing wear and lack of cooling. Fuel filter - don't change it and you'll eventually get dirt into the injectors.....ever price out new injectors or cleaning? Air filter - The dirtier it gets, the more restriction to the air flow, causing poor mileage (most X's don't get good mileage anyway) and poor performance. By the way, when you change antifreeze, its a good idea to back flush the system. It takes a little more time, but it loosens and removes the built up scale keeping the radiator fins and internal engine areas clean and better able to remove heat. Adding a can of cooling system flush also helps. I've done this every other year with all my vehicles, and have had no problems. Prestone has a nice little cooling system flush kit. It includes a backflush T and all the other stuff needed to do the job. No big cost. Buy and install it once, and its good for the life of the car. Preventive Maintenance - the key to long vehicle life. Guess driving the "Big Red Truck" at my job helped with my vehicle maintenance program. You don't need to spend alot of money, or take it to a dealer for this work. Just get the main systems serviced and you'll have less expensive problems down the road.