History repeats itself

Mr. Explorer has of late been leaving larger-than-usual oil spots on the driveway; this morning, I dropped him off at Midwest Automotive for an oil change & some leak-diagnosis.

The mechanic just called. “You need a new transmission pan gasket,” he said. “That’s about $239.”


In June of 2008, the (now-defunct, missed-by-nobody) Ford of Champaign wanted to replace the transmission pan gasket, only $250. I didn’t trust them, so I declined the repair. As it turned out, they were right, and two months later Norris Tire & Auto replaced the gasket (for only $135).

My three-year-old transmission pan gasket has already failed? This seems unreasonable. Did Norris do a bad job? Did they use cheap parts? If I’d paid Ford of Champaign $250, back in 2008, would their gasket have lasted longer?

If I’d gone to Norris today, instead of Midwest, would they have replaced the gasket for free? (Probably not, three years after the original repair.)