When your transmission is damaged, you have no choice but to go to a professional to have it repaired. With such a vital part of your vehicle’s engine, you want to take extra care in who you allow to tear into it. Before you let a mechanic work on your transmission, make sure you as some important questions first.
“What Experience Do You Have Fixing Transmissions?”
This question is a big deal and should be asked before any repair work is done on your vehicle. An inexperienced technician who had only fixed a few transmissions might still be green enough to make a costly mistake. If repaired or handled incorrectly, your transmission can be damaged more than it already was and can lead to further problems for your engine.
If your regular mechanic doesn’t specialize or have experience in transmission repair, ask for a recommendation. Before taking it in, check out the shop to see if there are any complaints filed against the company or the employees. Check to see if they are also a member of the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) and if they are affiliated with the Automotive Service Association (ASA). You can also ask about any other credentials the technician has.
“How Much Is This Going To Cost Me?”
Transmissions are an expensive component of your car’s engine, and the cost can vary from mechanic to mechanic. The reason for the variation usually deals with what the shop charges for labor, typically per hour. However, the more complicated your transmission is, the more work there will be. Due to their complexity, automatic transmissions require more work than manual ones, and some transmissions have computerized technology or have front wheel drive.
Parts for older vehicles can be hard to find, and can be more expensive than their newer counterparts. Some manufacturers stop making replacement parts as early as five years after the production of a specific make and model stops, so finding quality replacement parts can be incredibly difficult. Likewise, replacement parts for imported or luxury vehicles are also going to cost more and can come with a longer wait time for part delivery. The price can also be drastically higher if the damage is extensive, as this could mean more work than normal.
“What Are My Options?”
Depending on the severity of your transmission’s damage, you might need to have it replaced or rebuilt instead of simply repaired. A basic transmission repair might require some small (but vital) components, like the clutch, to be replaced. However, you can’t fix everything. Replacing a transmission is probably the most expensive option, with remanufactured transmissions costing up to $3500. You can sometimes cut the cost by getting a used or salvaged transmission, but depending on the make and model of your vehicle, this might not be a very feasible option. A rebuilt transmission requires your current transmission be dismantled and any usable parts are salvaged. The functioning parts are then combined with new parts and the transmission is reassembled according to factory specifications. It’s a cheaper option, but there’s a lot of room for error in rebuilding a transmission.