Money Saving Tips

Transmission Secrets Revealed!

Any one of these could save you hundreds—or even thousands—of your hard earned dollars!

  • If you think you have a transmission problem…. don’t assume you need a whole transmission. Transmissions can be fixed!
  • Do not shop for a transmission on the phone by looking for the cheapest price without getting a professional diagnosis first. Unscrupulous dealers will take advantage of this type of “transmission shopping” and will be happy to charge you for a transmission you didn’t need. I’ve seen this happen time and time again. The cheapest price shop puts in a transmission like you asked them to (because they had the cheapest price on the phone) but afterward, the problem with the car is the same. The reason? The problem wasn’t the transmission at all!

So, use your telephone not to find the cheapest price for a whole transmission, but to find a specialist that will provide a proper diagnosis at a reasonable price.

Here are some of the things that can make it seem like you have a serious transmission problem.

  • Seized fan clutch
  • Clogged catalytic converter
  • Plugged muffler
  • Collapsed exhaust pipe
  • Clogged air filter
  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Weak fuel pump
  • Bad spark plugs and or spark plug wires
  • Low battery voltage (mostly on Chrysler vehicles)
  • Wiring problems
  • Weak or worn out computer sensors

A few other “points to ponder”

DO NOT run a donut spare tire on either drive wheel (non drive wheels is ok) of your vehicle for more than 10 city km and not at all at highway speeds. This can seriously damage a transmission differential and will cost plenty to fix.

If you have an “all wheel drive or four wheel drive” vehicle, tire replacements MUST be done in sets of 4. You should not replace only the fronts or the rears, you MUST do all 4 tires at the same time otherwise you could do serious damage to your transfer case and this can be very expensive to fix.

Low transmission fluid is the cause of many transmission malfunctions. Ignoring transmission leaks is done at your own peril! Most leaks can be fixed inexpensively, but if you continue to drive your car very low on fluid, you will destroy your transmission, just like you would your engine if you ran it out of engine oil.

If you see any fluids leaking under your vehicle or if you think you might have a transmission problem check all your fluid levels immediately.

If after a professional diagnosis you are told that you need major transmission repairs these are some things to remember.

Major transmission rebuilding, done properly, is expensive. There are no exceptions. However, rebuilding your old transmission is usually your best value. Unfortunately, no one can tell you exactly how much this will cost until it is removed from your car and inspected internally. If they give you an exact price to rebuild your old transmission before it is dismantled and inspected….be wary. Nobody can see through the metal casing to see what parts are required. However, a minimum and a maximum repair price can be submitted to you before the internal inspection, but only after the proper diagnostics are performed.

The design of late model vehicles makes it very difficult to even access the transmission let alone repair it, so a lot of time (labour) is involved.

Transmissions are very, very sophisticated and have hundreds of parts. Quality parts can be expensive but always buy quality and you will be rewarded by having a comprehensive warranty if anything goes wrong.

The only thing worse than having a transmission repaired is having to pay for another repair a few months later because you bought poor quality the first time.

Remember, the least you can afford another car …. the more you need a quality transmission with a comprehensive warranty.

  • Shopping for a transmission company can be frustrating. Ask your friends or your garageman who they use. Referrals are always best. Ask around to see if anyone you know has had a transmission fixed. Were they happy with that company? When you have settled on a particular company to deal with…
  • Ask them about the experience of their technicians, are the parts they use made offshore (these can be of very poor quality)
  • Ask them how they determine the prices they charge?
  • What is the warranty, is the warranty pro-rated, is there a deductible, does it cover all parts and labour charges, is there warranty coverage if you are out of town?
  • Ask if they have a customer comments book.
  • Ask lot’s of questions and look for any inconsistencies.
  • If you seem to be a bother to them .. go somewhere else.
  • If they won’t let you in the back shop then definitely go somewhere else.
  • Insist on a detailed repair order invoice clearly showing the list of parts that were required. Were the parts new, rebuilt or used. Ask to see your old parts.
  • Ask for a detailed warranty card explaining the terms and conditions of your warranty.

I hope this inside information has been helpful for you. If, after reading this, you have any further questions please call Bob at (204) 475-5590

Bob Bertrand
Owner & Operator

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