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Affordable Payments at the Transmission Shop

Posted by Joe Gargiulo | Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

transmission shopJamie Jones is driving her twin teens to soccer practice and is alarmed when her 10-year-old Range Rover becomes powerless on the freeway. The engine is roaring, but the SUV feels like it is in neutral for periods lasting two or three seconds. As she will find out soon enough, the problem is a worn automatic transmission that slips between gears. Jamie and her family live in an affluent zip code near Houston, so having the high-end SUV repaired is only a minor inconvenience.

But what if the family in question drives a less expensive vehicle in a more modest neighborhood? The answer is that most people will go to their local transmission shop for a diagnostic and repair estimate.

Transmission Repair Cost Guide is an excellent resource for learning about transmission problems — from symptoms and costs, to repair options and warranties — under the Complete Transmission Repair Cost Guide. It’s also a place where consumers can locate a nearby transmission shop for a free estimate.

“There is no engine component more complex and essential than a car’s transmission,” states the site. “Transmissions are responsible for shifting gears (automatically or manually) to dynamically change the speed-torque ratio in order to deliver power to the wheels in an efficient manner based on the speed of the vehicle.”

Types of Transmission Problems

transmission shopThe “Symptoms of a Problem” option lists a handful of tell-tale signs:

  1. Transmission is slipping between gears while driving or popping back to neutral
  2. Unusual grinding/clunking/humming noises – especially when in neutral
  3. Fluid smells like it is burned
  4. Clutch is dragging – clutch stays engaged and causes grinding noises when trying to shift
  5. Grinding or thumping when gear changes instead of smooth transitions
  6. Lag/delay between gear changes and/or higher than normal RPMs for a given speed or gear change

Note: the above list is a mix of manual and automatic transmission problems. For example, numbers 1, 3, and 6 are automatic issues while #4 is manual.

The page authors mention a handful of options for car owners wanting to keep the vehicle, such as repairing, replacing, or rebuilding the transmission. More extreme choices include junking or selling the vehicle because the repair or replacement costs are greater than the vehicle’s worth. The “8 Options if Your Transmission Has Failed” page provides a spectrum of consumer options.

Transmission Shop, Dealer Service Department, or DIY?

One part tongue-in-cheek and three parts reality, the “Junk the Car (or Just Let It Sit)” option is what consumers do with vehicles worth $4000 or less and repairs estimated at $3000 – 5000.

Option two is trading in the vehicle at a dealership or selling it to a repair shop, “shade tree mechanic” or a local junkyard. “A car dealer will pay you a small amount (typically around $250 to $500) for a ‘junk car’ with a failed transmission,” states the page — a very dismal alternative to say the least.

The next two choices entail purchasing used transmissions, either from a repair shop that can order and replace it for $800 – 1500, or from a junkyard or online source that can ship it to a consumer or a repair shop for $400 – 1600. The first path may include a warranty of 90 ­– 180 days, but it’s buyer beware (i.e. without a warranty) when purchasing it directly.

Fortunately, there are options offering a more reliable prognosis, but they are costly.

A transmission shop will rebuild one for $1500 – 3500 as a function of damage and parts. Warranties range from one to two years, but the site mentions a caveat about only dealing with reliable mechanics.

Option six is having a shop install a remanufactured unit for $2500 – 3500 and a three-year, 100,000 mile warranty. A linked page states that “a remanufactured transmission refers to a gearbox that has been completely disassembled and then re-engineered on an assembly line. Each component is inspected, cleaned, and reconditioned by a technician that specializes in that particular stage of the process.”

For a little more legwork and a lot more savings, consumers can buy a remanufactured trans online and have it shipped to a repair shop for installation. Estimates range from $1400 – 3000 for the component and $400 – 800 for labor and fluid. The warranty is also three years and 100,000 miles.

While it is not mentioned on the site, DIYers may choose to purchase a remanufactured trans and install it themselves. The technical know-how is moderate/moderate-advanced and requires a selection of wrenches and ratchets as well as a floor jack to remove the old unit and lift the remanufactured one into place.

Option eight is having a dealership install a remanufactured tranny for $1800 – 2800 plus $100 – 150 per hour labor at the service department. Cha-ching!

Generally speaking, labor is the lowest for rear-wheel drive vehicles having automatic transmissions bolted to the back of the engine.

Affordable Payments at Transmission Shops

Transmission Repair Cost Guide is an excellent resource for consumers looking to find a repair shop in their area. But what happens when they learn the repairs will cost three or four thousand dollars that they don’t have in savings?

transmission shopConsumers with credit cards may charge the amount while those with good credit and no cards may apply for spot-credit options offered at many shops.

A good portion of consumers — those without cards or good credit, but with a steady income — can be helped with CrossCheck’s Multiple Check program.

Consumers write 2 – 4 checks, all bearing the same purchase date. Shops deposit the checks on dates specified by consumers over a 30-day period. The extended window gives them time to replenish their checking accounts while shops receive guaranteed funding by CrossCheck with each and every deposit. It’s a win-win situation. Learn how Multiple Check can help your customers by downloading our free guide.

Multiple Check Insider's Guide

Topics: Auto Aftermarket

Written by Joe Gargiulo

Marketing Specialist Joe Gargiulo has 25-plus years in marketing, communications and copy writing. As a writer, he enjoys connecting story leads to all aspects of the human experience.