Transmission repairs are some of the most expensive repairs that can be performed on a car. If you think your car needs its transmission fixed, be sure to ask these questions before agreeing to costly repairs.
Before You Start
Start by finding out how much it will cost to simply have the problem diagnosed. Unlike other auto repairs, transmission problems require a specially trained technician to look at the car and make a diagnosis of the problem. In some cases, just getting estimates for the work can cost several hundred dollars.
Also, be sure to find out what type of training your mechanic has had. Transmission repairs are not typically covered in most basic mechanic courses. This means that not every mechanic is qualified to perform these repairs. Nonetheless, many mechanics claim to be self-taught and will offer to do this kind of work. While some customers swear they’re getting a good deal by going with a mechanic who doesn’t have a piece of paper stating that he or she is certified, many more people have found out the hard way that using a non-qualified transmission technician will cost them more money in the long run.
Before You Agree to Repairs
Take the estimates you receive and determine if repairing or replacing the transmission is really the right choice for you. For example, a repair that costs $2500 is probably not worth it if the blue book value of the car is less than $3000. If you have to take out a loan to get your car repaired, it may be time to just sell your old car and buy a new one. Don’t make the mistake of paying for this expensive auto repair only to decide to sell the car a few months later. Transmission repairs add very little value to a car.
After deciding that a repair is your best option, be sure to find out how long the repair will take and how the technician guarantees his or her work. Unlike most auto repairs that can be done in a day, transmissions can take several days to several weeks to complete. If you have a foreign car, it may take several weeks just to order and receive the right parts. Also be sure to find out how long the technician will offer a warranty on his or her work. While the parts themselves will probably come with manufacturer warranties, the labor is what will cost the most with these repairs. Make sure you’re covered if the technician makes a mistake.
After Your Repair
Be sure to keep careful track of the paperwork from your repair. You will need to be able to show when you had the transmission replaced if you choose to sell the car. The paperwork will also be necessary to show if you need to make a claim on the warranty.
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