Experiencing transmission trouble in your car, truck, van or SUV? Buying used, rebuilt or remanufactured transmissions in VA can save you a ton of money if you follow a few simple guidelines. We will discuss this tip in more detail below but it is critical enough to mention more that once; the most important transmission tip is to have a qualified professional mechanic evaluate your problem. The problems that seem to be coming from your transmission could very well be caused by a totally different issue. That tip along with the following guidelines should make your life a little easier when shopping for replacement transmissions;
Having your transmission checked by a professional mechanic is the first thing you should do if you experience any problems with your vehicle’s transmission. With today’s high tech transmissions you cannot assume that just because your transmission is not pulling or operating properly that it is shot. There are so many factors that could cause it to not function properly and without proper diagnosis you may buy a replacement transmission, install it and realize that you have the exact same problems. So, the most important tip that we can give you is to find a qualified mechanic, have them diagnose the problems you are having with your transmission before buying a replacement! This may save you a ton of time, money and headaches.
How do you recognize a reputable auto salvage yard to buy your transmission? Choose a salvage yard that has been in business for a while and that has positive reviews online. Keep in mind with the online reviews there will always be “that guy” who feels the need to spill his hatred for life through negative online reviews. If the transmission salesman asks you upfront whether or not you had your old transmission checked out by a professional mechanic or he inquires about what kind of issues you are having, that is a good indication the salvage yard wants to help you solve your problem and not just sell you a replacement transmission. Ask about the dealer’s warranty. Most of the top salvage yards in VA offer great warranties on their transmissions because they only sell quality products.
When replacing used transmissions, especially in today’s high tech vehicles, there are so many procedures and guidelines to follow for it to operate properly that we highly recommend spending the money to hire a professional mechanic for the job. Investing in a used, rebuilt or remanufactured replacement transmission can be a big investment and you want to make sure that it is installed correctly to avoid possible damage. It’s not about just turning bolts as it was 20 years ago. A good idea would be to use the same transmission tech or mechanic shop that you trusted to diagnosed the problems with your old transmission. They will know the history of the problem in case some other issue arises. Because of the complexity of certain transmissions, salvage yards may require that you use an approved or qualified mechanic for installation in order for the warranty to remain valid.
OK, we’ve already established that you are going to hire a professional to install your replacement transmission so you can skip this tip, right? Well, for those of you that still insist, make sure that you service the used transmission before attempting to install. You may want to do a Google search on your specific transmission and what service should be applied but a few general things to consider are; Replacing gaskets, seals, fluid, the fluid filter and possibly the pump. While you have the fluid pan off check for the smell of burnt transmission fluid as well as unusual amounts of metallic particles because that might be an indication of excess wear or damage. Make sure that when replacing the transmission fluid that you use the fluid that is recommended by the transmission’s manufacturer. Using incorrect fluid can ruin a transmission and void your warranty. When transporting the transmission, make sure that you do not tilt the transmission too far on its side or upside down. That can cause trash from the filter or pan to move up into the delicate mechanical part of the transmission. Did we mention that it might be a good idea to hire a professional mechanic?
So should you buy a used transmission, a rebuilt or remanufactured transmission? The following information may help with your decision. Generally used transmissions will be cheaper than rebuilt or remanufactured so if you can find a low mileage used transmission with a good warranty, that might be the way to go. If there are no good low mileage used options and you are planning on driving the vehicle for a while, you may want to consider rebuilt or remanufactured if the higher cost is not an issue. The warranties on rebuilt or remanufactured transmissions are typically longer than those of used but not always. Rebuilt transmissions may only have certain elements replaced while remanufactured transmissions will be more thorough and have most components replaced or rebuilt. So your decision will most likely come down to availability, economics and the length of time you plan to continue driving your vehicle.
It is very important to understand the parts warranty before you purchase a replacement transmission and before the transmission is installed. These tips are relevant because you want to make sure that you have the best coverage possible and the warranty is not voided by improper installation. While many salvage yards offer similar warranties, make sure that you read the fine print because all warranties with similar terms or duration may not be the same!
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