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Q: Transmission

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I had a problem with my car where I found it's to do with transmission,1st mechanic said $800-$900 to fix the electronic issue,2nd one said I need to replace it and get a rebuild one $4500 ,3yrs warranty ,,, 3rd one said for the everything will be new for the rebuild with 3yrs warranty or 500000 miles for $3800 ,,, last on said $2800 ,,,I am really confused now ? What do you suggest

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hey there. This all depends what problem yo...

Hey there. This all depends what problem you are having with the transmission. Some transmission problems are fixed by just reprogramming the control module. If the electronic repair is guaranteed to fix the transmission then by all means have that fixed. But if not, can the 1st mechanic do an overhaul if it is needed? If he can do the repair and overhaul the transmission if it’s needed then go with him. Make sure all repairs are covered under some sort of written warranty.

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A: If I were in your situation I would be a li...

If I were in your situation I would be a little confused as well. Unfortunately, when shopping around, prices can vary widely because different shops get parts supplied from different sources. So that may explain the varying price differences. Another part of the equation is the labor rate of the shop. If one shops rate is drastically higher, then it is going to significantly add to the labor cost. That being said, transmissions are more of a specialty if you ask me. The diagnostic equipment needed to properly pinpoint a transmission problem just isn’t economical to have laying around.

The first estimate you got may have been a shop that is more experienced and diagnosed the problem. where as some of the other shops may have simply checked to make sure there wasn’t something obviously wrong and then quoted a replacement of the unit. Given the mileage of your vehicle, I’m assuming the rest of the van is in decent shape. As long as the transmission has a decent warranty I would go with the $2800 estimate to replace the transmission. Fixing the electronic issue will get you almost halfway to the cost of replacing the whole transmission. If you plan on keeping the van in the long run replacing the transmission is your best bet in my opinion. If you plan to possibly trade in the van in a year or so, fixing the electronic issue may be a better option. As a rule you never really get the money back out of the repairs you make to the vehicle. So if you put a $2000 transmission in a $2000 car, don’t expect to get $4000 for the car when you sell it. You might be lucky to get $2500.

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