Ask a Mechanic These 5 Questions Before a Transmission Rebuild
Shopping around for the best transmission rebuild mechanic? Read on, you savvy shopper. We’ve got some helpful tips and questions to ask mechanics before you sign on the dotted line and agree to the terms of a transmission rebuild quote.
1. Are you rebuilding my existing transmission or replacing it with a remanufactured, used rebuild?
The workmanship of a rebuilt transmission is important. If the shop is replacing your transmission with a factory rebuilt transmission, it will likely be more reliable than if the existing transmission was rebuilt in the shop without scrutinous inspections. Installing a used (remanufactured) transmission means less labor, which reduces the cost of this labor-intensive task.
Keep in mind that the specific skillset and experience of the transmission mechanic heavily influence the success rate and quality of a transmission rebuild. Although it’s typically cheaper to replace a blown transmission, sometimes an experienced technician can complete the job faster and just as well as a factory.
2. Does the rebuild include a warranty?
Ask if the quote to rebuild includes a warranty for replacement, repairs, or service. It’s reassuring to know that if something goes wrong with the used rebuild it can be fixed or replaced for free.
This includes a warranty for rebuilding the existing transmission. If the shop intends to remove your transmission and rebuild/machine it in their garage they should have some type of repair or replacement terms in place to protect customers in the event of a lemon or shoddy work.
3. What does the warranty cover and for how long?
The terms of a warranty should be explained to you in detail, including how long the warranty is for, and what specifically is covered within each time period. Some factory rebuilds have a 30,000-mile warranty, some have 50,000-mile coverage, and some even extend the warranty to the life of the vehicle.
You should also ask if the warranty is transferrable, as this could mean a huge resale benefit and value if you expect to sell your vehicle or pass it on to a child in the future.
4. Do I have to get my transmission serviced here for the warranty to remain valid?
Watch out for the fine print, including strange clauses that if violated could void the warranty. Ask specifically whether you have to have maintenance performed there if it is okay to have it serviced at other shops, and if yes for how long.
If the shop requires you to have all future services performed at their location it is not only an inconvenience, it is borderline extortionate. Shy away from rebuild agreements that include unrealistic terms.
5. What is the recommended preventive maintenance schedule for my rebuilt transmission?
Once the rebuilt transmission is installed, you need to maintain it properly. Ask for the specific factory recommended maintenance, service, and inspection schedule. If none is available, ask for general guidelines to maximize the life of your new-to-you transmission.
Contact My Transmission Experts
Call My Transmission Experts at (281) 884-3825 or ask a question using the form below. Need a second opinion after a rebuild quote at another auto repair shop? We can help with that too. Our certified mechanics and technicians have repaired thousands of vehicles and transmissions across the greater Houston area since 1994. We know you have choices, we hope you trust us with your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs.