Choosing your Mechanic
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Choosing the right mechanic to handle your transmission repair can be quite difficult. However, don’t skimp on time and effort when choosing the mechanic you entrust with this job. Your choice can determine whether or not you receive workmanship that will result in a durable repair. Transmission repair is quite a complex sphere of mechanics.
It is definitely a good idea to get a few quotations from qualified mechanics or registered mechanic shops. We all want to get the best possible quality for the lowest possible price so these quotes must be as detailed as possible so that you can compare both the contents of the quotes and pricing. If any of the quotations are too good to be true – they generally are. If your transmission is in pieces you will generally pay whatever it takes to get your car back on the road. Unfortunately some shops operate on that basis. Get the client by quoting low, work on the car and then heap on the additional costs because the car owner is at your mercy. So ask around and perhaps go to mechanic shops that have been recommended to you.
Make sure the mechanic can explain what is wrong with your transmission and what will need to be done to fix it. You need to have an understanding, all be it limited, of what the problem is and what the solutions is – this affords to a bigger chance of not being ripped off. If the shop is presentable and orderly it also bodes well.
Automatic Rebuilders Transmission Association (ATRA) has its own code of ethics designed to promote honesty and good workmanship. It is probably a good idea to look for a service center that is a member of ATRA especially due to their warranty facility. embers across the US and Canada receive a warranty that is valid wherever they are. With 1900 ATRA shops it is the largest transmission repair network in the world. A warranty is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your mechanic. For more information see www.atra.com Then there is also the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This is a group that certifies professionals in the industry. This is purely a non-profit organization aiming to help consumers choose competent automotive repair shops. See www.ase.com for more information.
By making sure you get a few quotations, preferably from ATRA and ASE registered technicians or service centers, you will be taking steps to minimize risk and maximize your chances of having a pleasant experience.
Signs of a Faulty Transmission
It is always a good idea to spend a few bucks on replacing your transmission fluid regularly. Most user manuals will recommend doing this at about 40 000 miles give or take a few thousand. At the fist sign of trouble though, go have your car checked out. The longer a transmission issue is left the more costly the problem will be come.
If your gear changing becomes quite abrupt or there is a clunking sound instead of a smooth change – that could be a sign of a problem with your transmission and should not be ignored. Sometimes your fist inkling of a problem could be a bad smell from your transmission. Or even perhaps higher than usual RPMs at different gears can be an indication of a problem. Then the clutch could stay engaged longer than usual when you are trying to change up or down- this will make a worrying noise.
Just be alert to any change in your car and when in doubt check it out.
Replacement or Rebuilding
Rebuilding a transmission is quite a task. The transmission needs to be disassembled and the individual parts need to be examined for flaws that could be causing the transmission failure. These individual parts will then be replaced and the transmission put back together again. When such a rebuild takes place there are some standard parts that will and should be replaced to ensure the longevity of the repair. These are seals, bushes, dampers and gaskets. Gear-box mounts should also be replaced. Basically any rubberized materials as these have a shorter life-span than the other parts. This is quite a labor-intensive task and will only be taken on once the mechanic has performed various diagnostic tests and exhausted other possible solutions. It is possible that sensors are causing a transmission problem as they are not reading the RPMs correctly. Faulty sensors can be replaced without dissembling the transmission. It goes without saying that the mechanic will first check transmission fluid. If it is low or dirty it could be responsible for the problems experienced.
Transmission replacement can be really expensive and if the problems are minor a rebuild will be considerably less. However, there is some risk involved. If problems are more extensive than initially thought – a rebuild can end up being as expensive as a replacement! Yet this is not often the case.