Frequently Asked Questions1. What will it cost to fix my transmission?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get. But it's really hard to answer accurately. Here's why: The first thing to do is make sure it really needs repair. Often, other problems simulate transmission problems. Before you commit to a transmission repair, be sure that it's what you really need. Get a FREE diagnostic performed before you spend any money.
Assuming you do need a transmission repair, the cost to repair will depend on what is wrong with your transmission, as well as the year, make, and model of the vehicle. A FREE diagnostic will determine what's wrong, and what will be required to fix it. We always obtain your authorization before performing any work for which there is a charge.2. What does it mean to be AAA Approved?
AAA has checked us out, verified that we have the skills and tools to do the job right. They have contacted as many as 100 of our customers, and sought their feedback on the kind of work we do. They continuously monitor us to be sure we continue to be a reputable shop and do the kind of work they would like to see done under the AAA banner. It is a really difficult approval to obtain and maintain. Which is why there are only three AAA Approved Transmission Specialists in the state, and only one in Cobb County.3. Can't you give me a phone quote?
Even after we explain that we can't give a meaningful answer, we still get asked this question frequently. Using the phone to get a quote is one of the worst things you can do. Anything quoted over the phone is based on pure speculation, since they haven't done any diagnostics. No matter how good you are at describing the problem, the electronic scan of the computer hasn't been done (this involves much more than just reading the codes).
Getting a "worst case" quote is just as bad, for two reasons. By taking your vehicle in after getting the "worst case" you are setting yourself up to approval of the worst case regardless of what's wrong with your car. Don't set yourself up that way. Additionally, the worst case is really pretty rare. This only happens when your transmission is unrepairable, and requires replacement in full. It may include the computer, engine mounts, a number of sensors, and drive shafts.4. I only have a leak, how much will that cost?
There are many places that a transmission can leak. The pump, governor cover, speedometer, output seal, axle seals, servo covers, filler tube, pan gasket, throttle cable, side cover, cooler lines, shift lever seals, and electrical connectors can all leak. And where you see the fluid may not be the source of the leak. Some leaks are easy to fix, others much more difficult, and may involve removal of the transmission from the vehicle. So we can't give you a quote without a thorough examination, which is done at no charge.5. My transmission is leaking, can I drive it?
Another really good question that we get asked frequently. It shows the owner of the vehicle doesn't want to risk doing more damage and raising the repair cost. A lot depends on the rate of fluid loss. If it's a small leak, and you are very diligent about keeping the fluid level at the proper level, it's okay to drive it in to get it looked at. It the fluid is pouring out, don't drive it. If you have one of many vehicles not equipped with a dip stick, you can't check it. If the unit exhibits any abnormal operation, then internal damage is occurring, and a minor leak can result in a major bill if not corrected promptly.6. I don't see a dipstick, how can I check the fluid level?
Many GM vehicles, some Fords, some Japanese and most European vehicles are not equipped with a dipstick. While the procedures on how to check the fluid level vary, most require that the vehicle be put on a vehicle lift in order to access the level control plug. So you can't check it yourself, but we can do it for you, at no charge.7. Should I have my transmission flushed?
A flush consists of attaching a machine to the transmission, removing the fluid, and replacing it with new fluid. Unless the pan is removed, the filter isn't changed. You can't do any of the internal adjustments. This is usually done at a facility that has little or no knowledge about transmissions. Flushing can also backwash contaminants into places in the transmission where they can do damage to clutches and seals.
We recommend a fluid service as an alternative. As a part of this service, we first perform a FREE diagnostic to be sure that the transmission is healthy enough to be serviced without introducing new problems. If everything is okay, we perform the service. This involves removing the pan, inspecting and cleaning the pan. The fluid is fully drained, and the filter is changed. Any internal adjustments that can be made while the pan is off are made. The pan is replaced with a new pan gasket, and new fluid is installed. On vehicles not equipped with a transmission pan, the plug is removed and replaced. Then new fluid is added. On these vehicles, the filter cannot be accessed without transmission disassembly. Most Hondas and some other vehicles are built without a transmission pan.8. I just want the lowest price I can get.
Consider some other things first. Is the work recommended necessary? Does the facility have the necessary expertise? Will they use quality parts in the repair? Will they omit necessary steps or procedures in the repair? Do they offer a good warranty, and will they honor it? Will they still be in business to handle warranty issues?
After these issues have been considered, look at cost. The facility needs to charge enough to do a quality job. It's unwise to pay too much, but worse to pay too little.
Beware of low-ball prices. If a price is much lower than everybody else, they're either using junk parts, or you're going to pay more than you think. You'll get a lot of low-ball prices quoted as "base price" plus "hard parts", often telling you that you may not need any hard parts. In reality, you can't do a quality job without hard parts, unless the job really wasn't needed in the first place.9. I have a problem and I want to change the fluid to fix it.
Changing the fluid and filter is a periodic maintenance service that rarely, if ever, fixes a problem. In the process, much of the evidence leading to identifying the cause of the problem is lost. Any material in the pan is cleaned out, which is important information in identifying the type of internal problem that may exist.10. How long will it take to repair my transmission?
Often, a minor repair can be performed the same day, or two days. More major repairs involving the removal and repair of the transmission may take two or three days, or more, depending on the availability of parts and complexity of the transmission.11. What if I want a new transmission?
It is highly unlikely that you would need a new transmission, even if one were available. Generally, even the dealers only sell rebuilt transmissions, though sometimes they refer to them (ofen incorrectly) as "new". Of the 300 to 500 parts inside an automatic transmission, some will be able to be reused without risk. That savings is passed on to you. We find it much more inexpensive to rebuild the transmission than to replace it.12. How long will the diagnostics take?
Generally, we will spend between 2 and 4 hours on your vehicle, at no charge. Our diagnostics are much more thorough. Other shops will "diagnose" your vehicle in less than an hour. But there is no way it can be as thorough or conclusive as what we do. They are more likely to condemn your transmission based on a brief diagnostic, while our thorough evaluation is likely to identify the real cause of the problem.13. I still want to learn more!
We have several other resources to help you more. An educated owner is our best asset, since the more you know, the more you will like us. Visit our Transmission Information Page.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .