Don’t do the following when you have a transmission problem…
Your initial reaction is to expect the worst and most expensive repair. Therefore, you start calling various transmission shops to get the “worst case price.” Starting in the 80′s, most transmissions are controlled by a computer which takes inputs from a dozen or more sensors before it gives the commands to control the transmission.
The first thing that needs to be done is to have the computer and its sensors scanned to determine that there are no control problems. The computer control system cannot be evaluated over the phone.
But, you want to check for the “worst possible case,” so you ask for the worst case price. After calling several shops, you get a variety of prices. You cleverly select the shop with the lowest price and call them back. They are glad to hear from you because, by calling them back, you have already given them the “ok” to overhaul your transmission whether it needs it or not. I know you told them to “check it out,” but they know they can easily go to the worst case repair because they already covered that and you selected them. In effect, you already gave them permission for an expensive repair before they ever got the vehicle.
All transmission overhauls are not the same. It is important to know what is included in a price. Is the shop reputable? Will they do do what they say? Will they use all of the parts that should be used with an overhaul? If you have a problem, will they take care of it with no hassle? We all know how it feels to be taken for a ride and sold something we don’t need or want. It’s not a very good feeling, and it doesn’t go away for a long time. Especially when 8 out of 10 jobs are not major.
A common sales tactic by some shops is to give you a low price because they have left out some of the vital components that are used in a quality overhaul. The first time you hear about them is after the RDI and the list of required parts are given. Now the price has suddenly risen and is more than you were prepared to pay. Now your transmission is in a thousand pieces and you have no real choice but to have the proceed with the overhaul. I have had it happen where someone has been given a much lower price than I have quoted, only the find out later that the final cost was the same or more than my quote, but they believed the lower quote, taken the vehicle to them, had the transmission removed and dis-assembled before learning that they were paying too much.
So, does their quote include a rebuilt torque converter or electrical components vital to the repair?
Quality transmission Service is a member of the BBB Auto Repair Advisory Committee. The owner, Bob Jones, is on the BBB Board of Directors. We were awarded the BBB Business Ethics Award in 2002. Over 90% of our business comes from word of mouth referrals. Historically, 4 out of 5 jobs we do are minor and the transmissions do not need to be overhauled.
Food for thought,
Quality Transmission Service, Inc.