Transmission work...who do you trust?



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Thread: Transmission work...who do you trust?

  1. #1
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    Transmission work...who do you trust?

    OK--

    2000 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport with 3.8L and 76.5K miles. Transmission fluid was changed at 60K miles. Getting two check engine codes:
    1. P0700 (General Transmission problem)
    2. P0740 (Torque Converter Clutch Circuit)

    My Indy thinks its something in the tranny proper.
    For that matter, so does the dealer (2nd opinion).

    After clearing the codes, driving above 50 mph for more than a few miles causes them to re-log.

    I do have an extended warranty on this, so money is less of an issue.

    My primary concern is the proper diagnosis and repair of the problem with the best parts available. That being the case, should I go with my Indy (who seems fairly competent and he said he could do it), a transmission shop (like AAMCO or something), or the dealer?

    I had read somewhere that someone thought the non-dealer tranny shops used _better_ parts than the dealer. This could be a pump or clutch fix or a full rebuild...or even a remanufactured one. I have little or no experience with automatic transmissions (my first car, a '75 LTD doesn't really count, making the Dodge my first one).

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. BTW, I live in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Thanks.

    *

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    Go with your best option, but here's my experience.

    After replacing about 15 transmissions and living with the aftermath of various shops, I've found that overall, new car dealers rarely have the shop expertise to reliably perform transmission repairs. Swapping in a new tranny, sure. As for national transmission repair chains, it's so hit or miss as to make me dismiss them altogether. Independent shops are great, but you want the backing of a nationwide warranty on their work in case you decide to relocate to Grand Rapids. So-my faith is in a reputable independent transmission specialty shop. How to pin one down in the sunny desert South is your mission.

    Neil

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    It really depends on the dealer. Some, like rebelelement said, are not great at things like reliable tranny repairs. The one I use is great with that kind of stuff, but it is quite a few miles away and also, charges dealer prices (though not as bad as some, I can save quite a bit with an independent shop). I do have a very trusted independent shop with a few locations in the area and personally, I would use them in this scenario if I were you. If I were swapping it out, I'd use the dealer. Otherwise, barring these options, I'd do the same as rebelelement said, and go to a decent name independent transmission shop.
    Kevin Peterson
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    We had the great purple slug's transmission replaced with one from AAMCO about two years ago. More like 2.5. It has run fine since.

    The thing that I find interesting is that there was no real problems with the old one that I was aware of. The check engine light came on and after the dealer checked out the van, they stated the tranny needed rebuilt.

    When we took it (well my wife took it) to AAMCO, they said that they could not rebuild the one in it and put in a rebuilt one.

    It didn't make much difference to me either way as it was covered under our extended warranty and I think I only paid $150 for the deductible.

    Otherwise, I have not had a whole lot of 'sperience with transmissions failing in all the junk I have driven.

    I DID have the tranny crap out in my 1977 Granada but it was a stick shift and I changed it myself. (Try laying under a car with a tranny on your chest and lift it into place while your bro-in-law puts in the bolts!) HIGHLY recommend the experience.

    Chas
    Chas Stokes

    2000 Saturn SL1 "ZUUL"
    2002 Hyundai Elantra (Stolen ) "ZUUL24"

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    I had a front pump seal leak and some slight slipping in the top highway OD gear so I went with a complete rebuild at 51k miles. Independent shop with a one year warranty...they actually rebuild them for the dealer so I took a chance with them. The cost to simply drop the trans and do a spot repair at the Dealer was so high I did not see it as cost effective. I did discuss the parts quality issue with the shop and I did get a higher cost quality rebuild kit for the trans. I even talked about the Trans Fluid used to be sure they used the "genuine" ATF and not a universal. Shop owner was quite emphatic about never using the universal/additive types of trans fluids. Last thing he wants is a callback on the job. They also flushed the trans cooler circuit to remove all the crud/dirt from it. This was their standard and some lines, radiators, cooler actually do become clogged and do not perform up to specs.

    Total cost was about $1450.

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    Job done...

    AAMCO gave me a fleet price since the warranty company got that anyways...roughly $1900. New Torque Converter and all the trimmings. The AAMCO warranty is 3 years or 50,000 miles. It shifts smoothly now.

    All is well that ends well, I guess.

    * Ian *

  8. #7
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    While I agree with most that the Dealer is usually not always equiped for major tranny work, the fly in the soup is:


    I do have an extended warranty on this, so money is less of an issue.
    Will Chrysler pay you to have it done out of house? I think not.
    Avatar: EconoVoyager Concept
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3L
    2004 Chrysler Pacifica AWD 3.5L

  9. #8
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    Warranty was an aftermarket one...

    ...so Chrysler, of course, would not pay for out of house work. I just don't trust the dealer that much. If I want good transmission work, I believe in taking it to someone who has tons of tranny experience.

    * ijhutch *

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