Fiction: Everything is replaced inside the transmission when the transmission is rebuilt.
Fact: How much does it cost to just replace everything? This is one of most common questions we hear. NO ONE replaces everything with new. NO ONE. BEWARE when someone says this to you. If everything is replaced it is a brand new transmission.
Fiction: Being a member of the BBB or Better Business Bureau means that organization is reputable.
Fact:The BBB is a membership based organization. All you have to do is pay a fee to be a member in good standing. The BBB has no idea if you do quality work or not when you take on membership. They keep records of reported complaints on all businesses, both members and non-members. More than anything, it is a selling tool for the business.
Fiction: A fluid change will help correct transmission problems.
Fact:Changing the fluid can often times amplify your problem or worse, create new ones. The detergent properties in transmission fluid are extremely high. Often times when you have very dirty fluid it is a sign of a part that is wearing excessively and emitting abnormal amounts of debris. To cleanse the inside of a transmission in this state can cause a mudslide and literally stop up the passages that fluid need to operate the unit. If the unit is not creating debris at a rapid rate, but has internal malfunctions, then the fluid change is at best a waste of both time and money. On rare occasions a fluid change will eliminate enough debris to eliminate valves sticking up due to foreign abrasive material (ie.) metal or clutch material. After all, you would not change the oil in your engine if it were to malfunction.
Fiction: You just need a transmission tune up.
Fact: Old school terminology. Most transmissions today are computer controlled and have no adjustments to make. Most commonly referred to as a transmission tune up is a fluid and filter change with external inspections. Older model vehicles (pre-1980ish) were adjustable, via modulators, bands, cables and etc.
Fiction: I will just buy a new transmission when this one quits working.
Fact: Very few manufacturers offer new units and new units can range from $3500 to $7000 or more. Hard to believe……but true. New and rebuilt are completely different units as discussed in the FAQ portion of these web pages.
Fiction: My transmission is failing, I need one anyway, so I will just drive it until it quits.
Fact: Another unit is your most costly avenue to repair. Rebuilding,is the sum total of parts and labor. If you drive to failure, that means more parts have failed, thus running up the cost to overhaul.
Fiction: Additives will help a failing unit.
Fact: While some additives do condition clutches and prevent or eliminate chatter, most incorporate ingredients that soften rubber seals to fill clearance gaps in old or shrunken rings. The problem with this is, the rubber components continue to swell or deteriorate and create a situation that causes failure and more damage. When the transmission is disassembled for inspection, parts fly out like a jack-in-the-box.
Fiction: There is metal on the magnet indicating a problem.
Fact: The magnet is placed in the transmission pan specifically to extract metal from the fluid. There will be metal refuse from gear sets as they wear against each other, however, there are normal and abnormal amounts of debris on the magnet.
Fiction: I have not changed my fluid in years and I need to change it before something happens.
Fact: What was a normal amount of periodic debris that would be removed through preventative fluid changes has now become abnormal. It is best to leave it alone for reasons of detergent properties referred to earlier in this section and the possibility of creating blockage from a mudslide of debris.
Fiction: One day service, in most cases.
Fact: Most overhauls are at least a 11-15 hour book labor job. Not only is this longer than the average work day, you would expect that the repair facility has other vehicles to repair. Unless your are getting a shelf unit.(see FAQ section for info on shelf units) one day service is the exception rather that the rule.
Fiction: ASE or certified mechanics are the only way to go.
Fact: You can get an ASE certification in suspension, driveability, parts, paint and body, just about any facet of automotive repair. Just because a shop has someone ASE certified does not mean they are reputable or specialize in your particular area of trouble. Also, they may be referring to one individual in the shop just to make the claim that they are ASE certified.
Fiction: Leaking out the front is because the front seal is bad.
Fact: Many parts of the front of a transmission can leak. Most automatics, with the exception of a few, have pumps in the front. Pumps have seals, gaskets, o-rings,and bolts that all could be a potential leak. Also the front seal could be distorted from excessive torque converter run out which can melt the seal. Maybe the pump bushing is moving, which pushes the seal out, or maybe the torque converter welds have cracked. To sum it up, there are MANY reasons for front trans leaks. We can never assume it is as simple as a front pump seal replacement prior to removal and inspection. Many customers would feel ambushed if they were told the ugly truth about front trans leaks after it was removed.
Fiction: Multiple phone numbers mean an organization has many locations to serve you.
Fact: Many types of businesses use phone numbers with various prefixes that would indicate different locations. Often times they will place an ad which reads, Anytown (555) 123-4567 & Somewhere (555) 567-8910. They purchase phone numbers in the sky that simply roll to a main phone in the same office. They claim it is for convenience; toll charges. However, one toll free number is cheaper and not misleading. If they mislead you in their advertising, odds are it has only just begun. Try dialing more that one number and see if you get the same person on the other end. It may surprise you.
Fiction: My torque converter is bad. I just need my torque converter replaced.
Fact: If your torque converter is bad, unless it stripped the converter splines on a otherwise fully functional unit, is unlikely that converter replacement is the solution. The converter shares fluid with the transmission. If it develops a problem, the debris from the converter failure can damage the transmission and /or starve the transmission components for lubrication. Also, many times the torque converter will be damaged as a result of an internal transmission problem. In other words the transmission may have been the cause of you torque converter failure.