Proudly Serving Austin Since 1972!
What is involved in transmission repair?
Today’s transmissions have computerized electronic systems or front wheel drive technology and are extremely complicated units. In order to diagnose and repair transmission problems correctly, special diagnostic equipment and a qualified transmission technician must be used. There are hundred’s of parts in an average transmission. The transmission has to removed from the vehicle, completely disassembled, all parts cleaned and inspected, replace all worn and broken parts, rebuild the unit, then re-install the transmission in the vehicle…all with no room for error. It’s actually much more involved than it sounds.
Are not all auto repair and transmission repair shops the same?
Absolutely not, and not all repairs are the same either. It is a good idea to ask your neighbors, friends, and family for a recommendation of a repair facility/shop. An advertisement can say anything… you want to go directly to the source! Auto repair is not any different from any other item you may purchase. You can purchase a bargain repair, or you can purchase a quality repair. The difference between the two are great. Understand exactly what you are getting and the differences between them.
What are important questions to ask of my transmission repair shop?
• Do the repairs have the same quality parts? It is a guarantee that if you get a “cheap” price…your going to get “cheap” parts.
• Do they have the same knowledge? What are their industry certifications?
• Are they ASE Certified? Are they a member of ATRA?
• Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau?
• Does the shop offer the same guarantee/warranty?
• Does the shop have the same reputation of delivering what they promise? Check online reviews like Yelp!
• Are they equal when it comes to customer service and satisfaction?
With these differences in mind you will be in a better position to make the decision that is best for you.
How long will it take to repair / rebuild my transmission?
Minor repairs and service can sometimes be done same day or next day depending on the availability of parts. Major repairs and rebuilds can take several days. SCA transmissions pledge is to give you the best service possible which means getting your car back to you in a safe, reliable and quick manner. If your car or truck has been with another mechanic for too long you should begin questioning if they are giving your repair the attention it deserves. I have had dozens of customers come to me with horror stories of their vehicle being held for two weeks, three weeks and longer! Don’t let that happen to you, keep yourself educated!
Should I repair or replace my vehicle?
This is the one question that most have a hard time with. The first question you have to ask yourself is, do you like the vehicle, and/or does it meet your current needs? If the answer is yes, evaluate the condition of your vehicle. Can you expect the vehicle to last throughout the first three years of a new purchase loan, or will you need other major repairs within that time? Consider the cost of the repair compared to how many new car payments will have to be made to equal the cost of the repair, and how many payments will be remaining. Once you have a true figure to compare, you will be able to make a decision that is best for you financially. Usually a major repair will cost you considerably less than the sales tax alone of a new purchase, but only you can decide where your money is best placed.
Why do you have to run tests before you give me a price?
There is no way to be sure of what’s wrong with your transmission until we do diagnostic testing and take a look inside. A qualified technician can give you an educated guess before running the necessary testing, but that’s all it would be…just a possibility. Transmission symptoms such as noises, slipping, leaks, or vibrations can signal a wide range of possible problems, not necessarily a single malfunction. Many transmission malfunctions can be caused by components outside the transmission such as a sensor, or even a simple fuse. The price difference between each malfunction varies dramatically.
Is fixed pricing transmission repair better?
A lot of people price shop, which is completely understandable. You want to pay the best price for the service you are receiving. If you ask for a price to rebuild your transmission, guess what…that just might be what you get from some shops, needed or not. Wouldn’t you like to know exactly what repairs are necessary, and pay for ONLY the repairs that are necessary? It’s not a bad idea to ask for a worse case scenario, but bottom line…get a recommendation and deal with a qualified reputable repair facility.
Can you give me an price or guess what my repair will cost over the phone?
If anyone ever tells you he can accurately diagnose your transmission problem over the phone without seeing your vehicle and gives you a low-ball price, please get a second opinion before making an appointment. Sometimes you we can give you a range just depending on what typical services run, but even in that case it’s still a guess if you vehicle needs that type of transmission service, transmission rebuild, or repair.
Automatic Transmissions: Care and Repair
[From the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Pennsylvania]
Repair of an automatic transmission can mean a considerable expenditure for the car owner. Since a transmission is a concealed item, most customers never see the work that is done, and probably wouldn't be able to evaluate it anyway.
Therefore, it is wise to give your transmission proper maintenance, and to be an informed customer if and when repairs are needed.
Purpose of a transmission
A transmission is only a coupling between the engine and differential and its purpose is to transmit engine torque to the driving wheels. This is done through a number of reduction gears and the use of a torque converter (fluid clutch). Transmission performance can only be as good as the power supplied to it (engine), and the driving members to which this power is transmitted (drive shaft, differential). A ROUGH RUNNING ENGINE CAN ONLY RESULT IN A ROUGH SHIFTING TRANSMISSION.
What is inside your transmission?
All automatic transmissions use a combination of friction materials (similar to paper or cardboard) bonded to metal plates and bands, rubber or neoprene seals, and bushings. These parts are considered soft parts, and will eventually wear out from normal usage. When these seals lose their flexibility and the friction materials and bushings become worn, slippage and other malfunctions become apparent. If these conditions are not corrected, more serious wear then occurs to the hard parts (metal drums, gears, and pumps) of the transmission.
Tips for Automatic Transmission Care
DO - Change your transmission fluid every year or every 15,000 miles.
DO - When you stop for gas, check your transmission fluid for level and color. If any discrepancies are noted, take your vehicle to a reputable transmission repair center for a closer look.
DO - Check your driveway or garage floor for signs of transmission fluid leakage. If you notice any leaks, have them repaired immediately. Driving your vehicle with low transmission fluid will cause serious transmission damage.
DO - If you notice irregular transmission performance such as slipping between shifts, erratic shifting, no shifting, no reverse, hesitation in the morning when the transmission is cold, loss of power in forward gears, or unusual noises such as grinding or whining, have your transmission checked by a transmission specialist. The longer you drive your vehicle with a malfunction, the more you will damage your automatic transmission.
DO - If you pull a trailer or carry heavy loads, or if you continually go on long trips, or if your engine has a tendency to run hot - consider having an external transmission oil cooler installed.
DO NOT - Shift into reverse until your vehicle has reached a complete stop.
DO NOT - Shift into park until your vehicle has reached a complete stop.
DO NOT - Rock your vehicle back and forth if you get stuck in mud, snow or sand.
DO NOT - Hot rod! Forcing gears to shift at maximum acceleration is just asking for trouble.
Do I Need a Transmission Fluid Cooler?
A transmission fluid cooler helps prevent heat from destroying your automatic transmission. It can cost $1000 or more to repair an automatic transmission. And 90% of all automatic transmission failures are caused by heat. The hotter automatic transmission fluid becomes, the more quickly it breaks down. This allows increased friction on transmission parts and creates even higher operating temperatures inside your transmission. The end result is an expensive repair bill.
Today's down-sized cars and trucks, with their smaller engine compartments and cooling systems, generate much higher engine and transmission operating temperatures. But a transmission fluid cooler reduces automatic transmission fluid temperatures by up to 20 degrees. That's why many automobile manufactures have recently started installing auxiliary transmission fluid coolers on selected new models. If you don't currently have an automatic transmission fluid cooler on your car, you may need one. It's a relatively small investment that can help prolong the life of your transmission and avoid costly transmission repair bills.
You may wish to consider installing a transmission fluid cooler if:
* You own a front-wheel drive vehicle.
* You own a truck or down-size car.
* you do a lot of stop-and-go city driving.
* You drive in hot climates (temperatures reaching in excess of 90 degrees).
* You drive in snow.
* You drive in hilly or mountainous terrain.
* You regularly carry loads in excess of 600 lbs.