When it comes to the most expensive car repairs, the transmission comes in number three on the list with an average repair cost of $4,000 to $5,000. It’s only behind hybrid batteries (approximately $6,000) and cylinders (up to $10,000).
The best way to prevent the need for any car repairs is to seek regular maintenance. Unfortunately, even though maintenance can help, at some point, all car parts are going to fail. After all, they aren’t designed to last forever.
If you want to minimize what you have to pay for transmission service or replacement, you need to find out when service is needed, and how to find the right service provider. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
Signs You Need Transmission Service
Before diving into how to find the right service provider for transmission service, you need to know when it is necessary. Some of the signs it is time for this service can be found here.
If you have an automatic transmission, one of the most common signs of a problem is slipping. This feels as though you are driving in a certain gear, and then it changes for no obvious reason.
When this happens, you may notice a noise coming from the engine that has a whining sound. You may also notice your car is struggling like it is underpowered or isn’t accelerating properly.
Another sign you need transmission service is if your vehicle feels reluctant to change gears, or if the shifts aren’t smooth. You may also hear or feel a “thud” or “clunk” when shifting gears. The vehicle may also have trouble getting up to the desired speed.
This occurs when there is a delay before the vehicle engages into drive and begins to move forward. When shifting out of park and into drive, there may be an extended pause. During this pause, the vehicle may rev the engine as you give it gas, but it doesn’t move forward.
A transmission system is usually a sealed unit. This means they should never leak fluid.
If you have started to notice leak spots on your garage floor or in your driveway, use cardboard laid beneath the vehicle to figure out where the leak is coming from. If the transmission is leaking, you are going to see bright red or brown fluid.
The Transmission Warning Light
A single warning light, such as the “check engine” light, doesn’t always mean a transmission issue. However, if you notice any of the symptoms above, along with a warning light, you should seek the help of a mechanic.
Tips for Finding the Right Mechanic
Now that you know that you need transmission service, the next step is to find the right mechanic for the job. Some tips to help you with this important decision can be found here.
Ask People You Know
It’s a good idea to begin the search for a reliable mechanic by asking people you know. They can give you information and insight about service providers they have used in the past.
Getting recommendations is a great way to start your search, but it’s usually not a good idea to make your decision based on this alone.
Find a Shop with Certified Mechanics
When it comes to mechanics, there are several different certifications they can obtain. If you need transmission service, it’s a good idea to try and find a mechanic who specializes in this particular part of the vehicle.
While there is no legal requirement for a mechanic to be certified, it’s a good indication they have the skills and ability to handle the issue at hand. At the very least, try to find a mechanic who is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Request an Estimate
It’s not a bad idea for you to request a written estimate from a mechanic before hiring them. In fact, it may be beneficial to get three to four estimates for the work that needs to be done.
Any experienced repair shop will be able to diagnose the issue quickly, and then let you know the cost for the needed repairs.
It’s a good idea to request that your estimates are provided in writing. This can help minimize the possibility of surprises when you receive the final bill.
Go to a Vocational School
As mentioned before, transmission service and repair is one of the most expensive issues your vehicle can have. As a result, you may be able to find a way to minimize your costs by taking your car to a local vocational school.
Here, students are usually working under a certified teacher’s supervision and can do the needed repairs. In most cases, this will cost a fraction of what you would pay a professional mechanic.
While this is a more affordable option, repairs can take a lot longer, so keep this in mind. If you only have one car, you’ll likely need to rent another vehicle which could wipe out the potential cost-savings.
Plus, they may or may not offer any guarantees on workmanship, so research the school first.
Finding the Right Transmission Service Provider Isn’t as Hard as You May Think
If you need transmission service, don’t put off getting it. The problem you are having is only going to get worse. Also, the longer you wait, the more likely that replacement, rather than repair, will be necessary.
If you need more information about transmission repair, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our certified technicians can handle all types of repairs for your vehicle and get you back on the road fast. Let us diagnose your vehicle’s issue, provide the needed repair, and provide you with the peace of mind your vehicle is ready to go.