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Nashville TN Transmission Services Articles

What To Look For In A Used Transmission

Purchasing a used transmission to replace a broken or beyond repair one in your current vehicle is a smart, cost effective way to get a few more years out of an older car that is otherwise mechanically sound. Used transmissions are readily available, and often in good working condition. Junkyards or parts resale shops have used transmissions for sale from cars that have been totaled for reasons unrelated to the state of the transmission. Transmission issues are one of the most dreaded problems a vehicle owner may experience as they are often very costly and there is really no such thing as a minor mechanical flaw in a transmission. Typically, if the transmission in your car is compromised, it is wise to completely replace it, so as not to cause your car further damage.

There are ways that you can take care of your car to keep it new and young, though.   You can ask your skilled professional at Grisham’s for some more tips, but here are some of the basics:

The mileage of a used transmission can be a great indicator of whether or not you will be getting your money’s worth when purchasing a used transmission as a replacement in your car. Obviously, lower mileage is more desirable in any used car part purchase, but especially in a transmission. Transmissions with over 100,000 miles already on them are not necessarily useless, but be sure to ask the reseller what kind of maintenance was preformed, and whether or not the previous owner had a tune up at the appropriate mileage markers. (Appropriate mileage tune ups differ in manual and automatic transmissions so take this into consideration when asking about maintenance upkeep.)

You can check the fluid levels on a used transmission and the color and consistency will tell you a little bit about the condition the transmission in question is in. Fluid lubricates transmission parts and keeps the mechanism cooled off. If fluid is dark or a blackish color-that is an indicator of old fluid and could mean the other maintenance was also neglected by previous owners. Transmission fluid levels should not be low. If they are this could suggest a leak in the transmission. Transmission fluid should be a reddish brown (not too dark) and clear, not milky or opaque.

Car Reports and Records
Resources like carmax reports or other similar services that provide a record of vehicle maintenance and collisions are very helpful to drivers buying used cars. These can also provide insight for car owners in the market for a used transmission. Ask resellers if a report is available for the car that the transmission you are interested in purchasing came out of. By inspecting the type of maintenance that was regularly preformed on the car, and the nature of the accident that ultimately totaled the vehicle, you will be a little bit more knowledgeable about the likely condition of the transmission you are about to spend money on.

Make and Model
This might seem like a no-brainer but it is imperitave that the transmission you put in your car is exactly compatible with the make and model. Sometimes the match doesn’t have to be from an identical make, model and year of the car but double check with the person selling the part to you and your mechanic. Better safe than sorry, because an ill-fitted transmission is going to cause you problems in the very near future, and you’ve already dealt with enough inconvenience if you are looking for a replacement!

There are options for warranties on even used car parts. The reseller should know the value and condition the transmission they are selling to you, and can provide a warranty based on that knowledge. Ask about warranties and extended warranty options. The last thing you want is to have to deal with this all over again in a 6 month time frame.

Maintain your “new” transmission faithfully and drive safely! Enjoy a few more years with your current vehicle thanks to your used transmission replacement!

Transmission questions?