It’s a fairly common recommendation by general auto repair shops to install a used transmission. Your current transmission may be damaged beyond repair—or at least beyond what they are able to repair at their shop. Naturally, you will be faced with a multitude of important decisions to make as a vehicle owner.
So, should you purchase a used transmission? Here are some pros and cons to consider:
Pros of a Used Transmission
Less Expensive—Buying a used transmission that was salvaged from a donor vehicle will obviously save you some money upfront compared to buying a brand new replacement transmission or one that has been remanufactured/rebuilt by a transmission specialist.
Convenient—Depending on your vehicle, it’s usually not too hard to track down a used transmission that will fit and work well enough. This isn’t always the case, however, as some prove to be harder to find than others.
Cons of a Used Transmission
Wear and Tear—Most used transmissions are sold in as-is condition. They may not have been thoroughly inspected. They may been tested to at least make sure they work, but they still have mileage on them and that existing wear and tear means that you never know exactly how many miles you are going to get out of it.
Repair Risks—Again, there could be internal transmission damage that you won’t know about until you start driving. If the used transmission fails after a few thousand miles, you are right back where you started!
Weak Warranty—Some used transmission sellers will offer a very limited warranty (maybe as much as 30 days) to make sure the transmission can be installed and is functioning when it leaves the shop, but after that you are pretty much on your own if and when issues develop.
Temporary Solution—In many cases, a used transmission is only a temporary solution. You buy it because it’s a cheaper option, but deep down you know that you’ll probably have to have it replaced or rebuilt again in the future. You may get lucky with a great used transmission that lasts you many more years. You just never know for sure until you put some miles on it.
Central Valley Transmission Specialists
At Ralph’s Transmission, installing a used transmission is usually a last resort and our technicians usually take the time to test and inspect it before installation. If your current transmission is salvageable (which is usually the case, even when the internal damage is fairly significant), a full custom transmission rebuild is typically a smarter recommendation. This is the transmission that was designed specifically for your vehicle. It can be cleaned and rebuilt with whatever new parts are needed. This essentially enables it to run like new again. All transmission rebuilds at Ralph’s Transmission are also backed by our 3 Year, 100,000 Mile Warranty to give you extra peace of mind that you won’t have with a used transmission.
If the transmission is damaged beyond repair, we will help you research your best options which will include looking at a new transmission, finding a quality used transmission or seeking out a remanufactured transmission from a reputable builder. At Ralph’s Transmission, we pride ourselves on being transmission specialists and we’ll be able to give you more options and better repair or replacement solutions than a general auto shop that doesn’t specialize in transmission services.
For all your Central Valley transmission needs, call Ralph’s Transmission at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.