A technician explores the underbelly of a vehicle.At Ralph’s Transmission, we will gladly provide you with a free initial transmission inspection. You can call ahead to make an appointment, stop by our downtown Modesto shop or contact us to arrange a tow. We also offer free towing within a 30-mile radius of our location.

So, what exactly is included in this “free” inspection? Here is a breakdown of the inspection services we offer:


Our transmission technicians will run diagnostic tests on your vehicle. We use the latest technology to connect directly to your vehicle’s computer. It will pull up any fault codes from various sensors. We are particularly looking for anything related to the transmission, engine or drivetrain. Diagnostics can help identify both known and unknown problems, as well as narrow down certain issues that are worth inspecting further.

Road Test

If you are having transmission trouble, we will take your vehicle out for a brief road test to see if we can replicate the problems you are describing. For example, if your transmission is slipping in and out of low gears, the road test will usually show us what you are experiencing—as well as other potential issues worth looking at—so we can address the problems more efficiently during the external inspection.

External Inspection

The transmission technicians at Ralph’s Transmission will then put the vehicle up on one of our heavy duty lifts for a thorough external inspection. This inspection is done with the transmission still in the vehicle. We will inspect and test the transmission fluid level and quality. We will look for any fluid leaks or damage to the housing, pan gasket or other components. This external inspection will generally reveal a lot and help us determine the next steps.

Inspection Report

Once the road test, diagnostics and external inspection have been completed, we will share our findings with you in a detailed inspection report. One of our service advisors will walk you through the report and answer any questions you have. If the problem is minor (like you are just overdue for a standard transmission service and fluid replacement), we’ll give you our recommendation and an accurate price quote for the repair or maintenance services. If these tests and inspection show that there may be more significant internal damage, we will recommend a full internal inspection.

Internal Inspection

An internal inspection will require our technicians to fully remove the transmission from your vehicle. It is important to understand removing the transmission and reinstalling it is not a free service. We will let you know the price and get your consent before we proceed to this step. Once the transmission has been removed, we can open it up and get a better look inside. We will inspect and test various components like the torque converter, clutches and gear assembly to identify any potential problems. Once this inspection process is complete, we will present you with another inspection report to let you know of any issues that were found. From there, we will provide our final recommendation for repairs, whether it’s replacing a damaged part or two or a full custom transmission rebuild.

You always have the option to deny an internal inspection and we won’t pull it from your vehicle. We’ll simply present our findings from the road test, diagnostics and initial external inspection. If you do proceed with an internal inspection, you are not obligated to approve any recommended repairs or rebuilds. You can decline further service. We’ll go ahead and put the transmission back as we found it and reinstall it back into your vehicle. You are always welcome to take it to another shop for a second opinion. We will keep your inspection reports on file, so you can come back to us anytime if you change your mind and want to proceed with our recommended services.

If you have questions about our transmission inspections or repair services, call Ralph’s Transmission today at 209.526.1909 or schedule your service appointment online.