Used Transmissions, Are They A Good Idea?

Jim Jennings Transmission Baltimore

Sometimes! Obviously you have a used transmission in your car, SUV or truck right now and it has a serious problem if you're in the market for another one. We know from experience, certain transmissions on the used market are a terrible gamble, while others may not be so bad. The key is how many miles was on the vehicle the used transmission was removed from and how was it driven.

The auto salvage industry is a remarkable example of the law of "supply and demand". If large quantities of a particular transmission are languishing in wrecking yards with little demand......the price to purchase will be low. If that's the case and the mileage is reasonably low, it might be an acceptable risk. If the opposite is the case with your type of transmission, the risk may be too great.

Should you choose to gamble on a used transmission for your vehicle, there are certain things you should do before it is installed:

  1. Be sure the the mileage is not in the "wear out range"
  2. Ask the repair center to visually inspect it for impact, fire or water damage and for cut or damaged wires
  3. Check the color and condition of the fluid.
  4. Remove the transmission's sump pan and inpsect for any unusual amount of worn off debris. Also check the filter.
  5. Install a new filter, clean and reinstall the pan with a new gasket.
  6. Install new seals in the front pump, extension housing or, in the case of a front wheel drive, replace the two axle seals.

Please realize the repair money you're spending is actually buying "peace of mind". In other words, a used transmission may provide you with 90 days or 6 months of "peace of mind". Should you decide to rebuild it, your "peace of mind" is at least a year and possibly as much as three years or longer.