It doesn't. At least, it doesn't when you understand what we need to do to repair your transmission.
You see, repairing an automatic transmission is not as simple as changing the spark plugs or adjusting the carburetor. Today's automatic transmissions--particularly those with front wheel drive technology or computerized systems--are extremely complicated units.
There are over three thousand parts in today's average automatic transmission. And the parts for some late model imports can cost ten times as much as parts for older, larger cars.
Just getting to the parts you need to see to find out what's wrong often calls for major surgery--especially in smaller cars where the manufacturer has tightly packed different mechanical systems on top of and around each other.
With such complex units, preventive maintenance is the key to keeping repair costs down. To help head off major problems, we recommend you have your transmission serviced at least every 12,000 miles.
Why can't you tell me what it's going to cost to fix my transmission without taking it apart first?
You'd be amazed at how many people want us to diagnose their transmission problems over the phone. Aside from the fact that a consumer might easily miss a symptom a trained mechanic would see or hear when the vehicle is brought in, can you tell the difference between a rattle, buzz, grind, whine and a slip? And do you mean the same thing by those words as we do?
The plain truth is, We simply can't be sure of what's wrong with your transmission until we take a look inside. Nobody can.
Symptoms which can be observed externally--like noises, leaks or vibrations--can signal a wide range of possible problems, not necessarily a single malfunction. Also, many malfunctions that can occur with today’s transmissions may be caused by a component outside the transmission like a Throttle Position Sensor, a MAP sensor, or even a simple fuse. We've got to give your transmission a thorough checkup to really now what's causing the symptom.
If anyone ever tells you he can accurately diagnose what's wrong with your transmission without a thorough diagnosis (which may include looking inside), you'd better get a second opinion.
How do I know I'm not getting ripped -off?
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from dishonest transmission repair shops.
First, you can ask your regular automotive mechanic to recommend a transmission shop to you. You can then check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if that shop has had any complaints filed against it. And you should always ask to see your transmission once it comes apart and insist that your old parts be returned to you.
But there's even a simpler way to protect yourself: have your automatic transmission repairs done by a member of ATRA-The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association.
What is ATRA?
ATRA is a nonprofit professional organization for the automatic transmission repair industry. Its members comprise the worlds oldest and largest network of independent transmission rebuilding firms, with over 2000 members in the U.S. and Canada alone.
One of the major reasons ATRA exists is to protect its members and the public from dishonest or incompetent repair shops.
How does ATRA take the worry out of automatic transmission repair?
First, ATRA requires its member to employ experienced personnel whose skills have been tested and certified by the Association. To make sure they stay up to date on the latest automatic transmission models, ATRA also requires Association members to attend annual training seminars. When you take your transmission to an ATRA member's shop, you can be confident your dealing with technicians who know what they're doing.
Second, ATRA requires its members to conduct business in an ethical manner. Applicants for membership are not allowed to have unanswered Better Business Bureau complaints against them, nor may they ever have had more than five business-related suits filed against them, nor may they have been found guilty of any business related crime or violation within the previous two years. When you take your transmission to an ATRA member's shop, you can be confident your dealing with someone who treats customers fairly and honestly.
And third, when you have your automatic transmission rebuilt by an ATRA member, you can be protected by the Association's "Golden Rule Warranty Plan." This Plan is an inter-member warranty program sponsored by ATRA in which your rebuilt automatic transmission would be fixed for free by an ATRA member's shop should something go wrong with it within up to one year or 12,000 miles of the original repair. (It's important that you understand your warranty. Talk to your local ATRA member for the specific conditions of this program and how it applies to the work you need done on your automatic transmission.)
Yes, we know it's not any fun when something goes wrong with your automatic transmission. But you can be confident you will be treated fairly and competently when you take your automatic transmission to an ATRA member for repairs.
How do I check the transmission fluid level?
Always check the fluid level with the engine running (except Honda), the transmission in "park" except Dodge products which should be in neutral with the emergency brake applied), and with the engine at operating temperature. Remove the dipstick and wipe with a rag. Insert the stick fully and remove. Look at both sides of the stick to verify the same indication. Repeat the process.
Will it hurt to overfill the transmission?
In a word, no! Although, it is possible that gross overfilling can cause the fluid to be subjected to moving parts and become aerated which could cause abnormal operation. You may also notice leaks that ordinarily would not occur.
I have a "CHECK ENGINE"
light on. Could this indicate a transmission problem?
Yes it could. Bring the vehicle down to Moore Transmission so we can access the onboard transmission control computer to see if any codes have been stored in memory that indicate this.
My transmission is giving me problems. Does that mean I need a new one?
Not at all. In many cases an external problem can be repaired INEXPENSIVELY and efficiently!
Are there other things that can go wrong with my car that can affect my transmission also?
Yes, with today's electronic engine components, and transmission parts, there can often be a problem with the electronics in other operating areas of your car that will cause a poor performance in your transmission. That is why we need more technically trained employees today. We also have purchased state of the art equipment, including several electronic scanners that will help in the correct diagnosis of your transmission and other electrical problems. Check for a modern well equipped shop in your area when you need to have work done.
Why does the transmission fluid change to a dark brown or a blackish color when it was just changed recently?
The reason it changes color so quickly is that the red dye is temperature related, and if your fluid is changing color quickly, then the transmission is overheating for some reason, possibly slippage in the transmission, or lack of lubrication. If you have this problem then it is time to have it checked out by an independent shop in your area.
I've heard so many horror stories about transmission shops. How can I pick a reputable shop in my area?
Most reputable shops have some affiliation with one or more trade organizations that offer nationwide warranty programs and/or technical assistance. As far as Moore Transmission’s reputation, just call us and we’ll give you some of our trade references or some customer references.