How not to be ripped-off

Do online searches. Today, customers can find a lot of useful information in the Internet when it comes to the reputation, quality of service, customer care, prices, and feedbacks on almost all repair shops. So don’t be lazy and do your best to avoid potential scams.

Forget about phone estimates. Transmission repairs are hard if not impossible to quote over the phone. This in itself should be taken skeptically if a repair shop offers a quote without visual inspection of the car.

Evaluate the repair shop itself. Everything you see when you visit the repair facility, such as tidiness, attitude and professionalism, may give a clue whether you can count on the staff of this shop or not. Usually, recognized repair shops join well-known associations such as ATRA, ATSG, ASA to stay in touch with other members, visit industry events and educational seminars.

Get references. Ask your friends or relatives who has had good experiences with transmission repairs, and then look into that facility.

It is highly recommended to be present during the process of diagnostics. You have to make sure that there are error codes on the scanner connected to your car.

Get the result of computer diagnostics - error codes and check out what these codes stand for.

When you get error codes you can also consult with specialists from other repair shops regarding the required repair measures and prices.

Ensure that the automatic gearbox has been dismantled during the repair process – pay close attention to the fastening elements of the gearbox.

It is desirable to be present during the process of the pan removal.

After inspecting your car accurately, the shop technician should know for sure the failure cause in your car. He should be able to give you a written estimate that precisely identifies the issue and the cost of repair. If you get such document read it carefully before signing. If the workshop does not provide any documents or if the legal validity of these documents causes any doubts, then it’s better to find a more reliable repair shop. Reputable workshops always provide a legal document, which includes a full range of provided services – from diagnostics to the repair.

Not every auto mechanic can provide top-quality repair services for automatic gearboxes, therefore it’s better to contact a specialized workshop which employs highly-skilled technicians with practical experience in the repair of automatic transmissions.

If you have doubts after your transmission has been repaired visit some other repair service to lift the car and inspect the transmission. Specialists can see that straightaway whether the gearbox was dismantled or not.

Never fall for low prices. Automatic gearboxes are quite sophisticated units, so for you it would be wishful thinking to expect that it can be repaired cheaply and covered by a warranty.

The automatic gearbox repair is a time-consuming process, therefore beware of promises to bring you back on the road in 1 day. There is a great deal to do to produce a completely repaired gearbox. Be prepared to be without the car for a few days.

When you leave the car at the workshop, be sure to take note of the odometer reading — sometimes it happens that dishonest members of the repair shop staff use clients' cars for their own purposes.

If you know that the transmission replacement is inevitable, you can save some money by buying a remanufactured gearbox yourself(buy only from reliable suppliers!) and only pay a local repair shop for the labor to install it (instead of paying extra charge on a gearbox they buy).

Check if the warranty is still valid. If your car is still relatively new/low mileage you should check if your transmission’s issue is still covered by your powertrain warranty before going to a workshop.