Typical transmission repair scams​


A popular method used by dishonest transmission rebuilders is that of lowballing a client. This tactics lies in the fact that the transmission shop tries to attract customers by very low prices or discounts on the repair. One of the ways to detect lowballing it is to take note on how much time it takes the shop's specialist to actually estimate the time and price for your car transmission repair.

Usually, proper diagnostics of transmission issues can take several hours and can almost never be performed in just a few minutes. You should be very skeptical about bottom prices that are not written down. These types of lowball prices often grow substantially after technicians disassemble your transmission. They assume that you don't want to waste more time, and raise the price of services significantly.

Fake Rebuilds

Another frequently used tactics is a fake transmission rebuild. In some cases, linkage issues have symptoms that resemble a gearbox failure. Some repair shops make a profit on not well-informed customers by telling that the gearbox is in awful condition and should be fully rebuilt, when in reality only the shift linkage has to be adjusted.

This type of fraud turns a minor repair that usually costs less than $100 into a repair that can cost even $1000. Actually, they are not likely to remove the gearbox from the car with the aim to perform any adjustments. The swindler only needs to keep your car long enough in order to convince you that they've performed required services on it. Sometimes, dishonest technicians discreetly put some metal chips on the pan while changing ATF and then use it as a pretext for costly repair.

Paying for Nothing

The workshop quotes you for services that have never been performed at all. For non-professionals it’s a difficult task to confirm what was done on a transmission, and dishonest rebuilders can take advantage of it.

Online Fraud

Fraud artists are taking advantage of customers who want to be tight with money by buying a transmission or spare parts on the Internet—especially refurbished transmissions. Undoubtedly, there are many trustworthy online transmission suppliers, but you should always be watchful of ones that offer presumably high-quality rebuilt or remanufactured transmissions on auction websites for suspiciously low prices under the pretext of special offers or discounts. Many people complain of purchasing a used transmission that had not been rebuilt at all, but simply had the bell housing cleaned and repainted.

Transmission Flushing

In the pursuit of extra money many gearbox repair specialists will offer you a flushing service when you take your car in for a different kind of service. They will tell you that the transmission has sludge and particles built up inside of it, and that a flush will be a perfect solution and restore your transmission back to the ideal operating condition.

However, this kind of service is not always the best option. You will find that most carmakers advice against getting a flush each time the technicians at repair shops try to impose it. In fact, some warranties on your transmission will be cancelled if you get a flush that does not comply with the manufacturer's guidelines.

New Transmission Warranty

When the warranty on your transmission runs out, you may think that buying an aftermarket warranty will be a great investment. It is reasonable to assume that the transmission replacement will cost you much higher, so a new warranty seems like a decent option. In theory, it is. But in practice, not all of the warranties that you will find on the market are reliable. In many cases, the sellers will promise customers everything they want to hear to get you to sign up for a new warranty. Always be sure to read carefully any warranty before you purchase it.

When you have doubts about the quality of purchased warranty it is reasonable to visit some of the local auto repair shops and check whether they would repair your car under the warranty that the company is offering. It is recommended to do it before buying the warranty. If the shop refuses to repair your car with that warranty, do not buy it.

No quote without car disassembly

The transmission repair specialist tells that he cannot give an accurate price for services unless your car is disassembled. Once it’s disassembled, you end up being a hostage of the situation, because towing your car in this condition to another shop is quite risky (it is not allowed). Don’t name aloud any prices before you receive a technician’s comment! Dishonest technicians may disassemble your transmission and give the price specified by you, even if there is nothing serious with your car. In this case it’s better to ask the technician to give you the best- and – worst-case scenario for the cost of repair or an average price, doing so will prevent the overpricing.

Phone estimation

This tactics is considered to be one of the most primitive forms of fraud, but still many drivers fall for surprisingly low prices offered by so-called “professionals” who can estimate the severity of the problem on the basis of several symptoms and give you an “accurate price”. What happens next is as follows: the gearbox is removed and disassembled, and the best part - suddenly you find out that the issue is much more complex and you have to pay much more than it has been previously estimated, and you’re on the hook.

To avoid such rip-off situations, it is also recommended to ask for the best-case scenario and worst-case scenario quotes in writing in advance. Thus, you will see potential financial expenses and decide whether you agree with the price or not. If the shop does not provide the written confirmation of prices for provided services, it’s better to find some other shop.

Used Transmission instead of Rebuilt/Remanufactured

Instead of being rebuilt, your transmission it may be replaced with a used unit. If you get a short-timed warranty for the service it is the first sign of this type of fraud.

One Day and your Transmission is as Good as New

Generally, when it comes to gearbox repair drivers have to forget about their cars for several days, but some money-craving shops can resort to such an ill-practice as short turnaround time. It should be borne in mind that it is impossible to accurately diagnose the gearbox and estimate the cost of repair in one day. Short-time warranty is the first sign of this type of scam.

We Can Repair any Part of your Car………except the Automatic Transmission

Frequently, auto repair services do not service automatic transmissions, but they never miss out on the chance to make easy money. When you visit such a shop, they will promise you to deal with the transmission issues promptly and efficiently, but in fact, they just take the transmission from your car to the repair shop and then add extra charge to the transmission repair.