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Old 06-07-2010, 08:40   #1 (permalink)
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Do I really need a new/rebuilt transmission?

My 2002 Windstar broke down over the weekend. The overdrive light started blinking and about 5 minutes later the transmission would no longer engage.

I started it up the next day and put it in gear, but there was no response. Car acts like its in neutral and I do not feel the gears set when I put the car in reverse, drive, or 1 & 2.

I had it towed to a Christian Brothers Automotive who said it needed a rebuilt transmission for $2300 - $2500.

Unfortunately, the van broke down in Houston and I live in Austin (about 160 miles away), so I do not have a lot of leeway to try alternatives.

I really can't afford this fix. Does anybody have any better ideas?
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:51   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Do I really need a new/rebuilt transmission?

Christian brothers is a reputable business. If they say it needs a transmission, they're 99.9% right.
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Old 06-10-2010, 19:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Do I really need a new/rebuilt transmission?

kboucher - check the transmission dipstick to verify you have fluid. Not having fluid the transmission can't grab a gear. If the level is fine, then yes, a rebuild is likely the only option.

Most good shops might charge a bit extra, but they can generally finance the cost should you need it for up to a year. You can also contact your financial institution about a line of credit if the interest is decent and you absolutely have no alternatives.

One thing you can ask them is about getting another transmission from a salvage yard. This is of course a mixed bag and the trans can last 10K or 100K without problems. But, the cost is generally a lot less than getting a rebuild. Find a low mileage salvage unit and you should be fine. The only cost will be the trans and labour to change them out.

visit RockAuto Auto Parts to check parts in your area, or as I mentioned, ask the transmission shop.
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Old 06-10-2010, 19:28   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Do I really need a new/rebuilt transmission?

You can visit Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market for used parts in your area
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Old 06-10-2010, 20:06   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Do I really need a new/rebuilt transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 360ci View Post
One thing you can ask them is about getting another transmission from a salvage yard.

If you already have the used tranny in your possession, that makes it a lot harder for them to throw some stupid loophole at you or bogus policy saying they can't install used stuff.
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