2006 Ford Explorer needs new transmission

I was told at 65k that I needed a new transmission for my 2006 Ford Explorer?? Should I have it done at the dealer where I have always taken my car for service? Might another dealer charge less? Other options?

The dealer does not rebuild transmissions. They will have a local shop do the rebuild or sell you a remanufactured transmission. In either case, the price will probably be inflated beyond what a local shop will do. And, a rebuilt or remanufactured unit is only as good as the shop that does the work.

I suggest you get quotes from the dealer and a few independent shops, both for total installed price and warranty period. If you can find any references from friends or family for some shops, that is best.

Going backwards a little bit here but can you tell us what kind of trouble you are having with your transmission that requires a complete rebuild or replacement?

You can certainly find a lower cost repair or replacement at a local independent shop or transmisson specialist. The advantage of buying a Ford replacement transmission through the dealer is that the warranty will be good anytime anywhere where there is a Ford dealer. If you travel regularly or move a lot for work that’s something to think about.

Ask someone you trust at the dealer shop – or if you use an inde shop for other cars, ask them too – to recommend a local inde transmission shop. Transmission work shouldn’t usually be done at a dealership unless it is under warranty. There’s often one transmission shop in an area that is the best, and all the other mechanics in the area will tell you the same thing if you ask them who it is.

What are the symptoms and how definite is the diagnosis of a new transmission? The mileage is too low for a transmission failure unless there were contributing factors or a fluke failure.

I respectfully have to disagree that dealers do not perform internal transmission work. At the import dealers the guy assigned the transmission job did the work. With domestic dealers they usually have one or more mechanics whose sole job is transmission work. The domestics usually have it broken down further with Heavy Line (engine work), driveability, and so on with one or more guys specializing in certain areas. At least that’s been the MO around here.

You have to take every shop on a case by case basis, including dealer shops. I have a Ford dealer near me that I don’t visit anymore. On two separate occasions I brought them different vehicles for transmission diagnosis. On both occasions I was told that I needed a new transmission. On neither occasion was this true. Especially on older vehicles, a lot of shops won’t mess with transmission issues. If there is any hint of a problem they just go the all or nothing route.

At this age and mileage, other than complete abuse, I’m thinking only a few things would lead to the need for replacement, and they wouldn’t be all that common this early on. One is just some fluke as noted by ok4450 - basically bad luck on early part failure. Another is if you blew a cooler line or seal, lost the fluid and kept trying to drive with the transmission slipping. That will kill it fast. The only other one I can think of is an internal radiator leak that puts coolant into the transmission fluid. That will also kill it fast. Short of something like that, I’d first assume a problem that wasn’t catastrophic.

From what i can find online Ford wants around $2700 for a factory reman transmission (at least for the 4.0V6) not counting any labor charges. Aamco or similar might be cheaper but it all depends on the shop.

I wish my car was 8yrs old/65k miles. Heck I would even like a used trans of that vintage for my current car. Bet I could find one at junkyard. I assume u have issue that requires tear down. Which is dealer speak for new trans. Fix $20 part inside trans, might as well rebuild it.

OlyDoug wrote:
Aamco or similar might be cheaper but it all depends on the shop.

A good local transmission shop is likely to work out better than a chain outfit.