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How to choose a used transmission for my Suburu?


The automatic transmission just went on my 96 suburu outback impreza sport. luckily I had a private warantee that covered the transission so at first i thought I’d be all set, but then the warantee company decided they would only cover the cheapest used transmission in the country ~$350 with 90,000 miles on it. I have no idea what the condition of this transmission is or why it’s so cheap, and its in virgina so it might take a week to have it shipped and installed.

I tried to tell them i did not think this transmission was good enough, or met the contract which states they must replace a part with one of equal quality.

Should I trust this part?

The mechanic I took the part to thinks it might be rusty since it’s from the east coast. He wants me to buy a used transmission with a little over 100,000 miles on it, and this one comes with a 6 month warantee, but it will cost me $300 extra bucks. Is it worth it?

Thanks for any help and advice,


When does your private warranty run out? If it lasts 6 more months then go for the “free” offering and see if it works out. Just because a used part has a warranty does not mean it is any better than another used part without. It just has built in insurance of replacement of the part price (does that extra $350 if you purchase the warrantied part cover labor of installation of another?).

Rust/exposure to salt is absolutely irrelevant to the operation of an automatic transmission and longevity.

I might go along with the insurance company on the less expensive transmission but only under one condition.

That’s if the insurance company will stand behind this transmission (parts AND labor) for 6 months and put it IN writing. None of that verbal garbage that will be forgotten 5 minutes after promises are made over the phone.

It’s possible the cheaper transmission could be good and it’s also possible that someone would have no qualms about dumping off a problematic one to someone clean across the country. They have the money, the trans is out of their hair, and they know that likely no one is going to do any long distance litigation or pushing and shoving.

I mention having this in writing because while working for dealers we got tied up in several of those warranty company problems in which verbal promises were made, the vehicle was repaired and gone, and the dealer got stuck when the warranty company started finding reasons not to pay up.

yeah my original warantee will run out in less than a month.

since the original transmission in my suburu lasted 170k, i can see why a 100k transmission would be ok to get at this point, but i worry that it’s been sitting in some junkyard somewhere for months rusting away