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Is the shop at fault?

Bear with me because this is going to be a long one. I have a 2002 Acura TL which I had the transmission rebuilt for $1600 a year ago. It came with a 2 year/24,000 mile warranty. When we were about 2,000 miles before the warranty (I drive a shit ton so I had already put 22,000 miles on it since the replacement), the same problems that we brought the car in for initially started happening again. It’s like it has trouble finding the gears, the RPM runs higher than usual, and then it slams into the gear (whole car feels like it goes back then forward). We called the shop and since we were in a cold snap (we live down south), they blamed it on that. The shop is approximately 600 miles from us, so it’s not like I can just drop it off to get it checked out. They said if we had any problems within the next few months, even if it was over mileage they would take care of it. Once it warmed up, the problem didn’t present again.

Fast forward 3 months, and we are moving from to near where the shop is. On the move down, I notice the car seems like it starts shifting hard out of nowhere on the freeway. With a minute, the RPMs are hitting 4-5 and the service engine light comes on. Immediately I stop the car and notice that there is transmission fluid all over the ground and tires. A mechanic happened to be at the gas station and he said that is some shoddy workmanship. We call the shop and have to get it towed 200 miles. At this point, we are over the 24,000 miles. At first the shop tries to say that we must have had the transmission worked on at a different shop, because it is a different color than what they put it. I inform them that the only place the car has been is Discount Tire, who only put on tires, so I don’t they played around with my transmission.

They act like they are going to do us a favor and just make us pay for parts. I didn’t feel like arguing and since they said it will be under $200 I agree. When we pick it up, he says that he flushed the transmission and repaired the shift linkage. He tells us the transmission should be good for at least a year or two. The service engine light is still on and when I inquire about this they say it’s unrelated to the transmission and just because of some dirty fluid. Don’t worry about it they said. The bill is $350.

200 miles later, I’m driving the car and the initial problem presents (having trouble changing gears, higher RPM, slamming into gear). I call the shop and they tell me to bring it back in. They say it should be fine to drive, I must have asked 6 times if they were sure and they said it will be fine. In the morning, I leave to drive it in. Within 2 miles, the TBS light comes on and the D5 light is blinking and it’s shifting even harder than before. I call the shop and leave a message (since it’s 5:30 am) and say there’s no way that I’m driving it in. They call back and tell me I have to pay for yet another tow. At this point, they inform me that he MADE the part for the shift linkage since he would have had to buy an entire new shifter assembly otherwise. So apparently the free labor they had given me was bull. I can’t imagine new fluid when you flush a transmission and a made part could have cost $350, so I must have been charged for labor.

Before I take it in, I stop at an AutoZone and have them give me a print out with the codes. They are:

P1607 PCM Internal Circuit Malfunction
P0740 Automatic Transaxle Lockup Clutch System Malfunction
P1751 A/T Hydraulic Pressure Control Malfunction (Mechanical)
P1710 A/T First Hold Switch Circuit Malfunction

After they take a look at it, they initially say they are going to go to a junkyard and try and find a shift linkage. They try and say we must have spilled something in the shifter that made it break. I told them that’s impossible because I replaced the piece that goes around and helps to protect the shifter before I even drove it off the property. Apparently my $350 didn’t include them popping that piece back in. They call a few hours later and tell us that is not the only problem. They say we need a new 3rd gear assembly and that possibly the PCM needs to be replaced.

They offer to give a discount,give us back half of the $350 we paid last time and that without the PCM it would be between $450-$600. They aren’t sure that this will fix the problem though, and we may need to at least replace the PCM as well. Since I’ve never seen a shop offer to pay for part of a repair for no reason and give a partial refund, it makes me thing that they may have caused the damage. I don’t know a lot about transmissions but I’m trying to educate myself so I can understand if they are trying to pull one over on me. I can’t imagine it’s very common to make a part and since he said the shift linkage had to do with voltage, I was curious if that could have potentially caused damage. I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this. I’m at a loss and if it is their fault want to hold them accountable. Before I go in their guns blazing though, I need people who understand transmissions better than myself to explain to me if they could be responsible. Thanks for any help at all.

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