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Mazda 6 2005 Torque Converter/Transmission

Hello everyone. So, I have had this car for 4 years, and it’s been driving, and handling very well overall. Lately, I started hearing a soft scratching noise when accelerating, and especially going from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd gear. There was some hesitation before shifting to the higher gear as well. I took the car to a local mechanic, and after test driving, and listening to the engine with a tube??? he told me that he needed to change the torque converter and the pump, and quoted me for $1936. My wife immediately wanted to sell the car and buy a new one. Half of my friends said the same thing (well, at least my richer friends did), and the others said to fix it and drive it while I could do so. So, I took the car to another transmission specialist, and they told me that the transmission was in great condition, fluids, shifting, etc. Something doesn’t add up here. I know that the engine/transmission doesn’t sound the same as when I bought the car, but how is it possible to have that kind of diametrically opposite diagnosis. Meanwhile, I took the Mazda to a local dealership, and they quoted me for $4500 trade-in value, while CARMAX said they would give me $2500. Needless to say, I am at a crossroad - we know we have to change the car soon, but how soon and under what circumstances, this is the question. Then, just today, another mechanic said that the engine is unbalanced, and is giving a low, and powerful vibration, and the harmonic balancer needed to be changed.

A friend of mine went through a similar agony with an older Mazda6. It had only 65,000 miles on it, 10 years old when the transmission gave up. The rest of the car was near-perfect.

They scrapped it because the dealer wanted $4500 for a rebuild and the independent shops said they could not get the parts.

If the rest of the car is really good, I’d try to get it fixed! They are nearly bullet-proof cars except for the transmission.

Yes, but should I fix it, if a reputable transmission shop says the transmission is in near perfect condition???

Dealer will give you $4500 and carmax $2500. That is because the dealer is inflating the trade-in value to make you feel good about the deal you got. Of course it is best to negotiate the price of your new car and then negotiate the price of your trade in. Carmax will buy it out right and you can walk away, but it’s wholesale price. You also can sell it yourself and get the sale by individual value that is higher and you would actually get around $4000 for it, cash.

I wanted to keep the selling option as a last resort. My main question is which one of the mechanics/transmission shops should I trust…

if the tranny folks are good and honest, then drive it until it actually has a problem.

assume you told the tranny folks that there is an sound issue between gears, they must have incorporated that in their analysis.

the sounds could be something else, not tranny related. if you trust them, go with their diagnosis

If the “local mechanic” is just a general mechanic and not a transmission specialist, then go with the transmission shop’s judgment. Most general mechanics don’t really know much about transmissions - except how to pull one out and put another in.

Did the transmission shop give you a diagnosis of the noise? The weird shifting? “Soft scratching” is not “you need a new converter and pump.” Nor is a little bit of wonky shifting.

How many miles are on the car? Has the transmission ever been serviced? (E.g. new filter / fluid change). Are there any warning lights on the dash and was the computer scanned for error codes?

You symptoms are way to nondescript to point to any serious transmission problem.