Rebuilt Transmission

used
transmissions
#1

Two years ago I bought a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix with 123K miles for $1500 for my son’s first car. Besides needing new brakes, it ran great until this past summer. The garage found a dried out hose and, after replacement, it was fine. They identified a number of other issues that might need to be addressed before the boy took it away to college. After putting in $750 more dollars, I thought all was well. Unfortunately, it didn’t even make the 500 mile trip to school before having problems. A garage looked at it and reported the Transmission was shot. They’ve quoted $1000 to buy/install a used trans. They said the rest of the car looks good and it would be worth the investment. Any thoughts?

#2

Do you or any of your friends and associates know of a trans shop near you that is good and trustworthy? How far away is the car? I would get a second opinion on the transmission from a transmission specialist.

#3

The car is 500 miles from home - too far to try on a struggling trans. The shop I took it to was recommended by the local police - that’s where they get their cars serviced. Although I didn’t expect them to look at it for two days, they called within an hour with the news, and didn’t charge anything for the diagnosis.

#4

I would say that it’s worth doing but you should be aware of something.
This shop will install a used transmission and while a unit from the salvage yard may be “guaranteed” to be good no one really knows, and that includes the shop that installs it.

If the transmission turns out to be bad or goes bad within 2 weeks then you would not have any recourse against the shop; and this is the way it should be.
No one is psychic when it comes to used parts.

The salvage yard will likely stand behind the transmission by providing another or refunding the cost of the transmission but will not stand behind any labor involved in changing it out again.
Just wanted to make you aware of that if you’re not familiar with it.

#5

I appreciate the advice. BTW, I made an error in the original post, this is a '98 Grand AM, not a Grand Prix.

#6

The shop probably knows but make sure they flush the cooler lines.