Repair bum trans?

2010+ equinoxes are known for trans issues.
Mainly the wave plate issue.
Is a used trans just waiting for the failure?
Sonex makes a repair part.
Is putting that part/kit on a good used trans a good idea?

If I had the equipment to swap a transmission myself I’d find one in a junkyard and do it. Or if I wanted to learn how to rebuild transmissions I might make it an educational project. But I wouldn’t bother just-'cause.

Depends on what kind of SUV it is. Run the numbers. If the cost is OK and if you can do the work yourself or it isn’t too expensive, sure.

If it is a model that can drop the trans without pulling the engine and rebuilt trans are not too expensive, sure, why not.

Just my view but I’ve had a few transmissions repaired and I would never consider a used unit. Spend a little time with Precision Transmission out of Texas and see how complicated they are. $100 for a 6 speed automatic... Was the deal just to good to be true??? Well let’s find out - YouTube
He has lots of good videos but transmission repair is not for novices.

The price seems a little high but maybe this is one of those complicated transmissions. As far as a rebuilt engine goes, I would want to know what that means? Was it overhauled by a local and what did that include? Was it a reman engine and from where, etc. The only engine I ever bought was a factory remanufactured Goodwrench crate engine. In some cases just a rebuilt engine would not impress me. Depending, I’d probably pass on this.

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“Overhauled” engine, fwd trans, unknown mileage…I’m thinking I’d pass if I could make a profit without fooling with the trans.

Car prices are way up, though. You’ll have to run the numbers, like MM said. How much do you have in the suv vs what you can get out of it as it is, vs potential sales value with it running, vs how big of a PITA is swapping this trans myself going to be (it’ll be big!).

No way I’d do it but I have seen videos where they pull side cover and guts out of trans to fix broken wave plate. I have done several gm fwd trans so I know how to drop subframe. It has the trouble prone 2.4 ecotec but it has new pistons/rings for oil issues and a new head. The motor is worth 1500. I know where there is a 2015 equinox with a bad motor for sale.

I would consider a used transmission only if it was verifed to come out of a very low miles vehicle and only if that vehicle was a total wreck.

My concern might be more with the engine than the transmission. The word “overhauled” is often used too liberally and could mean a proper overhaul or a backyard hack job. A young man I knew had a Mustang SVO that got a new head gasket only. He would tell people every day of the week about his “brand new engine”.


the stats for small / local rebuilds are abysmal. around 1/3rd of locally rebuilt trannys need a do-over.

a jeep mechanic told me the zf 8 / 9 speeds have a three tier process – tcu software update and retrain cycle, valve body replacement, or swap out the trans with one from a national rebuilder. lots of wiring harness issues too. no local rebuilds.

also some zf equipped jeeps feel like they have trans problems when it’s actually the spark plugs – just a one of those cases where 20 minutes with an experienced pro can save a lot of time and money.

a highly rated local rebuilder probably gets them right the first time, while the more sketchy shops probably cut a lot of corners, resulting in the bulk of do-overs.

I had a guy do mine and it was a learning experience. The $200 I saved was spent many times over for the poor work. I insisted on a new harness inside the trans and he insisted he did. A week later it was in another shop opening the thing up again to replace the harness. It was a GM only part from the main warehouse so no way the first guy replaced it. $400 later I was back on the road. A year later I had to have it overhauled again by a quality shop. I threw my old warranty in the trash. I think the second overhaul was around $1500. All to save $200.

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I haven’t had good luck with local rebuilders either. I’ve pretty much decided I won’t have another one refurbished locally. I will either buy a factory reman or junk the car.

The 2011 equinox is fwd or awd. There are 4-6 variations. Some as low as $150 at yards to $800-1000 on avg. local guy will rebuild it for $1000 but it’s $400 more for new solenoid pack. If you choose too. The remaned listings are $2300 on avg.
Seems the 2010 and newer units are more complicated then previous gens.