To rebuild or not to and just runaway


I recently bought a 1985 chevy caprice wagon, one month ago. 142,000 on it for 800 bucks. I was told the transmission(700R4) was rebuilt at about 100,000. It has run fine until I brought it in to start my to do list.Signal Garage is triple AAA ceritfied, and I had brought cars to them before.They had a promo going on bring in a bag of food for food driveto get new brakes in case I needed them. My mechanic smelled a lot of fuel and there was a small amount of fuel leaking (about 1/4 cup a day is my guess), very small near the right front behind the drivers side wheel. So I thought lets get the fuel filter changed and maybe a leak could be detected instead of paying labor to having them look for a couple hours or so. Only because i have a tight budget. Stick with me here. Anyway they also replaced vaccum tubes that broke during changing fuel filter. 92.00 bucks. Well a week later I was driving and felt a delay in engagement. Reving pretty high at about 20mph. Then it felt like it was losing some power. So I brought it back to Signal garage. They said they think its shift linkage and said they dont think they are ceritfied to touch it because it could be inside transmission. Okay I say I bring it to AAMCO transmissions. I was told it has something to do with the reverse that it keeps wanting to go into reverse and he has got to go in there and cant just fix that specific problem cuz he liable for anything else that might go wrong in there so he has to rebuild and the cost would be 1,000 to 1,300. Yikes! He went on to say the “200r4’s are notorious for those problems” I decided to get a 3rd opinion. I went to Kennedy, was told it’s a sticky valve inside the transmission, and everything up top seems fine. I was reccommended from Signal Garage to see this specific mechanic at Kennedy. Well this diagnosis was a quick drive around and looking at the car on the ground. He said I could unstick the valve by removing the debris that is probably in there but it will probably happen again. It would cost about 1,000 to do this. Again I dont have the money and am so desiring a simple even 500 would feel better. OH and it actually was a 700R4. My trust level has shrunk and my wallet isnt any bigger. He said he could put in lube-gard for 20bucks. I said great we will see if it magically unsticks itself. I also inquired why not just get a flush and he said the debris will just happen again. Now I know this has been a lenghty article but so has this issue. My perspective is shot, and I can drive this car and the lube gard only having been in my tranny for a day who know how many whale babies have been born to eat up some of the infinate debris. Please help me. Thats assuming you are still reading this novel.


After reading your post i think the answer is clear. Cut your losses and bail.


It sounds like you’re gettin’ jerked around here. First of all, if it really IS a stuck or sticking accumulator, how the devil is it going to cost 1,000 dollars? You can take care of that with the transmission in the car.

Personally, I think you should look around in the Sunday newspaper ads for a good deal on a transmission flush and filter change. If that doesn’t take care of it, you need to find another good independent transmission shop and tell them what the first shop said. $1,000 is way out of line to just drop the valve body and remove/replace the accumulator valves.


You should not lose more money on this $250 car.