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Transmission Diagnostic Showed Nothing

I had Pep Boys run a transmission diagnostic on my 2001 Mazda 626 for $100. They called me to say that I probably need a rebuilt transmission. When I asked them what the diagnostic showed, the guy told me nothing showed up on the scanner. But he said since nothing came up on the scanner and the fact a hose was burnt proves that I need a new transmission. Is this correct? Why did I pay $100 if it told them nothing? He said they would have to look inside the transmission to evaluate full extent of damage. I feel ripped off for having this test done.

I don’t want to make you feel bad, but I think that you first mistake was allowing Pep Boys to attempt to diagnose the problem. They might be fine for mounting tires on your car, or for installing a battery, but I would not trust them (or Sears, or Midas, or Meineke, or Monro, or AAMCO, or Lee Myles, or Cottman, or any other chain) to be either competent or honest. Don’t compound that mistake by using another chain operation.

If you believe that you are having a problem with your transmission, take it to an independent transmission shop that has been in business for at least 3 years. You are likely to find far greater competence, better prices, and better workmanship at an independent transmission shop. Just on the unlikely chance that Pep Boys is correct about a defect such as “a burnt hose” (???), it might be better to have the car towed to a transmission shop, rather than driving it.

Run away far and fast, but not to any other chain outfit either.
Where you experiencing an operational problem with you car?

Thanks to VDCdriver and Tardis for quick replies. The problem I’m having is when I put the car in D to take off, it revs really high before creeping along. So what I’ve been doing the past couple of days is to take off in 2 and then shift to D when my rpm’s are high enough. Hopefully this isn’t damaging the engine until I can find a competent repair shop.

Why wouldn’t anything show up on the diagnostic scanner if I’m having this problem?

“Why wouldn’t anything show up on the diagnostic scanner if I’m having this problem?”

The most likely reason is that the mechanics at Pep Boys tend to be…how can I be diplomatic…not the sharpest tools in the shed. In general, the better mechanics don’t work at places like that.

In my area, many of their employees appear to be unable to speak English, thus giving me 1,001 reasons to NOT allow them to touch my car. If someone can’t read the manual for the diagnostic equipment, they may be unable to get a good result.

Do you know if they even checked the level, the color, and the smell of the transmission fluid?
That is the most basic part of the diagnostic process, and I would suggest that you do this yourself. Report back to us on your findings. Also, please tell us how many miles are on the odometer, and when the transmission last had its fluid and filter changed.

As to the symptoms and what you have been doing in response to the symptoms, it appears that there is slippage taking place in the transmission. While this situation will not damage the engine, every time that you drive the car, you may be putting the final nail in the transmission’s coffin. Ask friends, relatives and co-workers for transmission shop recommendations, and get the car to a recommended place a.s.a.p. And, if one of these people recommends a chain operation, PLEASE ignore their advice.

First, I’m going to guess that they only have access to a standard OBD 2 scanner, which will NOT read most transmission trouble codes.

Second, a hose was burnt?? Does that mean a hose to the cooler in the radiator was burned and therefore leaking fluid? What is the level and condition of the fluid? Have the fluid and filter been changed recently?

When I was with KIA and we had a transmission concern the KIA people wanted us to test and record line pressures in 3 different gear,brake,accelerator positions.

I am not a transmission guy but these pressures were easy enough to obtain and record and if they were incorrect in some way you got a OK to replace the trans.

As best as I can figure they wanted to know when the transmission went to full pressure and if it was at the correct time. We did not have to supply any trouble codes to get approval