Transmission: Fix or Replace?

2004 Acura MDX, check engine light came on. Got code checked: P0741, supposed to be switch or torque converter. My mechanic won’t do transmission work, so took to dealer. They drained fluid, no metal shavings. Now they want to replace transmission, said it has internal damage. It wasn’t running badly, a little slippage here and there. Don’t think it really needs replaced. Any ideas?

How many miles on the car? Does the repair estimate exceed the value of the car? If you decide to repair the transmission, get two more estimates before you commit to the dealer…

116K miles. They estimate cost to replace at $6K.

Automatic transmission work is so complicated and time consuming that you’ll spend as much, just in labor time, as a reman trans would cost.
Add the fact that the first guess repair might not fix it completely and you waste a lot of time, effort and money.
THEN realize that with a reman trans you also get a warranty as well.

Through years of exerience we’ve found it more beneficial to just replace it.

Ask your indy shop about replacing one of the non-acura remans retailing at about 3000 plus labor.

When repairing a trans you are already paying all the labor for R&R. Then add to that all the time and labor for disassembly, reassembly, and unknown parts.

Salvage yards are FULL of cars with failed automatic transmissions…They are not wrecked or otherwise unserviceable…They just can not be economically repaired…

My experience with dealerships is that they’d rather just change your transmission for thousands of dollars than be bothered doing any real work… like diagnosis. And their prices are sky-high.

I strongly recommend that you have the dealer seal the tranny up again, refill the tranny to the proper level, CHECK THE LEVEL YOURSELF before leaving the dealership, and bring the car to a reputable independently owned and operated tranny shop. Chances are you’ll save thousands AND get a better repair result.

Postscript/edit: please don’t interpret my post as meaning that you don’t need a new tranny, you might, but as with any expensive repair it’s good to get a second opinion… and I have an inherent distrust of dealer shops… which may be obvious. After reading OK4450’s post I realized that mine could easily be misinterpreted, so I thought I’d make sure my intent was clear.

Why would you think that the trans does not need to be replaced? You’ve got a converter code and state that it’s been slipping which is often the kiss of death for an automatic.
If it’s still slipping after a fluid change then you likely need another unit.

No shavings in the old fluid may not mean anything and there’s no way a shop should remove and tear into a 12 year old, high miles transmission to do any kind of piecemeal repair.

To go along with Caddyman’s comment about salvage yards, consider the Pull A Part yards. One will seldom ever find a wrecked vehicle there. This means the cars are there because the engine has gone south, the trans has gone south, someone threw parts at a minor problem without success until surrendering, or a combination of all of that.
Yet people show up in droves there to buy engines and transmissions out of those vehicles…