Transmission Fix

I own a 2004 Cheverolet Impala LS, automatic. It has 124,000 miles. I have been good about keeping up with the scheduled maintenance over the years. Over the past year, I have noticed an odd jerking when the transmission shifts from first to second, second to third. This jerking doesn’t happen consistently though; it’s been on and off. Sometimes weeks go by without it happening.

I took it to AAMCO and they performed a no cost “transcan”. The estimate was: 1) a new assembly set, less steels kit, 2) a new filter, 3) a new forward and reverse band. This would come with a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty. I’d like to know whether you think it is worth the expense ($2,200.00) of replacing the transmission, or is it time to move on to another vehicle?

Any diagnosis from AAMCO (or Lee Myles, or Cottman, or Mr. Transmission, or any other chain operation) is highly suspect. These places are notorious for claiming more extensive repairs than are actually necessary, for charging high prices, for poor workmanship, and for weaseling out of warranty coverage. Ergo–only someone very foolish would rely on a diagnosis from one of these charlatan companies.

Look for an independent trans shop that has been in business for at least 3 years. Ask friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers for recommendations. There is a good chance that an indy shop will find that less extensive repairs are needed, but even if they concur on the diagnosis, their workmanship is likely to be far better and they may charge less than the fancy chain operation that you first took the car to.

Incidentally, if your maintenance over the years did not include changing the trans fluid and filter every 3 yrs/30k miles, then that is a likely factor in your current problems. When that maintenance schedule is not followed, trans failure can take place any time after ~90k miles, and is pretty much of a sure thing by 125k miles.

AAMCO = All Automatics Must Come Out

^ Exactly what VDC said.

Does your “I have been good about keeping up with the scheduled maintenance over the years.” also include an automatic transmission fluid and filter change every 3yrs/30k miles ? If your answer is no, then it is most likely that your transmission is toast.
In your situation, I would replace this tranny with a low mileage, used one from a wrecker yard. However, the first thing you should do is take it in to an independent shop for a proper second oppinion.

Good luck.

Add my vote to VDCdriver’s.

I agree with the rest about where you took it. However you car has 124,000 miles on the (automatic?) transmission. How many times has the transmission fluid been changed?