Transmission rebuild

Hello everyone. I blew my front seal while on vacation 700 miles away from home 2 months ago and needed the transmission rebuilt. $3500 and 10 days of a rental car I was told the transmission is in and it’s ready to go. I picked it up late Friday evening after the shop closed and within a mile I could hear grinding and other noises. Thinking it was the transmission I had no choice but to get it towed back in and rent a car for another week since I had to back to work again. The shop, which is an rv dealer/service didn’t tighten the hanger bearing*? And fixed it within the week but they also had to fix what they said was a burnt wire ( when I pulled over after driving away I had no power ) they ended up charging me $460 to fix the wire, didn’t charge me for fixing there mistake ( oh lucky me lol) they said they would take $100 off the bill for my incontinence. * $550 rental car $180 gas meals and 4 days off. Nice eh?

So here I am aga in I droved it out of the shop once again on a Saturday morning and I immeditalely noticed the OD light blinking and weird shifting. Luckily I was able to make it home but I had the slides read and this is what’s coming up:

654 - manual lever position not indicating park
212- no tachometer input to processor - spout
452- open vehicle speed sensor circuit
668 - transmission range sensor circuit high

It stalls out all the time when I put it into reverse and sometimes in drive. It doesn’t downshift at highway speeds.

I was curious why when I picked it up the mechanic backed it into the spot that they said I could stay in for the night. This was a nightmare from day one with these guys and I have a feeling it’s just begun.

Thanks for any help. Just wondering if they should’ve fixed these problems before I picked it up. They out sourced the rebuild but installed it.

You shouldn’t have any codes at all from a rebuilt trans and it shouldn’t work like this. Call the shop and tell them what you are seeing. The trans may need another rebuild - correctly this time - and the shop that did the replacement should pay for it… ALL of it. Just ask for all your money back so you can get the truck repaired locally because it sure didn’t get done correctly at this far away shop.


Okay. I wasn’t too sure if they would just tell me that the electrical problems would be separate. Yeah I think I’ll take them to small claims since I heard other people having problems with this same shop. Kinda was a bummer since I just bought the motorhome and kinda ruined the camping season but hopefully it will get fixed properly for next year. Thanks for your response.

Of course they will tell you it is something else. They don’t want to lose the $4000 you spent in their shop. Before you call the distant RV shop, get estimates for fixing your truck locally. Then you have ammunition to go after your money spent on their poor practices.

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It’s amazing such lousy shops are still in business

You would think word of mouth, yelp, etc. would cause them to go under

Maybe they are literally the only shop in town . . . I can’t think of another reason why such a shop would survive

…but at least they are willing to help somebody who has a problem with incontinence!

I’m sorry.
The Devil made me write that…


I can’t help but wonder if all the transmission needed in the beginning was a new front seal .

And they fixed that, but literally messed up EVERYTHING else, while they were in there

Could well be the case


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I told the guy I never had any transmission problems before blowing that front seal. He was pretty sure it needed a rebuild. Had 47000 miles on it. Really had no other choice but to trust him since I was so far out if town. I’ll see what they say Monday about fixing these problems. I have a year warranty but I know they will just give me the run around like they did with the so called burnt wire.

Thanks guys again for your help.

Sure sounds like you got took unless you kept trying to run it after it ran out of fluid . It shouldn’t have needed a rebuild at 47,000 . Even if it did need a rebuild , sounds like a jackleg worked on it . Sorry !

By the way , it doesn’t take long at all to burn up an automatic transmission that is too low or out of fluid .

You definitely got shafted

You should have just insisted on the front seal and nothing else. But they clearly gave you the hard upsell

There are plenty of transmissions with 150K or more out there, that are still working correctly.

“He was pretty sure it needed a rebuild” . . . that’s because they WANTED your money and would tell you whatever it took for you to authorize the job

I agree with the others . . . save your receipts, invoices, etc. and take the vehicle to an independent transmission shop. Have them diagnose and repair it correctly. Then contact the first shop, show them the second shop’s bill, and tell them
they owe you a substantial, if not complete refund

considering this is a lot of money . . . if this does not work, you might consider taking them to small claims court.

BTW . . . since all those codes you mentioned are electrical in nature, it’s possible the first, incompetent, shop forgot to plug something in correctly, or maybe even switched some connectors. On some sensors, it’s possible to get your connectors mismatched.

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I blow the front seal trying to climb a steep hill with no run at it. The shop told me that every tranny that came into his shop like mine with a blown front seal needed a rebuild. He said he did 4 in the last month. He said when the seal goes it takes out everything. Big tourist area around mount rushmore so he’s sees a lot of rver’s gling through. I wish my transmission ran it it did before the $3500 rebuild. Lol.

When a transmission overheats fluid will sometimes be expelled from the vent. The transmissions vent is in the bell housing or on top of the transmission, depends on the transmission. Your initial observation may have been fluid dumping from the vent.

Was there a flow of fluid from the bell housing after the transmission cooled? That would be caused by a failed seal.

The faults you listed appear to be outside the transmission. The manual lever position/range sensor is a problem with the shift lever range sensor. The speed sensor can also be serviced outside the transmission. They may have damaged the connectors or wiring harness causing these problems. You should have this inspected locally to identify the cause, I would not return to that shop.

Thanks for that added information

It seems this shop’s standard procedure is to do the hard upsell on tourists, get their money, as much as possible

And then do a lousy job

And since they’re tourists, they’ll never be back again

So there’s no danger of the tourists spreading bad word of mouth in the community, since they’re not part of it

BTW . . . let’s go back to the beginning

You said you blew the front seal . . . can I assume you saw a lot of fluid on the ground?

Was the transmission not shifting correctly BEFORE you brought it to that incompetent shop?

a word of advice for the future . . . never take delivery of a vehicle after hours

This shop did a lousy job…if they even knew where to start.

They have your money and you most likely will not spend the time and effort to pursue this in court.

Though there are many good honest shops out there, I’ve always stuck to a dealership when away on a trip.


@Yosemite - I agree with your practice of using dealers when traveling. This is a motorhome so it would have been farmed out anyway and there are not a lot of choices near Mt. Rushmore. I am afraid the poor guy can only have his problem solved and will never recover any funds from the far away shop.

I made the drive 3 times in 3 weeks so to go back and take them to small claims court isn’t a problem. It’s more about principle and pure negligence on the shops behalf. I actually took a video of the OD light flashing before I drove out of the rv shop that Saturday morning since they were closed. Yes, my mistake was picking it up after hours or right when they were closing. Did it twice but had no choice with the way my days off fell.

I’m going to take them to small claims because I believe they should’ve at least paid for the 2nd rental and gas. I even told them I’ll cover the food and the time it took to pick it up. They didn’t care.

They don’t care, because they’re convinced you’ll crawl under a rock, never to be heard from again

I feel you should take them to small claims court . . . a lot of money is at stake here

But only AFTER a real shop has diagnosed and repaired the transmission. I wouldn’t let that first shop lay one hand on the vehicle anymore. They’ll probably screw something else up, in their ham-fisted attempts at repair

And bring ALL of the receipts, from the incompetent shop AND the one that actually did fix it

I don’t think you “blew” that front seal

I think either the fluid got hot and came out the vent, which would make a mess near the bellhousing area . . . same general place the front seal is located, “conveniently”

Or the front seal was leaking, but NOT blown

Unless I hear otherwise, I’ll assume you saw fluid, but the transmission was still performing correctly

Yep half way up the hill I was attempting there was white smoke and half a gallon of liquid. I put it in neutral and rolled down to the bottom of the hill (parking lot) and waited for the tow. Found a back yard mechanic and offerEd him a 100 bucks for a quick fix hoping it was just a hose or small repair. He looked under and said the seal was blown. That’s why I was kinda trusting the shop since I had a independent opinion.

It was weird that what he quoted me for the rebuild was the exact price and when I asked what they did he just told me the rebuilt it completely but wouldn’t tell me what exactly. Maybe this is a stupid question but I thought he would know exactly.

Obviously I wouldn’t go after them for the original repair but I’m already at around $1600 because of their forgetting to tighten the bolt fiasco, not including the $460 burnt wire and now the code problems. Hopefully get a understanding judge.

I hope you paid with a credit card. Just have it fixed locally and put the amount of the repair in contest with the cc company. They don’t know anything about cars or transmissions but worth a try. But for heavens sake don’t go back again for more whippings. You only have to give them one opportunity to repair the problems and you did. Now you can just have it fixed properly and send them the bill.

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