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Transmission replacement

Why does my mechanic refuse to fix my 2000 Focus Transmission. He says it is disposable and will only replace it

depending on what’s wrong with it, it might actually cost you more to get it fixed. If he replaces it, he takes the old transmission out, and puts the new one in.

If he fixes it, he takes the old transmission out, spends possibly hours taking it apart, replacing the bad parts, and putting it back together, and then puts it back in. You’re adding a LOT of labor there - possibly enough to pay for a new/rebuilt transmission and then some.

The most likely reason is that your mechanic doesn’t rebuild transmissions. Let me ask you this - if you needed brain surgery would you go to a dentist? Probably not. So don’t take a transmission problem to a general mechanic. Most mechanics aren’t actually qualified to rebuild transmissions. You need a shop that specializes in transmissions - a local, independently owned shop, not a national chain operation.

And he actually knows they’re not “disposable” because it is incredibly unlikely to be replaced by a “new” transmission. It will be replaced with either a) a used transmission from a salvage yard; or b) a rebuilt transmission rebuilt by a company that takes old, dead transmissions and reconditions them. Your current, “dead” transmission would actually get exchanged as a “core,” would be reconditioned in the same way and go back out the door to someone else. That’s the way it works.

Whats your 2000 Focus transmission doing to make this “Mechanic”? think its gone??


A whirring “turbine like noise” which seems to come from different areas of the car. @ mechanics have said it was a wheel bearing

So you hear a noise coming from different areas of the car and they say its a transmission? Does the noise ever come from the rear? I can’t think of any reason why a FWD transmission would make noise in the rear of the car… generally you would hear the noise consistently coming from the direction of the transmission - in this case directly in front of the driver.

A front wheel bearing is not in the transmission, it is separate. How is the transmission shifting or working otherwise??


If that whirring is all you’ve got AND mechanics have said its a wheel bearing BUT they want to replace your transmission run very fast and far away from that shop. Then, don’t even go there even for directions.

Or…tell the rest of the story.

Several months ago it would slip going into second/third gear intermittantly, rpm would race up to about 3,000 unless you released the accelerator. It hasn’t done that in a while. I went to two other mechanics who road tested it and said it was the bearing. One at a tire store lifted the front end and ran the speed up the noise seemed to come from the tire. The whirring noise is like that from large tread/off road or snow tires make. My original “well trusted mechanic” says he used a stethescope to isolate the noise to the transmission. He is the one who said “transmissions are disposable”

The Transmission in the car is about as simple of a transmission as you can get… As Shawdow fax indicated, depending on what physically has gone bad, fixing the existing unit could be more expensive than swapping the unit for a Reman assembly. This would all depend on the component/s that has failed. (gear sets verus, clutch pistons/friction elements. If clutches go bad, replace them, find the fluid leak. fix it… done. If a hard part like a gear set goes south, its cheaper to just replace the entire transmission assembly.

All quality transmission manufacturers provide a warranty on the replacement transmission, (Jasper, Motorcraft, etc) Definitely something to consider, If the transmission gives up the ghost again, it would likely be covered (depending on mileage/time obviously).

Getting back to your noise, I would assume that this vehicle uses the 4 speed automatic (4F27E) and not the manual transmission. If so there are two tapered roller bearing on the main shaft output gear that love to go south on these units. Noise would be present as soon as the vehicle starts rolling, usually worse the faster you go.

If so, the transmission would have to be fully disassembled to replace these bearings (special tools are required to set bearing preload), plus the the clutches (direct clutch in particular as well as the 2/4 band with the 2/4 servo piston) would need inspected and airtested (You already indicated a trans slip). If it were me, and the transmission is not saturated with metal debris and the hard parts have not been destroyed (Gear sets, drums, case, main control/valve body)I would have no fear of letting a competent shop rebuild it.

There are mechanics with varying degrees of expertise in various automotive specialties and each possesses an incongruent level of ability in meaningful conversation. I guess that there have been occasions that I would have wanted to say “It’s disposable so just replace it.” In this particular case I will venture to say that there seems to be a significant advantage in price/quality to have a “qualified” and “reputable” shop replace a failing transmission with a “factory rebuilt” rather than have an less than reputable chain shop repair or rebuild the original. Most general repair shops are not qualified and/or equipped to overhaul transmission.

I went to a local independent Transmission shop he said it was a wheel bearing and referred me to a local geneal mechanic

Your follow-up is much appreciated. If that wheel bearing does take care of the current issue that would be great to know too.

Whatever you do, don’t go back to the - ahem - “mechanic” who wanted to replace your transmission. Don’t even go there for an oil change.

so, have you had the wheel bearing replaced yet, and if not why not? It seems like the logical thing to do now, cause it has been suggested twice, and is a whole lot cheaper than a tranny. I advise if you have one bad bearing, you should replace them both sides.

The on going TALE OF WOE. I went to a local transmission shop who just opened in my town. He road tested it and said it was the front bearingand maybe the rear also. He recomended another general mechanic in town than the one I had been dealing with for ten years who said it was the transmission, which was disposable anyway. He had gone over the bearings and transmission with a stethescdope and said if I fixed the bearings It would be a waste ofmoney. The final mechanic replaced the CV bearing in the front and said there was still noise in the rear but it was safe to drive that way.Today I went back to the sho0p and took out another mechanic he says the both rear brearing are bad and maybe the brakes may need work when he pulls the bearings out.

I have a question for you.

Can you change a tire?

If you can change a tire, then I suggest you do this:

Put one of the rear tires up in the air using your car’s jack, unless you have a better floor jack available to you.

When you have the tire up in the air, spin the tire forwards, and see if you can hear any noise from inside the wheel area, or if you can feel any grinding.

Then grab the wheel at the very top and bottom, and see if there’s any play in the wheel if you pull and push at the top and bottom several times. If there is play, then you need a new wheel bearing/hub assembly.

Then do the same to the other side.

Other than that, i can’t really help you, as everything is very convoluted at this point, with regards to what your car has for symptoms at this time.


Follow up on my “MECHANIC PROBLEM” The referred new mechanic reolaced a CV joint in front but still some whirring noise . Took back second time he replaced both rear bearings and had to replace rear drums . One required chiseling off. Further note the original mechanic said my daughters 2003 JETTA on his computer ( check engine light was on) was minor sensor problem not to worry but cgarged me $75.00 to reset it. New mechanic put on his new computer and found sensor as going off because of oxygen feed problem! My original mechanic of ten years really let me doown. He’s supposedly the best in town!!!

So did the Focus finally quiet down after all that work??


Yes. Needless to say I am no longer using him as my mechanic ! The guy in thre local transmission shop trerated me best of all. That was after I was told Transmission shops were all rip offs.