Transmission Trouble

Eight weeks and 2,000 miles ago my transmission in my 1995 Mazda Protege DX died. I took it to one of the recommended shops on the Car Talk site. They had a special guy who rebuilt it for $1,700. They gave me a year warranty. Now, when accelerating to speed on the highway, it won’t go into the top gear unless/until I let up on the gas. That cannot be good. What should I expect when I take the car back?

Part two is: Something in the top left corner of the dash rattles loudly. It seems to have nothing to do with the performance of the car. Right now I wedge an old T-shirt into the corner between the dash and the windscreen to dull the vibration. What could this be and what might it cost to discover and/or fix it?

I would take the car back to the shop and explain the shifting problem. It probably needs some adjudsting, which I’m sure the shop will gladly do for you.

I agree with Docnick that the shop owes you an adjustment to the transmission. If it is a reputable shop, this should cost you nothing.

As to the noise in your dashboard, I would suggest that you forget about it, and continue to rely on the “t-shirt method” of quieting it. On a car that is at least 13 years old, rattles will begin to take place and the cost of locating and correcting the problem can be much higher than the vehicle’s value would warrant.

If you have a noise coming from the suspension or the brakes, that is something that you need to resolve, due to possible safety issues. On the other hand, a noise coming from inside the dashboard on a 13 yr old car is something that you should just learn to live with, especially if you can verify that it doesn’t affect the car’s performance in any way.