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Transmission troubles, I need advice

My son has a 1998 toyota Camry which got damaged in a wreck. Body work cost $1400, and now it turns out the transmission is bad. I don’t know if that was caused by the wreck or not.

New transmission costs $4600, that’s out of the question.

They can put in a used transmission for $1500 with a 90 day warrantee. I’m not sure if it’s worth it or not.

The $1400 is gone either way. I just don’t know if I should sink another $1500 into this car.

He’s in college and uses the car mainly to drive back and forth between Houston and Austin. If we don’t repair this, he’ll have to take the bus between cities and I’ll drive up there when he needs to move in or out of his apartment.

In addition, because of the wreck, I anticipate that my insurance will go up by about $1000 next year.

Whadaya think? What would you do?

Any ideas and advice are greatly appreciated.

I believe I would start by checking to see if the transmission problem was a result of the accident.  You might as well get some good out of all that money you pay the insurance company.  I take it the collision was your son's fault.

Yes, it was his fault. I paid the $1400 because we have liability only on the car so the insurance co is not really involved in the repairs on his car at this point.

Did you price a rebuilt transmission from the dealer or price rebuilding it at a trustworthy local trans shop?

The car is at a Toyota dealership. The bodyshop did the repairs and now it’s over at the mechanic shop at the same dealership. I didn’t talk directly to the rep, my son did. So “used” may mean “rebuilt”. I’m going to call and talk to them tomorrow to get better information.

First, what makes the transmission bad? Have you or your son driven it since? If your son was in a front end collision and the transmission is an automatic, I’d suggest checking the fluid level and condition. The radiator doubles as a transmission cooler and if the radiator was damaged or replaced, I would doubt the transmission was serviced or checked for coolant in the fluid. Simply checking and smelling the fluid doesnt cost a thing and it may just be low. Good luck.

So what is the transmission doing???