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Worth replacing the transmission on a Mazda MPV van @ 103,000 miles?

We have a 2002 Mazda MPV van with 103,000 miles that now needs a new transmission (to the tune of $4000.00). What I need to know is how long I am likely to be able to drive this vehicle with a new transmission. Or will the engine or something else expensive to repair go within the next few years? How many miles does the average MPV van last? Thanks!

I don’t know if I’d sink $4000 into a new transmission. Are there any other options? Rebuilt, or used transmissions?

How long will your MPV last is the question. No way to know the condition of your engine. How frequently oil has been changed is important. In general a car will last 20 years and beyond 200K miles unless it is trashed by the owner (driven without oil, or driven when overheating are two big reasons cars die early).

Rarely does a car stay with the same owner for 20 years and/or 200+K miles. It might be time for you to let this MPV go, but likely somehow it will get a new tranny and keep going for awhile.

How long a vehicle lasts and the problems it suffers varies vehicle to vehicle. A lot depends on the quality of maintenance you do on it. I have a 20 yr old GMC truck that has 220K miles and has cost me, besides normal oil changes, about $200 a year to do extra maintenance on, ie. alternator, starter, new radiator, batteries etc.

If that price is to have your transmission rebuilt it is way to high. If it is a rebuilt transmission someone is putting in for you it is way to high. I searched the web, quickly, and found your trans for, average, $1400 rebuilt with warranty. If you are using the dealership they are usually way higher than a local transmission shop.

So, to me, it all breaks down into how well you have maintained the MPV, oil changes, inspections and normal service etc. How confident are you in it? I have seen Mazada’s with over 300k miles on them. I have also seen them with 100k and they were not worth fixing.

Have you called any local junk yards to price a used transmission? Or talked to an shops about using a used transmission? Some might even warranty, this even if it is only 90 day?

Other note I would pay $4000.00 for a used car that I like if it had 103K and was a 2002.

If you get a new vehicle you get to pay for the vehicle, plates, and taxes.

Another way to look at it.

Unfortunately when you depend on shops to do all of your work these types of jobs often result in the Junking of the vehicle. If it were me and I liked or needed the MPV I would of course do it myself…it actually isnt that hard…OR wait…wasnt the MPV All Wheel Drive? If so this will make the tranny job and transmission itself much more expensive and a little more complicated.

IF you can locate a known working low mile trans…with proof of mileage…Or a reasonably priced rebuilt trans for say 600-1000 and then find a shop to install it for you…I bet you would save several thousand bucks. However no shop will warranty that trans…the place that rebuilt it should offer you a warranty but those warranties never cover the money it takes to get the trans in or out of your van.

I say it isnt worth it for you unless you are attached to the van for some reason… If you did it yourself it would be worth it and you MIGHT be able to make it worthwhile with that used or rebuilt trans and a local guy to put it in for you…this is probably your route to take I am guessing. With this route I am guessing you could do it for under or at 2000…

I just looked on ebay for you and there are MANY MANY trannys out there that are rather affordable…I would guess a shop would charge you anywhere between 450-800 to install it for you…so at these guestimates you are under 2000… If you came anywhere near 4000 for this repair forget it…not worth it…

Is your van AWD? With that info I can get more specific…where are you located also…maybe you live around the corner from me?

I would be searching for a better deal. $4000 for a transmission makes me assume that you are at a dealer’s service department. Find your best local transmission shop where you’ll find someone who actually knows transmissions (its likely that no on at a dealership does) and will get you back on the road for less.

Yeah cigroller is right…check to see what Aamco wants to put in a rebuild…the entire cost may surprise you…I am betting 2K or under…if that is OK with you Then you may be able to save the MPV…?

I would not recommend Amaco or other chains. Find a local independent transmission shop. They will likely be cheaper and better.

Cost of new car vs a transmission repair. I would go for the repair. You certainly are going to pay more than $4,000 miles for a new car. I would not be surprised if you got another 103,000 on it after the repair.

I would recommend remembering to get the transmission fluid in any car you have changed along with a clean filter about every 30 - 40,000 miles. For some reason the car manufactures seem to have turned their collective backs on transmission service. I would guess they make more money selling new cars than servicing transmissions.

OK so no AAMCO…fine…find yourself a rebuilt trans to bring to a local guy for him to install for you…Thats what I would do if I were unable to do this myself…

If you have no other issues with the MPV, then replace, but try to find a better price. I have an 01 MPV that I like, but it has body rust issues that will eventually create problems for me. I have 150K miles on mine, so it is possible that a rebuilt trans could pay for itself.

See Mr Meehan’s advice on ATF changes. I got caught short at about 60K miles when I realized there was nothing said about ATF fluid and filter replacement in the maintenance schedule. Your somewhat premature replacement may be related to this lack of info on when to change ATF.

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all the wonderful advice. I decided to donate the car to the local high school to repair and learn about transmissions. There were too many complicating factors to want to replace that transmission myself. I have ended up with a used Prius (less that 30,00 miles) that drives like a dream and I am happy to be back in a smaller vehicle with fantastic gas mileage.