3 Essential Tips For Buying A Used Transmission

Used transmissions can often be more affordable than new or rebuilt transmissions. They can also offer some advantages that a rebuilt option can't. For example, most used transmissions are still in factory condition, so you don't need to worry about issues caused by previous attempts to repair or rebuild the unit. 

However, it's still important to select your new-to-you transmission with care. Taking the time to make the correct purchasing decision will ensure your used transmission provides the same longevity and performance that you might expect from a new or remanufactured part. These three essential tips will help you buy a used transmission that will provide many years of reliable service.

1. Know the Source

When buying used parts, the source is known as the "donor" car. The more you know about the donor car, the better. Fortunately, many used car dealers and salvage yards provide plenty of information about donor vehicles, especially for high-ticket items such as transmissions. Most importantly, you want to know the mileage on the vehicle and the transmission.

Note that buying a high-mileage transmission isn't necessarily a bad decision, but it can inform you about how much life you can expect from the unit. If you're not planning to keep your car for too long, a lower-cost, higher-mileage transmission can be a good option. On the other hand, you might want to pay a little more for a lower-mileage transmission if you're keeping your vehicle for the long haul.

2. Ask About Warranties

Used transmissions typically don't offer the same warranties are rebuilt or remanufactured transmissions, but many sellers will still offer certain limited guarantees. These warranties provide peace of mind that the transmission you receive will work without issue, although they don't typically last long enough to guarantee against future repairs.

In general, looking for a transmission with a warranty that will at least cover your first month of ownership is a good idea. This coverage will protect you against any major defects and help ensure that everything works as it should once you receive it. Note that warranties are often from the date of receipt and not installation, so it's best to have your transmission installed as soon as possible.

3. Inspect, if Possible

Inspecting any used part before purchase is always a good idea when buying from a local source. Transmissions are fairly complex, so you'll want an experienced mechanic to perform this inspection unless you're extremely confident in your mechanical abilities. For online purchases, it's often a good idea to ask the seller for detailed pictures of the transmission before your purchase.

Ultimately, these simple steps will help ensure that your used transmission purchase proceeds smoothly and without any surprises. Taking the time to do your homework and gather information about your transmission will allow you to save money and get your car running reliably again.

Contact a local auto parts service, such as Teddy Bear’s Auto Parts & Salvage Inc., to learn more.