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“There are few words scarier than, “You need a new transmission.” That’s because replacing a transmission can cost $4,000 to $5,000. It is one of the most expensive parts to replace on a vehicle, second only to replacing an engine. If you’re already driving an older vehicle, that repair could cost more than your vehicle is worth. There are several options for repair: new or remanufactured, rebuilt and used/recycled. Remanufactured transmissions are built in factory and are the most expensive. Rebuilt transmissions are broken transmissions that are disassembled and inspected, and the damaged parts are replaced and the entire transmission is reassembled. These can still be an expensive option. That’s why used or recycled transmissions, like those found at www.PartCycle.com, are such a great deal. A, quality, used transmission is an Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) part that can save you big money.


A transmission is part of your vehicle’s drivetrain. Simply put, it takes power from the engine and converts it to the drive shafts that literally move your vehicle. When a vehicle is dismantled the entire drivetrain (made up of the engine, transmission and accessories like the alternator, compressor, starter, etc.) is removed and the transmission is unbolted from the engine. The transmission is then cleaned and stored inside a warehouse until it is sold. Amber Kendrick, manager of Pete’s Auto Parts in Jenison, Mich., says the recycled transmission may come with seals and gaskets and a filter, but those should all be replaced with new before installing it. “You don’t want to ruin your new (used) transmission because you didn’t buy a $23 filter!” she said.


There are other things you should know when buying a recycled transmission. Make sure the vehicle your replacement transmission came out of has low mileage. You don’t want to buy a mechanical part from a vehicle that had a lot of miles on it, because you might end up replacing the part again. Instead, purchase mechanical parts from vehicles with low miles that were in a collision (which had nothing to do with a failing part). “We have a ton of information about every vehicle at our fingertips and we’d be happy to share it with you,” said Kendrick. “Some good questions to ask: Do you drain the fluid and inspect the magnet? What do I have to do to ensure the warranty is not void? When does the warranty start? Has the vehicle been run?”


Every part on PartCycle comes with a standard 90-day warranty. Some of PartCycle’s suppliers provide an even longer warranty standard, like Pete’s does with a six-month warranty. But Kendrick also suggests to ask the auto recycling facility about extended warranties and labor warranties. “We highly recommend purchasing a labor warranty when you buy a labor intensive part – if the transmission fails, we not only get you a quality replacement, we also pay labor at $75 per book hour and pay for fluids/filters/seals/gaskets, up to $1,000. Every recycling facility has different warranty offerings and conditions and I highly recommend you read the warranty carefully and follow all the instructions.”

Written by

Erin Sandage
Senior Editor at The Locator
Erin has written articles on the automotive industry since 2008 with a specific focus on automotive recycling. She also serves as Senior Editor for The Locator Magazine and Locator UpFront.