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Old 05-12-2006, 09:58 AM
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Default Replace transmission, or replace car?

I'm looking for some suggestions from the knowledgeable folks here at FF. Here's the deal:
I drive 160 miles round trip per day to work and back. I average 45,000 miles per year on my commuter vehicle.
Current commuter car is a 2002 Taurus with 116k miles on it. I bought it when it was 2 years old with 37k miles on it for $7,500. The market was, and still is, flooded with Taurus's so they come pretty cheap. I have had no problems out of it in the first 116k but yesterday the transmission went out. Now I have a decision to make. To muddy the waters a little more, just two weeks ago I had new tires, brakes, tune up, etc. done to the tune of $993.
What is everyone's opinion? Fix the car with 116k, or scrap it and start over?
I must say that I feel I have already gotten my $7,500 worth out of this car.

First quote for a new transmission is $2,969.00 installed.
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

If I had just spent $1000 on it, I'd fix it. But I doubt I'd spend $3000 on a transmission. There are shops in my area that will repair a transmission for much less. And I'm not opposed to a used transmission from a reputable salvage yard either.

If your transmission is so bad the car won't drive, it's just about worthless as is.

Have you had a good mechanic check it out? May be something simple.
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

hmmm

I would go for a second opinion first based on what has been said. It could be just an electronic component.

Other things besides what you just put in it would be the overall condition of the car. Do you still like the car etc.

And as stated it is not worth much when you can not drive it. So in that case at least put a used tranny in it, drive for a couple of months and sell or trade it.
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

I agree with Dutch, I think that's a pretty high number for a Taurus Trans-axle.

Shop that number around to a few "independent" service stations and see what you get. Did that quote come from a dealer?
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Bear in mind a 2 year old Taurus today has a "retail value" of $11,000 to $13,000 based on a quick web search.

So with that in mind, and the fact that you have just dumped $1000 into your car recently, you have to look at adding the $1000 you just spent to the purchase price of the replacement car to look at your real total cost because a car without a transmission has almost no value.

In my mind, you need to consider the above factors, your budget, and the condition of your current Taurus other than the transmission. If the car is otherwise in good shape, and if you think repairing the transmission will give you another 1 to 2 reasonably worry free years out of the car without another major breakdown, then I would shop the local transmission shops and see if I could get the car fixed. Transmission repair prices seem to vary wildly between repair shops. If the rest of the car is reasonably in good shape, and the repair bill can be trimmed a bit, then I'd repair it. If the rest of the car is trash then I'd trade for something else.

JMO
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

That's a tough one Buckle. Putting 45k on a year, by this time next year you'll be over 160k. Other stuff will start to go. Normally I think fixing it and keeping a vehicle you know to be good is the better solution. But 3k is alot to put into a vehicle with that many miles already. And, since you feel you got your moneys worth out of it already .....I'd consider putting in a cheaper / used tranny then trade it on something more to your liking. But first you'd have to calculate what it's worth fixed vs unfixed. If you would trade it at a dealer's lot, they give next to nothing on any trade in. You might be better off buying outright, and donate the car to Volunteers and take the value of the car as a tax write off.
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Too bad I cant recomend anyone in the area... I agree with the "get another opinion" idea for this one.. I too drive quite a bit and have accepted that my 2000 Ranger will be mine untill it rotts away.. At the rate you put miles on the car and the fact(as you stated) that the market is flooded with them making them worth less and less as the days go on, I would recomend fixing it and planning on getting at leas another 100k out of it.. The trans is the most problematic part of the Taurus, naturaly... I'm not sure where you got your estimate, but ask arround and find someone you feel you can trust.. Allot of guys will sharply disagree, but the dealer, although seemingly higher priced at first, can sometimes be the best route in the long run. The warranty is typicaly better(and covers more), unless its a complete reman unit, and if you get a good tech(wish I could say it was a given) you will get a good job that will last at least as long as the factory box, if not longer.. Plus, ther will likely give you an accurate estimate of the concern rather than a quick "it dont move? we can fix it for $3k" type of answer... Like was stated earlier, it may not need an overhaul.. What is it doing and how did it come about?
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Buy another one of the same year with a good trany and swap the parts around. You have got to be able to find a transmission for one of those in a wrecking yard - although they will gouge you too.

Good Luck
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBinWA
Buy another one of the same year with a good trany and swap the parts around.
Better yet, rent one from Hertz and swap the parts around
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
Better yet, rent one from Hertz and swap the parts around
That's the most interesting idea yet. Rip off Hertz and let the rest of us pay for your transmission through increased rental costs and decreased stock value.

Just be careful. Hertz may be tired of amateur rip offs.

Any fool can tell if a transmission has been swapped. You could wind up paying Hertz $5000 to replace their transmission, $5000 for a lawyer to get you a "deal", and a $5000 fine for the attempt.

$15000 for a transmission scam on a car that only cost $7500 two years ago. Hmmm........... Sounds like a plan.

Why not just find a car you like, stick a gun in the driver's face, and take it like a real gangster.

Better yet, tell B_Skurka what you want. Let him deliver it to you. The going rate for car thieves is $500, and you can only be on the "hook" for receiving.
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Dutch, if you can't tell when people are obviously joking, then you are in sad shape.
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
Dutch, if you can't tell when people are obviously joking, then you are in sad shape.
Doesn't that go both ways?

I was joking too.

How do readers tell when someone is just joking?
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote #2 is in: $3,327.28

For the record, quote #1 is from a repair shop I use frequently (I have many vehicles). Quote #2 is from an independent transmission shop. Both places mentioned the labor being very high for this car.
Both transmissions are remanufactured transmissions, NOT new!

I have a call into the Ford dealership for a quote; I expect it shortly.

Lawrence
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch-NJ
Doesn't that go both ways?

I was joking too.

How do readers tell when someone is just joking?
You use those little smiley face things!
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buckle97
Quote #2 is in: $3,327.28

For the record, quote #1 is from a repair shop I use frequently (I have many vehicles). Quote #2 is from an independent transmission shop. Both places mentioned the labor being very high for this car.
Both transmissions are remanufactured transmissions, NOT new!

I have a call into the Ford dealership for a quote; I expect it shortly.

Lawrence
GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY!!!

Rebuilding the trans on my F150 was $2,000 last winter. For the money you are being quoted, you could do a complete engine/tranny yank and swap.
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNay
GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY!!!
Dave . . . I didn't think you were the religious type.


Buckle97 . . . I can't figure out why the transmission prices are going UP. Both bids seem amazingly high to me. Maybe it is some aboration with the Taurus? But it seems like there are so many of those on the road that it should be cheaper. I was figuring a fair price in the range of $2000 to $2500 tops!
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Dont forget guys, this is a front wheel drive car.... The subframe needs to come out(engine needs to be hung from the top) and requires a good bit more labor...

Now, if your calling around and expecting an accurate estimate of your problem, EVERY estimate you get will be highballed.... Take it to the dealer, let them check it out for $80 (or whatever it costs in your area) and go from there.. Does the car move? Is it just missing shifts, or just wont do anything?? The trans alone should be about 12-1500, then you can add about 15hrs labor on top of that at whatever the going rate is.. Thats a guestamite that you'll be getting from anyone that isnt looking at it..
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Old 05-12-2006, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

I would get a price on a *used* take out tranny from a wrecking yard. That car is new enough that you should be able to find a 10-20k mile used one to put right in. That should cut your cost considerably.

Next, find a shop that isn't silly for labor rates!

A high shop rate is $75-100 per hour. That cannot be more than a 12 hour job ($1200 at worst).
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Old 05-12-2006, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Av8r3400
I would get a price on a *used* take out tranny from a wrecking yard. That car is new enough that you should be able to find a 10-20k mile used one to put right in. That should cut your cost considerably.

Next, find a shop that isn't silly for labor rates!

A high shop rate is $75-100 per hour. That cannot be more than a 12 hour job ($1200 at worst).

No doubt.. As long as you can trust the guy putting it in and the junkyard I agree.. The rate definitly depends on the area too, where he is may be closer to $60hr at the dealer.. Something to think about none the less, just make sure to get a waranty from the boneyard if you go that route and remember that the labor wont be covered, so you'll have to pay again if its a bad deal.. As far as the length of time it takes, the book will pay close to 15hrs for an overhaul and thats what will be quoted allong with a reman trans.. So, the estimate is bogus.. but the job can be done in much less if its jusr an R&R(more like 3-4).. Thats why he needs an estimate from someone who has checked the car out..
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Old 05-12-2006, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Replace transmission, or replace car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
You use those little smiley face things!
You must be joking..................

Your original post was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by B_Skurka
Better yet, rent one from Hertz and swap the parts around
The emoticons you used were whistle yum and eek

How do those indicate you were joking?

Do you know how unimaginative some people are? Do you know how literal some people are?

I try to make myself perfectly clear.

If I didn't want to take the time to type "Just Joking" or "Just Kidding", I'd use an appropriate emoticon, not some meaningless smiley face.

Do you know what I mean?
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