your automatic transmission fails, finding good, reliable and unbiased
information and advice is hard to come by. We hope the
following will help...
with a major repair like an engine or automatic
transmission rebuild, you always have to ask yourself; "Is my vehicle worth it"?
Because, at some point, the answer
will be a resounding "NO"! The
question is, how will you know when it's time to stop pouring money
into your used vehicle?
because everyone's situation and circumstances are different, there is
no absolute right or wrong "blanket" answer that would apply to
everyone. As such, you have a little work to do.
is it smart to stop sinking money into a used vehicle?
Here is what
you need to do:
1 - Vehicle Book Value
Find the estimated value of your
vehicle. You need to know the "as-is" (current condition)
value and the "repaired" value. To get these values you'll
need to start by finding the "repaired" value first since this
information is more easily obtained. To get your vehicle's
value in its repaired state, visit Kelley Blue Book "kbb.com" and click on the "What's my vehicle worth" link. Enter your vehicle
details and mileage. Then select "fair", "good" or
"excellent" to describe the vehicle's condition. Lastly, when
asked, select "Private
party value" is the amount your vehicle is worth when selling to an
individual versus a dealer or dealer trade-in.
For discussion purposes, let's say the
Kelly Blue Book "private party" value for your vehicle is
STEP 2 - Cost to Repair
Next, you need
to know what it will cost to repair the vehicle. If the
vehicle's transmission has failed and the diagnoses is that the
transmission must be rebuilt - you will need to obtain 3 transmission
rebuild quotes from three different repair shops.
If the transmission shop is reluctant to provide you a quote by
telephone because they want to see your vehicle first, just tell them
to give you a price quote for a standard rebuild. If they are
still reluctant to give you a flat quote, ask them to give you a best
case and worst-case scenario quote. Most shops will do this.
Once you have three quotes, add the
quotes together then divide the total by 3 - this will give you the
average cost. For discussion purposes, let's say it is going
to cost $1,800 to have your transmission rebuilt.
an Estimate online
3 - Determining the "as-is" Value
determined that the KBB value is $4,500 and have learned that the
repair cost will be about $1,800. Using these figures, your
vehicle's "as-is" value would be about $1,800. See
image for explanation.
it Worth Fixing?
example, assuming the vehicle is in otherwise good condition, from
strictly a financial perspective, fixing your vehicle is a good
decision. But, not by much. A difference of $1,000
in the either the book value or repair cost would be enough to lower
the decision from good to questionable. But, nonetheless,
using these figures, the vehicle is worth fixing - even if your
intentions are to sell it after being repaired.
a vehicle with a bad transmission may prove to be difficult at any
price. It's not impossible, but it may take a while to find
the right buyer.
for Repairing and Keeping Your Vehicle
speaking, repairing a car is almost always less costly than buying a
new one. Even a major repair like a blown engine or failed
transmission can be repaired/replaced for considerably less than the
cost of a new vehicle.
a used car does not guarantee you will be free from spending money on
repairs. A used vehicle must be thoroughly checked out before
taking a chance on buying one.
new (or newer) vehicle will cost you more for insurance. In
many states, registration fees are also higher.
new car can lose up to 25% of its value during the first year of
ownership. This is a huge chuck of money when you consider
the average new car costs around $33,000.
for Purchasing a New (or Newer) Vehicle
circumstances are such that it simply does not make good business sense
to continue spending money on your current vehicle. Here are
some reasons you might consider in favor of purchasing a new vehicle
versus repairing your current one.
car is nickel and diming you to the point where you're fed
up. As soon as you fix one problem another one pops
up. In this case, for the benefit of both your wallet and
sanity, trading up to a newer, more dependable, car is probably the
though a newer vehicle may require you to make monthly payments, the
actual monthly out-of-pocket difference between what you currently
spend on repairs and the new car payment amount might not be so
much. New cars come with excellent warranties - so you can
say goodbye to repair bills for at least 3-years after the purchase.
of mind - safety... when driving a new vehicle you are much less likely
to breakdown on the highway. Besides the expense, there are
personal safety concerns that come with being stranded on the side of
the roadway or in some dark parking lot.
vehicles are all-around safer than older vehicles. Better
handling, better braking, more airbags, back-up camera, improved
image, credibility and increased confidence... driving a new
vehicle provides numerous other "non-financial" benefits that are
difficult to measure, but are certainly meaningful.
Factors to Consider
past repairs, the overall condition of the vehicle and all the other
factors described above, in most instances, once the odometer passes
200,000 miles spending money for a major repair is probably a bad
idea. The only vehicles that defy this general rule are
listed here. This short list of vehicles typically outlast
all the other vehicles on the road - 250,000 miles and higher is quite
considering whether to keep your vehicle or trade it in for a newer,
more reliable vehicle, you must factor in your credit score.
The costs associated with problem credit are high - so be careful.
As you can see,
and as we eluded too at the beginning, answering the question; "is
my vehicle worth fixing?" is more involved than just
knowing the vehicle’s value and the cost to repair. You really need to
consider a wide array of factors to come up with the best decision for
your particular circumstances. Get an estimate below to see what it
will cost to replace your transmission.
an Estimate online