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Question DetailsAsked on 10/9/2017

should I replace my 2005 transmission after a failed transmission flush. or let them temporarily fix and sell it

transmission flushed in April. Started slipping and spinning about a week ago. they replaced the filter and yesterday same thing. but when you turn car off and start again it is fine. They are taking transmission a part to advise. They offered a junk yard transmission, rebuilt of factory replacement. 163,000 miles. Car has been kept up with on repairs and fluids. good otherwise. I just don't and cant throw money away that I do not have. should I just buy a new used car? 2005 Honda CRV

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5 Answers


Imagine how you would feel if you spent your hard-earned money purchasing a used car - let's say a 2005 Honda CRV. It looked good, well cared for. The salesman would assure you that all the fluids had been changed regularly. So you bought it. Only to discover soon enough that the transmission was shot. You would be angry. You would feel foolish. Taken.

Don't be part of that story. You are not alone feeling you can't throw money away you don't have. Don't let economic hard times rob you of your compassion, and your sense of responsibility for Your behavior.

instead, if indeed your Honda is sound except the transmission, fix it, and continue to drive your car. At least you will know what you've got. Usually a trans repair comes with some sort of warranty so you will get a bit of protection. If you opt instead to buy another used car - who knows - you may be buying someone else's problem they just patched and quickly sold.

Answered 3 years ago by Dfphoto


I can't see that selling that old a car is going to recoup your repair cost - I would bet rebuilding the transmission or putting a "new' one in is going to cost about what the car is worth, assuming the 163,000 miles is the car mileage and not the age of the junkyard transmission they are offering to rebuild.

You don't say WHY the transmission was flushed - more about that later.

However - since this problem evidently started a week after the flush (unless the flush was intended to solve the slipping), I would be looking at the flush as the cause - and the fact they are offering a replacement indicates to me they know the flush was the problem. Read up on flushes - generally they are done using aggressive solvents which are not good for the transmission, and commonly at quickie shops it is "flushed out" using old transmission fluid from previous cars they have serviced. And many muffler and tire and oil-change places have been caught using old power steering fluid or diesel fuel as the flushing solvent - which is terrible for transmissions plus contaminates the system. Also many of them do not flush the entire system (cooler and lines to and from it as well), and sometimes reverse-direction flush which can damage the hydraulic shifting mechanism and seals and also can force contaminants from a placein the transmission where they are not doing real damage into the quite sinsitive hydrualic valve block. Generally, unless the transmission has been overheated so the fluid is burnt smelling or blackened, flushing is not needed or recommneded by auto manufacturers - only the normal periodic fluid and filter replacement and pan cleaning.

Properly done, if needed, it would be done using only approved solvents (with many manufacturers they recommend only using new transmission fluid) - then after the solvent flushing new fluid should be pumped through to displacethe solvents, then drained and new transmission fluid and filters should be added, the car run for the specified number of miles (commonly 50-250) to flush the solvent and residual contaminated fluid out of the system nooks and crannies, then the fluid and filters changed AGAIN/This is something that is almost never done by a shop,usually only by some fleet service mechanics in large organizations that are very fastidious about their vehicle care. Otherwise the contaminants and some solvent remain in the transmission, commonly causing the flush to cause more damage than good.

I would be talking to them about making the damage good at their expense, assuming the slippage began right after the flushing (which to me would indicate they used an oil-based solvent or contaminated flushing fluid - which to me, since a junkyard transmission has unknown history and may be damaged, would mean a commercially rebuilt transmission (preferably yours if it has been treated well and is not trashed) installed for free. Asking for a brand new one at 163,000 miles would not be fair to them and would likely make them totally balk at repairing it at all.

On the removing and taking the transmission apart - who is paying for that ? You are talking probably half the cost of a rebuilt transmission already for them to take it out and replace it ? Also, if they say the transmission failed at no fault of theirs (which many shops would say, true or not), you are then stuck with either having to replace the transmission or have it rebuilt (assuming a significant damage occurred or the entire hydraulic valve block needs replacement), or selling the car as junk. Having them put it back together, if they pulled the case apart (as opposed to just pulling the bottom pan) toput it back in the case as-is to sell it would be pretty much a waste - as you would already be (assuming you would be paying the cost) be much of the way to a rebuilt transmission so why sink a lot of money into a known bad transmission), so you are already basically committed to a major repair cost unless they agree the flush caused the damage. If they say the failure was transmission failure regardless of the flush (evidently slippage and bearing faillures are a common issue with your model) you should get an independent assessment from a transmission mechanic - to go over there and look at it on your behalf for probably about $100-150, because it is VERY easy for them to say the flulsh was not the cause even if it was.

On thing you did not say - on the WHY the flush was done - if it was slipping (as oppoosed to shifting hard or erratically or not at all) then a flush would not normally solve that anyway - that would normally be slipping bands, which can commonly be fixed without full disassembly of the transmission - just removing the bottom and sometimes a side coverplate and putting new bands in.

IF you are real lucky, the flush just damaged or popped out the seals (either because of improper solvent use or because of pressuring the valves up with reverse direction flow) and it will just mean valve block seal/gasket replacement which can commonly be done with only the bottom cover plate removed - not a catastrophic cost, but the transmission removal and replacement is an expense I can see them wanting to charge you for.

As for replacing the car if they offer $ instead of the repair - depends on how reliable and how good a shape the car is in otherwise, obviously especially the engine - because at 163,000 miles you are getting to the point where old-age wear-and-tear repairs are likely to start cropping up. Some people will tolerate that - others are ready to get rid of a car as soon as it starts having more than one repair every year or two.

However, for the couple thousand $ max they would possibly offer (most likely not half that at best) plus junk value of the car (maybe $500-1000 with a bad transmission) you would not get much of a down payment on a different car - and you say you cannot afford a lot, so a "new" used car would likely be no better than what you have, if as good. And remember - with few exceptions, and especially with older cars (as opposed to leases or cars people buy new every year just to show off their new car) and the occasional upgrade from a "single person car" to a "mom-mobile" or SUV, most used cars are traded in for a good reason - the owner is tired of throwing money at it, it has been diagnosed with an expensive problem they , or something like that - plus you do not know if it has been well maintained, so a used car buy is very much a gamble.

Generally, if your car is doing well and been well maintained, keeping it going is the better bet. Even a new transmission or engine (at commonly $3000-5000 each) can be a good move at many times if you can foot the bill, because they should give you another 50,000-100,000 miles of service (if rebuilt) or 100,000-200,000 miles if a brand new replacement, before they go out again. Commonly better to keep your known quantity alive than possibly buy into a someone else's problem car and possibly end up with a lemon.

Course, many people take another route - figuring the hassle and lost time due to occasional car breakdowns, even though cheaper to repair, lead them to buy a much newer low-mileage used car or a totally new car. Or course, where you live, alternative transportation, how crucial the occasional days of lost use or being late to work makes a big difference too - the occasional breakdown in the city to a persona with alternative transportation or who is retired is looking at a very different picture than a person who needs absolute reliability like someone living in remote extreme weather conditons or manyu miles out on a desolate road or a parent needing high reliability for transporting a very young child or school children or such.

Some people with severe $ issues also choose a "new" car, bought on monthly payments, over keeping an older car which might need a lot less $ in the long run but needs occasional repairs which they cannot afford to pay lump-sum because they are on a fixed or strictly limited monthly income. Each persons's case is different.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


BTW - here is a another previoous question about transmission flushes with several answers about their benefits (?) and risks, FYI:

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


Thank you for allthe info. Transmission flush was recomended as a preventayive maintenance. So yes I am xxxx , but have been going to thos shop for over 10 uears and trust them. My heart and wallet are on the dump.

Answered 3 years ago by marcia16


OK - couple of final thoughts after reading the entire issue again:
1) somehow I thought it started slipping a week after the flush - but has been 6 months since the flush, so if the problem just started not likely to be due to the flush, so probably no way they are going to accept responsibility for this. And may not be their fault at all, especially since your model is known for this sort of problem. 2) I would check the manufacturer or NHTSA website (using your vehicle ID number - VIN) to see if there is any recall on your transmission - though with that mileage on it highly unlikely to be covered by any recall 3) the working fine whan you start up but then slipping sounds to me like either low fluid or a blocked passage or plugged filter, resulting in inadequate fluid in the torque converter, which is the "pump" (actually more like a liquid-moving fan) which powers the transmission. Could also be a mis-adjusted (due to wear - many transmissions need periodic adjustment every 30,000-50,000 miles) or worn bands (which if the replaceable type commonly wear about 150,000 miles or so. With any luck, one of those is the issue and you will be looking at some hundreds of $ rather than thousands for the repair - though anytime you pull a transmission out of the vehicle you are pretty much assured of the bill totalling $1000 or more - and regardless of the repair needed you are likely already well into that amount just for the removal and replacement. (Note - if they did not get authorization with an estimated repair amount, in many states you will NOT be responsible for the charges - check local law regarding automotive repair estimates - and do not let then talk you into signing the estimate AFTER the work is done). 4) Lets see- what is #4 - oh yeah. If this repair is putting more of a dent in your wallet than it can take at this time, you may need to be talking to your credit union (usually lower rates) or bank about a loan to payoff the repair, then pay the loan off over a year or two - though that sort of personal loan is commonly around 5% APR if you have excellent credit, 10% with fair, or 20-25% with poor credit.Oh - BTW - you mentioned the possibility of a temporary fix then sell the car - other than introducing a friction additive (which quickly gums up and trashes the transmission, and would make for a very unhappy innocent buyer as other comment said) and might well be considered fraud, generally there is not going to be a "temporary fix" that is going to work or be significantly cheaper than fixing it right. So the alternative, I think, is reassemble with no fix which then makes the car worth little more than junk PLUS you have paid to have the transmission removed and replaced without repair so probably 1/2 or possibly more like 3/4 of a total cost already spent, or repairing it and keeping it, considering that expense an investment in getting another hopefully 50,000 or so miles out of it.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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