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Remanufactured transmissions defined…

Any attempt to clarify the confusion caused by companies that choose fancy terminology, over common terminology in the transmission replacement industry is an important matter since the APRA, (Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association) decided to include the term rebuild in the same category as remanufactured. I applaud the APRA for lessening the confusion for people who frequently did not know what the difference between a rebuilt transmission and a remanufactured transmission is. 

Using this terminology or technique, worn or broken transmissions are disassembled into sub-assemblies, which are rebuilt to stock factory specifications, ready to be reassembled into a reconditioned transmission. This is the case of remanufacturing automobile engines, transmissions, alternators, fuel injectors and many other related automotive components. Once the product is disassembled and the parts are cleaned, inspected and replaced, the process finalizes with assembling the refurbished sub-assemblies into a reconditioned transmission on an assembly line, similar to the factory process.

The remanufacturing process, in particular, causes a loss of the original products identity since the final assembly process includes using remaufactured sub-assemblies from different transmission, reconditioned to the factory specifications.  Some of the FAQ relate to the commonality of parts in products of different models and years, and their relationship with re-production process.

Certain groups of people, particularly vintage car owners want all of the sub-assemblies to be the original assemblies that are to be reassembled in the transmission rebuilding process. Thus keeping the car completely original. Vintage cars lose tremendous value when the original parts are not used in a restoration project. So by defition, the basis of remanufacturing is not acceptable to vintage car owners.

Vintage car owners use smaller transmission replacement companies so the original integrity of the product is not disturbed. The personal touch of a smaller transmission rebuilding company allows one to achieve the same result as a large remanufacturing firm, without losing integrity. And may be more suitable for that person.

As a car and truck owner, I would prefer to have the original part, in this case the transmission that came in the truck rebuilt, using all original use-able sub-assemblies.

That being said don’t allow the flakes of fairy dust some companies sprinkle on their terminology cloud your ability to make an informed decision. Armed with this type of information, educated consumers always make better decisions.

The fact is that no matter what term one may use to describe a rebuilt transmission, it comes down to the ethics of said shop as to what really goes on behind closed doors. Simply put, if the supplier you choose to deal with has poor ethics, than call it what you want as far as terminology is concerned, but be prepared to purchase an inferior replacement transmission, in this case.

When we rebuilt a transmission at my shop, the terminology had much less to do with the outcome of the job than the paradigm we upheld. Which was to provide our customers with a product they could count on to build confidence by providing long term trouble free performance as long as the consumer follows proper maintenance procedures.

The next time you are confronted with the subject of rebuilt, remanufactured or reconditioned, remember that it all boils down to the ethics of the company providing the product. Choose your rebuilt transmission supplier wisely.

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