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A quality diagnosis of your transmission problem comes first…

A brief background on me. I used to own an automotive and light duty truck transmission repair shop from 1981 to 2006. I sold the shop right before the economy crashed. I decided to get into helping people learn about how to choose the right engine and transmission shops, since repair shops are not fungible.

Here is a story for you on why a free or inexpensive diagnosis is in your best interest.

I got a phone call one day from a man who had a 1995 Ford F-250 truck that had an E4OD transmission. It was running poorly and he wanted a price to rebuild it. I suggested he bring it in for a free diagnosis so we could determine exactly what was wrong. I explained that it was a computerized vehicle and maybe it did not need a real expensive repair. “No way”, he said. He did not have time, he knew it needed a cheap repair, so he just wanted a price. He said he was going with the cheapest price. I told him I could not quote prices on the phone. I needed to see the truck to do a free diagnostic before I could say what was wrong and how much it would cost to fix.

He thanked me for my time and I did not hear back from him again for several weeks.

A little more than three weeks later I got a call from that same man. He asked me if he could get that free diagnosis. He explained that he took his vehicle to shop Z and they sold him a high priced repair. It took three weeks which is not acceptable. The worse part was that when he got his vehicle back from shop Z it malfunctioned the exact same way it did before he took it there. FYI, he was only given a warranty of 90 days on the repair. We gave a 1 year or 12,000 mile warranty on general car repairs to build confidence with our customers.

Needless to say he was very frustrated. I gave him a cup of coffee and he came out to watch me do my diagnostic routine. It is usually a 10 to 30 minute procedure. I checked simple things and gave the transmission a good look over. No doubt, it barely ran. Then I hooked up my Snap-On Scanner and suggested that we go for a ride together while I went through the driving portion of the diagnosis. While we were driving the scan tool was collecting information, so we just chatted while I put the truck through it’s paces. He seemed like a nice fellow really, just misinformed. At one point we stopped talking because I needed to listen and ‘feel’ how the engine was running.

We got back about 15 minutes later and it was time to see what type of data the scanner stored. There was one code in the scanner. A code indicates a problem, so in essence this was a good thing. I don’t remember the code number, but I remember it was a code for the pressure control solenoid.

With his permission I ordered a new PC solenoid from the dealer. We always used factory parts when they were available. The installation took about 60 minutes. We cleared the code from the computer and went for a ride. Guess what? It worked perfectly. It never missed a beat. Obviously the man had a mixture of emotions, he was happy we could fix this problem for about 250 bucks. He was also angry about spending $800.00 for extensive and unnecessary repairs that did not affect the underlying problem. Truthfully, it may have needed more work at the time, but chances are it did not. There is no way to tell if that is so when repairs are made before a diagnostic process takes place.

After we re drove the truck for about 30 miles we came back and checked the codes, ahaa, no codes and the truck had perfect performance.

I think you know what the moral of the story is.

If one day you experience an engine problem, now you know what to do. If you ever need a replacement engine of any sort call the experts at GotTransmissions.com # 866-320-1182. Feel free to examine our GotTransmissions.com Blog and have access to all of our articles for free every day.

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