Frequently Asked Questions

The most important transmission repair information you have been looking for...

Transmission Repair FAQs

Our customers have many transmission repair questions, particularly because the inner workings of a transmission remain a mystery to most. We actually receive referrals from many Auto Repair shops because transmission work is so specialized. Our industry is also plagued with many types of transmission repairs that are subpar, and we address some of those below, but the work we do is always top notch and engineered to be better than new – literally.  We don’t just repair transmissions to OEM standards, we implement solutions that are better than the original designs, that is why our transmission repairs include the longest warranty in the industry, a lifetime warranty – and here you can see why our transmissions can go for a million miles or more.

Can I Buy a New Transmission?
99% of the time new replacement transmissions are unavailable. It may be possible with the current model year, after that new transmissions are unavailable.
Should I Do a Transmission Exchange?
We don’t recommend it. The problem with a transmission exchange is that the source of the transmission, and any issues it had previously, are usually unknown. The age of the parts or amount of miles on the transmission and individual parts is not known. Parts of different ages and miles are often combined creating new potential points of failure, inconsistencies, and internal component mismatches or clearance problems that can even be detected while driving the vehicle.
Should I Buy a ‘Reman’ or Remanufactured Transmission?
We don’t recommend this either. Remanufactured transmissions are also troublesome because they aren’t actually rebuilt by the manufacturer, that work is often outsourced to the lowest bidder to serve that market.
Why Can’t You Give Me a Price Over the Phone?
Today there are more than ten times as many types of transmissions in use as there used to be, with new ones showing up all the time. Many of those transmissions have several different variations or calibrations, and many need modifications. Today’s transmissions are computer controlled, which means even though your transmission may not be working properly, there’s a chance the cause of the problem doesn’t have anything to do with the transmission itself. To provide you with an accurate assessment of your transmission’s condition and give you an estimate for repairs, technicians must perform a series of tests. They must identify which transmission version is in your vehicle. Then they have to identify the specific problem, and isolate whether it’s the transmission or the computer system or a sensor or ground or engine or something else. Finally, they have to determine the causes of the problem, based on a diagnostic process. Once they have that information, the shop is able to give you an accurate explanation of your vehicle’s condition, and put together a more accurate estimate of the costs to repair your vehicle. There’s no way to do that over the phone.
Why Does Transmission Repair Cost So Much?

Transmission repairs can be expensive. But it’s not so much money when you consider what’s involved in the repairs. Today’s automatic transmissions consist of many individual components. During a repair, each one is removed, cleaned, and inspected for wear and damage. Damaged parts are repaired or replaced or upgraded to improve or correct the function.  Then each part is put together into one of many sub-assemblies all tested for proper operation. Then the sub-assemblies are assembled into the transmission case, where the testing procedure begins all over again. Once the transmission is completely assembled, it has to be installed back into the vehicle. All of today’s automatic transmissions are computer controlled, which means that the transmission’s ability to operate depends on more than the condition of the transmission, so we test the vehicle on board computer and the vehicle’s engines performance.  Transmission work can be expensive … but, dollar for dollar with a life time warranty, it’s a good value.

How Can I Be Sure a Shop Has Qualified Technicians?
One of the things you can check for is technician certification. There are certificates indicating that the technicians have passed tests to prove a level of competence in one or more areas of automotive repair.  The most common certifications are provided by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). These certifications cover theory, diagnosis and repair procedures in every area of the automobile.  In addition, many manufacturers and organizations offer some type of certification program. Certification has no guarantee of competence; it does indicate a certain level of professionalism.

Family Owned and Operated Transmission Center

Thurston County Transmission is your trusted transmission repair, replacement & rebuild expert in the Olympia, WA area. We deliver quality auto repair & transmission service with the honesty and integrity you expect from a family owned, local business. Since 1990, we have prided ourselves on our ability to offer the highest quality service and repairs, with the highest level of customer service. We are a locally owned and operated family business that cares about our customers and our community.

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