Every facet of life has people and companies who wish to take advantage of you and abscond with your hard-earned money, and auto transmission scams are one of the ways that they do it. Because few people understand all of the inner workings of the transmissions in their cars and trucks, it is easy for unscrupulous people to take advantage. The following are a few of the more common transmission scams that you might be unfortunate enough to run across at some point as well as how you can avoid them.
Scam 1 - Transmission Flush
Many shops will offer to give you a transmission flush when you take your vehicle in for another repair. They will tell you that the transmission has sludge and particles built up inside of it, and that a flush will be able to remove those particles and get your transmission back into proper working order.
However, getting a transmission flush is not always the best idea. You will find that most manufacturers do not recommend getting a flush as often as the mechanics at many shops recommend it. In fact, some warranties on your transmission will be voided if you get a flush that does not adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines.
Scam 2 - Phone Estimate
Many people will call up a local shop and ask for an estimate regarding transmission repair. The mechanic or manager will often quote a low price to get the customer to take their car to the shop. When the vehicle gets there and they begin working on it, the manager calls back and says that the cost will be a bit higher. When the work is finally complete, the price is close to double the original phone estimate.
You can avoid this by taking the vehicle into the shop and avoiding the phone estimate. Also, go to more than one shop so that you can get a better understanding of what they charge.
Scam 3 - Transmission Warranty
When the warranty on your transmission expires, you might find yourself tempted to buy an aftermarket warranty. You know that the cost of replacing your transmission can be upwards of $2,000, so a warranty seems like a good idea. In theory, it is. However, not all of the warranties that you will find are worth your time and money. Some companies will tell you that everything is covered in your warranty, but you will want to read the fine print. Many times, the salespeople will say whatever it takes to get you to sign up for a warranty. Always be sure to read over any warranty before you purchase it.
A good rule of thumb when trying to avoid being scammed with a transmission warranty is to call around to some of the local shops and see if they would repair your vehicle under the warranty that the company is offering. Do this long before you decide to purchase the warranty. If the shop says that they would not be able to repair it with that warranty, do not purchase it.