7105 77th Ave Edmonton, AB (780) 440-2906 Email: info@protracgear.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. What is my worst case scenario?

 A. The worst case scenario is typically the pricing you would recieve from the original manufacturer (such as GM, Ford, Chrysler dealerships), with the cost of installation and fluid services added on top of that.

Q. How much will it cost to fix my transmission?

 A. Cost can vary greatly.  Occasionally the problem is repaired without cost during the free analysis. Depending on the model, type and damage incurred, the cost can be anywhere from zero to a couple of thousand dollars.

Q. How much would it be if my transmission needs everything?

 A. This is very unlikely, but if it were to happen, the transmission would not be rebuilt. At that point it would be referred to as new. The cost to replace everything is significantly higher than any rebuilt shelf unit you will find. New, if you find one, is many thousands of dollars. 

Q. Can't you just tell me a price over the phone?

 A. No, generally we cannot. The same symptoms can be recreated by many different causes. Shudders, noises, slipping, leaks, warning indicators (lights) can have many different origins. We check vehicles without charge so that when we do give our verdict, it will be accurate. This prevents you from going all over town paying diagnosis fees to isolate a problem that could be less than the diagnosis fee itself. 

Q. How much is a new transmission?

 A. Most automotive brands do not offer new units, they are rebuilt units. The vast majority of those are built outside of that corporation through sub-contractors. New is a term that is used far too loosely.

Q. How long can I drive my car the way it is now?

A. Good question! It could be anywhere from minutes to months. Professional opinion? You don't want to wait to find out how far it will go before failure. That can raise the cost to repair the issue, with more replacement parts needed, not to mention the inconvenience.

Q. Will a fluid change help correct transmission problems?

A. Changing the fluid can oftentimes amplify your problem, or worse, create new ones. The detergent properties in transmission fluid are extremely high. Often when you have very dirty fluid it is a sign of a part that is wearing excessively and emitting abnormal amounts of debris. Cleansing the inside of a transmission in this state can cause a mudslide and literally stop up the passages that the unit needs to operate. If the unit is not creating debris at a rapid rate, but has internal malfunctions, then the fluid change is at best a waste of both time and money. Although on rare occasions a fluid change will eliminate enough debris to eliminate valves sticking up due to foreign abrasive material (e.g., metal or clutch material), this is not the norm. It is important to identify and fix the underlying cause of the problem. After all, you would not change the oil in your engine if it were to malfunction.

Q. I have been told I just need a transmission tune up. What does that mean?

A. Old school terminology. Most transmissions today are computer controlled and have no adjustments to make. What is commonly referred to as a transmission tune up is a fluid and filter change with external inspections. Older model vehicles (pre-1980ish) were adjustable via modulators, bands, cables, etc.

Q. Will additives help a failing unit?

 A. While some additives do condition clutches and prevent or eliminate chatter, most incorporate ingredients that soften rubber seals to fill clearance gaps in old or shrunken rings. The problem with this is that the rubber components continue to swell or deteriorate and create a situation that causes failure and more damage. When the transmission is disassembled for inspection, parts fly out like a jack-in-the-box. 

Q. Is metal on the magnet indicating a problem?

 A. The magnet is placed in the transmission pan specifically to extract metal from the fluid. There will be metal refuse from gear sets as they wear against each other; however, there are normal and abnormal amounts of debris on the magnet. 

Q. How long does it take to overhaul a transmission?

 A. Generally it is between two and four days. Obviously factors such as parts availability, workload, etc. may affect turnover time.

Q Can't you just hook it up to your machine and tell me what I need?

 A. Not usually. A computer scan generally will only give direction as to what is necessary for a repair. Even when the code reads as a simple speed sensor, for example, it can be that other issues are preventing the signal from the sensor from being read by the control unit. Typically in this scenario the process would be to replace the sensor, clear codes, and road test the vehicle to see if the code reappears. Only then can you be certain that the problem is solved.