John Braconnier, President of Trans tech Transmission

Know the track record of the repair shop.

Your repair price quotation will be divided into parts and labour. There are different prices available for transmission parts ranging from new to remanufactured to used. Ask what your price quotation covers. The labour factor is often the biggest variable in a high price quotation.

Here is a typical scenario. A vehicle has an obvious transmission problem and the driver has received a repair price from two shops. The first shop quoted a labour cost of $400 (the shop rate is $50/hour) and the more established specialty shop quoted $800 labour ($100/hour). Why the difference? Each shop is basing the time involved on the standard time table in the industry – the Chilton Book. The job will require 8 hours. The $400 price quotation seems like a substantially better deal, but will you receive the warranty, professionalism, cleanliness, customer service, and mechanical expertise that you would from the established shop that has been in business for several years?

Ask about warranty – the reputable shop has a total commitment to the quality of their warranty. This means that you have a problem with repair work during the warranty period, you will receive priority customer service. Consider that today’s technician needs thorough training and hands-on experience to develop skills to repair the complex transmissions of the 90s.