Thursday, February 12, 2009

Transmission Received

Hello Earth. We are receiving your transmission.

Unfortunately, Angie’s 2002 Dodge Caravan is receiving a transmission, as well.

Angie’s tranny has been slipping for a while now. When we added fluid, it rode better, but never for long. Hard “clunks” when putting the van into drive followed by “stuttering” on the up shifts and a hard “bang” on the shift into first were real signs that we had a real problem.

She drove several hours to Granbury this weekend. At the end of the trip she complained that the van was really driving crappy. We used her car to get to church on Sunday and when I drove it I knew we had a problem.

We took it to the transmission repair shop as soon as we could.

The 10 minute test drive was enough to experience all of the problems. For a small amount ($360.00), they took apart the tranny and inspected it. It was interesting to hear the owner/operator tell me that he was legally obligated to inform me that this $360 did NOT include reassembling and putting the tranny back into the van. In fact, he was clear, that even if he gave me an estimate for $1M, and I told him to “go screw yourself”, that he would box the transmission and that would be the extent of his obligation.

After about 24 hours, the owner/operator called. A transmission overhaul with a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty on the entire transmission would cost us over $2,600. A $2,200 option which just replaced worn out parts had a 12-month/12,000 mile warranty.

Since we expect to have Angie’s van for several more years (my cousin, the Yankee, Jon-Paul, inspected the van when he was down here and said it still had several good years left in it). We decided on the longer warranty and more thorough service.

Hopefully, that this service will hold us off until we trade the van in for a new car for Angie. That's the transmitted message that I want to receive.

So, is this experience normal? Did I get screwed?


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