How to find a good transmission shop

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Articles, Automotive 101

Automatic transmission repairs are expensive; some can cost $2000… $3000… or even more. So it’s more important than ever to find a shop that offers quality repairs at a fair price.

Here are a few ways you can find a good transmission repair shop:

1. Get recommendations — Ask friends and family to recommend a shop where they were treated well and were happy with their work.

2. Look for a professional appearance — A clean, organized shop indicates a professional attitude. And that usually carries over into all phases of the business… including their repairs and job pricing.

3. Check for training and certifications — Look for certificates hanging in the waiting room. Those certificates demonstrate that the technicians are continuing to maintain their technical competence. They don’t prove competence, but they do prove an attitude of pride and professionalism; just what you’d expect from an honest shop.

4. Avoid lowballers — Nearly every shop in your area experiences similar expenses and costs. So when one shop offers you a price that’s remarkably lower than the others, be suspicious. There’s a good chance that price will go up a lot before you get your car back, or you’ll get a transmission repair that’s less than satisfactory. For more information visit our page on transmission cost. It shows a listing of of parts and labor for a Ford pickup truck. Cost for other vehicles will vary but this will give you an idea of real costs versus some of the bate-and-switch costs you may find in some advertising.

5. Ask for a detailed, written estimate — After checking your car thoroughly, the repair shop should have a fairly good idea of what’s wrong with your car. They should be able to provide a written estimate that specifies what’s wrong and what it’ll cost to repair.

6. Look for membership in consumer organizations — Most reputable shops are members of an organization or association that provides consumer arbitration in the event of a dispute, such as the Better Business Bureau or ATRA.

7. Look for the ATRA logo — ATRA demands a level of professionalism, competence, and ethical standards from its Members. So when you see the ATRA logo, you know you’re dealing with a shop that takes pride in offering honest, dependable repairs at a fair price.

Transmission Repair Shop with ATRA logo
The ATRA logo is a great way to identify a shop that’ll give you an honest job at an honest price.

To find the ATRA Member shop near you, click on the ATRA Shop Finder link.

If you have any questions you can e-mail them to ATRA's Technical Department through the Technical Services page or call 1-866-GO-4-ATRA (1-866-464-2872)

More Automotive 101 articles available.