Transmission Service: Is Every Shop The Same?

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Articles, Transmission Service

If you look through any newspaper, you’ve probably seen ads from your local quick lube center or convenience store offering transmission fluid exchange services. And in many cases, these stores offer to service your transmission for much less than a transmission repair shop will.

So is there any reason you should take your car to a transmission shop for service? Yes, there is. In fact, there are a few.

Probably the most important reason to take your car to a transmission shop for service is because a service is supposed to be more than simply draining the oil. Service time is when little problems are supposed be found and fixed… before they become big problems. An experienced transmission technician knows how to identify problems that show up during a road test or appear in the pan. And he’ll be able to make the recommendations necessary to keep those problems in check.

A lube technician may be able to change oil, but chances are he won’t be able to identify and take care of those little problems.

Another consideration is whether the shop is aware of the technical nuances that can make or break your transmission. Are they using the right fluid? And what about the filter? Many of them look similar, but using the wrong one can destroy your transmission.

Automatic Transmission Filter
Look identical, don’t they? But using the wrong one in your transmission could destroy it in just a few miles.

Even something that should be as simple as installing the filter often requires more knowledge than many lube techs bring to the shop. There are hundreds — even thousands — of instances of transmission damage being caused by an improperly installed filter. And afterward, it’ll be up to you to prove what caused your transmission to fail.

Is that risk really worth saving a few dollars on the service? The transmission specialists at your local ATRA Member shop are well versed in the differences between today’s transmissions. They know which fluids to use and how to install the right filter… the right way. All of which translates into more miles out of your car’s transmission. And isn’t that why you wanted it serviced in the first place?

To find the ATRA Member shop near you, click the Shopfinder 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 Transmission Service articles available.