How to Buy a Junkyard Transmission

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Author: Leonard Simmons

Whenever you are faced with a potential, unexpected car repair it can be a stressful task.  There are certain mechanical failures that may make you panic – mainly the engine and transmission.  It is common knowledge that repairs on either of these components are very costly and you may not have the money to take the car to the shop.  The good news is you need not panic as there is another option that can sometimes cut your costs in half.


If you need transmission repair there are a few options to consider:


  • Take the vehicle to an auto repair shop and pay for parts and labor
  • Buy your new parts from the auto store and do the repairs yourself
  • Buy used auto parts and have an auto repair shop do labor
  • Buy used auto parts and do the repair yourself


The first option of using a repair shop will always be the most costly option.  You will pay more for parts as well as labor.  Your second option will save you some money by only requiring out of pocket funds for new parts. However, be advised that new auto parts are often marked up quite a bit.  Your third and fourth options are the best choices if you are looking to lower your budget significantly. Let’s discuss them in more detail.


Buying used vehicle parts makes some people feel uneasy. This should not be a problem is you go to a trusted and experienced junkyard. There, you can often find almost-new parts and components that have significant years and miles left on them.  If you need a used transmission, an auto salvage yard should be your first stop, regardless of whether you want to do the actual repairs yourself or have the transmission installed professionally.  Before you go to the junkyard you should follow these steps:


  • Make sure you know what you are looking for. Consult your car's manual to determine the exact type of transmission that your car has and the specifications you need.
  • Determine what actual parts you need. If you have an automatic transmission, look for other components that are needed such as a torque converter.  If you have a manual transmission, you may need a new clutch in addition to the exact transmission.  You can always call the car manufacturer to get full details on what you need so that you have all proper parts assembled before your repair.
  • Carefully examine all parts. When you visit the junkyard, look at all of the components of the transmission.  Cycle through all gears of the transmission and make sure that you do not hear any suspect noises, especially grinding.  It should be fairly easy to get through all gears. If you have difficulty doing so, you should probably move on to the next potential prospect.  Look for clean oil between the gears.  You should also examine the input and output shafts to make sure the input shaft is not too loose and the output rotates easily.


If you follow these easy steps, purchasing a junkyard transmission and other used auto parts will greatly cut your costs and allow you to make your transmission repairs much more affordable - whether you do it yourself or just get used parts and take them to your repair shop.

Want to learn more about used vehicle parts? Get more information:

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