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When it rains, it pours! What would you do?(17 posts)

When it rains, it pours! What would you do?PaulCL
Feb 15, 2002 6:34 AM
Just got a call from my auto mechanic - up to $2000 for a transmission rebuild on my Jeep. Lousy week.

Here's the question: My Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited is one day short of eight years old, 72,000 miles, great shape, loaded - I love this car. My wife just started bugging me last weekend when we were going to get a new one??Huh?? JINX!! She doesn't even drive it, but she's tired of it. I don't get that one. But anyway...my questions: The transmission problem is a barely noticeable, very rare, gear engagement problem on cold mornings -only in low going uphill from a stop. Would you pay to fix it? Would you pay to fix it then sell it?? Would you be sneaky and try to sell it through the papers?? Would you just trade it in for a new model? Would you post a question on a cycling board because you just don't know what to do??
the answer is obviousmr_spin
Feb 15, 2002 8:39 AM
A very rare, barely noticeable problem isn't worth $2000.

When it comes time to get a new car, consider donating it to charity. You can write off blue book value on your taxes (obviously, not the "mint" column"), you don't have to deal with any of the problems, and you don't have to sell it.
I'm with spin, pretty muchcory
Feb 15, 2002 9:23 AM
Pretty hard to choke down a $2000 bill on that car. I'd at least drive it until it became unreliable or wouldn't do what I needed it to do anymore. If you really want to be thrifty, you could probably get a used tranny from an "automotive recycler" (formerly junkyard) cheaper when this one finally dies. Might not be worth it, though, given Jeep's notorious unreliabilty. I tend to keep cars 130,000 miles or so, but most of my recent experience is with Toyotas and Hondas, and we've never had a major problem.
The charity donation is a good suggestion, too. I donated a Suzuki Samurai last year. It wasn't worth much, somebody got some use out of it and I took a small deduction. The main attraction, though, was that I didn't have the hassle of showing it to the kind of people who'd come to look at a Samurai with 125,000 miles on it.
yeah real nice donate a car with a bad tranny to charity (nm)Cammy
Feb 15, 2002 10:19 AM
they'll take it with NO trannymr_spin
Feb 15, 2002 10:26 AM
Do some research before making comments like that. Most charities that advertise for car donations always state "working or not." They also handle all the paperwork, including smog certificates (California). The one I donated my car to sent a tow truck to pick it up.

Here's an example...

Obviously there is a value in these vehicles or they wouldn't do it.
They welcome ANY car where I livecory
Feb 15, 2002 11:25 AM
The major charities run ads constantly asking for ANY car, running or not. I've donated two, been scrupulously honest in both cases, and they've been happy to have them. So bite me.
And then you take full value on your taxes--cheater (nm)D
Feb 15, 2002 1:04 PM
Aw, don't be an a-hole. You haven't seen my 1040.cory
Feb 18, 2002 3:02 PM
This conversation is too stupid to continue, but here I am jumping back in: The Sallies gave me an appraisal of the car, about $400 below blue book, and that's what I put on my taxes. They were happy to get the car. I was happy to get rid of it. There wasn't anything wrong with my transmission anyway; that was the other guy. Mine was a runner, with a new battery, only 10,000 miles on the tires and a cherry QUESTION AUTHORITY decal on the back bumper. Eight months later it's still running around town. Jesus, go for a ride or something.
Bill Clinton gets $3 per pair of underwear donated (nm)D
Feb 15, 2002 1:04 PM
What I'll probably doPaulCL
Feb 15, 2002 11:57 AM
I called my brother-in-law, who owns several car dealerships, for advice. With the known problem, his dealership will give me $5500 for the car on a trade-in. If fixed, it may be worth $8000 or better. He also told me that in two years the car will essentially be worthless on a trade-in basis. So, I'm going car shopping this weekend.

As for the donation of the car...I would love to be able to do that but I don't need the deduction - I need the cash. Thanks for the input. Paul
Focking A......V 8 conversion time...jrm
Feb 16, 2002 4:57 PM
Yup, there is hope. I have sen the adviertizing for these. Sounds cool.
re: When it rains, it pours! What would you do?DINOSAUR
Feb 18, 2002 8:19 AM
It might be barely noticeable now, but I bet in time it will get worse. Consider getting a remanufactured transmission or just a used tranny. I went through the same thing with my old RX-7 and they installed a used tranny and I never had a problem. I'd wait until it starts to give you trouble then have it replaced. Another option is to get a second opinion, it just might need adjusting or one gear replaced. 72K is not a lot of miles for a car these days. I had the tranny on my '95 Ford F250 replaced, but I was lucky, it was still on warranty (by a whooping two days)...
The transmission place tried to screw me!PaulCL
Feb 18, 2002 3:03 PM
I brought the car home without having them work on the transmission. Another mechanic suggested that before I get a new transmission, to check the fluid levels. DUH! He said low fluid in a Jeep can cause slight slippage that I described. Guess what? I was down well over a quart of fluid.

Can you believe the yahoo's at AAmco were going to have me replace the tranny without even checking the fluid levels. I feel stupid for not checking myself - but I'm just not a car guy. Over the weekend, I've tried and tried to recreate the situation underwhich the tranny slipped - but it hasn't slipped again.

The final result: My wife doesn't feel safe in the car anymore. And at eight years old, things might start going wrong and as for resale, it kinda now or never. So I've got it for sale.

Now, can anybody get me a good deal on an Audi A-6?
Good lesson on fluid levels. Thanks for sharing! -NMTig
Feb 19, 2002 11:55 AM
Tell you wife the car is fine.slow-ron
Feb 20, 2002 7:01 AM
Did you also check how dirty the fluid is? How long since you last changed it. It usually needs changed every 30,000 depending on driving conditions. Along with clean fliud there's a filter in the tranny that needs serviced. If you've got low fluid that is dirty and an old filter you've found your problem.

There's a product (can't remember the manufacturer) that you can buy at your local parts store that you add to the fluid to clean the tranny. When you clean out the small orifices and areas where the fluid passes through the tranny, the performance is sure to get better.

I've had many trannies begin to slip and after adding some cleaner the car is fine.

Unless you really want the A6 I'd say you should keep the car and sleep well at night. Just make sure to service it a bit better next time.
I forgot something.slow-ron
Feb 20, 2002 7:12 AM
Pull the dipstick for the tranny and pull it up to your nose. If it smells burnt, you may actually have some problems beginning to develop. If it smells like regular fluid, which I suspect, it's just a fluid level problem. Also, look at the color of the fluid. If it's a cherry red like a Chianti wine, you're OK. If it's dark like a Bordeaux or Shiraz and it smells bad, you may have cooked the transmission. This is usually a sure fire way to tell if you've got problems.
The transmission place tried to screw me!DINOSAUR
Feb 27, 2002 9:16 PM
I might be a day late and a dollar short, but if you are leaking that much fluid you probably need your transmission seal replaced. This doesn't speak highly of AAmco either. When you trans starts to slip that is the first thing that should be checked....find a better (honest) mechanic...