I have a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu that needs a full transmission replacement and I have a free lance mechanic who said if I find the transmission myself he would just charge me $900 for installation. My question is if you think that is a better alternative to a shop where ive gotten a $2,700 repair estimate?
The first question I have to ask you is how much do you trust your “freelance mechanic?” If your technician has done successful work for you on major auto systems like the air conditioning/heater or other transmission work, such as the intercooler, then I would say go ahead and give it a shot, you don’t have anything to lose and a bunch of money to save.
Here are a couple of things to think about, though. If you choose to go this route you have to realize that there is no warranty, other than a traditional mechanic’s warranty which is available for a limited time on a specific item. If, on the other hand, there is a problem with the installation, then you will find the mechanic has to cover it, no matter what time limit he or she may have placed on it through the invoice. Be aware, too, that you may gain a bit of factory coverage if the transmission comes from a vehicle that is still covered. I know this one could be a stretch, but it is worth the try.
With that said, be aware that any transmission you may find in a scrapyard may be damaged, though it looks good on the outside. This type of transmission is usually sold with no warranty or return so if you buy one that has not been serviced already (some reputable yards do this but the cost goes up to cover) then you are taking your chances.
I realize the $2,700 figure you have been given is huge but do some math before you commit to the freelance person. Take the figure you spend for the transmission which could range up to $1,600 or so and add in the $900 plus whatever incidental expenses that accrue and you will probably find that there’s no advantage at all. Also, remember if you use a good transmission shop or dealership, you will have the warranty that comes with the rebuilt that you will have installed. And, there’s a dealership or experienced tech shop to handle any return work.
Finally, will your freelancer allow multiple returns before the meter starts running again? It’s another thing to think about. I hope I have helped you; if not, please let me know of other issues you may have.
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