Ripped off on transmission rebuild and not sure what to do.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jc0481, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. jc0481 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    #1
    I live in Utah by the way. I stopped by a general repair automotive shop that has 7 locations in Utah. They couldn't fix the issue so they told me they took it to their "heavy duty shop". They took it another transmission shop which they are partners with. Found out later through small talk with the owner of the transmission shop that he and the manager at the general automotive repair shop have been friends for the past 20 years. I found this out after driving over the shop to get my belongings.

    I own a 2008 Mazda Tribute. It has a 4-cylinder 2.3 liter engine and not a hybrid. It has front wheel drive. I paid $2900 dollars for a transmission rebuild on it. The model number for the transmission is CD4E.

    I never did get a itemized bill from either the transmission shop or the general automotive shop on what was done to my vehicle. On the invoice it just says "Reman tranmission".

    I went back to the transmission shop to see if I could get one. One of the managers told me they have work orders that the mechanics use to list details of the job. He even showed me a empty sample. BUT he told me that the work order papers get so worn out and dirty they just get thrown away after the job is done. Weird thing when I told him what I came for. He looked for some papers after I told him my name and the dates.

    I called the Utah Division of Consumer Protection today and they suggested I write a letter to both the transmission shop and the general automotive repair shop. That way "you have something in writing".

    So not sure what to do at this point. I hope someone here has some suggestions. Thank you.
     
  2. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    ATL
    #2
    What was the shop's response to this?
     
  3. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #3
    Why do you need the itemized bill? Is the transmission not working?
     
  4. .eric macrumors member

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    Jul 30, 2013
    #4
    What was the ripoff? The cost of the transmission?
     
  5. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #5
    I'm guessing, he could of had a new one done plus labor with lots of change.
     
  6. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #6

    I'm pretty sure they swapped your tranny with a Remanufactured Transmission. Basically they take your out and put one back in that has been rebuilt by Mazda, and then your old one goes back to Mazda to be rebuilt and be someone else's reman transmission.

    You pretty much have a brand new transmission is what it comes down to.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    I question where you think you got ripped off. Do you have it on good authority that your transmission could have been replaced for a lot less than what a remanufactured transmission cost?
     
  8. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #8
    Usually remanufactured/rebuilt transmissions cost less than a new transmission.

    The question is how much more would a new transmission cost vs the remanufactured one. If a new one would have cost less, then the OP did get ripped off.
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    Totally aware but the OP seems to think he was ripped off and I want to know why.
     
  10. Seniordan macrumors regular

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    Jun 10, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    I doubt there is much you can do, its your responsibility to shop around and find the best deal. Also, did they not give you a quote before they actually did the work?
     
  11. jc0481, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013

    jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2005
    #11
    I'll tell you why. I have called around two different transmission shops and one quoted me around $2,400 dollars and another $2,200 dollars. Of course they both told me they wouldn't be able to give me an exact figure unless they saw the vehicle in person. The one quoted the $2,400 dollar amount said I could get a lifetime warranty on the transmission. I got stuck with the 2 year or 36,000 mile warranty.

    The price partially bothers me. The biggest issue I have with this is the unknown. I don't know how long it took to completely rebuild the transmission on my vehicle. I don't know if they took out the transmission completely and put a re-manufactured one in it's place or if they just replaced some parts. I don't know what made it fall apart in the first place.

    What I do know their labor rate is $89 an hour. They told me on my vehicle my transmission is common. They also told me it takes 16-19 hours of labor from start to finish.

    I don't like the aspect of two different companies working together to fix my transmission. I always wondered what kind of profit from my $3,000 payment did the general automotive repair shop get.

    I wish I knew someone that had the same type of vehicle as mine and can go to the same transmission shop and get a price quote on a transmission rebuild. That will ultimately tell me if I got ripped off or not. Looks like I will be placing a local ad :)
     
  12. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #12
    looked up prices just for fun. Advance Auto Parts has a reman listed for $1587.09 and $400 core charge (used 84070, friend lives in Sandy, don't know where you're at), add several hundred for the torque converter (was it replaced?) and around $200 for the solenoid (was it replaced?, fails a lot...) and then your price looks about spot on.

    that said, if you buy the master rebuild kit and new steel ring and internal parts set, and have the tools and know how, you could have done it yourself for around $600 and a few six packs. and swearing. and figure out what your time and busted knuckles would be worth in dollar value. FWIW, that model tranny is not know for it's reliability. while it's working (if it's all working right), you might want to be looking around for something else if your situation allows. just my 2 cents.

    best of luck, hope you get the info/resolution you require.
     
  13. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040

    12vElectronics

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    California
    #13
    Wait. So after you got all the work done, you decided to shop around and found it cheaper elsewhere. What exactly do you want now? You should have done your due diligence before agreeing to have work done.
     
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #14
    I think filing a complaint was prudent. One of the two shops should have held the paperwork to show the itemized charges. Specifically, you should be able to know what the labor rate and number of hours were then the cost of the reman tranny. I can see your point now.

    Going back after the fact and finding better prices is only going to piss you off. The deal is done and unless you see that bill where they fess up to the cost of parts and labor, you're just going to have to deal with it. Filing the complaint should result in getting an itemized billing. Since we're not talking about a trade that can be done without some sort of license (at least where I come from), I would suspect that you will eventually see what you want to see. Whether that does anything for your wallet, I don't know.

    If you have a car that has known transmission issues, unload it fast. There is no sense in hanging onto something that you can't trust.
     
  15. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #15
    $2900 doesn't seem out of the ream for dropping the cradle and putting a new transmission in. Remember the other estimates are by phone without inspection i.e. they're priced to get you in the door.

    I dunno what the labor rate of the shop is or the flat rate time to change a transmission in your particular car but it probably breaks out something like this.

    1600 transmission
    300 parts and fluid
    ~12hrs labor @ $80per hour <---this is most likely higher most places had gotten to ~$65 when I left the business for the Army in 2000
     
  16. jc0481, Aug 26, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013

    jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2005
    #16
    The labor rate for the transmission shop is $89 an hour. I am not sure on how long it will take to rebuild my transmission. A diesel mechanic at my job told me it's a little steep for what I paid. He also told me some transmissions just take 4-5 hours to rebuild. He asked what they did. I told him I don't really know.

    That's the thing that bothers me the most. I don't know the details. If I paid that much money I want to know what they did. I did contact the Utah Division of Consumer Protection. They suggested I write a letter requesting what I wanted to the transmission shop and also to the general repair shop. They said you need to have something in writing if you ever take them to small claims court.

    I really wished the general repair shop just charged me a diagnostic fee. They never gave me a choice. They should have just charged me a diagnostic fee. Asked me if I had a shop in mind to fix my transmission or suggested one. Then they should have said "we towed it to the transmission shop now you will have to deal with them. Have a good day".

    I call up one day and then they said "we took to our heavy duty shop".

    What would you do if you were in my shoes?
     
  17. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #17
    i don't think they rebuild your transmission on site. they buy a remanufactured one from a supplier, replace it and send yours off to whoever to be remanufactured and sold to someone else

    but either way the price sounds about right for the work. they charge you based on an industry book that says how long it should take. in reality it usually takes a lot less
     
  18. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #18
    He's right.

    Not sure on Mazdas, but 2900 isn't massively out of the Ballpark. A little high yes, but you can easily run into 3 grand if they cant salvage the old transmission ( this normally happens when an input bearing goes, or if theres a hole or damage to the transmission casing ), and if you needed a new Torque converter, thats a couple hundred right there.
     
  19. jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 16, 2005
    #19
    Thank you all for the feedback.

    What do you think of writing a letter requesting a more detailed itemized bill? I think a good shop would provide a itemized bill. Sadly it's a long story but I had no choice when it came to picking who would fix my transmission.

    I was naive thinking that the general automotive repair shop would fix it. Since they have a banner throughout the building. On the banner it says, brakes, alignments, shocks, struts, transmissions, oil changes. I can't remember what else it said.
     
  20. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #20
    If it were me I would just move on and not worry about it anymore. You didn't get a "deal" and your weren't "ripped off", you paid an average to slightly high average price for a reman tranny.

    I don't think there is any reason to ask for a more itemized bill. Mainly because they didn't rebuild your tranny on site. So you're not going to get a bill listing out every part they replaced in your tranny and a detail of everything they did because they simply pulled out your old tranny and put back a remanufactured tranny that was rebuilt from someone elses broken tranny.
     
  21. Keukasmallie macrumors regular

    Keukasmallie

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    Jan 30, 2011
    Location:
    WNY
    #21
    I absolutely think you should request an itemized statement, particularly showing specific parts that were replaced. You are entitled to know what was changed and what wasn't. For example, if you have further problems, take it to another shop, are told such and such is worn out, you'll want to know if such and such was on the list as replaced by the "other guy" who did tranny work on your car.
     
  22. jc0481 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    #22
    Thank you for the positive reinforcement. Your feedback is like a breath of fresh air after other people telling me to forget about it. I would forget about it if it was a couple hundred dollars but no it was close to $3000 dollars!

    I'll type up my letter tonight.
     
  23. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #23
    Its a good idea to get an itemized list of all the work they did.

    However, don't be shocked if it does come to around 3000 dollars. That price point is pretty possible for a car like that.

    Be glad you don't own a large vehicle or sports car, my F350 Super Duties transmission blew a main bearing, and while it was covered under Ford's preowned warranty. The dealer told me it would have cost well over 6,000 dollars had it not had a warranty.
     
  24. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Madison
    #24
    Well you asked everyone opinion, sorry if you don't like them. I would just cut my losses and move on, as others have stated.
     

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