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Automatic Transmission Parts Categories

Internal Automatic Transmission parts used during rebuilding can be grouped into categories. The overhaul kit, or rebuild kit, consists of what are generally known as soft parts. It includes those components that wear or deteriorate over time or through normal use. These components are generally composed of materials other metals such as steel or aluminum. They include paper and fibrous materials such as gaskets, polymer materials such as seals, plastic parts such as washers, and composite frictional components such as clutches and bands. If you are discussing costs with an automatic transmission service and repair facility, and they give you prices while using the specific terms soft parts rebuild or overhaul and/or basic rebuild or overhaul, it is highly likely that only these parts will be included in the rebuild (or overhaul as some call it), and that many other expensive parts, called hard parts, will be required to complete the repair. These additional expenses are almost always presented to the customer after the transmission has been removed from the vehicle and completely disassembled. No matter how unreasonable you may find the additional costs, your only viable option at this point is usually to submit to extortion the additional expenses. If you follow these tips, you can usually avoid hard parts charges. In some situations, any parts not included in the automatic transmission rebuild kit, or rebuild kit, could be considered to be a hard part and could generate additional expenses, if worn or damaged.

Are these Hard Parts or Soft Parts?

The next category includes those parts that are considered by some to be soft parts and others to be hard parts. This category consists of those metal components that wear very slowly over time but do not otherwise deteriorate or usually get damaged from contamination of during failure. This list is considered by some to be optional, with replacement depending on whether the parts will outlast the warranty period. The list includes Babbitt and bronze bushings and washers, bearings, sprags, springs, and some valve body components. Sometimes clutches and bands can be considered part of this group because some original equipment clutches and bands can last 500,000 miles, and it may be preferred over aftermarket replacements. How you categorize them is not important. Whether or not these transmission parts will be replaced during a rebuild is very important, as it is a critical factor of the quality of the repair service or automatic transmission overhaul. This is why Suburban Transmissions gives a worst-case scenario price upfront that includes all potential parts to be included in the overhaul.

Remanufactured Automatic Transmission Core Charges

If purchasing a remanufactured automatic transmission, the service shop, car dealership, or other suppliers will require that your car or truck’s old transmission be returned back to them in renewable condition. In most cases, the supplier will collect a refundable core deposit, also known as a core charge, as collateral until your old unit is returned back to them. Most companies collect between $500 and $1500 for a core charge. If the transmission repair shop is rebuilding your transmission, similar charges may apply for select components, known as transmission hard parts.

Broken Case Housing

It is important to note that if your transmission’s case housing or other specified parts are broken, you probably will not get your core chargeback. This charge covers the cost of acquiring replacement housings and components. When discussing a remanufactured transmission as an option, you should ask for written information concerning the supplier’s core charge policy. While the return of an intact transmission case housing will be required for the return of most core deposits, you should avoid any rebuilding company that requires the internal components to also be damage-free. These companies generally charge higher core deposits and they rarely return the full deposit, if any at all. Suburban maintains a list of reliable vendors we have discovered that are reasonable with their reimbursement of core charges.

Transmission Core Charge Cost

Before taking your vehicle to an automatic transmission service repair facility, you will likely discuss cost. If discussing a remanufactured transmission as a replacement, you will likely (now that I’ve warned you) discuss core charges as well. If the salesperson is being elusive or you feel that you are headed for a trap, tell him that he must inspect the transmission housing for damage prior to commencement of work. This is a common technique from some shops to try to inflate the price of their work. Tell him that you will not agree to a core charge unless he can provide you with prior notification of its necessity. While maintaining a poker face, or voice for that matter, you may want to let the salesperson know that your approval of the job may ride on the condition of the transmission housing or other core components. This is a good idea because should you need housing, it can often be obtained for much less than the corresponding core charge. If the automatic transmission service repair shop believes the sale pivots on the price of the core charge, he may be inclined to find a cheap one to be returned to the supplier of your remanufactured transmission.


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