Understanding Automotive Brake Parts and Services

What To Check When Purchasing A Transmission From An Auto Salvage Yard

Purchasing a used transmission is one way to save money on your auto repair bill when your transmission fails. When you purchase a used transmission from an auto salvage yard, there are a few things you need to check on before purchasing a used transmission. 

Look at the Body of the Car to See the Vehicle's History

First, you are going to want to look at the body of the vehicle to see the vehicle's history and figure out why it is at the scrap yard to begin with. Was the front of the vehicle involved in a collision and all smashed up? If so, you may want to think twice about taking the transmission. Was the vehicle side-swiped or rear-ended? In that case, the front of the vehicle wasn't damaged at all, and the transmission should still be in good shape.  

Looking at the body of the car will give you an idea of why the vehicle landed in the auto junk yard in the first place, and will help you determine if you really want to purchase that particular transmission.  

Add Some Fluid and Make Sure the Transmission is Leak-Free

If the vehicle has been at the salvage yard for more than a few days, the mechanics there have probably drained the fluid out of the transmission for safety reasons. You should bring along some appropriate fluid and pour the transmission fluid into the transmission. Make sure that no fluid just starts leaking out. If the transmission is leaking fluid when it is not even operational, that is not the transmission you want to put in your vehicle. You want to put in a transmission that has less issues than the one that you are replacing.  

Ask About the History

Next, ask about the history of the vehicle. The VIN report for the vehicle will let you know about any formal visit to the mechanics where information was recorded. This will let you know about the repair history of the vehicle. Sometimes when a vehicle is sold to the junk yard, the owner will offer full-service records for the vehicle. It doesn't hurt to ask if they have the transmissions service records for the vehicle.  

Find Out about a Potential Warranty

Finally, find out if the transmission comes with a warranty. Many junk yards will offer a short warranty, somewhere between 30-90 days, for their products. Junk yards that sell auto parts want to sell parts that work, and thus they are motivated to make sure that they sell quality parts and have happy customers who will come back to them for their future auto part needs.  

When it comes to purchasing used transmission, find out about the car's history from the salvage yard and look at the body of the car the transmission is coming out of to make your own judgment as well. Make sure the transmission doesn't leak and find out about a potential warranty.