Most people think a bad transmission means spending thousands at the repair shop on parts, plus the cost of labor for a mechanic to replace it. New parts are expensive, but buying cheap used transmissions can get your car back in working order for much less, and it isn’t as risky as you think if you shop carefully.
How do transmissions work?
A transmission is made up of gears that rotate inside of a gearbox. The gears determine how much power is being applied to the driveshaft, and ultimately the wheels that move the car. Shifting gears in a car is a similar concept to switching gears on a bicycle, but with more complex components.
There are two types of transmissions: automatic and manual:
- Manual transmissions (known as stick shift) require the driver to press the clutch and switch the gear with their right hand.
- Automatic transmissions switch gears by themselves as you drive.
Both automatic and manual transmissions are fundamental car parts, meaning you can’t drive if it is broken. And, they’re one of the most expensive parts you can replace. For these reasons, many pro mechanics will replace a broken transmission with a used one.
What are the risks of buying cheap used transmissions?
One of the biggest risks of buying a transmission used is that it will come with some mileage on it. When buying a used transmission, you should account for the miles that have already been driven with that part to avoid getting scammed.
The good news is that if you get the part from a trustworthy and well-established parts seller, they will be able to tell you how many miles were on the car that it came from. With a little research, you’ll know about how many more miles you can expect from the transmission.
As a rule of thumb:
- Brand new transmissions last anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles on average.
- Used transmissions typically last 50,000 miles or more.
It doesn’t make sense to put a brand new part in an older car and transmissions are no exception. In many cases, a used transmission will last beyond the life of the car itself. This is especially true if your car already has high mileage. People with high mileage cars can take advantage of used parts because they do not have to waste money putting a brand new part in an older vehicle.
It is nearly impossible to tell if a transmission is damaged by just looking at the outside. The working parts of a transmission aren’t visible unless you take it apart, and even expert mechanics would have trouble spotting a problem without actually testing the part.
Bottom line: you have to trust your source, and you usually don’t have that level of trust with a private seller. Most pros source their used parts from a trusted vehicle recycler that has a good track record and years in the business.
What are the benefits of buying cheap used transmissions near me?
Despite some risks, often it’s worth it to replace a broken transmission with a used one. The goal is to find used transmissions for sale near you that are both affordable and will last the lifetime of your vehicle.
The number one benefit of used transmissions is that they cost less than new ones. Buying used is significantly cheaper than a new or rebuilt transmission- usually hundreds of dollars less. If you can’t afford a brand new part or you are looking to save money on what would otherwise be a very costly repair, a used transmission may be right for you.
Comes With a Warranty
While most used auto parts are “buy at your own risk”, there are some reputable sellers that guarantee the quality of their parts through a warranty. Trustworthy used auto parts stores, like My Auto Store, offer a six-month warranty with their used transmissions. That way if something breaks during shipping or within the first six months of use, you can get a replacement at no additional cost.
How can I buy a used transmission without the risk?
Finding a trustworthy and reputable vendor is the key to avoiding getting scammed on a used transmission.
Look for plenty of positive reviews online: Of course, you want to buy parts from an auto store with good reviews. However, be careful of sellers that have only positive reviews online, or very few reviews at all. These parts likely come from salvage yards with fake reviews, which usually means they don’t stand behind their parts.
The store should have a physical location: Be wary of parts sellers that only list their parts online and do not have a physical location attached to their name. Often, these are parts brokers who simply buy parts online and resell them at a higher price without having them in their inventory. This is especially risky because the seller hasn’t had the part in their possession, so they cannot vouch for the quality of the part or the condition of the car it was pulled from.
Where can I find cheap used transmissions for sale near me?
You could search through classified ads or try to find an individual seller, but there is no guarantee on the quality or mileage of the part.
The best place to find used transmissions is through a reputable auto parts recycler, like My Auto Store. Many cars that are no longer able to drive still have perfectly good working parts on them. You can take advantage of free shipping and our six month warranty while saving a ton of money if you know where to look.
When it comes to any used part, it’s all about reputation. If you’re buying a used transmission, make sure it:
- Comes from a trusted, reputable used auto parts seller
- Includes a warranty of at least 90 days (six months is ideal)
- Has the appropriate mileage for your car
Are you ready to get your used transmission from a reputable source today? Browse our inventory of thousands of used transmissions, ready to ship to your door for free! And if you’re in the market for a used engine instead, check out our article, Buying Used Engines Isn’t as Risky as You Think.