TRANSMISSION DIAGNOSTICS & FINDING THE RIGHT REPAIR FACILITY

Q1: What is included in the initial evaluation and why do you charge for it?

The purpose of the initial evaluation is to first determine if the problem you are having is transmission related and if so, is it a minor or major problem?

  • We begin by checking the transmission fluid level and condition of the fluid
  • We then scan your vehicle’s on-board computer system to determine if there are any trouble codes stored in memory
  • We road test your vehicle to duplicate your complaint
  • We leave the scanning equipment connected during the road test so that we can monitor the electronics on your vehicle...we want to make sure that the proper commands are being sent to the transmission
  • If needed, we will perform a lift inspection to pinpoint leaks and/or noises
  • We will call you to discuss your repair options.

There are several reasons why there is a charge to perform the initial evaluation.

  • Our technicians have decades of experience diagnosing transmission problems – they are highly skilled professionals. What separates us from a general automotive repair facility is that we have the experience and ability to perform not only major transmission rebuilds, but also minor repairs to your transmission. Just because you are having transmission issues does not necessarily mean that it needs to be rebuilt or replaced – quite often we are successful in replacing defective shift solenoids, switches, computers, worn or broken valve-body components, shorted wiring systems, etc. to correct your complaint.
  • We invest thousands of dollars annually to keep our computer scanning equipment up to date with the most current information available, our technicians attend seminars to keep up to date in the latest technology and we have online access to technical forums and database information
  • We spend at a minimum, 30 minutes, on the initial evaluation so that we can give you an accurate diagnosis. The charge for the initial evaluation ranges between $75 - $125, depending on the amount of time required by the technician. The most expensive transmission repair is the one that you didn’t need – let the transmission specialist at Circle D correctly diagnose your transmission issues.
Q2: How do I find a reputable transmission repair facility?
  • Ask trusted family members, friends or co-workers for personal recommendations.
  • You should also look at reviews and business information online at sites such as The Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List. You can learn a lot about a company’s track record by taking the time to search their online reputation.
  • You should also see what professional organizations and affiliations that they belong to. Transmission shops should belong to organizations such as ATRA (Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association) and ATSG (Automatic Transmission Service Group.) Member shops of these groups must abide by certain codes of ethical repair AND they will also have technical assistance available from some of the leading transmission experts in the Country. Another organization that performs rigorous quality checks through customer satisfaction surveys and shop inspections from their customer service representatives is AAA Texas.
  • Ask the following questions:
    1. Do you offer itemized invoices and written warranty policies?
    2. Does your facility have established procedures to guide me through the repair process?
    3. What is the average tenure of your technicians?
    4. Does your shop promote a drug-free work environment?
    5. How long has your company been in business? Is the owner on site?
    6. Trust your instincts when you call or visit a repair facility. You want to do business with a company that operates in a clean, organized & professional manner. You want technicians who take pride in their work and will provide you with a first-class job. You want to deal with a service advisor and staff who treat you with respect and listen to your concerns. You must feel a sense of trust about this company – after all, you are investing your time and money in their services. Transmission repair is often feared by people because there’s so much unknown. You need to find a repair facility that takes the time to educate you about your repair choices and helps you make an informed decision. We’d be honored if you’d allow us the opportunity to assist you with your transmission repair.
Q3: What does it mean to retrieve trouble codes from my vehicle?

If you notice a flashing or blinking light in the dash of your vehicle, it may be setting a trouble code. You need to get this looked at right away. Often times simple electronic issues could be resolved without having to rebuild or replace the transmission if they are addressed promptly. Late model computer controlled vehicles are equipped with several different on-board control modules. As the vehicle malfunctions a signal is sent to the appropriate module where it is stored in the memory as a trouble code. We are able to retrieve trouble codes by connecting our diagnostic equipment/scanners to your vehicle. The information that we read with our scanners will point us in the direction of the source of the problem. Often times, defective shift solenoids, sensors or wiring issues are the culprits. Don’t assume that just because your transmission isn’t shifting properly that it needs to be rebuilt or replaced.