What should I check before buying a second-hand transmission from a junkyard?

Used Transmission

We would all like our car to last forever, not to have to carry out regular inspections and, of course, not to end up as junk parts. The reality is much harsher and it is normal that you have to get used to buying used parts in a salvage yard near you with guarantees, whenever you want to save a few dollars.

Among the possible problems that your auto may have, perhaps two of the most serious are those related to the engine and the transmission. These are undoubtedly very expensive repairs and you will surely prefer to visit a car junkyard rather than invest thousands of dollars depending on your car model.

Of course, several factors must be taken into account before making a purchase like this. It's not just about the money you have to invest, but you also have to keep in mind that they are essential parts of the vehicle and the last thing you want is to have an accident.

Keep these tips in mind before visiting an auto salvage yard near you for a used transmission:

1. Check for possible fluid leaks


This is the main fault that we can find in this basic component of the car, so we recommend carrying out a detailed inspection to detect possible leaks. One option is to check the transmission fluid levels, put a little more in the circuit, and see if it leaks a few minutes later. You certainly don't want to buy a leaky transmission unless you have the time and knowledge to fix it yourself.

2. Thoroughly check the car body


If there is an aspect of the vehicle that can be used to know its history, this is the state of its bodywork. What you need to do is look carefully for any signs that may betray an accident in the past. Minor bodywork repairs (typical parking scuffs) shouldn't alarm you, however, more obvious signs of chassis rebuilding can reveal a particularly serious accident. Keep in mind that a large impact could mean transmission damage.

3. If you have a mechanic friend, take him with you


Many mechanics can go with you when shopping for a used vehicle, so you may be able to convince someone to go with you to check out a used transmission as well. With the experience of this professional, you will surely learn a lot about the real condition of this part before finally purchasing it. Help from a trusted auto expert can greatly speed up the process and save you a lot of headaches.

4. Don't forget the warranty


It would not be unusual for the junkyard where you are going to buy the second-hand transmission to offer some type of warranty if you previously review the parts it sells. So do not forget to ask about this question and, above all, carefully check the actual coverage of the guarantee and read the fine print to avoid disappointment. Of course, the best guarantee is to have everything in writing.

5. Don't be shy and ask for the story


The junkyard may have some information about the history of the part you are purchasing, but they may be very busy, so don't hesitate to ask. It is essential that you discover any risk factors associated with transmission before purchasing. If it comes from a vehicle and you have its data, it is recommended that you look for the CarFax report, with it you will be able to know where the car has been and possible accidents that it has suffered in its past.


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