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Common Mechanical Transmission Failures In Denver And Repairing Them

Hi there, I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Autotek and today we’re going to talk about a couple of common failures that we see in Denver motor vehicles.

Now, the majority of motor vehicles on the road in the United States, in fact, 97% of them, are equipped with an automatic transmission. Your automatic transmission is filled with clutch packs that are made out of the same type of material that your brake pads are made out of. And just like your brake pads will wear down and physically burn off over time, and you’ll have to replace them, the same occurs inside your transmission.

Now when a transmission fails, starts having internal issues, whether it’s slipping, grinding or not engaging, typically you’re looking at a very large expense because most shops will tell you that your options are to a) find a used transmission, where they’re just going to go source one from a junkyard; b) rebuild your current transmission, where they will physically take it out and send it to a rebuilding facility that already has a rebuilt one on the shelf in exchange for your other used one that doesn’t work; or c) go buy a new one from the dealership. Well, we’ve learned about some very common failures in some really frequent transmissions we see here, specifically in the Colorado area one being the Toyota Highlander, two being the Toyota Sienna and three being the Lexus RX300 or RX350. These vehicles all utilize the same transmission and have a very common internal failure. As a result, here at Saul’s Autotek, we provide a service that very few shops in this state of Colorado do. We have an in-house transmission builder with 40+ years of experience. He literally is the best of the best. He has such an extensive knowledge base that oftentimes parts suppliers for old transmissions will call him to ask him what specification, what number or what range of part they need to manufacture for replacement of something that doesn’t exist anymore. He really is that good.

The reason we’re talking about these few Toyota and Lexus vehicles and these failures is we currently have a 2009 Lexus RX350 that has a transmission failure. The owner often drives the vehicle up and down I-70 into the high country, from 5000 feet in elevation in the city to 11000 feet up in the mountains, and that puts a serious amount of wear and tear on that transmission.

Now, if they opted for a used transmission, they’d be getting something that’s already wearing down the same way theirs is currently. Not a great option, very expensive. If they get a rebuilt transmission, where somebody removes theirs, sends it off and has somebody send them a rebuilt one that they’ve overhauled, all they’ve done is replace the components that failed with new of the same components. It will last a lot longer, but just as long as the original one did, and not any longer than that.

It’s the same product that we know will fail five, six, seven years down the road. As a result, we utilize our in-house transmission builder to overhaul, upgrade and improve your transmission. We put a three-year, 100000-mile nationwide parts and labor guarantee on every transmission we build here at Saul’s Autotek. We physically provide every piece of tooling and equipment for our builder, so that he can have 40 feet of toolboxes, a 20-foot wide bench section to build so that when he comes in and there’s a transmission on the shelf, he can tear it down and overhaul it right here in the building.

Now, even if you’re going to the dealership for service, you don’t have a transmission builder at the dealership. The dealership that built your car will install a rebuilt one that they’ve got from corporate or a new one that they bought from corporate. But they do not have an in-house transmission builder. The benefits of this are several. First and foremost, guaranteed consistency. Second, line of site. We know that if there’s a problem, there’s only one person it could be from, one place to fix it, and one way to get it done. No inconsistencies of waiting or hearing back from somebody else on if their part worked or their part failed.

And the third, and perhaps the most important factor is you saving a dollar on your repair. Oftentimes, a transmission repair will simply be sold as we have to replace the whole unit. Here at Saul’s Autotek, we can remove your transmission or service it in the vehicle. We can often repair or just simply service the individual components that have failed as opposed to a total overhaul. This can save you thousands of dollars. You might only need a $200 part and not a $3000 transmission, and we can tell you the right answers about it because we have the expertise in house to properly diagnose it, rather than just sell you a whole assembly with the guarantee it will solve your problem.

We stand behind our work. We have the best transmission builder in the industry, and we literally get asked by other industry experts how to do the repair so they can make sure they are doing it properly. If you’ve got concerns about your transmission, whether it’s a Toyota or Lexus product, or any vehicle, from 1944 until today,

We can service it here at Saul’s Autotek. Seven days a week, 365 days a year; (303) 919-7769.

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About the Author

Picture of Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

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