Did repair shop cause transmission failure, if so, how?
1999 Corolla, 1.8L, AT, 66K miles. Was running fine. Took to a local reputable Independent shop for AT fluid and filter replace (NOT flush) and coolant flush and replace. 3 days and ~ 125 miles later, the transmission "imploded" on the interstate, going ~ 70 mph. Starting lurching. Immediately stopped and towed to nearby repair shop - after a 1/4 mile test drive (that almost did not make it back) they say the transmission needs to be replaced. When you place it in Reverse, it sounds like metal on metal grinding - and the car does not move. Any chance that something the Independent shop did that would cause this, or just bad coincidence?
If you want to pursue a big magilla, collect all your documentation...receipts, guarantee (if given one) and file at small claims court...if your attitude is casual (like mine) get a used transmission with low miles at your local wrecker~...you may discuss this with the shop (bring your pepper spray...LOL)~
It's probably coincidence. There is no way to really determine if it was because of the fluid change, plus the wrong fluid would start out as missed shifts, not an implosion. You can try talking to the garage like the Judge says, but don't expect much. Maybe they will help with labor cost putting the used trans in.
Sometimes, on an older vehicle, a transmission service can do more harm than good. Especially if you bought it used and don't know if it's ever been serviced before. The dirt and crud in there may actually help a worn transmission perform better. It gives worn parts something to "grab onto" during operation. One thing I'd do is insure they used the correct transmission fluid when they refilled it. Incorrect fluid can kill a transmission rather quickly. If they used the correct fluid then, as The Judge said, get a good used transmission, and chalk it up to a life lesson learned. HTH. -Jim
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