Transmission Repair Versus Vehicle Replacement

Is it worth fixing my transmission?

Transmission Problems – Rebuild or Replace?

Some of the most dreaded words any car owner can hear are that their vehicle needs a new transmission.  Replacing a transmission is quite possibly one of the most expensive services that your car will ever require because working with the transmission is incredibly complex and can be quite time-consuming too.  In most circumstances, you have two choices when you replace the transmission on a vehicle. You can rebuild the transmission or install a new (replacement) transmission. So, which of these is the best option? The answer isn’t always cut and dry.

Rebuilding Considerations

Rebuilding a transmission means that your existing transmission will be taken completely apart and inspected. Any damaged parts are replaced until the transmission is back to factory specs. In most cases, the gaskets and other rubber parts will all be replaced, but damaged moving parts may need to be replaced as well. This is a complex process and rebuilding a transmission is a job for a specialist for certain.

The beauty of rebuilding a transmission is that you can rebuild an older transmission with up-to-date parts that manufacturers have designed to be more efficient and safe. While a transmission rebuild is a great solution in many cases, it can be challenging to find a transmission specialist who is up to the task and it may take him or her some time to complete the job correctly.

Installing A Replacement Transmission

Replacing your transmission is a bit misleading–in most cases, you can’t actually find a “new” transmission. You’re likely working with a remanufactured transmission. This is similar to a rebuilt transmission, but it was done in a factory setting. For a quick fix, this is ideal. However, you may not have access to the most up-to-date parts and you don’t get to pick and choose how it is rebuilt.

Work with a Transmission Expert

Deciding on whether your transmission should be rebuilt or replaced is usually a question of cost and time to complete the repair. Having a transmission expert rebuild your transmission may take a little longer and cost a bit more upfront, but it can result in a longer-lasting and better-performing transmission. The other option of installing a “new to you” transmission still assures you have a safe, functional vehicle but you may not get as many options. Whichever way you are leaning, it makes sense to discuss your desires with an expert.

How to Decide Whether to Repair or Replace Your Car

Now that you know the options available, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth repairing your car or if you should start looking for a replacement. There isn’t one right answer as it depends on the year, make/model, mileage and condition of your vehicle as well as your personal situation (work/family driving requirements), but here are a few tips to help you make this important decision:

  • Does your car still meet your needs?

Things change. Sometimes the purpose you bought your car for years ago is no longer necessary. For example, if you’ve recently been married and are planning to have kids, does that sports car still make sense? The kids have all moved out, do you still need that 7 seat minivan? Or maybe you’ve retired and no longer need a pickup for hauling things at work.

  • What condition is it in?

If your 14 year old car that has more than a little bit of rust on it, has over 200,000 miles and is worth less than $2,000, then it probably isn’t worth investing several thousand dollars in a transmission repair or replacement. If the car is rust free, runs smoothly and all the other parts are in good condition, then it makes sense to at least consider a replacement transmission.

  • How long would you have kept the car?

If your transmission hadn’t died, were you planning to keep it for another 2+ years? The payback period of a replacement transmission is about 2 years, which means that if you choose to get a new transmission installed, you’ll want to drive your car for another 2 years in order to get your money’s worth.

The (Many) Factors that Can Rack Up Transmission-Related Costs

Transmission systems are complex, consisting of an unimaginable number of moving parts. From the planetary gear sets to clutch packs to output shafts, the list goes on. Keep in mind that these primary components are also made up of many other parts.

This sheer number of parts that make up a car’s transmission is what makes them super expensive. It’s also the reason a transmission is one of the most valuable car parts to scrap or sell.

That should already give you an idea of how hefty their repairs or replacements could be. As if that’s not enough, there are also many factors that can further drive the costs up. For starters, there’s the car’s year, make, and model, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Age of the Car

The older or rarer your car is, the harder it’ll be to find replacement parts for it. As you can imagine, this will increase your mechanic’s fee, since it’ll take a longer time to hunt for parts.

The Manufacturer

Costs also depend on who manufactured your car, such as if it’s a domestic brand, like GM or Ford, or if it’s imported. US-made transmissions usually cost less to fix or replace than a BMW or Volkswagen.

Manual vs Automatic

There’s also the matter of whether it’s a manual or automatic transmission. Manual transmissions are often cheaper to repair or replace.

The Severity of the Transmission Problem

How big the damage to your transmission is will also affect your costs. If you followed your recommended fluid change timeline, you may be looking at a lower repair cost. Whereas a clunker that’s been through a lot will definitely cost a lot more.

Is a rebuilt transmission worth the cost?

When your car transmission is on the fritz, it may conjure thoughts about expensive repairs or even a new vehicle, but there is a better option. Rebuilding a transmission can save you a lot of money over the short-term, while keeping car payments out of your monthly budget. For many, rebuilding their transmission is worth the initial cost.

Smaller Cash Outlay

Rebuilding a transmission may cost you twenty-five hundred dollars or more, which is a significant chunk of change. However, it pales in comparison to the cost of a brand new transmission or the purchase of a new vehicle. New transmissions can cost thousands of dollars more than rebuilt ones, and the down payment requirements for a new vehicle can be much more, depending on the vehicle you want. Rebuilt transmissions typically come with warranties, ensuring that you’ll get your money’s worth out of the unit.

Less Financial Strain

The cost to rebuild a transmission isn’t cheap, but you’ll be left with more money in the bank, if you decide to forgo purchasing a new unit. The same goes for purchasing a new vehicle, because monthly installment payments can make life more difficult. The net result of rebuilding a transmission being less financial strain on you and your family. The less debt that you go into, the better your finances will be over the long run. Over the short-term, you’ll have more disposable monthly income that you can use to invest or save for retirement.

Longer Vehicle Life

When you rebuild your transmission, you’re extending the useful life of your vehicle, which has a number of financial benefits. You defer car payments and interest on debt, when you make your used car last just a little longer. Most dealerships pay little to nothing for cars and trucks with faulty transmissions, but if your vehicle still has functional unit, you can get more money for it when you trade it in. Overall, extending the life of your vehicle has worthwhile financial benefits for you.

Tips to Keep Your Automatic Transmission in Excellent Shape

Check and Change Fluid Regularly

You probably check your coolant and your windshield washer fluid, but transmission fluid may be last on your list, if it’s on there at all. The fluid is the only safeguard against the wear and tear that comes from high-temperature friction. Check fluid levels routinely.

You can find the dipstick by checking your owner’s manual. If the fluid looks low or you see a reddish puddle forming under your vehicle, you could have a leak.

Also, make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations about when you should plan on changing your fluid. While some manufacturers say that your car will be fine up to 100,000 miles, if you regularly drive in stop-and-go traffic or tow heavy loads, it’s smart to flush the transmission more frequently.

Establish Good Driving Techniques

How you drive affects the life of your automatic transmission. Try to accelerate gradually rather than pressing your foot down hard on the gas pedal. Do the same when you’re coming to a stop and allow enough time to brake slowly. When you’re shifting from reverse to drive, let your vehicle come to a complete stop in between and you’ll reduce the strain on the gears.

Take Care of Your Cooling System

On some cars, the automatic transmission fluid is cooled by the vehicle’s radiator. It’s pumped into an additional heat exchanger and back. This means you should always take care of your car’s cooling system — cooling system health goes hand in hand with transmission health. If you suspect any coolant leaks, get them repaired completed right away.

Address Problems Immediately

Is your car jerking when you shift? Do you hear any rattling or grinding noises? If you suspect an issue with your transmission, waiting it out won’t work. Acting quickly can save the system, but letting the problems continue may cause the entire transmission to break down. The longer you drive with a faulty transmission, the worse the problem will become.

Rodent Control Ideas And Measures

Common Types of Rodents & How to Get Rid of Them

Everyone knows the uneasy feeling of finding a rodent in your home. These unsanitary creatures are extremely sneaky and reproduce very quickly. And the worst part? Since rodents are nocturnal creatures, you might not even see them as they run around at night. By the time you do see them with your very own eyes, there’s a good chance they’ve already reproduced. And unfortunately, it’s not usually until it becomes a serious issue that you wonder how to get rid of them, and what you could have done to prevent them in the first place.

Here are the most common rodents that frequent homes and businesses here in the area and a description of what they look like:

Deer mice: they have short bodies, brown fur, and small ears.

House mice: they have even smaller bodies than deer mice, and are typically brown.

Roof rats: they are about a foot in length, and have black bodies and long tails.

Norwegian rats: these are even larger than roof rats, are typically lighter in color and have shorter tails.

Why Rodents Are Dangerous

Rodents can pose a great threat to your family and pets, as well as the condition of your home. They’re not only cringe-worthy because they’re a wild animal invading your home, but they’re also dangerous

Here’s why:

They spread disease: Rodents spread diseases through their feces, urine, and sometimes even hair that can contaminate your food. When they invade your home, they can also spread bacteria and harmful diseases, like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and rat-bite fever. Since rodent-borne diseases are serious and even sometimes life-threatening, you certainly don’t want these pests roaming your home freely.

They damage your home: Rodents aren’t only unsanitary and dangerous to your health, but they can also cause structural damage to your home and belongings. These nuisance pests can ruin your furniture, floors, drawers, insulation, and more. They’re also notorious for chewing through wiring, so if you notice electrical problems in your home without reason, they could be the cause.

They create a fire risk: If rodents want to chew through your wires, there is nothing stopping them. Because they can easily chew through electrical cords, they pose a serious fire risk. These open wires are not something you want your family or home exposed to!

Easy Ways to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home

Seal up holes and cracks in your home’s foundation: Eliminating entry points in your home is the first step in preventing rodent infestations altogether. After all, if they don’t have an easy way to get in, they may never. Mice can enter your home through extremely small spaces — in openings as small as a dime. Be sure to inspect the perimeter of your home and make sure to seal up holes and cracks where they could possibly get in.

Good home sanitation: Keeping your home clean and sanitized is the best way to keep rodents from being drawn to your home over your neighbors. Properly seal your food, keep waste tightly secured with garbage can lids, and make sure to regularly clean crumbs on your counters and floors. Don’t provide free meals for these critters!

Ultrasonic sound box: Simply plug into an outlet and repel rodents — and even roaches and insects! Its ultrasonic waves emit high-frequency sounds. These sounds then attack the tiny auditory and nervous system of the rodents, discouraging them from entering your home. While these sound boxes are not dangerous to the human or pet ear, they are subtle enough to drive rodents out of your home. That’s what we call a win-win!

Set mouse traps: If you suspect your home is also home to mice, mouse traps can be a simple and affordable solution for small infestations. Set them along the wall and dispose of the mouse promptly after it’s trapped. Use mouse traps with caution though, because setting out a food source might attract them in more than keeping them out.

Humane Rodent Solutions

Rats and mice live alongside us, thrive because of us, and survive in spite of our attempts to eradicate them. While they mean us no harm, the presence of unwanted rodent visitors can, at times, undoubtedly cause problems for people, In order to ‘control’ them, a selection of products is available including repellent sprays, ultrasonic devices, poisons and several different types of traps, some lethal and some intended for live release.

HSI advocates that the default solution should be to implement humane methods of deterrence and eviction instead of killing them. This is for two important reasons:

Killing mice and rats typically causes suffering. This may be brief but is often drawn out over hours, days or even — in the case of some poisons — weeks.

Lethal methods do not offer a viable long-term solution. Treating the symptom by eliminating a single rat/mouse — or even an entire colony — is ultimately futile unless the conditions that encouraged them to take up residence in the first place are addressed. Over time, others will simply move in to the vacated territory.

Prevention and deterrence

Like all animals, rats and mice require food and shelter and will seek out easily accessible sources of both. Rats prefer to be outside but mice like to live indoors and can enter your home by squeezing through very small spaces, for example air vents, and gaps around gas and water pipes. Prevention is better than cure: seal off holes and don’t tempt mice and rats in with easily accessible food supplies. The food that we throw way in our rubbish or compost bin, leave out for our companion animals and put out for wild animals whose visits we do enjoy, such as hedgehogs and birds, provides rats and mice with a tempting buffet. Many rat ‘infestations’ are the result of bird-feeding.

As soon as a rat or mouse problem is identified, it is important to take swift action. Identify the source of food that attracted them and remove it. Humanely remove the animals and then seal up holes to keep others from gaining entry

Home and Kitchen:

Mice need only around one tenth of an ounce of food each day: crumbs are enough to sustain them. Clean (and keep clean) all areas where food and crumbs may have dropped, such as under the toaster and down the sides of the cooker and fridge.

Store rodent-susceptible food (e.g. crackers, cereal, pasta, bread, chocolate) in cupboards in metal or glass containers.

Bags of dry cat/dog food should also be stored in rodent-proof containers and not left out in cellars, basements or cupboards.

Do not leave out cat or dog food in dishes overnight.

Rodents have been found to avoid the smell of peppermint, spearmint or eucalyptus. Soak cotton wool balls in one of these oils ensuring they smell very strongly and leave along work surfaces, underneath units and anywhere that could be an entry point. Refresh the oil for several weeks after you believe they have gone to discourage them from returning.

Block all potential access holes with wire wool, ’mouse mesh’ (available online), or a strong sealant that will harden quickly. Don’t use caulk or other rubber or plastic fillers because mice can easily chew through them.

how to get rid of rats in the attic naturally

Mice are cute little critters, which is the reason most people write about how to get rid of rats in the attic naturally but that doesn’t mean we want them sharing our homes with us. As adorable as their tiny whiskery faces are, the disease they spread via urine (which they communicate with, and therefore leave a lot of lying around) and feces-not to mention the extensive damage they can do when they put their teeth to something-is no joke. But a lot of us (myself included) don’t want to turn to traditional snap traps (have you ever seen one go wrong? It’s not pretty) or rodenticides that pose serious risk to children, pets, other wildlife, and the environment

Being naturally nocturnal, voracious nibblers, and rapid reproducers (starting at the tender age of 6 weeks) how does one go about dealing with mice without turning to mainstream methods? Enter a fun little idea called integrated pest management (IPM.) It takes some more work, dedication, and thought than other methods, but you can manage without using toxic chemicals, which makes it far superior in my opinion. IPM involves pest proofing your home by sealing up any potential entrances, keeping food well sealed and securely locked away, knowing your pests habits, likes/dislikes, and eliminating any water sources.

How Poison Works: Most rodenticides on the market today are anti-coagulants. They essentially inhibit the body’s ability to clot blood, which results in the mouse hemorrhaging and bleeding to death internally. Warfarin, brodifacoum, diefenacoum, and flocoumafen. While all of these are nasty and toxic, flocoumafen is so powerful that it is only legally certified for indoor use. In addition to prohibiting blood clotting, the poisons will make the mice extremely thirsty. They then leave the house in search of water and die. On top of all of this, and the risk you pose to pets and children, there is secondary poisoning to consider. Many poisons are toxic to animals that will eat the mice, such as birds of prey-or your dog or cat.

How Traps Work: Fairly self-explanatory, the two main traps on the market are sticky traps and snap traps. Snap traps are triggered when the mouse goes for the bait, and a powerful spring mechanism snaps a wire down, breaking the rodents neck. I have, unfortunately, been witness to several trap malfunctions-one particularly gruesome one involved the mouse pulling back so that its neck didn’t break, but its snout and the front part of its face was crushed and caught in the trap. It was very much alive afterwards. It may sound soft-hearted, but I can’t stand the sight of even a pest struggling and in pain.

Sticky traps are about as inhumane as they get. The mouse runs onto it, sticks, and is terrified while its struggles to escape. It will either die slowly of dehydration or starvation. The traps can rip off fur and skin while they struggle, and rodents have attempted to chew through their own limbs to get free.

How to get rid of mice

Mice create messes and will chew through walls, wires and other materials. An infestation of mice or other rodents in your home or business puts people at risk of spreading disease and other health risks. In short, you do not want to just live with a mouse infestation in and around your property

Take the following steps to get rid of mice:

Forget the DIY solutions – They can be highly ineffective in eliminating a mouse infestation

Eliminate entry points – Cover up holes and fill in cracks

Cut back shrubs and branches – Mice like to use them to get into your house

Seal food in airtight containers (this includes pet food!) – Mice can eat through the bags in which pet food often comes

Do dishes immediately after eating – Mice will come out to check for scraps

Check under the hood – Mice sometimes hide inside your car and chew through wires

Clean up food spills – Mice love to eat!

How to get rid of mice in the walls

There are a number of ways in which mice can find their way into your walls. Whether you have a crack in your siding, a poorly sealed door, or an uncovered chimney pipe, mice will make their way in.

The biggest concern with having mice in the walls is that mice love to chew. Where are the majority of your electric wires located? Inside the walls. Don’t let them make a snack out your power sources. Not only will your devices and appliances fail to work, but chewed wires could start a fire.

How to get rid of mice in your car

No matter if you keep your car in a closed garage, store it away in a storage unit, or park it in the street, mice can find it. To escape from the elements, mice often crawl into the inside of a car, and they can do damage quickly.

What Do Rats in the Attic Sound Like?: How to Tell If You Have a Rodent Infestation

If you’re the night owl of your home, then you’re probably attuned to all the sounds that go on in your home every night. You know the sound the furnace makes when it kicks on, the refrigerator’s low whirling noise and the wind rustling through the trees outside your window. But one night, you might hear something that is unfamiliar.

Some rodents, like rats, mice and racoons, are nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night. That’s when they come out looking for food, materials to build their nests and new water sources. If you work from home or stay at home with your kids, you probably won’t notice or hear the sounds of rodents scurrying around your attic, especially if you rarely go up there.

What do rats in the attic sound like?

Though you’d like they’d be too quiet to hear, mice and rats do make a lot of noise, and hearing them can be one of the first signs of a rodent infestation. When they’re in your attic, mice and rats make several sounds. You might hear scratching and gnawing as they crawl around or chew on your walls and wires. You could also hear a scurrying noise as they move quickly across your attic. Chirps and squeaks are also common in mice, but rats usually communicate at a pitch that humans cannot hear.

Other signs of a rodent infestation

Though it can make them easier to hear and spot, rats, mice and other rodents who have moved down from your attic to the main floor pose a number of problems. Most importantly, it probably means that your walls have a lot of chewing and scratching marks, and the wires in your walls may be severely damaged.

If you think you’re hearing what rats sound like in the attic but can’t be sure, here are other signs of a rodent infestation:

Rodent droppings: Gross, right? In most infestations, you’ll find rodent droppings near food sources as well as in cabinets, drawers, cupboards or under the sink. If you leave food out on your kitchen table or forget to wipe up those after-dinner crumbs every night, chances are you’ll find rodent droppings nearby because rodents are coming to these spots for food.

Chewing marks on food packaging: Isn’t it bad enough that rodents are eating your crumbs? If they are making their way into cupboards, then you will probably find chew marks on some food packages, such as boxes of cereal, bags of chips and boxes of crackers and snacks.

Shredded paper or fabric: Don’t remember tearing up that pile of old newspapers? Finding scraps of fabric on the floor of your attic? There’s a good chance rodents are getting into these piles and ripping apart pieces for their nests. These are prime building materials for rodents.

Stale smells: As you’re walking around your attic, do you notice a stale smell in some of your corners? That could be the smell of rodent urine. When it sits in a spot for long enough, it gives off a stale smell.

Small holes in the walls and floors: When given the time, mice and rats can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It often doesn’t take long for rodents to chew holes in your walls and floors. If you’re unsure if a hole was caused by a rat or something else, check the hole for bite marks. That’s usually a dead giveaway