500 miles now my tranny is going

  • 4WD
  • 61,000 MILES
In October I bought a 2004 Chevrolet trailblazer with a limited warranty for a power train repair 30 days or 500 miles now my tranny is going out did they know it would be damage or fail and what is a power train
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 AT 7:02 PM

1 Reply

Of course. All mechanics and car salespeople are psychic. Also, they think they're going to earn respect by selling something they know is going to break soon.

I used to run into the same problem when selling used tvs. Believe it or not, we really don't know when something is going to fail except in a few cases when products are designed to fail. That's not the case with cars but given the extreme over-use of inappropriate technology, it's a wonder you don't see even more failures.

The truth is most car dealers want you to be happy. There is nothing good to gain by selling you something they know has a problem. To offer YOU some protection, they typically will include a 30-day 50/50 warranty in case there is something wrong they didn't discover during their routine service and safety inspection. If there is an issue they should have caught, it's going to come to your attention within a few days. You didn't have a transmission problem for two months, so what should they have fixed?

Most of these warranties cover half of the bill and you pay the other half. That's way more than fair. Basically the half you pay covers the shop's cost of parts, the mechanic's time, and all the other bills and government regulations and expenses the shop incurs just to stay in business to work on your vehicle. They break even but they don't make a profit and the mechanic can't work on other better-paying jobs. In effect they're doing you a favor.

The powertrain means the engine and transmission. Those are the things that are most expensive to repair, especially on GM vehicles. It's very rare for any warranty to cover normal things like burned out bulbs, interior trim, and squeaks and rattles. Some dealers may try to handle those things for you, but not because they're required to. It's because they want you to be happy and come back to buy your next car from them.

You didn't say what the transmission is doing so it's impossible to offer any advice or information. For all I know, there's a fifty-cent seal leaking and the fluid is low. That will cause all kinds of problems, and ignored, will result in burning up the clutch plates and a real expensive repair bill. It's possible a computer needs to be "reflashed" with updated software. GM has cleverly designed their vehicles so only the dealer can do much of that and you're tied to their more expensive service department. In any case, you need to start with a proper diagnosis, then see what the recommended repair involves.

Keep in mind no manufacturer builds a transmission like the really tough units Chrysler had in the '70s and '80s. Anyone with a vehicle as new as yours is going to experience transmission problems sooner or later. It's unfortunate yours showed up right after you bought it, but I doubt you'd feel any better if it first acted up after owning it a year.
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Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 AT 8:00 PM

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