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What to Look for When Buying a Used Transmission

December 8, 2021


When it comes to saving money on cars, purchasing a used transmission instead of a new transmission can be an appealing option. However, buying a used transmission can be tricky. There are many things to consider, and it’s easy to make mistakes when you’re not knowledgeable about the topic.


4 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Transmission

Here’s what to look for when buying a used transmission:

1) Leaks

Whether you are looking for a used transmission or any other car part, the first thing to look out for is a leak. Leaks are common in transmissions that have been replaced because it can be hard to get all of the fluid from one unit into another without spilling some. This often results in drips and drops on garage floors which could damage your new vehicle’s undercarriage if not properly dealt with.

Leaking O-Rings/Seals

Leaks aren’t always easy to spot, but some signs point towards them quite clearly, especially when they happen around seals or O-rings. If you notice gashes, divots, cuts, scrapes, gouges, or cracks near these types of areas, then it’s a safe bet that you have an issue on your hands.

2) Rust

Rust is another telltale sign that you might have an issue with your used transmission. Suppose there are signs of rust, then the metal parts inside may be corroded as well, which would spell trouble for any car owner. Of course, it’s possible to find a rusty transmission and still get years of use out of it, but this depends largely on how extensive the corrosion is. It doesn’t hurt to ask about it when making inquiries or giving bids regarding potential purchases.

3) Documentation

More often than not, documentation is required to prove ownership of a used transmission which means you should always ask for it. If the seller does have records, this would be very beneficial to you because they can verify that no major repairs or replacements have been made since their purchase date. This helps cut down on potential issues caused by tampering. It’s also good if your purchased unit comes with its own warranty card/certificate but keep in mind that these are only valid after being activated, so make sure you know when that happened too! Once again, don’t forget about photos and videos either. They could save time later on if there are any hiccups during the process of buying and using your new transmission.

4) Vehicle Compatibility

To avoid purchasing a used transmission that won’t fit your car, you need to know the exact specifications of what you’re looking for. This means knowing both what model and year vehicle you have and determining whether or not it is a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. Keep in mind, though, that many transmissions can accommodate multiple types, so don’t be shy about asking if they might work! When buying a transmission, it never hurts to ask questions regarding potential compatibility issues because doing this upfront takes away any uncertainty later.


In Closing: Buy Used Transmissions

Make sure these considerations are kept in mind when buying a used transmission. At Nationwide, we have a wide selection of excellent-quality transmissions, for thousands of makes and models. Whether you come into our Massachusetts salvage yard location, or you decide to buy a used transmission online, our staff can help you find the part you’re looking for. 

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