You're going to love this. My 93 Aerostar was having some transmission
problems (big surprise there, right?). So, I take the van to Cottman
transmission to have them do diagnostics and get an estimate. While I'm
sitting there, the manager was making calls to find parts for trannies and
getting advice on repairing them. A little later the mechanic (yes, just
one) comes out and asks how to put transmission oil in a Jetta. Hmmm, this
sounds a little scary.
Finally I get a price and "diagnosis". The mechanic thinks the problem is
piston slap, but they'll check out the transmission anyway. They claim that
the only way to diagnose it is to take it completely apart. I really like
that bit. My Ford manual has a huge section on transmission diagnostics and
it includes hydraulic and electrical tests. The price they quoted for
"diagnosis" exceeded the price of a new transmission. I thought they were
supposed to be the "McDonalds" of transmission places.
After thanking them for their stupidity (I was nice actually), me and my
Aero visited the local Ford dealer. For $65 they took an hour and did the
actual diagnostic tests. A valve was stuck. Because of the transmission
model, the part was rare. Ford doesn't make them anymore. They located the
part, but a new transmission was just as much. Of course I went with the
new transmission that was professionally installed by mechanics who don't
ask how to put oil in it. Did the dealership send it off to Cottmann as
Cottman claims all the dealers do? Nope, I sat there while they did it and
visited the shop to answer questions about other bits.
I need a new engine now. You know where I'm taking it. BTW, who was the
idiot that decided engines should drop out the bottom instead of coming out
the top? Replacing an engine isn't that tough to do. I don't have a lift
and custom cradle, but I do lack enough brains to know it would be a fun job
using a come-along tied to the roof of the house. OK, so there's a little
damage to the roof. That just makes for another fun job.