Reader Question: I have a 2000 Ford Windstar, which has a transmission problem. I am pretty sure I need a new transmission. What is the average cost for something like that?
Someone told me I could go to the junkyard and get a transmission for like $400. I do not have a ton of money to work with so going and buying a new car is not going to work for me. Can you please give me an idea before I get screwed by some mechanic.
How are ya?
Yes, you can buy a used transmission from a junk yard. And, you might be able to find a low mileage one for that $400 price. Prices at the junk yard are commonly negotiable and can very from junk yard to junk yard so call a few of them and work them hard on the price.
Once you get the transmission, you can pay your regular mechanic to install it, which might be another $250-350. You definitely take a risk with a used part like this. So be prepared for that risk! Some junk yards will sell you an additional warranty on their part, so you might want to ask them about that and what it covers if there is a problem.
Ford sells a Ford rebuilt transmission, which you can buy directly from the dealership and have your local mechanic install it. I think the price is closer to $1,200 for the part alone, but it comes with a nationwide Ford warranty.
You can get your transmission overhauled for a little less, but you usually do not have a great warranty and dealing with a transmission shop is usually not the most pleasant experience.