Remanufactured Transmissions Vs Rebuilt and Used Transmissions

Transmissions can sometimes be very costly to repair if they require a complete rebuild. When they require a rebuild, you are often asked to spend quite a bit of money to have a problem fixed that you probably don’t understand very well.

Transmission Repair Cost

Getting an accurate price quote for a remanufactured or rebuilt transmission is important. There are many different types of transmissions and each type requires different parts and different rebuild kits.

When a transmission requires an overhaul, there are generally three options that you have. The first is to remove your existing transmission and rebuild it, then put the same, newly rebuilt unit back in your car. The second option is to replace your existing unit with a remanufactured transmission. The third is to replace your existing unit with a used transmission.

Rebuild / Rebuilt Transmission

In an overhaul typically done at a transmission shop (also known as rebuilding a transmission), the transmission is removed from the vehicle and completely disassembled with the parts laid out on a workbench. Each hard part is inspected for wear and damage and then either cleaned in a special cleaning solution, or replaced with another part depending on its condition. Parts that have friction surfaces, such as bands and clutches are replaced as are all seals and gaskets. The torque converter is also replaced, usually with a remanufactured one. Upgrades are typically performed to fix any original design defects from the year of manufacture. Automobile manufacturers often make upgrade kits available to transmission shops to resolve these design defects.

Remanufactured Transmission

The remanufacturing process brings a transmission back to as “new” as possible (original equipment). Most internal transmission parts are replaced and any worn parts are brought back to original production specifications. Technical service bulletins are checked and performed. The remanufactured transmission is fully tested and usually comes with a 3 year or longer warranty. There are several brands of remanufactured transmissions sold by auto parts stores and repair shops.

Used / Junkyard Transmissions

Used transmissions normally have high miles and no guarantees. Added to that, the exact make, model, engine size and computer coded transmission has to be installed in your vehicle. Many times, you will be responsible for the labor costs (several hundred dollars) and fluid costs (around $50) of removal and reinstallation if the first unit does not work properly. For every unit that does not work properly, the costs of installing a junkyard unit will double. If the unit is found to have high mileage (there is no way to tell), the unit will fail at any time.

Choosing An Option

When choosing an option, try to be as informed as possible. There are many honest transmission shops and remanufactured transmission companies. But just remember one last piece of information: “Cheaper is not always better”.

Buying Auto Parts Online

Purchasing auto parts online can be economical, and you can even choose from among a wide selection of used and reconditioned parts that are practically as good as new to save even more money. Whether you need to replace larger items like transmissions or differentials, or small details such as taillights or hood ornaments, you can find virtually any auto parts you may need online.

When it comes to buying a car, there are really only two strategies to choose from. First, you can buy or lease a new car and then trade it in every two or three years for the latest year model. Alternatively, you can purchase a car and drive it for 7 to 10 years to “get your money’s worth from it.”

Obviously, the most economical of these choices for most people will be to keep your car for a number of years, instead of constantly trading in for the latest model — and losing money in the process. But keeping your car for an extended length of time means that you will have to be vigilant about its upkeep, and from time to time you will likely have to replace some parts and have other maintenance and repairs performed.

But when it comes to replacing auto-parts, anyone who has visited a mechanic lately can tell you that costs have skyrocketed. Auto parts, and especially original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, auto-parts can be prohibitively expensive for many makes and models. As a general rule, the more exotic or expensive your car is to begin with, the more expensive the replacement parts will be.

This is especially true if you purchase auto parts from the original manufacturer. But there are several solutions to the high cost of replacing auto-parts. For example, you can choose to purchase so-called third-party parts online. These are auto-parts made by other companies, not the automaker; and they are normally quite a bit less expensive than buying OEM parts.

Third party parts are readily available for nearly any model of car or truck, and often the price difference will be substantial. For example, replacing a radiator for a standard American-made sedan can cost as much as $800 if you purchase original equipment manufacturer parts. But when you buy a replacement radiator for the same car from a third-party manufacturer, it is possible to pay as little as $250. Obviously, that’s a huge savings, and something you will definitely want to consider the next time you need to replace auto-parts for your vehicle.

But there is another option as well: used auto-parts are available to fit most American and foreign made cars. Used or “reconditioned” parts are often sold for a fraction of the price of new, and in most cases they are just as reliable to use.

Although you can find used auto-parts at specialty dealers, auto shops and parts stores, by far the best prices are to be found online. There are several big-name auto-parts stores online that specialize in used or reconditioned parts. Most of these sites have an easy to use search function that will allow you to see if they have the part you need in only a second.

This will save you an enormous amount of time over the “old way” of doing things: driving all over town and asking if the part is available at each different location you hit. For this reason, buying auto parts online is much more convenient and can also save you a great deal of money.

4 Tips for Selecting A Truck Mount for Your Carpet Cleaning Business

If you are looking to start a new carpet cleaning business or if you are already in business but need to replace your current truck mount or upgrade from a portable to a truck mount there are a few things you should be aware of so that you make the best choice.

Tip 1 – Bigger does not necessarily mean better when it comes to truck mounts. Fuel economy is important not only when it comes to how much fuel your work vehicle consumes, but also when it comes to how much fuel your truck mount consumes. This is something that is easily overlooked because manufacturers give you claimed fuel economy figures that are based on fuel consumed per hour. Back when gas was less than $2.00 per gallon, fuel economy was still a concern, but now with gas prices above $3.50 per gallon, it is an even bigger concern. Fuel consumption can add up quickly when your hours accumulate over a period of time. When you are running a small business, every little bit of savings is important to increasing your bottom line. If you were to run a truck mount with a 1.4 gallon per hour combined gas and propane consumption rate for 4,000 hours with a fuel cost of $2.00 per gallon, you would have spent $11,200 on fuel. If you were to run that same machine for 4,000 hours at $3.50 per gallon, you would have spent $19,600 on fuel. Units that consume 1 gallon of fuel per hour are usually slide-in truck mounts. A slide-in unit that is not a heat exchanger and has a fuel-fired water heating system actually has more heat performance than a larger direct drive truck mount, consisting of a V8 engine, or a slide-in with a 65 HP gas engine. The direct drive units with the V8 engine and the slide-in heat exchange truck mounts with the 65 HP gas engine actually consume anywhere from 3 – 3.5 gallons per hour. Remember; these units actually have less sustained heat performance under commercial carpet cleaning conditions than a slide-in truck mount with a fuel-fired heating system. Now let’s calculate running the larger machines with less heat performance at 3.5 gallons per hour times $3.50 per gallon. That comes to $49,000 in fuel cost for the same 4,000 hours of time on your truck mount. That comes to a fuel cost difference of $29,400 over 4,000 hours of operating time on your unit. That is a significant savings that you can have by choosing a smaller slide-in truck mount with a fuel-fired heating system versus a large slide-in heat exchanger unit with a 65 HP engine or a direct drive unit with a V8 engine.

Tip 2 – Purchase price: A typical slide-in unit with a fuel-fired heating system will cost anywhere between $15,000 – $18,000. A slide-in truck mount with a 65 HP gas engine or a direct drive unit will run you somewhere between about $25,000 – $35,000. Remember that you will also have less heat performance on the larger units during commercial carpet cleaning conditions due to the accumulative hours. The reason why you will have less heat performance is that heat exchangers have less BTU’s to sustain long periods of cleaning time.

Tip 3 – Vacuum Performance Misconception: A lot of people believe that a larger vacuum blower with a larger carpet cleaning machine will get the carpets drier. However, there are physical limitations to how much air can actually go through the carpet cleaning wand once the wand is on the carpet and is semi-sealed with wet extraction. At this point only about 200 cubic feet per minute can go through the wand. There is an illusion of more power when the wand of a unit with a larger blower is lifted off the carpet. It has a louder sound of rushing air due to less resistance than when it is sealed on the carpet. The heat exchange machines or direct drive, use larger blowers to stress the engines more to produce more heat. You must make a heat exchanger load the engine to produce more heat.

Even though 200 cubic feet per minute is the maximum that can be used by the cleaning head, you need to have about 300 – 350 cubic feet per minute to keep negative pressure on the recovery tank and vacuum hoses. One of the reasons large heat exchange truck mount units consume so much fuel is that the blower requires more horsepower. The larger blower on these units is necessary to load the engine to make the heat for the heat exchanger. Some of the 65 HP slide-in truck mounts run 59 blowers which produce 850 cubic feet per minute. So 75% of the cubic feet per minute being produced by the blower is unusable and being released through the relief valve. A direct drive truck mount which utilizes the truck engine as the power plant, has an electric clutch similar to a clutch on an air conditioner that turns a shaft that operates the blower and pump. This clutch limitation is 20 HP. This is why you are unable to put large blowers on direct drive truck units. So you might have a truck with an engine that develops 350 HP but your truck mount can only use 20 HP of that 350 to operate. Still it is burning fuel based on a 350 HP engine running at 1800 rpm.

Tip 4 – Design Simplicity: This is one of the most important aspects to consider when you are looking at purchasing a truck mount. A truck mount is a mechanical machine and everything mechanical needs maintenance and repair. A heat exchange slide-in machine is an extremely complicated design with a lot of proprietary parts. It also has very complicated wiring. One of these types of truck mounts consists of a lot of safety switches, relays, solenoids, and thermal relief valves. A fuel-fired unit doesn’t require all of these components, because it uses a separate heating device, either propane, or kerosene-fired. You do have the inconvenience of having to purchase a second fuel for these heating devices. The simplicity and reliability of not having all of these extra parts on your machine outweighs the inconvenience of buying the second fuel. You also will have a better sustained temperature with a fuel-fired system. Plus the fuel-fired truck mount is simpler to repair and utilizes common parts that you can find local at auto parts stores, Home Depot, or Lowes. The engines on these units can also be serviced at a local lawn mower shop.

In closing the purchase of a truck mount is no small matter. You are investing a considerable sum of money into your carpet cleaning business. You want to be sure you get a unit that is reliable and easy to repair so that you experience the least amount of downtime possible. Also remember that you want a truck mount that is economical on fuel consumption since every dollar counts towards your bottom line when you are in business.

Clutch Kit: Will A Knock-Off Set Work on Your Car?

It’s all about the money these days. Everyone wants to get the most for their cash without compromising on the quality of the product that they’re buying. But can you get the best of both worlds?

You can get a knock-off version of basically anything these days. If your child likes a particular toy and the original is too expensive, you will be able to find a cheaper version of it at some other store. If your teenager loves branded clothing, which can be really expensive, you know you will be able to find a cheap copy of it at the flea market. The same goes for handbags, designer dresses, shoes, and pretty much anything you can think of.

Why would car parts be any different?

Cars are very expensive objects and maintaining it can cost you an arm and leg. It’s not surprising that many people turn to cheaper alternatives when it comes to car parts. The unfortunate part about all of this is that you never really know when your car is going to break down or when a certain car part will get damaged. So nine out of ten times, you’re financially unprepared. It is in this situation when many people make the wrong call and opt for the cheaper knock-off version of the particular car part they need to get.

Sometimes you may be lucky and the knock-off car part may work almost as good as the original. However, remember that nothing can ever replace an original. The manufacturer of the car is the one who assembled the car, so they know every corner and measurement of that car. The replacement parts are manufactured with this in mind. Every part is made to fit in the car precisely therefore you usually get a guarantee with the original car part you purchase. With a knock-off car part there is no guarantee of this because they weren’t there when the car was made. They use estimations when they make the parts. They copy the original; and we all know that a copy is never like the original.

So if you buy a clutch kit for your car, is a knock-off good enough? I wouldn’t think so. The original clutch kit made for your brand of car is always the better option. A knock-off clutch kit may function normally at the beginning but after a while it could cause damage to your car or break fairly quickly. Rather invest in the original car part to avoid any future problems.

Aftermarket Auto Parts Vs Used OEM Auto Parts Vs Brand New Discounted Parts

Alright! The worst thing has happened to your car and that worn out / damaged part needs a replacement. What is the first thing that comes to your mind?

I am sure it would be, “how do I get a replacement part that fulfills the need at the lowest possible price?” And believe me; most sensible people would think the same way.

Let’s face it; nobody likes to spend big bucks on car repairs and part replacements. In fact, if given a choice, nobody would even want to be in a situation where his/her car needs a repair or a replacement part.

This is basic human nature and we all exhibit it. As far as I am concerned, I would rather spend extra money on a fancy car stereo than go for a costly replacement auto part. I would any day prefer the cheapest possible repair or part replacement that does the job and so would you unless you are a celebrity and money sticks to you like a shadow.

So what are the options you can consider if your vehicle needs a replacement part?

In the current market scenario, we have 3 major options namely:

  • Aftermarket Parts
  • Used OEM Parts
  • Brand New Discounted Parts

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each so that we can make a decision.

Aftermarket Parts for a vehicle may be defined as auto parts made by a manufacturer other than the original vehicle manufacturer.

But that is not necessarily the correct definition as most vehicle manufacturers do not make all the parts themselves. They may ask a different company to manufacture a certain auto part for them. In that case, the first definition would not hold true.

I believe the following example would make the concept clear.

If you are fitting an Air Filter in your ABC car and that Air Filter is not manufactured, not considered a standard fitment (stock option) and not recommended by the ABC Company, it qualifies as an aftermarket part as far as ABC Company is concerned. In that case, all warranty from ABC Company for your ABC car is void.

That is not the only consequence of fitting aftermarket parts in your vehicle. These parts are not tested for compatibility with all makes and models of cars. As a result, an aftermarket part may not function properly in your car leading to unforeseen problems. For example, an aftermarket Air Filter can harm you car engine if it is not compatible with your car model resulting in low engine-efficiency or perhaps total engine damage.

Aftermarket parts don’t necessarily confirm to laws and regulations for quality and performance. For Example, aftermarket headlights may not confirm to the local regulations in your state or perhaps your aftermarket engine does not meet the emission standards in your state. It is imperative that you ascertain correct details and features of an aftermarket part before you purchase it.

Depending on factors like quality and brand-name, an aftermarket part can cost less, equal or more than a brand new OEM part.

A good quality aftermarket part manufactured by a company specializing in a particular domain qualifies as a performance enhancing auto part and usually costs more than what a brand new normal OEM part would. Unless you are willing to shell out money on car customization, you don’t need to tread that path.

One truth about aftermarket parts holds good even today; “use it at your own peril.”

Used OEM auto parts for a vehicle are manufactured by the same manufacturer that made the vehicle. The only factor being, these parts are not brand new. They have been used before, probably in another vehicle of the same make and somehow found their way to a scrap-yard or salvage-yard.

In this case, a fact that one should consider before purchasing a used auto part is that used parts from a certain ABC car most probably will fit only ABC cars of the same model and year as per company standards. This is because manufacturers might introduce slight changes or enhancements in auto part designs and specifications every year for any particular model.

Since all OEM auto parts from a particular car manufacturer are of the same quality and tested for optimum performance by the manufacturer, you don’t end up making any compromises on this front. Remember, this is not the case with aftermarket parts.

Used auto parts could be your best option in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality provided you select the correct auto part online and buy it from a recognized seller only. The advantage of buying from established sellers is that you get original quality tested parts at low prices and usually with no shipping charges.

The only worrying factor about used auto parts may be about their history. The part could be salvaged from a car that got destroyed in an accident or perhaps from a car that was scrapped after serving a lifetime. Then there are also some used auto parts available that were used by the original manufacturer for testing purposes.

Whatever be the history of the part, you can get a confirmation from the seller over the phone before buying. Major used auto-part dealers exercise quality control by maintaining a log about the condition and history of a particular auto part so that the customer knows about the exact age and origin of the part he/she is buying.

Moreover, vehicle’s manufacturer warranty does not get nullified if you install a used OEM part in your vehicle.

Used auto parts are the most cost effective out of all the three options since they cost just about one-third the price of brand new OEM auto parts.

Brand New Discounted Auto Parts probably don’t need any description. These are brand new auto parts sold at discount prices. Definitely a great option but these are not available everyday and at every store. In fact, they are available occasionally and at the sole discretion of the dealer. If you are lucky enough, you might find the part you need on discount but as is the case usually, the parts that are sold at a discount are the ones that have the least demand. Hence, if you desperately need a brand new replacement part for your car, you might have to wait till it is available at discount prices.

To conclude, you can choose any of these options depending on your need and suitability but please remember that in the case of repairs and part replacements, you should take a step only after weighing the pros and cons of each available option.

Happy Motoring!

James Rodham

www.QualityAutoParts.com