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My 1997 Ford Crown Vic has 210K miles. In the past 6 months I put $2K in repairs into it (shocks, brakes, tires) Now the trans is acting up - stays too long in 1st gear before shifting. My mechanic says a Jasper rebuilt trans(75K/3yr warranty) will cost $2900 which is about $500 more than even Jasper says the total job should cost. A local rebuilder wants $850 total (1yr/unlimited mileage warranty). The engine runs strong and the body/interior is in good shape. I'd like to keep the car for another few years if possible. Which should I go with, the Jasper or the cheaper one? Is it safe to drive my car as is until the trans gets worse or totally fails? Thanks

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd TR, You are sinking a lot of money into a 1997 car with 210k miles on it. I hope you have had a technician you trust thoroughly look it over and determine it is a sound vehicle and worth fixing up before you decided to spend all this money. If you haven*t I recommend that you do ASAP before spending any more money on this car. The Jasper rebuilt tranny gives you 75,000 miles or 3 years. The local guy is only giving you 1 year warranty and unlimited miles = which will be approx. 15,000 miles. What kind of reputation does the local guy have? How many more years do you want to keep this vehicle? The transmission could fail at any time. While cruising down the highway, on a back road or in a busy traffic jam. Could this cause an accident. Yes it could. It is never a good idea to drive a vehicle that you know could break down at any moment. Best of Luck, Amy Mattinat

Kim Walker, Marketing Director at Peak Automotive TR, In my opinion, I would definitely go with the Jasper transmission. Jasper has an outstanding reputation for excellence and quality. Their warranty speaks to that as well. As far as one shop charging more, there are SO many factors to go into why one shop charges one amount and another shop charges another amount. The amount of time it would take to install the transmission varies, but not by much from shop to shop. What does vary is the quality of parts used as well as what the shop's labor rate is. If one shop is charging $55 an hour and another shop is charging $95 an hour there is your difference. You must weigh what is most important to you. If you choose the $850 transmission and in 14 months it goes bad you'll be paying again. The Jasper transmission will be covered under warranty for 75K or 3 years! Especially since you say that the remainder of your Crown Vic is in good shape - I would have to suggest going with the Jasper. Without knowing what exactly is going wrong with your transmission, I could not advise you to continue driving it or not. From my experience, driving a vehicle while it is in disrepair often can cause more harm than what you've already been quoted. Again, without knowing the your car's specifics, I cannot begin to answer how long to continue driving it. Kim Walker Peak Automotive

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management TR, The reason I would say that it is not safe for you to drive in this condition is because it's so hard to predict when a transmission is going to fail completely. You could possibly become stranded in a location or at a time that is very inconvenient for you. One thing to consider is that Jasper will pay for parts and labor if and when one of their parts fails. You would need to find out if this warranty that the local rebuider is offering is only for parts. I know from experience that Jasper makes quality parts and they do stand behind their products. Also, if you are keeping this car for longer than one year, you may want a longer warranty. Also, if you go with the Jasper, you can take the vehicle to any Jasper certified service station and have the work done under warranty. Suzanne

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