Spotting A Good Transmission At The Salvage Yard

When it comes to the function and performance of your car, a working transmission is essential. If your vehicle is having transmission troubles, it could be costly to have a new transmission installed. Combing through your local salvage yard for a used transmission can be a great way to find a replacement part for a fraction of the cost.

Identifying a good transmission can seem challenging, but here are three simple things you can look for to help you spot a working transmission for your vehicle at the salvage yard in the future. 

1. Look for a vehicle of your car's same make and model year that has been wrecked.

Many vehicles end up in salvage yards because an insurance company deems them too costly to repair after a wreck. While you might be hesitant to pull a transmission out of a car that has been wrecked, the wreck could be a sign that the transmission will be in working condition.

If the vehicle was involved in a wreck, you can assume it was running at the time of the crash. As long as the vehicle didn't sustain damage to the area in which the transmission is located, the transmission on a wrecked vehicle will likely work once it has been installed on your car.

2. Check the fluid in each transmission you are thinking of purchasing.

Another simple way to determine the quality of the transmissions available at your local salvage yard is to check the condition of the transmission fluid in these parts. Since the fluid travels throughout the transmission, it can tell you a lot about the condition of the part.

You want to look for transmission fluid that is red in color and has a viscous consistency. If the fluid is brown or has a burnt smell, this could be a sign that there is a malfunction within the transmission.

3. Check for metal in the oil pan.

Before you purchase a used transmission from your local salvage yard, be sure that you take the time to remove the oil pan from the transmission.

Many oil pans come equipped with a magnet designed to remove metal particles from the engine oil and transmission fluids after they circulate through the transmission. If the transmission is going bad, large chunks of metal will slough off and find their way into the oil pan. If you don't see any chunks of metal larger than a pinhead, the transmission is probably in working condition.

By taking the time to look for a wrecked vehicle, check the transmission fluid, and remove the oil pan to look for metal, you can easily save money on your transmission replacement by investing in a functional transmission at your local salvage yard.