How much will this cost?
By far this is our # 1 question we get asked. And though we'd love to be able to quote you a price over the phone, your verbal description of the problem is only a small part of what we need. The only way we can provide you with an accurate estimate for the repairs needed, is to troubleshoot the issue ourselves. In fact, in most cases the symptoms are noticing result from the computer reacting to problems it is registering which in turn causes unusual operation or poor performance. So without having access to your vehicle, we simply can't properly determine what repair may be necessary.
What should I do to find out what it might cost?
The best way to get an accurate estimate is to schedule an appointment to have our technicians properly diagnose your vehicle. In some cases, we can get a good idea of what needs to be done with a simple road test and brief inspection. Other times, we may need to spend time with more diagnostic using our specialized equipment to help get to the bottom of the problem with your vehicle.
What does it cost to diagnose my vehicle?
We really wished there was a magical machine that tells us "exactly" what is wrong as we hate surpises as much as you do when it comes to servicing your vehicles. We have specialized equipment specificially geared to diagnosing your vehicle as quickly and accurately as possible. In fact, we were the first shop in the state to use a Tramission Dynamometer & AES machine and to date are only 1 of the 2 shops in NH that own this hihgly specialized equipment. Even with this equipment though, some problems may just not be that easy to pin point, especially with increasing miles modern vehicles are driven today. However, we have established a process that applies steps of specific blocks of time to diagnose your vehicle. Based on what the symptoms you describe, we do our best to provide accurate diagonsis estimate based on these designated blocks of time.
Are transmissions the only things you service?
Heck, no! We work on everything behind the engine: rear ends (axles), front axles, transfer cases, PTU (Power Transfer Units found on most AWD vehicles), drive shafts, universal joints, CV (constant velocity) axles and more. We also are an official State of New Hampshire Inspection Station (#1575), as well as provide brake, suspension, and other general repair services. So call our service department with any specific service need you may have. And if we are not able to help you, we can refer you to with some of the local specialists we partner with who share the same passion for service and quality that we do.
Do transmissions "really" need to be serviced?
Absolutely not! Automatic transmissions are the most complex component in your vehicle. Just like you wouldn't go without changing your engine old & its filter, your car will eventually break down without proper transmission maintenance. Not sure you believe us? Just take a peek at the Service section of your vehicle's owners manual.
Can I just have the fluid changed?
This is a very common question people ask when they've noticed that their transmission isn't working "quite right". And though we all wish it could be that simple, it isn't. In fact, if a transmission has never been properly serviced or the current owner doesn't know the vehicle's service history, replacing the fluid or filtering/"flushing" it can actually make your transmission problem worse - costing you far more in the long run. This is why at Russell Auto we road test and if needed troubleshoot your performance issues with our diagnostic equipoment. Once we've done this, then and only then will we be able to let you know what service your vehicle needs.
NOTE: We have a section in our Helpful Hints section that talks about maintaining your transmission. If nothing else, please consider reading this Maintaining Your Transmission. It's simple & time tested.
What about "lifetime" fluids?
Lifetime is a tricky word to use with modern vehicles! Todays cars are going 200,000-500,000 miles in many cases. After looking at this closer, we feel that 100,000 miles is the MOST that we would consider to use the same fluid. This is under ideal conditions. We suggest 70,000 miles at the most for many vehicles. When we push TOO far, the detergents & additives in fresh fluid cleans the normal (and abnormal) wear particles and now the elctronics and valves are flooded with this debris. Best practice is more frequent services.
How can I make my transmission last when I'm plowing snow?
Great question! Plowing is very abusive to a truck. We encourage drivers to shift the transmission into neutral, raise or lower the plow then engage into drive or reverse. This allows time for hydraulic pressures to drain off from clucthes, bands and actuators. It also allows time to disipate the mechanical energy (inertia-lots of it!). When the snow is heavy, take smaller passes. Tremendous heat is generated trying to push lots of heavy, wet snow. Both the truck and you need a break when plowing for extended hours. Rushing when plowing will be COSTLY!
Can I add Overdrive to the transmission of my classic car or street rod?
We work on a lot of classic cars, antiques, street rods and High Performance vehicles! In fact, based on our years of experience with these types of vehicles, we developed a specialized product line we offer called TPS (Transmission Performance Systems). Be sure to check it out to discover what it can do for your sweet ride.
How long will the repairs take?
Our staff has always worked as effeciently as is as possible. We keep a large inventory of parts & remanufatured transmissions to get your vehicle back on the road as soon as we can. Once we've fully diagnosed your vehicle's repair needs, we will then give you our best time estimate for how long it will take to finish the repair. (Time guarantees are not possible.)
What methods of payment do you accept?
We do love to accept cash, however many people prefer credit cards. So we accept most major credits cards including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. And we also accept approved checks.
Do you offer credit terms?
Unfortunately, we do not. We get offers from many companies that want to extend credit to our customers. The terms are above the costs of most common credit cards, so we choose to not pass on this increased lending cost to our values customers.
What is your waranty?
At Russell Auto, we stand behind our work, offering a 3 year & 50,000 mile warranty on most of our transmissions. We do this by using only the best parts, materials, and procedures are use in performing your repair. Afterall, we didn't become southern NH's oldest & best transmission shop by providing substandard service with poor quality parts.
Do you sell transmission parts & accessories?
Yes, we carry over $90,000 of transmissions, converters, coolers, shift improvement parts, Sonnax Specialty parts, Allison RETRAN, Genuine Allison parts, Spicer universal joints and much more! Please feel free to contact our parts department.
Are you an Allison Authorized dealer?
Yes, Russell Auto Inc. is an AUTHORIZED ALLISON ASSOCIATE DEALER. This means we can sell Genuine Allison parts and Retran transmissions. Russell Auto Inc. can NOT perform warranty repairs at this time. We are not a truck dealer and often, the vehicle is brought back there first. However, we are considering adding the 1000 & 2000 series certification for authorized warranty service. We are trianed and equiped to work on World Class Allison transmissions. Please feel free to contact our service department.