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Purchasing a Used Vehicle with Transmission Damage


Aside from flood damage, a bent or broken frame, a deteriorated or defective differential, and engine block damage, used car dealers are required to disclose whether a vehicle’s transmission has sustained damage or is somehow defective before selling it. Failing to do so not only puts buyers at risk of injury in the event of an accident caused by their damaged vehicle, but also costs consumers thousands of dollars in repairs. Fortunately, those who purchase cars that have undisclosed transmission damage are often able to collect a refund for the car, as well as compensation for related expenses, such as repairs and legal fees. For help filing your own claim, please contact a member of our experienced used car fraud legal team today.

How do Transmissions Work?

Whether a transmission is manual or automatic, it serves the same purpose, which is to shift gears and so allow the right amount of power to be transferred to the wheels of a vehicle at any given speed. When shifting, the engine and transmission become temporarily disconnected, which in a manual vehicle is achieved by pushing the clutch and with an automatic transmission by a torque converter that automatically senses changes in speed.

Transmissions are made up of a number of different working parts, so a problem with any single component could cause the whole system to fail. Some of the most important parts include:

  • The clutch, which connects or disconnects the engine from the transmission when switching gears, allowing the engine to spin on its own, with no transfer of power to the wheels until reconnected, at which point the clutch allows for power transfer and acceleration;
  • The layshaft, which connects the clutch to the engine and spins as a single unit as long as the engine is running;
  • Gears and the output shaft, which connect the drive shaft, differential, and wheels;
  • The collar, which when connected to a gear, allows the engine to lock into a gear and so transfer power to the wheels; and
  • The gear selector fork, which changes the position of the collar, which in turn only allows gears to change when the clutch is engaged.

Problems with any one of these parts could compromise a transmission’s ability to switch gears, which can be extremely dangerous for drivers if the transmission suddenly fails.

Causes of Damage

Most damage to transmissions takes the form of grinding or shaking, a burning smell, a failure to start, or a whining or clunking sound and is caused by:

  • Leaking transmission fluid, which can cause permanent damage if left unrepaired;
  • Low transmission fluid level or quality, which can cause the transmission to perform poorly or fail altogether, as the system will lack lubrication and will be unable to cool down; and
  • Clogged transmission fluid filter, which keeps lubricating and cooling transmission fluid from flowing through the transmission itself, causing the transmission to overheat or grind to a halt.

This type of damage must be disclosed by dealers to potential buyers, so if you recently purchased a vehicle with a faulty transmission, you should contact an attorney about filing a claim.

Obtain Legal Advice Today

To speak with an experienced used car fraud attorney about your own case, please contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com today for a free consultation. Our Philadelphia legal team is eager to assist you today.




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