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Do I Need A Transmission Rebuild??? - 2016 EcoBoost 2.0L

Lance Wisher

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Hey all -

When I bought my 2016 Ford Edge from CarMax in 2019, it wasn't long after that I noticed a "knock" sound and a physical jerk when it shifted into 3rd gear. I'm not a mechanic or even very car savvy, and I didn't think much of it. It started at 36k miles, and now it is 90k miles with proactive maintenance. (I put 44k miles on it over 4-ish years, most of the time with this "knock.")

Last week I was getting ready for a road trip, and I took it in for a preventative transmission service when a friend recommended it, not knowing that this 3rd gear "knock" was a big deal. The transmission shop drove it around and identified a major "flare," or, as I understand it, a "slip" in the trans when it shifts into 3rd gear.
They told me absolutely not to go on my road trip (I would likely end up on the side of the road somewhere) and that I shouldn't even drive it around town before getting it completely rebuilt (quoted $6k). They also said a fluid service would not even be worth it because the trans was too far gone.

I visited three more transmission shops - and this is the conflicting information I received from each:

    - First shop: Trans needs to be replaced immediately, and it isn't possible to buy "new" transmissions, so they have to order used ones that have pros and cons (# of miles on it, quality of fluid)
    - Second shop: Don't drive it at all; we re-build entire transmissions in-house, so bring it in sooner than later because we can possibly salvage parts
    - Third shop: Trans needs to be rebuilt, but you can drive it until it breaks, and then come get it "rebuilt" (not sure if that means ordering a used one or having it taken apart and then put back together in the shop)

So, my questions are: 
    - What am I dealing with here? 
    - What is the truth about rebuilding transmissions? Are they ordered or physically rebuilt? 
    - Is it true that I can drive it until it breaks, or is it true that a shop could salvage parts if I get it fixed now? 
    - How much should a rebuild cost? 
    - How much longer could my car last with this trans "knock" into 3rd gear?


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On 8/12/2023 at 9:27 PM, Lance Wisher said:

What am I dealing with here?

I'll leave that for someone else to answer.

23 hours ago, Lance Wisher said:

What is the truth about rebuilding transmissions? Are they ordered or physically rebuilt?

A rebuilt transmission is one that has been taken apart, cleaned up, and had any broken or significantly worn parts replaced. If they are offering to rebuild your transmission then this means they're offering to do exactly this to your existing transmission. If instead they're offering to replace your transmission with a rebuilt one, then it means exactly that, they're going to obtain a used transmission that has already been put through a rebuild process, swap that into your vehicle, and they may keep your old transmission to rebuild and sell to someone else later.

23 hours ago, Lance Wisher said:

Is it true that I can drive it until it breaks, or is it true that a shop could salvage parts if I get it fixed now?

From the fact of the sound and the physical jerk it would seem that a damaged part is coming into contact with other moving parts in a way that it is obviously not designed to. Depending upon the nature of the parts, over time more and more wear could perhaps be taking place. Worn parts can also get weaker, getting closer and closer to a point where they may break. A transmission has many fast spinning parts, if a part broke such that it jammed things up, this could potentially cause catastrophic failure, destroying the transmission. So the more you use it, the worse the damage may get, and the greater the risk of much greater damage suddenly occurring. It has already kept going for four years now with this fault, so it could potentially keep going for many more years, but on the other hand it could suddenly suffer catastrophic failure tomorrow. Naturally the sooner you get it repaired the greater the likelihood of parts being salvageable. I can only speak generally, not knowing what exactly is wrong with it.

If you want to keep using it until it breaks, that's entirely up to you, but it may well end up costing you more to fix it, and it may break at a really inconvenient time, or even in such circumstances that your life is put in peril.

On 8/12/2023 at 9:27 PM, Lance Wisher said:

How much should a rebuild cost?

Hundreds to thousands of pounds/dollars. It will partly depend upon the model. $6000 seems very steep though and I expect there's a good chance you can find a much better deal. Did the other companies not give an indication of their pricing (best case, worst case)?

The shops advising to get it repaired immediately may just be eager to take your money, or they may want to fix it for you before the damage gets any worse. The one saying you can just use it until it breaks, then fix it, may consider the problem to not be particularly serious, or may not be desperate for the money and may not care if running it into the ground ends up with you having a larger repair bill.

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Is it 6F35 6_speed?

I would check for PCM/TCM updates first and, absolutely, pay for a fluid change BEFORE you start paying lots of money for a rebuild.

Worse case it's probably the torque converter NOT the transmission

Ford say it's sealed for life, but you should change the fluid on these around every 40,000 miles

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