Erin called us recently from The Cain’s Ballroom to inform me that her car would no longer move forward.  As luck would have it, she coasted right into a parking space.  We hurried up there to give her a car to get back to OSU with and I drove it home.  It would go sometimes and refuse to move at other times.

I managed to nurse it to the shop although just barely.  It was quickly diagnosed the following morning as a $2500 rebuild job.

Which made me wonder as I have often wondered before:  why does nobody ever repair a transmission?  I am old enough to have had this happen about four times and at no time did any mechanic ever offer to “fix” it; only a complete rebuild.

This is not what happens to any other part of the car.  There are many potential repairs to the engine.  Various individual parts can be replaced and/or repaired and even the engine itself can be tinkered with to an amazing extent without ever costing anywhere close to $2500.  I’ve even heard of having engines rebuilt for less than that.

Not transmissions though; only rebuild.  I’ve asked every mechanic I’ve ever used why and I’ve gotten many different answers – they usually involve something about the transmission being to hard to get to that by the time you’ve hoisted the engine out of the way or done whatever else, you’ve spent enough labor to make it feasible to just rebuild the whole thing.  But this doesn’t really ring true for some reason.  I can’t see why a manufacturer can’t design some access into the thing that might allow some service.  That last mechanic told me that the case and all the gears inside are all original – they only replaced the parts (clutches) that were worn.  Surely some sort of access hole could be a part of the design much like the oil pan underneath the engine.

So I continue to wonder.  It’s a pity that the CarTalk guys have retired.