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Old 10-15-2020, 12:11 AM
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Question What is my wife's car worth now that I know it will eventually need a transmission?

My wife has a 2005 Buick LeSabre with 158k on it. It just started a month or so ago to rust a little on the drivers side dog leg, otherwise the body is nice. Interior is clean and has no tears or undue wear. Runs great, tires have lots of tread still. A few weeks ago we noticed that it started shifting hard when it was hot(not just operating temp, but hot as in driving for a couple hours). Took it in to confirm my suspicions and they said it will need a transmission at some point. The car has no other issues.
Rather than be "under the gun" to make a decision after the trans goes out, we are looking around a bit to see about replacing it while it still drives.

Since, obviously I will need to share what I know with potential buyers, what would be a reasonable expectation of it's value?

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Old 10-15-2020, 12:27 AM
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15 year old Buick that needs a Trans.....

$500

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Old 10-15-2020, 06:33 AM
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I bet you could get $1000 around here, if itís clean like you said. The transmission is an issue of coarse, but Iíve had them act up like that and still run for a long time.

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71' GTO original 400/4-speed/3.23 posi
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:38 PM
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$500 around here.

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Old 10-16-2020, 11:28 AM
AC445 AC445 is offline
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Default trans

Hello,If the fluid looks o.k. it may be just shift solenoids. Several on line vendors sell the parts as it is a common G.M. problem.

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Old 10-16-2020, 11:48 AM
"QUICK-SILVER" "QUICK-SILVER" is offline
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Have you checked engine and transmission mounts on this car?

When they're broke or worn out, you'll get a pretty good jolt when the transmission shifts gears.

Clay

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Old 10-16-2020, 03:07 PM
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As is usually the case unfortunately, you could probably make more parting it out....

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Old 10-16-2020, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwfisher View Post
As is usually the case unfortunately, you could probably make more parting it out....
That's what I was afraid of.

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Old 10-16-2020, 03:58 PM
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I took it to the local GM dealer and they said it will definitely need a rebuild. Apparently, there are metal shavings in the pan. I'll probably just drive it until it quits and go from there. I did find a reputable shop that gave me a much better price to rebuild the trans($2,400). If I find something better, great. If not, I guess I'll keep this one on the road.

Thanks all.

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Old 10-17-2020, 06:47 PM
69camarox 69camarox is offline
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does it shift fine around town but then you go on freeway get off and stop at a light and drive away and it shifts hard ?? if so shut it off and re start and it is ok again . scan it if it has code p1811 you need a valve replaced in the valve body i fix them all the time and usually charge around 500

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Old 10-18-2020, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 69camarox View Post
does it shift fine around town but then you go on freeway get off and stop at a light and drive away and it shifts hard ?? if so shut it off and re start and it is ok again . scan it if it has code p1811 you need a valve replaced in the valve body i fix them all the time and usually charge around 500
Shifts fine at all speeds/conditions until it is HOT(been on the road a couple hours). Then it shifts hard at all speeds.

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Old 10-18-2020, 12:49 AM
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If it only acts up after itís been on the road for a couple hours, itís of use to someone who needs transportation. Heck, a lot of folks wouldnít even mention that issue.

Value depends on your area. Here in California, a car that can reasonably be driven to work every day is $1,500. If itís all the same color, no accident damage, it goes up from there.

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Old 10-18-2020, 01:11 AM
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Heck, a lot of folks wouldnít even mention that issue.
You are certainly correct there. I just feel morally obligated to disclose this since I am aware of it.

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Old 10-18-2020, 09:41 AM
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Thatís why I said at least $1000 around here. Totally beat pos cars go for $500. If they are in reasonable shape with no glaring issues-$1000 and up. Most people wouldnít even care about the transmission issue. They just need something to get them to work or school and back. If they are in the market for an entry level beater, your car would be a deal at $1000. JMO

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71' GTO original 400/4-speed/3.23 posi
13.95 @ 102.1 on street tires @ 4055lbs.
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by justincampbell View Post
You are certainly correct there. I just feel morally obligated to disclose this since I am aware of it.
My point is, most buyers looking for a cheap car wonít care if it shifts hard after hours on the road. If they did drive that much, theyíd just deal with it.

Iíd list it for $2k and sell it it the first guy who showed up with over $1,000.

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Old 10-18-2020, 01:08 PM
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I'm beginning to lean towards just driving it til it quits and them doing the transmission. I've been looking the last few days and people are getting just as far out of their damn minds with used cars as they have gotten with our classics. I can't believe the number of people who think 2k over high book is a decent price on a used car with under 100k. WTF?

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Old 10-18-2020, 09:14 PM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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Hasn't been mentioned yet but much lower mileage used transmissions are available for that car for $700-800. all over the country. 60-80K miles. I have several shops I use around here that will install it for about the same price. So $1500-1600 gets you back on the road without the worry of a poor rebuild. It's another option. I use www.car-part.com on a weekly basis.

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Old 10-18-2020, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgarblik View Post
Hasn't been mentioned yet but much lower mileage used transmissions are available for that car for $700-800. all over the country. 60-80K miles. I have several shops I use around here that will install it for about the same price. So $1500-1600 gets you back on the road without the worry of a poor rebuild. It's another option. I use www.car-part.com on a weekly basis.
I certainly have considered that. I've just been trying to decide if the $800 difference between a used installed and a rebuilt installed is worth taking the chance.

car-part is a fantastic resource isn't it? It has saved me a bundle over the years having rebuilt a number of totaled cars.

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Old 10-20-2020, 05:21 PM
John V. John V. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69camarox View Post
does it shift fine around town but then you go on freeway get off and stop at a light and drive away and it shifts hard ?? if so shut it off and re start and it is ok again . scan it if it has code p1811 you need a valve replaced in the valve body i fix them all the time and usually charge around 500
Sounds like the 4L60E that was in my '97 Safari.

Same deal, after hours long drive on the highway it would hard shift and feel like the trans would just grenade. Then shut it off for a bit and shifted fine after that.

Never as much as dropped a pan on an auto before but bought a rebuilt valve body with a "Sonnax" kit off ebay. I think I paid about $135.

Hard shift was gone but experienced a new shift problem. Discovered it was wallered out holes in the Separator Plate causing one or more of the check balls to get stuck on occasion.

After I fixed that with a repair kit (parts shop didn't have the Separator Plate in stock, so sold me a kit that was easy to use), the trans shifted great, no more hard shifts.

IIRC, I also replaced the shift solenoids just as insurance. But I was told they either work or don't. The intermittent hard shift issue was not the fault of the shift solenoids.

Trans shop will tend to ONLY offer to do a complete rebuild. They won't do what I did for fear that something else will break next week and you will come back convinced that they "should have known" and their repair warranty should be honored. So they only do a total rebuild or won't touch it.

All told, I think it cost me about $300 including trans oil and filter. The van was 13 years old and 175k miles.

I would have considered a low mile used tranny before paying for a rebuild. But was very happy with the outcome of my repair.

I posted about my repair numerous times on PY, you will probably find some of my posts from around 2009 or 2010 if you search "Sonnax".

If you can find someone like 69camarox to fix the valve body for $500, I'd bet your hard shift when hot will disappear.

But based on my experience, I would ask for the Separator Plate to be replaced at the same time.

As to value, I have an '04 Grand Prix GTP, supercharged 3.8, owned since new. Paint is shot, leather interior coming apart. But 150k miles runs and shifts great. I value it at $1200 on my financial statement. My wife thinks I'm nuts to keep it and insure it. Don't have much use for it but, hey, it's a Pontiac. I wouldn't pay $1200 for a 15 yo car with 150k miles and unknown history. Mine has had very little repair cost, did the front bearing hubs about 25k miles ago, that was probably most major repair but a fairly easy repair. A few window regulators, also easy D-I-Y repair. But it could blow up tomorrow despite the fact I drive it like it is the elderly car it is.

A much newer, much lower mile, late model for $10k would be a much better value. That is why poor people tend to get screwed. If you can't qualify to buy a $10k or more car, you will likely buy a $2k piece of junk that will nickel and dime you and leave you stranded often. Sad really.

If you aren't planning to keep it anyway, fixing it probably won' t add any value. But if you want to keep it, the valve body repair is probably all you really need especially if you know the history and you haven't abused it.

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