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  1. #1
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    Question Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    Can anyone recommend a good shop to have transmission work done on a car/truck in the area? My truck blew it's transmission on Friday over near Boone. I'm trying to see if I can find a good shop to perform honest work at a good price in the area, instead of having my Dad come and haul the truck home.

    1997 GMC K1500 5.7L Auto.

    Anyone have positive/negative reviews??



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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    I've always had good experiences with George White in Ames, I'm not sure if they're the GMC dealership in Ames, but they've always done great work.

    Stay away from AAMCO, I had my work truck towed to one of their shops in Des Moines when I blew the transmission and transfer case. They took a month and a half to fix it. They lost the key to the truck and it took them the better part of the month to find it, and even considering that it took way too long to fix. To top it off when it was finally finished they called me up and said they wanted it off the lot as fast as possible. I told them they had it for 6 weeks, they could have it for another 1 or 2 and I'd pick it up at my own leisure, since they fixed it at theirs.



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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    First question would be if your transmission is actually trash or if it could be some part of the transmission. The reason I ask is if you know the transmission is toast its just a matter of finding a used or reman tranny and having someone swap it out for you.

    I would stay away from a dealership, especially on a vehicle as common as yours. There is nothing special about the transmission in a chevy half ton. With that being said, if you're sure its toast and just a matter of swapping them out I'd actually suggest Shaffers Auto Body in Ames. They have a full time mechanic on site who is really good and since they're a body shop their mechanical labor rates are quite good. In that case I'd search for a replacement myself, either something used from Carneys or a reman from someplace else.

    If you're unsure I would actually recommend the Aamco in Ames. Every car repair place has someone who went there with a horror story, its inevitable that something either a) actually went wrong and the service wasn't great or b) the much more common one side of a story which can sometimes omit pertinent details and information which would change one's opinion. With that being said Aamco's labor rates are also pretty low and clearly there's competitive advantage with a shop that started out and focuses on transmissions. On top of that the the Miller & Deace (sp?) commercials are not lying, they really don't charge you for a diagnostic. My girlfriend had a Mazda 6 and the transmission was on its way out. We paid nothing to have them diagnose that indeed the trans was junk and had a frank conversation that it'd be best just to drive it into the ground rather than rolling a bunch of money into an older car. So, hope that helps.



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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    I'm about 90% sure the transmission needs rebuilt/replaced.

    I was driving home Friday and my transmission shifted and went *clunk*. I was able to keep going and I thought everything was OK... until... I realized I had no overdrive gear. I pulled off the highway. After a few phone calls and checking of oil levels, I took off and only had 1st gear. I pulled into a driveway and discovered I had no reverse either. When the transmission is in P, N, or R, there is an audible whining noise coming from under the truck, like something is spinning that shouldn't be. It goes away when in D, 3, 2, or 1st. But I only have 1st gear.

    The transmission has always been good before this, and did not slip prior to this.



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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    Quote Originally Posted by cstrunk View Post
    I'm about 90% sure the transmission needs rebuilt/replaced.

    I was driving home Friday and my transmission shifted and went *clunk*. I was able to keep going and I thought everything was OK... until... I realized I had no overdrive gear. I pulled off the highway. After a few phone calls and checking of oil levels, I took off and only had 1st gear. I pulled into a driveway and discovered I had no reverse either. When the transmission is in P, N, or R, there is an audible whining noise coming from under the truck, like something is spinning that shouldn't be. It goes away when in D, 3, 2, or 1st. But I only have 1st gear.

    The transmission has always been good before this, and did not slip prior to this.
    I agree, it sounds like it's gone, especially factoring in your vehicle's age. I had a '98 that lost it's transmission a year or two ago. It had roughly 150,000 miles on it. I'd assume based on your vehicle's age it is somewhere around there as well. I fixed the car that time but after the next couple of problems I sold it, every repair was costing more than the vehicle's worth.



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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    transmission must not be too bad if youre looking in the ames/boone/dsm area.

    when i had transmission work done i was looking within a radius i could push my car too.


    Husker Hater

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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    184,000 miles.

    I think I'm going to take it to Aamco and at least have them check it over (for freeee!). I called them and they gave me a pretty good quote with a warranty.



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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    I would second Shaffers. I have all my service work done there and they are fair and honest. Gene is the mechanic there.



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    Re: Transmission Service in Ames/Boone/DSM Area

    Quote Originally Posted by cstrunk View Post
    184,000 miles.

    I think I'm going to take it to Aamco and at least have them check it over (for freeee!). I called them and they gave me a pretty good quote with a warranty.
    This is a sound choice. You will not be let down by my friends at AAMCO on Duff Avenue in Ames


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