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Dealer Says New Transmission Needed $5k, Other Options?
My 2007 RAV4 Sport 2WD 4 cyl needs a new automatic transmission according to my local dealership. When backing up hill under any significant load (anything other than extremely gently), the car makes a loud pop/thud sound and jolts a little and sometimes multiple sounds and jolts depending on how abruptly you accelerate. It only does it in reverse while backing up hill. The tech said the reverse clutch isn't engaging and then slams shut to engage and when accelerating harder when it does it multiple times the reverse clutch is engaging and disengaging multiple times.
It currently has 92k miles on it. It was misdiagnosed by the same dealer(in writing) in July 2011 with 63k miles on it as a front right strut tower needing replacement. Back then they said it's not a safety issue and would just get louder with time and I should have them fix it eventually. I had brought it in to them saying that I thought it was the transmission but they told me it was just the strut tower. I still had them flush and fill the transmission to be safe.
The sound did get louder over time as they said but unfortunately it was the transmission getting worse, not just a strut tower popping when the body flexed backing up as they told me.
If I'm not mistaken, the power train warranty is 5 years/60k miles. This would mean that it was just 3k miles out of warranty when they misdiagnosed it. They finally let me ride with the tech the other day and I replicated the sound several times and he instantly said it was the transmission. The service advisor then wrote up an estimate for about $5k to replace the transmission. About $2,500 for the tranny and $2,700 for about 19 hours of labor. They said Toyota doesn't let them fix internal tranny issues, they have to simply replace it with a remanufactured one which requires removal of the engine/transmission and replacement with the reman tranny.
-Anyone have any suggestions, thoughts, or constructive comments?
-Could this be something that could be fixed in the transmission by a tranny shop for less?