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Ask the Auto Doctor: Code is for solenoid fix, not transmission replacement

A 2006-2007 Chevrolet Impala photographed in Kensington, Maryland.

A 2006-2007 Chevrolet Impala photographed in Kensington, Maryland. Credit: Wikipedia / IFCAR

Dear Doctor: I own a 2006 Chevrolet Impala. The "check engine" light came on and the code was P750 for a transmission solenoid fault. I went to the dealer and they said I would need to replace the transmission assembly as a complete unit at a cost of $4,000, and that I should not drive the car home. I did drive the car and the transmission did not shift like it used to. Short of replacing the transmission do I have any other choices?

Dear Mark: The most common failure is the solenoid, not the entire transmission assembly. Have the solenoid replaced. You should also have the technician replace the transmission fluid and filter at that time, too.

Dear Doctor: I had a pooer experience with my 2002 Honda Odyssey's transmission and was not happy with the automaker's rebuild. It did not not fix the original problem that caused the transmission to fail and I feel Honda do the rebuilding with a shorter life span in mind. Other than the transmission and hydraulic engine mounts, the Odyessy is generally well built for the long haul. I found that    Jasper does very high quality rebuilds; like some other vendors they have a long warranty and try to fix the original problems. Also, adding an external ATF filter and cooler seem to provide some help in extending the life of these transmissions, especially when running at highway speeds in the heat with a full load. Just my opinion.

Dear Ron: It is no secret that Honda has had the automatic transmission problems over the years. The are many updates and bulletins on all vehicles, not just on Honda vehicles. There are many independent transmission shops, as well as big companies such as Jasper, that rebuild transmissions, engines, and 4x4 transmission  transfer cases. Owners should check all options before spending a lot of money on an older vehicle. You also need to check with the shop that is going to rebuild the transmission to make sure they will also do the installation.

Dear Doctor: I just bought a 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sport that's in very nice condition. It has fuel injectors and I'm wondering if I should start adding a cleaner to it. Any advicei

Dear Hank: The Wrangler is a fun vehicle to drive, even better with the top off. You can feel free to add any fuel injector cleaner additive to the gas without any worry. You need to look very closely at the frame rails where the transmission support pan is mounted, as well as the frame rail by the rear tires. The Wrangler should give you many years of service.

Dear Doctor: My husband is very happy with his 2012 Subaru Impreza, however, he hates the color -- white -- and wants to know if it is legal to have it repainted in silver. Would we have to advise the motor vehicle bureau of thish What kind of shop would do the new painti

Dear Vivianne: You can paint the car any color you want. Silver is a nice color that does not show dirt like a dark color would. Light colors also are much cooler in the hot summer. Any good body shop should be able to repaint the silver color you select. The are many shades of silver paint to choose from. In some states you do need to notify the department of motor vehicles and your insurance company about the color change, so be sure to contact your agent about that.

Dear Doctor: I read you recent recommendation on the Sylvania bulb replacements. So I replaced both high beams with Sylvania Silverstars on my BMW 528i when one of the lights burned out. They were easy to replace. The bright white light is just what my 66-year-old eyes needed! Good call.

Dear Mike: I always try a product before writing about it. I have been using and selling Sylvania brand lighting products for many years and always been very satisfied. My latest Sylvania product was the new LED replacement headlights for our family Jeep Wrangler. The LED headlights are super clear and super white and offer great light coverage without blinding oncoming traffic. You can also replace the interior, marker brake and taillights with LED bulbs.

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