RDI is a transmission repair industry acronym that stands for: Remove Disassemble & Inspect. This is only recommended if the problem with the transmission is determined not to be a problem that can't be fixed with the transmission in the vehicle.
Remove: As in remove the transmission from the vehicle for disassembly.
Disassemble: Disassemble the transmission for the purpose of the next step in the procedure, which is:
Inspect: Inspect for the cause of the problem. Inspect for any worn or damaged part(s).
Also inspect for any transmission internal parts that are about to fail.
Why do I need an RDI?
Many times, a transmission problem is “hidden” from view. In other words, we can’t “see” what the problem is or its cause. We know the problem is internal. What we don’t know is; what is wrong, it’s cause, and most importantly, it’s cost.
We have to perform some exploratory surgery. Doctors have X-rays. Psychics have crystal balls. The transmission repair industry relies on RDI’s.
Can’t you just give me a price?
Any transmission shop that could accurately diagnose and price an internal transmission problem without performing an RDI to determine the root cause of the problem, and it’s cost, is merely guessing. Anything less than a written estimate is merely guessing.
Why is it that when an engine ‘hiccups’, consumers think tune-up or repairs and not a new engine, but when a transmission ‘hiccups’, the first question is “How much is a transmission?” And unbelievably to us, in this day and age, many transmission shops will quote a price for a transmission without even checking the vehicle out. We find this a travesty, in our view. Much like quoting a price on 4 brand-new tires to fix a flat tire. Or, getting a price on a new engine will fix a motor that needs a tune-up. It’s overkill.
What’s the purpose of an RDI?
RDI is a transmission repair industry standard procedure for finding out exactly what internal problem(s) a transmission has. More importantly, an RDI is part of an overall diagnostic procedure to discover the cause of the problem(s). Without finding out the cause, any transmission repair, overhaul, or rebuild will only give a temporary solution.
Fixing any transmission problem without finding out the root cause is a disservice to the motoring public. Actually, it borders on being unethical.
How much does an RDI cost?
Diagnosis of the root problem and estimating it’s cost is part of any repair. However, if a consumer does not choose to have the repair work done, there has been an expenditure of labor, up until that point.
If, for whatever reason, a consumer wants to stop the repair process, they have the right to do so. However, a fee of $477.00 will be incurred for the work up until that point. This fee is for labor charges to the point of: halting the work at the accurately written estimate stage and does not include reassembling the transmission and installing it back into the vehicle. After all, why would anybody in their right mind want to reassemble and install a problem transmission back into their vehicle? If the estimate is approved we will waive that fee.
When this situation arises, this is what we have discovered over the years: People that request this were either in denial, or were never serious about fixing a transmission problem in the first place. We have found they wanted to continue driving their vehicle with a known problem… Not a good idea.
Essentially, somebody is going to have to fix it, right? Why go through all of the extra labor and extra cost to reassemble the transmission and put it back in the vehicle???
Once your transmission has been opened up and diagnosed, you will be asked to come down to our shop. This is so we can do a "Show-And-Tell" about the transmission parts that we find to be worn or damaged. Please bring anybody else that is involved in the decision-making process with you.
The "Show-And-Tell" is for you, the consumer, to make an educated buying decision. Trying to make a major automotive repair buying decision over the phone is the best way we know of to make an uneducated, uniformed decision, which will cost you more money than you need to spend. Be involved!!! ‘Come on down!’
Then you will be taken to your disassembled transmission. You and our technician will discuss what the problem is, and more importantly, what was its cause. After all, who wants the same problem down the road?
We will answer any technical questions you might have. We may also raise some technical questions in your mind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The only dumb question is one that one that's not asked. We strongly suggest that you ask him as many questions that come to your mind. After all, it’s your transmission, and more importantly, your money.
If you want all of your old parts saved, now is the time to say so. Tell the technician you want all of your old parts. If you don’t say so now, the old parts are thrown out.
Once you O.K. the written estimate, we will waive the RDI fee of $477.00 you will only invest in the parts and labor listed on the estimate.
What if you find something else wrong after I OK the work on the transmission?
If we find something else wrong inside your transmission after we have prepared the estimate…WE EAT IT. We will never call you and increase the price for the transmission repair. You never have to worry that you will be told your transmission is going to cost you more than you were originally told. (However, if we find something OUTSIDE the transmission, you may be called to authorize other repairs other than the transmission.)
Here again, we recommend that you come down to our shop and see, first-hand, what repairs your vehicle may need, other than the transmission itself.
It may be:
- Engine or transmission mounts
- Cooler lines or hoses
- Vehicle Electrical Problems (V.E.P.s)
- Shifter or linkage repairs
- Driveline concerns
We hope we have helped
Transmission repairs are rarely planned (we have yet to see our first planned breakdown) and never budgeted. Commonly, a transmission problem disrupts people’s lives and even entire households.
We offer this information to help you make an informed, intelligent decision that you can feel good about.