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BBB Accredited Business since

Tri Star Engines and Transmissions

Additional Locations

Phone: (715) 684-4455 Fax: (715) 684-4451 View Additional Phone Numbers 530 Evergreen Dr, Baldwin, WI 54002

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This company offers auto and truck engines, transmissions and drive train parts.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Tri Star Engines and Transmissions meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

2 Customer Reviews on Tri Star Engines and Transmissions
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 2
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 2

Additional Information

BBB file opened: January 25, 1996 Business started: 02/01/1988 in WI Business started locally: 02/01/1988 Business incorporated 02/10/1988 in WI
Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. Dave Steine, President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Dave Steine, President
Business Category

Auto Parts & Supplies - New Transmissions - Automobile Engines - Supplies, Equipment & Parts General Automotive Repair (NAICS: 811111)

Hours of Operation
M: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
T: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
W: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Th: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
F: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Alternate Business Names
Tri Star Auto Parts, Inc. Tri Star Engine Supply

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

Tri Star Engines and Transmissions has received 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Additional Locations

  • 530 Evergreen Dr

    Baldwin, WI 54002 (800) 322-5859 (715) 684-4455

  • PO Box 96

    Baldwin, WI 54002


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

4/29/2016 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
2/9/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Back in 2011 the transmission in my 1990 gmc ****** 1500 died. After looking around for a while I choose to order a new one from tristart engines; due to their great warranty and supposed heavy duty rebuilt transmissions. I ordered the transmission from them an had it installed by one of their certified shop (******** **********) in pulaski Wisconsin. After a year with the new replacement transmission from tristart began to fail. I prosses to call ******** and contact tristart to have my warranty honored. Soon after they send a new transmission which was to be honest more the below any logical standards. For this second rebuilt transmission lasted less than 90 miles, we called them again and with their tail between their legs they sent another out, same think tho this one lasted about 120 miles, yet again a third time we call them and explain the issue. They said they would sent another transmission out at my cost and they would decline any shop bills (which their warranty clearly startes they will cover). Then they call me back to offer a scrap metal price for my vehicle still refusing to cover the shop bill tht was caused by their faulty transmissions. Then they try blame the failure of their transmissions on me say I abused the transmissions, to which I respond to them to send a technician to come and check the truck for any damage or driver abuse, to which they no longer responded. After that they refuse to anserw any off my calls or emails and have left me with a shop bill off well over $5000, I have tried many times to talk to them and settle this but no response. After all this in preparation to take them to court I had the last transmission that they sent taken apart by my own technician, upon investigation off the unit we discovered that many components that need to be replaced by new ones in a rebuild where old and used parts, included clutch and steel plates and most off all the sunshell in the 700r4 model, where all used parts that caused the transmission to fail. So I guess my complain is that this company is selling poorly built goods that fail right after installation and then once their terrible produce brakes they refuse to honer their so called 3 year unlimited mile warranty. I did not pay this company over 2000 dollars of my own hard earned money for them to give me a pile off junk and them refuse to honor their word when their junk brakes again leaving me with over $5000 in shop bills. Thank you for your time and I hope you keep this company from doing the same to other honest hard working people

Desired Settlement: I would dire for this company to be forced to truelly stand behind the warranty they promise, and I paid a total of 7,000 in shop labor and parts thanks to tristart engines. For anymore detail please contact me and ******** *********** ******** *** * ******* *** ******** ** ***** *********** ********

Consumer Response: With out counting my missed deployment and the lost job, I paid a total of 7,000 in shop labor and parts thanks to tristart engines

Business Response:

In response to Mr. ****** ******’s complaints we would like to offer the following information. On 2/28/2012 ******** ********** ******** purchased a remanufactured transmission from Tri Star Engines & Transmissions for a 1990 GMC ****** K1500 truck. On 1/7/2013 **** from ******** Automotive called us stating that the vehicle owner called and left a message for him at 2:05 a.m. with the complaint that his transmission had no 2nd gear. On 1/15/2013 **** called back stating the vehicle was now at his shop. After 9,738 miles on the transmission it only had 1st gear, no reverse, and wouldn’t roll when in neutral. In talking to **** it was determined that the transmission had an internal mechanical failure and could not be repaired in the vehicle. For that reason, a replacement transmission was shipped to ******** Automotive that same day. On 1/23/2013 Lisa from ******** called stating they were done replacing the transmission. We agreed per our Limited warranty guidelines to cover a total of $544.46 towards the tow charges, labor and fluid and a check was issued to ******** after the failed transmission had been returned. On 1/24/13 **** from ******** called to tell us the vehicle was brought back to them after only 97 miles with no reverse. After having **** remove the pan to inspect the internal shifter linkage it was determined this 1st replacement unit had suffered an internal mechanical failure and couldn’t be repaired in the vehicle. A 2nd replacement remanufactured transmission was shipped to ******** on 1/24/13. ON 2/4/2013 **** from ******** called back. He said they installed the 2nd replacement transmission, and after only 102 miles the vehicle was back again with no reverse. After now having repeat failures with the same complaint we advised **** that before anything further would be done we needed to get all of the failed units picked up and returned to our build plant for failure analysis, as all of the failed units were still at their shop. On 2/11/2013 **** called to tell us that all of the failed transmissions were ready for us to pick up. On 2/14/2013 analysis of the failed transmissions was completed. The original transmission found the front planetary gear set failed due to the converter clutch lining failure. A chemical analysis confirmed the presence of Glycol in the ATF fluid. Glycol is a chemical found in antifreeze/coolant used in automotive cooling systems. The Glycol contamination was what caused the original unit to fail. No manufacturing defects were found. The analysis of the 1st replacement transmission found that the rear planetary gear set had been severely damaged due to a lack of proper lubrication. The transmissions internal lube circuit was clear. The dyno record showed good pump pressure and flow. The cause of failure was determined to be from an external transmission cooler system issue causing lack of proper cooling or flow. No manufacturing defects were found. The analysis of the 2nd replacement found the exact same failure as the 1st replacement unit. Tri Star’s conclusion was that the original unit was working fine until it suffered failure due to contaminated fluid, most likely due to a flailed original equipment transmission cooler which is located inside the radiator. Per **** at ******** ********** ********, the vehicle owner brought an aftermarket air-to-oil transmission cooler to them instructing them to install it. ******** then by-passed the original equipment cooler in the radiator. The two replacement transmissions failed due to inadequate cooling and/or fluid flow, most likely related to the aftermarket cooler that was installed.

We then called **** back on 2/15/2013 and advised him of the analysis findings, and suggested that the transmission cooling system be put back to original equipment standards. As a goodwill to ******** Automotive we agreed to still cover the replacement unit and the labor claim for the first replacement transmission sent. We also agreed to not charge them for the 2nd replacement transmission sent, and offered to send a 3rd and final replacement unit as long as they promised to address the transmission cooler system issues. Advised **** that no further labor would be covered, and that due to the limitations, no further warranty would apply to the 3rd replacement transmission.

On 2/18/2013 **** called us back. **** agreed to the terms, and a 3rd replacement unit was shipped to ******** Automotive. On 1/19/2013 ****** ****** called *** the tech. at our transmission build plant and argued with him about our analysis findings for the original failed transmission, and asked that all of the labor for replacing his transmissions be covered. *** advised ****** that it was a checmical test that proved the presence of Glycol in the transmission fluid from the original transmission. ****** continued to argue with *** stating how unhappy he was about our warranty. We then called **** at ******** Automotive and left a message for him to call us. On 2/20/2013 **** from ******** called us back. Advised **** that if ****** isn’t happy with the 3rd and final free replacement transmission, they should send it back and we will refund the original purchase price of the transmission, and send them a core transmission if they need it. Per his request we faxed **** a copy of the Limited Warranty to give to ******. This is the last contact we had from ******** Automotive regarding ****** ******’s vehicle.

In response to ****** about used components in his transmissions: In his model all fiber clutch plates are replaced with new parts. The 3-4 clutch packs get new steel clutch discs and Raybestos Z-Pack high performance fiber discs. (the Z-Pack fibers are a different color than standard replacement fibers) Steel clutch plates are only reclaimed for the 1-2 clutch if they are in perfect condition. Sun shells are reclaimed only if they are in perfect condition.  

In summary, none of these transmissions failed due to materials or workmanship supplied by Tri Star Engines & Transmissions. The Limited Warranty supplied with the original transmission purchased for ****** ******’s vehicle states that his transmission is warranted against defects in materials and workmanship provided by Tri Star. It also states that this Limited Warranty does not cover damage from contamination of fluids, or failures caused by components not installed by Tri Star as a part of the assembled product. The maximum of all benefits or remedies under this limited warranty shall not exceed the original purchase price on the original Tri Star invoice.

By paying the labor claim for the first failed transmission and supplying a total of 3 replacement transmissions Tri Star has far exceeded the limits of our warranty. Please see also the included copy of the Limited Warranty for ****** ******’s transmission.

*** *********

******** *************

Tri Star Engines & Transmissions

Customer Review(s)

The customer review(s) below are un-filtered. These positive and negative reviews are not used in the calculation of the BBB Rating. If you wish to file a complaint and request a resolution to your issue please click here. This customer review section is not BBBs complaint resolution system. Customer Reviews are the subjective opinion of the individual who posted the review and not of Better Business Bureau. A customer review is not posted on a business if a BBB complaint on the same issue(s) is also filed. BBB cannot guarantee the accuracy of any customer review and is not responsible for the content of any customer review. Public comments are not customer reviews.

Customer Reviews Summary

2 Customer Reviews on Tri Star Engines and Transmissions
Neutral Experience (0 reviews)
Negative Experience (0 reviews)
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