Automobile Repairs

How Much Does it Cost to Rebuild Transmission

How Much Does it Cost to Rebuild Transmission
Written by Autofot
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Driving a car with good transmission can be enjoying. Imagine driving down the road, suddenly your car starts acting so funny. The car could not move when you accelerate, you begin to hear some grinding noise, perceive some burning smell. There are weird clunking sounds when you rev the engine. All of these signs tell you that something is very wrong.

You take the car to your local repair shop – and that’s when you hear what no driver wants to hear:

It’s enough to make anyone cringe. Even if you know nothing else about cars, you know the transmission is important! You also know that fixing or replacing it can be time consuming and expensive.

Just how much with this car problem cost? Costs can vary depending on the shop, car, the degree of damage, and the parts required to rebuild in your transmission. On average, rebuilds can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,200.

Transmission cost depends mainly on damage and what you’re willing to spend. Most transmissions repairs and replacements can cost between $350 to $3,540.

Another Name for Transmission 

Another name for transmission is called a gearbox, and is an integral part of every internal combustion engine. Without transmissions, there wouldn’t be any cars on the road. Or if there were cars, driving them would not be possible as a result of no transmission or gearbox.

The transmission performs all the magic in torque delivery. The transmission converts the rotational energy made in the crankshaft into torque energy that helps you move your car from a standstill.

This energy is properly applied onto the road, and the transmission makes sure that there is no power loss. In short, the transmission is helping you deliver smoother shifts at the right RPM levels that avoid overloading the engine and prevent it from wasting fuel.  The transmission is what makes sure power is distributed among the tires properly.  And when you shift gears, the engine and transmission disconnect to adjust to a new drive position. With an automatic transmission, it senses this change and automatically adjusts the torque distribution in order to create a smoother acceleration when you step on the gas. It is important to note that more gears mean a smoother ride. Even though it also mean more complicated transmissions.

Some Factors that Affect the Cost

The cost of transmission or gearbox repair varies widely based on a number of factors, the most important of which is the type and extent of the repairs that would be carried out by the mechanic.

If the transmission needs to be completely replaced or rebuilt, on this account you are expect to pay several thousand dollars for parts and skilled labour, while a few minor repairs and a fluid change will only be a couple hundred dollars.


It also depends on the make of the vehicle, with US domestic models such as GM, Ford, and Chrysler generally cost less than imported vehicles such as BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

Extent of the Damage

The extent of damage in the transmission goes a long way to determine the cost of rebuilding a transmission. The cost of price as newer cars that have been well maintained will cost less than those ones that have been showing signs over time.

Old and New

Considerably older or rarer cars are harder to find parts for, which also increases the cost. Therefore, availability of the Transmission has effect on the cost of rebuilding.

Manual and Automatic

Manual transmissions generally cost less to repair/replace than automatic transmissions stop. This is because of the nature and is make-up.

Some shops charge higher prices than others for the same work (due to brand, location, reputation, etc.)

Your Location                                               

Finally, the car’s location will contribute a great deal to the overall cost of the procedure. Areas with higher costs of living, higher demand of services and/or lower availability of skilled technicians will charge higher hourly labour costs, escalating the overall price.

On average, a remanufactured transmission will cost between $1,500 and $3,200, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. The cost of labour to install it is in addition to the price of the unit and will typically run between $500 and $1200.

It is usually more expensive to replace your transmission with a remanufactured transmission than to have your transmission rebuilt at a transmission shop. However, if there is significant internal damage, the additional components (hard parts) required to get it back on the road can cause the final price of a transmission rebuild to be higher than a remanufactured transmission.

Here are the other differences between rebuilt and remanufactured transmissions.

As mentioned previously, when deciding whether to rebuild or replace a transmission it is important to know that either option can be more cost effective, depending on how complex and extensive the issues are, it can take a long time to troubleshoot and repair some problems, in which case a replacement would save you money and time. Making this decision is difficult for the average consumer, which is why it’s so important to find a trustworthy mechanic.

What Causes Transmission Failure

The easiest way to avoid transmission failure is keep your transmission well-maintained. If the part never breaks down, you never have to worry about rebuilding it! How can you be sure that you’re taking care of your transmission? Just make sure this part is lubricated and clean – and make sure you avoid the typical causes of transmission failure.

The most common reasons for transmission failure are:

Low Transmission Fluid: Like many other parts of your engine, your transmission needs fluid to keep it cool and lubricated (you do NOT want metal grinding against metal in there). Having enough fluid in your transmission keeps the piece healthy and prevents damage. If you want to keep your transmission in good condition, you must remember to add transmission fluid to your vehicle every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. But if your car is old, it is important you check your car transmission fluid from time to time.

Fluid Leakage: The only thing worse than a car with low transmission fluid is one that’s LEAKING transmission fluid. Not only is your transmission losing vital lubrication to protect your gears, you’re dumping valuable fluid right on the ground (and that’s not cheap)! If you notice red fluid in your driveway, that’s an evidence that your transmission might be in trouble very soon.

A Clogged Fluid Filter: While transmission fluid is essential to keeping your transmission running smoothly, BAD/DIRT transmission fluid can cause trouble for your engine. This is why car manufacturers outfit transmissions with a filter, which keeps the fluid clear of debris or dirt. However, over time this filter can become clogged up – and when that happens, no fluid will be able to get through. These issues can lead to serious damage and a potential transmission rebuilds, but they can easily be fixed if you catch them early enough. It’s important to pay attention to your car and service it when you start to notice that disorderliness.

What a Transmission Rebuilds Entails

A transmission rebuild is exactly what it sounds like: rebuilding an entire transmission unit so it works like new. The process involves disassembling the entire transmission unit in your car. From there, your mechanic will check for worn-out and damaged parts inside the transmission. For example, a cracked flex -plate (or flywheel if you have a manual transmission) is one of the common reasons for a transmission rebuild.

Afterward, your mechanic will replace all the necessary parts with new ones. Then they will clean up other internal and external components of the transmission before reassembling it. Finally, they will reinstall the transmission and refill the fluid. Afterward, they’ll take a test drive and do a final check before finally handing the car back to you.

Read More: What is the work of Catalytic converter in your car

Types of Transmissions

There are two types of transmissions – manuals, and automatics. In manual transmissions, you are pushing through the gears by pressing the clutch. Manual transmissions are fun to drive because you are the one that decides when to shift a gear. This ability gives us, the drivers, some sense of analog pleasure when we are driving a manual.

Manual Transmission

Manual Transmission png images | PNGWing

Manual cars can be a lot of fun, but they do require more effort, and driving a manual after an hour can be tiring and your leg muscles will suffer. That’s why automatic transmissions were invented. They help us immensely for convenience’s sake. You only have to press the gas pedal and the automatic transmission will shift through the gears with ease.

Automatic Transmissions

Automatic transmissions | Teo Motors

Automatic are changing the gears with the help of hydraulic fluid or better known as ATF. This fluid is bright red in color to be easily distinguishable from other automotive fluids. The main characteristic of this fluid is its durability and the ability to withstand a lot of strain.

Automatic Are More Complex

But when this fluid is rarely changed, it can damage the transmission. If there is too much debris inside of the automatic transmission, it may cause the transmission to shudder and slip through the gears. The symptoms are quite serious, and it might prompt you to suddenly start searching online about how much it cost to rebuild a transmission. That’s the sad part of automatics cars.

Also, age affects the gearbox as well. The more miles that have been run on the transmission, the greater the potential is for problems to appear, or for the gearbox to fail. Doing a rebuild requires a lot of expertise from the rebuilder who has a good eye for details. The rebuilder has to know every part of the transmission. He has to have a picture in his mind of how everything works. That’s why a good rebuilder is hard to find.

Why Automatic Transmission Suffer More Than Manual

Automatics are more sensitive to changes than manual transmissions. This is the case because of their complexity. They are extremely complex and have a ton more components inside them. All these gears bring the risk factor to the table, compared to manuals which are pretty simple in design. They have a smaller number of gears and they are pretty simple. They have the same fluid during their lifetime, even though this fluid is recommended to be change. Not a lot of owners that have manual transmission change the fluid and still are pushing more than 200k miles on these transmissions.

How to Prevent my Transmission From Damage?

Preventing transmission damage is easy. You only have to do the regular service on it. Make sure that you replace the transmission fluid regularly. This will guarantee that your transmission will not last for a long time.

Also, avoid overloading your vehicle. Overloading puts a lot of stress on the transmission and it will possibly damage the transmission and will make it work poorly. It will start to shudder and slip gears. These will lead you into rebuild and search for how much it costs to rebuild a transmission. So, do not do all of these we have mention that will push you into searching for mechanic and trying to know cost of transmission.

Can I Keep Driving my Car Without a Rebuild?

It is not advisable to keep driving such a car. But you cannot know for how long it is going to last. The transmission may suddenly fail and you won’t even be able to move the vehicle at all. That’s why it is a smart idea to repair this problem when you first notice it and make sure that it’s sorted out as soon as possible to avoid embarrassment.

How Much Does it Cost to Rebuild a Transmission – CONCLUSION

In this article, we have learned a lot when it comes to transmissions. We started from the basics and then we moved on to more complex topics and learned the symptoms of a failing transmission.

If you start to feel some metal grinding noises, the check engine light, and slipping gears, it is a good time to see your mechanic and investigate the issue further. Then we have covered how much does it cost to rebuild a transmission.

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About the author


Autofot is a website that blogs on the importance of taking good care of our automobiles. Little things that are ignored matter the most, hence we try to educate car owners and other different auto owners on how to go about taking care of their cars with little or no cost.

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