Transmission repairs are not cheap. But the automatic transmission repair cost will generally be a lot cheaper than buying a new car. So if you need a repair, you should talk to transmission mechanics about your best options. Automatic transmission cost will vary depending on what you decide to do. You might build a new transmission or find a used one if the current transmission is too far gone. Or it might just need a simple repair, meaning the automatic transmission price will be lower. But no matter what the solution ends up being, you should talk to a mechanic.
If your automatic transmission slipping repair cost needs to be considered immediately. Don’t put off the repairs until you have more money. Unfortunately, this could cause a lot of damage to your car. Instead, talk to your mechanic and let them know what your budget is. They can work with you in order ot figure out a plan that works for both of you. Be honest and open to ideas. They’re not going to want your car to be destroyed, so they will likely be able to help you.
Nothing is worse than a car breakdown – – except maybe needing a transmission repair. When your transmission gives out, you have three options for how to proceed:
- Rebuilding your transmission
When an automatic transmission is rebuilt, it’s removed from the vehicle, disassembled and inspected. Any worn or damaged parts are then replaced – – these are sometimes referred to as the “hard parts” – – along with the “soft parts” included in the rebuild kit. Soft parts often include bands, seals, gaskets, friction clutches, steel clutch plates, and the filter. As a final measure before replacing the transmission, the technician will check any service bulletins for modification recommendations from the manufacturer. If any updates have been recommended, those will be made as well.
This form of transmission repair is a custom process that can only be completed by a transmission repair shop, auto repair shop, or independent transmission technician. The cost of having your transmission rebuilt will depend on the extent of the damage and repairs involved; the year, make, and model of your vehicle; and the car repair shop that does the work for you. Likewise, the time it takes before your vehicle can be returned to you and back on the road will vary. Most transmission repair rebuilds take two to three days, but it’s best to play it safe and plan for up to one week of out of commission time.
- Buying a re-manufactured transmission
Instead of having your original transmission rebuilt, you can opt to buy a re-manufactured transmission to replace it. With this type of transmission repair, you buy a re-manufactured transmission and pay a mechanic or auto repair shop to install it for you. You can purchase a re-manufactured transmission from several different suppliers, both local and online. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of finding a supplier yourself, the auto repair shop can likely do it for you. If your vehicle uses a common transmission, the shop may even have a re-manufactured transmission already available.
Unless your transmission has extensive damage, this type of transmission repair will generally cost more than having your transmission rebuilt. The trouble is the damage can typically only be determined once the transmission has been disassembled, leaving it hard to gauge which transmission repair route is best beforehand. The upside is re-manufactured transmissions are built under very tight quality controls, thus you can trust that you’re paying for a quality product.
As for time to completion, a transmission rebuild and installing a re-manufactured transmission are relatively comparable, excluding the time it takes for the re-manufactured transmission to be shipped.
- Buying a used transmission
If cost is your primary concern, buying a used transmission is likely to be the most satisfactory transmission repair strategy for you. A used automatic transmission has not been built under the tight quality controls of re-manufactured transmissions. To compensate, they will typically include a 90-day to one-year warranted, though you may have to pay more for a longer warranty. More often than not, if the used transmission is faulty, you’ll notice symptoms very soon if not immediately after installation.
With used transmissions it’s important to ensure you’re purchasing the transmission from a reputable supplier. Also make sure you receive a copy of the warranty in writing and always follow the installation guidelines; failing to follow these guidelines could result in a voided warranty.
The best strategy is avoidance
Now that you’ve been through one transmission repair, it’s time to focus on preventing future damage. To avoid future transmission trouble, be sure to check your automatic transmission fluid’s level, color, and smell whenever you check the oil. It’s recommended that you do these sort of transmission inspections at least every 5,000 miles.
Also take extra care of your transmission when driving off road or in snow or mud. If you become stuck and try to rock your vehicle to free it, you’ll often force your transmission to be operating above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When this occurs, immediate transmission problems or failure are almost certainly eminent.
Lastly, to prevent breakdowns in general, periodically inspect your vehicle’s hoses and belts. Belts were found to be unsatisfactory in nearly 20% of inspected vehicles. In 17%, a least one new hose was needed. Save yourself from future car trouble with periodic maintenance services.