Transmission repair cost guide


Transmission average repair cost | How to save money on transmission repair | Factors that have impact on the transmission repair price

The automotive transmission serves to transfer power from engine to wheels, in the right amount suitable for the moment. Automatic transmissions shift gears with no gear ratio change input from the driver. The right power transfer in a vehicle is vital for efficient acceleration, towing, and driving safety.

The transmission is a complex piece of engineering thought, a crucial component of the powertrain, and its good condition is pivotal for any driver out there. Gear ratios in an automatic transmission reduce the engine’s rotational speed and increase the torque (“power” delivered to the wheels) in this process.

Transmission average repair cost

It is vital to understand that repair cost depends on a sum of many factors. We will break these down in detail but typically transmission repair is seldom cheap. It is a relief if all you need to do is a solenoid replacement or a fluid flush. Fluid change will come at a cost of $80-$240. Fluid leak repair will have you spend an average of $150-$200, and solenoid replacement procedure will be around $130-$390.


Quite basic repair jobs will start from an average of $250. If the case is serious and requires massive spendings on replacement parts, labour cost rises accordingly, so it will come to $1500 and over it, oftentimes, doubled - up to $3000. Interestingly, the highest you can expect with a manual transmission is very seldom over $1500.


When considering a massive rebuild operation, one might wonder about the costs of a replacement. The average cost of quality transmission replacement varies in the range between $1800 and $3400. A cheaper option is used/salvage transmission, which ranges from $800 to $1500. A rebuilt transmission comes from $1100 to $2700 and a remanufactured - from $1400 to $3500. If you think that this is a lot, the costs of replacing a transmission with a new unit comes in the range of $4,000-$8,000.


Remember that with a replacement there is a separate entry of expenses, which is labor to remove and replace a transmission. A qualified specialist will need 4-10 hours to complete the job, and if billed per hour it will cost from $500 to $1200.


As you could understand, rebuilds can have the cost just as high as price for a replacement, considering the extent of the damage. Certainly, upmarket vehicle’s transmissions are more costly to cover and maintain so one shall expect higher cheques.


If one wonders about differences between rebuilt transmission and remanufactured transmission, here goes a quick response. Transmission rebuilding (also called transmission overhauling, transmission refurbishing) involves thorough inspection, cleaning, parts replacements or repairs for a transmission taken off the vehicle in a transmission shop setup.


Transmission remanufacturing is about bringing it to a level of newly-made products, back to factory standards. This is done in bigger facilities than a transmission repair shop - with serious daily volumes in a factory-like area with huge personnel count.


Transmission fluid flush service means removal of the old transmission fluid off the and replacing it with new ATF. In order to do a thorough ATF flush, some special flushing tools are used.


Shift solenoid replacement is another transmission service operation that can be economic. This shift solenoid controls the amount of ATF flowing through the transmission. Replacing several transmission solenoids certainly increases the initially stated amount of $130-$390.


Replacing a worn seal often remedies the transmission fluid leak issue. Remember to spend some amount on specific professional additives used to maintain transmission seals.


Transmission repair estimate cost is determined by a multitude of factors. Let us mention a few of these: number of gears, or number of speeds, year of production, number of kilometers driven, or mileage, presence or absence of warranty. It could be that a wrong type of transmission fluid has been poured in your car.


Some other factors affecting the estimate cost of transmission repair: make, regularity of previous transmission maintenance, light duty / medium duty / heavy duty application, level of desired quality with this particular repair, and more. In case you want to learn more about your transmission, check this guide ‘What transmission does my car have?’


How to save money on transmission repair



Prevention is better than amendment. It is crucial to remember some key points on how to spot potential problems with automatic transmissions in order to keep the cost down. Transmission repairs can be really costly, therefore it’s wise to check the warning signs before a complete breakdown.


As a driver of an automatic transmission vehicle, you shall watch out for these common transmission failure symptoms:

  • Delays in engagement. Once you shift to “Reverse” or “Drive” from “Park”, you may notice a delay before the gear shifts and the vehicle starts moving.
  • Transmission slippage. This is a transmission problem, which manifests itself in sudden gear changes for no obvious reason when driving. A particular engine sound typically follows this gear slippage.
  • A burnt smell. Overheated transmission fluid, ATF used beyond its due date, low-level ATF will give away a distinctive smell and it will not be pleasant, so missing it is barely possible. Remember to monitor your transmission fluid level on the dashboard.
  • Uncommon noises. Monitor any unusual sounds coming out of your vehicle - rattling, clenching or grinding in neutral gear, for instance - thus, you will notice it’s time to have certain worn-out parts replaced early on.


If the trouble is on and you need to deal with your transmission issues, you may consider buying a remanufactured transmission and ask a local transmission repair shop to reinstall it. This will save you funds that are marked up by this repair shop for the purchase of a replacement transmission.


You may want to see what drivers have paid or been quoted lately to have their gearboxes replaced. Also, watch out for those who would want to rip you off. We give a guide to hinder working with scammers below.


For anything in the future, be sure to get the transmission fluid and filter changed as regularly as the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends.


Factors that have impact on the transmission repair price


FACTOR

NOTES

IMPACT ON AVER. COST

REASON

Age (year of manufacture)

- older vehicle repairs are usually less expensive than repairs for newer vintage cars,


- modern gearboxes are far more sophisticated than their predecessors, hence the newer the car - the more expensive its repair.

- $1500-3000, for older

- $4000, for newer

- more complex transmission design,

- more expensive parts and consumables,

- more tech skill required to do the repair job,

- expensive transmission control modules.

Mileage of the vehicle

- high mileage rate usually signals for a higher grade of wear of the internal transmission parts,


- 150,000 miles milestone usually means a serious level of wear and deterioration.

using as many new parts as recommended after high mileage rises the cheque by 1,5 time but is advisable

using as many new parts as recommended after high mileage rises the cheque but is advisable,


- professional transmission repair shops will seriously recommend replacement of the components rather than reuse.

Make

- some brands are premium and are more costly by default,


- ease of access to spare parts for this make lowers the cheques,

- domestic and foreign brands nowadays are typically equal in terms of pricing.

$1800-$3400 (non-premium class)

- labor costs are always roughly 50% a transmission repair invoice,


- removal, disassembly, rebuilding and installation difficulty often vanquishes savings earned with accessibility of spare parts.

Type of automatic transmission

- conventional automatic transmissions are often mixed with CVT’s (continuously variable transmissions) and DSG’s (direct-shift gearboxes),


- many huge US remanufacturers do not take in CVT’s or DSG’s for repairs.

- up to $7000 for Subaru CVT’s and VAG DGS’s

- $5000 for Nissan and Toyota CVT’s

- higher level of technical expertise is required, if compared against the manual transmissions,

- specific issues with electronics in certain models, scarce availability of aftermarket parts.

Application (duty)

- cheques for repairs of heavy-duty transmissions are roughly 2,5 times higher if compared to light-duty,

- heavy-duty vehicles generate substantial heat in their operations and are susceptible to constant high load.

- $4000, for light-duty


- $10000, for heavy-duty

- scarce number of quality specialists and tools for heavy-duty applications,


- costly spare parts for heavy-duty transmissions.

Regularity of previous maintenance

- improper and / or irregular transmission maintenance leads to premature failing of the unit,

- many drivers underestimate importance of regular engine oil and oil filter changes,


- regularly changed ATF guarantees longer operating life to your transmission.

poor previous maintenance often doubles the repair cheque

- more parts require replacement after a period of poor maintenance,


- hard parts are much better protected if clean transmission oil is used and will serve a longer lifespan.

Symptoms of the transmission failure and how long they were present check out ‘top 5 typical symptoms of a failing automatic transmission’ above disregard to the symptoms of a failing transmission 2x’s or even 3x’s the cost when it is too late to act in advance

- it is always advised to act quickly once any sign of a transmission issue manifests itself,


- hard parts are culprits of transmission issues on lesser occasions but are prone to extra wear, if the symptoms are overlooked

Desired level of quality for this repair job

- looking for the lowest transmission repair offer is a bad strategy to go with,


- patch job is alright if your vehicle is not a premium car or if you want to save as much as possible; typically a quality repair is advised.

- $1000-$2000 from ‘backyard’ technicians,


- $3400 from qualified professionals

- skilled and professional transmission specialists, use of quality parts considerably elevate the repair cost,

- when investing in the repair quality, ask yourself if you are determined to increase the longevity of your vehicle.

Type of an automotive repair shop and their location

- general automotive shops often do not have the depth of expertise in specific jobs (for example, in valve body repairs or installation of a used or remanufactured unit),


- average transmission repair cheques differ from state to state.

Referring to a specialized transmission shop, in a medium-class area prevents from overpaying

- if you have pinpointed the source of your transmission problems, consider referring to a specialized workshop (for example, torque converter repair specialists),


- typically, the same kind of a transmission repair job is more costly if the job is done in highly prestigious areas.





Finding quality transmission insights and reliable information is not an easy task for transmission specialists who are often either busy with transmission repairs or have their hands covered in oil after a transmission fluid change. All in all, we may be exaggerating a bit but finding these materials is a timely process indeed. We at go4trans.com have got it covered for you! There is a lot you can learn about transmission problem solutions and new transmission models being launched, we also try to interview transmission industry professionals so they can share some of their experience and stories with our readers. We have also included what we find to be events of interest for anyone related to the transmission industry: you check dates, venues, profile and more details on the upcoming industry events. We have got food for thought that you need!

You can add your own material at go4trans.com. If you want to share a story related to your business or if you want to highlight some industry news and introduce it to fellow specialists, we encourage you to submit your material to us by contacting us through the contact form or this email: info@go4trans.com.



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