National average cost of a Transmission Rebuild for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $625
What is a transmission rebuild?
The transmission is a drivetrain component in your vehicle that transmits energy from your engine to the drive wheels. In short, it is a vehicle’s gearbox. A large, metal gearbox that sends rotational power through a drive shaft to another, smaller gearbox called a differential. From there, that power is transmitted through axle shafts to the wheels.
Much like shifting gears on a bicycle, a transmission changes gears to allow your engine to operate with the most effective amount of power to match the speed you are traveling. Transmissions come in manual versions (where you shift the gears manually) and automatic versions (where a computer control module determines when the transmission should shift). Most vehicles on the road today come with automatic transmissions. The transmission on a front-wheel-drive vehicle is known as a transaxle, as it serves the purpose of both transmission and differential. Some transmissions, rather than relying on gears to match engine speed to travel speed, use a pair of internal pulleys connected by a belt or chain, similar to that of a snowmobile. These transmissions are known as Continuously Variable Transmissions, or CVTs.
A transmission rebuild, also known as a transmission overhaul, is a service that includes disassembly of the internal components of a transmission (gears, shafts, clutches, fluid pumps, valves, bearings, sensors, and the like), inspection of those components for wear, cleaning, and replacement of components that are worn or damaged.
How do I know if a transmission assembly needs to be rebuilt?
The transmission is responsible for transferring power from your engine to the wheels. When there is a problem with the transmission, you may notice an interruption in the transfer of power in the way your vehicle operates. You might also detect problems in other ways, through sounds or smells. Your automatic transmission might be experiencing trouble if you notice one or more of the following common signs
The transmission takes an unusually long time to engage once you have selected a gear (Drive, Reverse, etc.)
Hard shifting or shifting that is soft and takes longer than normal
Transmission refuses to shift
Transmission slips, allowing your engine to speed up with little or no increase in travel speed
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There are 50 shops within 20 miles of your location.
The job of rebuilding or overhauling an automatic transmission is extremely complex and requires a good deal of precision. That only comes with significant training and experience. In order to rebuild your transmission, a technician will first separate the transmission from the engine and remove it from your vehicle. On some vehicles, the engine must also be removed in order to access the transmission. Once the transmission is out of the vehicle, it will be completely disassembled. Hundreds of parts will be carefully separated, organized, cleaned, and inspected. The technician will look for signs of excessive wear, cracks, warpage, and corrosion. Measurements are made with precision tools - dial indicators, feeler gauges, and micrometers. Components normally subjected to wear are replaced with components in a master rebuild kit. Other worn or damaged parts are also replaced. The transmission is reassembled and reinstalled in your vehicle and filled with fresh transmission fluid.
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
Is it better to rebuild or replace a transmission?
Whether it is better to rebuild or replace your transmission depends on a couple of factors. There is no universal answer to the question. The cost of having a transmission rebuilt is typically lower than having it replaced with a new one. On the other hand, the process of rebuilding a transmission is extremely complex and requires a significant level of knowledge and experience. It may be difficult to locate a repair shop with a qualified technician who can perform the job of rebuilding your transmission correctly. Another factor to consider is that the warranty of a rebuilt transmission is often not as extensive as that of a new transmission.
How many miles can you get out of a rebuilt transmission?
The lifespan of a rebuilt transmission depends on the quality of the rebuild and the components used. Maintenance after installation of a rebuilt transmission is also important. If the service was performed extremely well and your rebuilt transmission sees regular maintenance, it might last as long as the original transmission, a hundred thousand miles or more. Averages for rebuilt transmissions, however, fall closer to the 30K-50K mile range.
What makes a transmission go bad?
There are some vehicle makes and models with transmissions that do not last very long. Such models tend to be riddled with problems. Still, most transmissions make it a hundred thousand miles or more. In general, what makes a good transmission go bad is lack of proper maintenance (regular fluid and filter changes), overheating, exceeding the vehicle’s rated towing capacity, and running on too little or the wrong type of transmission fluid.