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Transmission Repair & Replacement Cost

You never want to consider that your car may need a major repair. Maybe you haven't had your vehicle very long. Or, you just don't have time to take it in for a checkup. Perhaps you know the cost of repair will be more than the car is worth. When it comes to your car, delaying getting something checked out is serious business. Catching it early could save you a lot of money, so it’s important to learn the signs and symptoms that tell you that your bad transmission may need repairs or replacement and learn transmission repair costs and transmission replacement costs so you know what to expect.

What is a Transmission?

We all know that our cars have one, but what does it do? A transmission takes the power produced by the engine and transfers it to the wheels via a differential. There are 2 major types of transmissions - Manual and Automatic. In either case, the purpose of the transmission is to allow your car to reach its full range of speeds from 0 on up. If you have only ever driven an automatic, it may seem strange to you that your car needs to change gears to go faster or slower, because in the case of an automatic the gears are being switched for you. If your gears did not change as you went faster or slower, then your engine would have to work really hard and would wear out fast. This is why a properly working transmission is so important.

What’s Wrong With My Transmission?

Fortunately, mechanical problems in a vehicle are easier for someone without special equipment to “self-diagnose” because unlike electrical, we can sense them through smell, sight, touch and so on. Let’s look at some common feelings and sounds we might sense, as well as take a gander at some of the costs to fix these problems.

1. My Car Won’t Go into Gear
If you’re driving a manual, also commonly known as stick-shift, you know what I’m talking about. You depress the clutch and the stick won’t move. This may just be low transmission fluid, wrong fluid thickness or a needed adjustment of shift cables or linkage. Whichever it is, you need to fix it or get it fixed.

2. My Car Smells Like Burning Transmission Fluid
Even if you don't know exactly what transmission fluid smells like, a burning smell is rarely good. Your transmission is likely overheating. Your transmission fluid is a lubricant and a coolant. Some cars even have an extra radiator to disperse heat. If this fluid is burning then you don't have enough fluid to keep things cool either due to a leak or the fact that you didn't realize that you occasionally need to change it.

3. My Car “Bumps” When I’m In Neutral
Most commonly this is just transmission fluid that either needs replacing or is not formulated correctly for your car. But it could be major wear in the transmission that will require replacement parts.

4. My Gears are Slipping
A gear may slip out of place. If this happens, you may hit the pedal and won’t go anywhere. This could be bad if you are trying to avoid a hazard. If you have a manual, it probably slips to neutral. This needs to be checked out. It’s could be dangerous.

5. I Hear a Grinding Sound When Gears Shift
This is a dreaded sound, but typically is not a costly one to fix. Most commonly this occurs when you have some slack in your clutch pedal, so you don't have enough leverage to shift the gears. It is best to get this adjusted.

6. My Car Likes to Shimmy (Shake)
If you have an automatic, you may not hear the grind and rather your car does a little dance when the gears shift. If you never knew when your gears were shifting in an automatic before, you will now. It can be quite jarring when the car jumps as it tries to change speeds. This can be a bad sign, so you’ll want to get it checked out.

7. My Car is So Whiny
Cars make different sounds when the transmission isn’t working. Sometimes sensed as whining, buzzing or humming, clunking, these kinds of sounds indicate that something isn’t right. It may be in early stages and will get worse.

8. My Car is Revving But Won’t Budge
If your cars revs, but refuses to do anything, get it checked out.

9. My Sensors Are Telling Me Something’s Wrong
The sensors in newer cars are early detection systems. They know before you can see, hear or smell anything, so don't ignore them. Sometimes the check engine light is the alert for other parts like the transmission. It may be something minor now, that will get much worse and more costly if not addressed.

Transmission repair cost

If you have identified that there may be something wrong with your transmission, and you are not going to fix it yourself then you need to know what costs may be involved. These costs may include:

 

  • Transmission Fluid Cost - which should be very minimal. You can expect to pay between $80-250.

  • Transmission Cooler Lines Repair Cost - Here is another less costly replacement. This is needed if you have a leak. A technician will need to check your transmission cooling lines and then the transmission cooling lines repair cost may vary depending on your make and model like all repairs/replacements, but should be under $250 for parts and labor.

  • Transmission Repair Cost - which can vary, depending on what part needs repair or replace, but should be less costly than a full replacement. Could be as little as $500 and as much as $2500.

Transmission replacement cost

  • Transmission Replacement Labor Cost - It takes time to diagnose and replace a transmission, but you should receive an estimate up front. $450-850 for 4-9 hours of work would be about par.

  • Transmission Replacement Cost - This will be the cost of the actual transmission. If you made note of the warning signs of lesser issues above, then hopefully you won’t need a whole new one. They can run between $1800 and $3500… or more.

 

What Now?

The next thing to do is consider what your car is worth if you repair it. If the repair costs exceed the value of the car, then it is not a good idea to fix it because another costly repair is likely waiting around the corner. If the repair doesn’t make sense, you may want to consider selling the car as is to help pay for a better ride.It is always smart to know your options, so even if you are only curious about what you can get for your car as-is, click the button below to get an offer for your car from DamagedCars.com, where we buy cars in less-than-perfect condition, nationwide.

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Frequently asked questions

How does DamagedCars.com decide the value or worth of my vehicle?

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