Selling A Car With Transmission Problems: What To Know

vehicle transmission

If you're looking to trade in a car with a bad transmission, you might think you have limited options. After all, a transmission costs thousands to fix or replace, so it’s unlikely for someone to buy your car without first replacing it.

Dealerships will give you an exceptionally low trade-in value for a non-running vehicle, and it can be hard to sell a car with a bad transmission yourself.

A faulty transmission repair or replacement can easily exceed your vehicle’s value, so it may not be worthwhile to repair it at all. Whether you're selling a car or selling your truck, it is often not cost effective to take it to a shop.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Blown Transmission?

  • Used/Salvage Transmissions: $800-$1500

  • Rebuilt Transmissions: $1100-$2800

  • Remanufactured Transmissions: $1300-$3400

  • Labor: $500-$1200 for 4-10 hours of billed time

Signs Of A Bad Transmission

A bad transmission can be a major problem for a vehicle with a hefty repair cost, but do you know how to recognize the signs that you have one?

If you haven’t already taken your vehicle to a mechanic to confirm that the problem is the transmission, here are some warning signs to look out for.

  • The gearshift is slow to respond, or doesn’t respond at all.

  • Your vehicle is trembling or jerking while running.

  • Your car is emitting a burning smell.

  • You hear a strange humming or buzzing noise while you drive.

  • The gears slip unexpectedly when you drive.

  • Your car sounds strange when you run it in neutral.

If you’re experiencing signs of a car with a bad transmission, the first thing to do is to take it to a mechanic and get it checked out.

Decoding the Noise of a Bad Transmission

Learn to identify the warning signs of a bad transmission through our educational video, '5 Worst Car Sounds Indicating Major Repairs Needed.' This particular section focuses on the specific noises that a failing transmission makes, providing you with the insights to recognize them in your own vehicle. Early detection is key to preventing more severe damage to your car. If you find yourself facing transmission issues, is here to help. We offer a straightforward way to sell your car with transmission problems. Watch our video for essential tips on detecting and dealing with a bad transmission.

Is It Worth It To Fix A Transmission?

calculating if its worth fixing a transmission

Rebuilding a transmission can be a money-saver in the long-run. However, depending on the value of your vehicle, it might not make financial sense to sink the money it costs to rebuild a transmission into that vehicle.

Rebuilding a transmission may cost upwards of $2,500, which still pales in comparison to completely new transmissions that can run thousands of dollars more. Knowing your car’s worth will help you determine whether or not fixing the transmission is worth the cost.

Can You Drive A Car With A Bad Transmission?

While you can turn on a car on and even get it on a road with a bad transmission, you are playing a very dangerous game and no car mechanic will ever recommend you do so.

If the transmission slips while driving, your car could lurch unexpectedly, launching you into a busy street or into a car stopped in front of you.

And the longer you wait, and the more you drive, the riskier it becomes. Eventually, you could face complete transmission failure — and you don't want that to happen while you're driving, lest your vehicle starts behaving unpredictably.

The reality is it's never a good idea to drive with a transmission issue. The longest you should drive it, once you notice the transmission issue, is as long as it takes to drive to a mechanic's shop and repair your bad transmission.

Can I Sell My Car With Transmission Problems?

In short, yes. You can sell or trade in a car with transmission problems — as long as you learn how to sell a car with a bad transmission and find a willing buyer .

Finding the right buyer can definitely be more of a challenge when you're trying to sell or trade in your car with a bad transmission, because not every buyer is interested in a car with serious mechanical damage.

You generally have to disclose the fact that your car has transmission issues, and it will definitely affect the trade in value of your car.

How Much Is A Car Worth With A Bad Transmission?

Without a working transmission, a car’s value will drop fairly significantly. This is because the transmission is one of the most valuable parts in a vehicle as well as a critical component of the drivetrain, along with the engine and the catalytic converter. Without it, your car can’t drive.

If you’re thinking about selling a car with transmission issues, you should expect to get roughly 50 percent of what your car is worth while functioning.

Car’s Value - Depreciation Value = Actual Cash Value

Your car’s value is what it was worth in perfect working condition. The depreciation value is what it’s worth after what’s known as “wear and tear.” If your car is worth $10,000 in good condition, you might get offers around $5,000 as the trade in value of your car with a bad transmission.

The ACV, of course, is dependent on a variety of factors that include, but aren’t limited to:

  • The car’s condition

  • Mileage

  • Year/Make/Model

  • Location

The best way to figure out how much you can sell a car with a bad transmission for is to start shopping around for quotes. The places you’re going to want to get offers from are:

Remember to factor in the cost of towing when comparing quotes — you can’t drive a car with a bad transmission, and not everyone’s offer will include free pick up for your vehicle.

Who Buys Cars With Bad Transmissions? DamagedCars.

damagedcars pays for cars with bad transmissions

When you’re ready to trade in a car with transmission problems and get paid, DamagedCars is here to help.

We have over 30 years of experience in buying damaged cars, making us one of the top junk car buyers in your area. Rather than take the low offers from junk yards near you, you can get a fair price for your car right now.

DamagedCars specializes in buying vehicles with problems, including cars with transmission issues.

Don't worry about bringing your car to a repair shop — you can get a cash offer for your car when you choose us.

The entire process is as easy as 1-2-3:

Step 1: Take a few photos of your car and write down its VIN.

You’ll want to upload those photos and VIN to DamagedCars. In less than 90 seconds you’ll receive a quote that’s good for seven days!

Step 2: Schedule your pickup once you accept our quote.

Towing and title transfer are always covered by us, and towing is scheduled at your convenience. A driver can pick up your car for free in as quickly 24-48 hours from accepting our offer!

Step 3: Complete the sale!

When the tow truck arrives, sign over your title, hand over your keys, and take your check. Selling your car quickly and for the best possible price, all from the comfort of your own home ensures you’ll be in the best possible position to purchase your next car and get back on the road.

Get a free, no-obligation quote from DamagedCars today and find out what kind of payment you can get for your car with transmission issues now.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Can You Sell A Car With A Broken Transmission For?

You can typically figure out how much a car with a bad transmission is worth by figuring out what a similar car in good condition would sell for and halving it, but that will only provide a rough estimate. The best way to figure out what your car is really worth is to get and compare quotes in your area. DamagedCars can offer a quote in just 90 seconds, and all our offers include FREE towing and title transfer, guaranteed.

Can You Trade In A Truck That Has Transmission Problems?

If you’re wondering if you can trade in a car if the transmission is bad, the answer is yes. The same is true of trucks, vans, SUVs and other types of cars. However, it may take a while to find a dealership willing to offer a trade-in for your vehicle.

An easier way to get money for your car is to sell it to a junk car buyer in your area. DamagedCars can help you find the most convenient, fair-market offer for your car, truck, van or SUV with transmission problems in just 90 seconds. Bonus: our offers always include towing and title transfer, and we’ll pay you on the spot in 24 to 48 hours after you accept it.

Who Will Buy My Car That Has Mechanical Problems?

You have a few options for selling a car with mechanical problems, including:

  • Finding a dealer that will accept it as a trade-in
  • Selling it to a private buyer interested in damaged cars
  • Sending it off to a junkyard for scrap prices
  • Selling it online to a junk car buyer like DamagedCars

At DamagedCars, we come to you for your vehicle and we always pay fair market rates — no lowballing, no haggling, no negotiating you down to a lower offer. The process of selling your car to us is fair, fast and easy, and you can get paid in 24 to 48 business hours after saying yes to it.

Is It Legal To Sell A Car With A Bad Transmission?

It is legal to sell a car with a bad transmission — but you MUST disclose the condition of the vehicle to avoid legal problems down the road. Anytime you sell a car to someone, you are obligated to describe the car’s condition accurately, including mentioning any problems the vehicle has.

What Happens If I Drive With A Bad Transmission?

Driving with a bad transmission will cause your engine to overheat and become damaged. It is something you want to avoid doing and get the problem fixed as quickly as possible before more severe and costly damage occurs to your engine.

My Transmission Went Out. What Do I Do?

If it went out while you were driving on the road, you can attempt to shift it into neutral and push it onto a shoulder before calling a local tow company. Some damage, however, may be severe enough that you cannot shift gears (since that's one of the primary functions of the transmission).

In that situation, you might be unable to move it at all. In that case, your priority should be to call a tow truck driver to transport your vehicle to a safe location as soon as possible before you think about next steps.

If you weren't on the road but you know for a fact that your transmission is broken, you can do a bit of research before making a decision on your next action. Does it make financial sense to fix your car, or is it time to sell it? That depends on the value of your vehicle, how long you expect it to continue running and how much money you've spent on the vehicle in recent history.

If expensive issues have begun to add up and your vehicle is over six years old, it might be time to think about selling the vehicle instead of spending money repairing them.

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