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How Much is a Transmission? Find Out The Cost and Symptoms!

Transmission replacement is a relatively common repair for cars and trucks, but there are many factors to consider before making this decision. This article will explain what costs to expect when replacing a transmission, along with some signs that might indicate it's time to upgrade.
Stephanie Lawrence
Stephanie Lawrence
01/24/2023 · 6 min read
Transmission cost Transmission cost Transmission cost

Transmission is similar to the brain of a car. It is the component that allows the vehicle to change gears and move at different speeds.

Having said that, it is a crucial component that requires routine maintenance, since transmission replacement can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the severity of the damage.

This article will explain the cost of replacing/repairing a transmission as well as the bad symptoms to look out for to determine if it's time to change your transmission.

Table of Contents

  • How Much Does Transmission Repair/Replacement Cost?
  • What Is a Transmission?
  • What Does a Transmission Do?
  • What Causes a Transmission To Fail?
  • Bad Transmission Symptoms
  • Tips On Lengthening the Life Of Your Transmission
  • FAQs About Transmission Cost

How Much Does Transmission Repair/Replacement Cost?

It can vary based on the kind of vehicle, the severity of the damage, and the type of transmission. Repairs or replacements can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

Transmission Fluid Flush

A transmission fluid flush is when a mechanic replaces your car's old transmission fluid with new fluid. It helps in the removal of dirt and debris that might accumulate over time and helps to keep the transmission functioning smoothly. It's a basic maintenance repair that should be performed at regular intervals, but it's also a good idea if you detect any weird noises or odors coming from the transmission.

The cost of a transmission fluid flush varies, but it is normally between $80 and $250. Because not all vehicles require a transmission fluid flush, it's important to check the owner's manual or ask a professional to discover if yours requires one.

Shift Solenoid Replacement

A shift solenoid is a transmission component that controls the fluid pressure required to shift gears. If the shift solenoid is malfunctioning or broken, it must be replaced. The cost of replacing a shift solenoid varies depending on the type of vehicle, the model and year of the transmission, and the components and labor involved, and can range from $150 to $400. It is important to speak with a certified mechanic to discover the actual cost of the replacement.

Transmission Fluid Leak

The cost of replacing a transmission fluid leak varies based on the vehicle, the severity of the damage, and the transmission type. Transmission leaks are often caused by a damaged seal, which can cost up to $200 to replace. However, if the leak is caused by the front seal, this figure will skyrocket.

Fortunately, most transmission fluids contain seal swell agents, which prevent the seals from drying up and shrinking. You can also use additives designed to keep transmission seals in good condition. To establish the precise cost of the repair or replacement, consult with a professional mechanic.

Transmission Rebuild

The cost of a transmission rebuild varies based on the type of vehicle, the transmission's model and year, and the parts and labor involved. A transmission rebuild includes replacing any worn or broken components and recovering what you can. The problem is that this takes a long time. As a result, the expenditures are comparable to the cost of simply replacing the transmission, which is $2,500-$4,500.

Transmission Replacement

The worst thing that might happen to your transmission is that you have to replace it entirely because the cost of a replacement can range between $4,000 and $8,000. Fortunately, you can save money by replacing it with a secondhand or rebuilt transmission, which costs between $2,500 and $4,000.

What Is a Transmission?

Transmission is similar to a car's brain. It is the component that allows the vehicle to change gears and move at different speeds. Consider it a large machine that works with the engine to accelerate or decelerate the vehicle. Some vehicles feature manual transmissions, which require you to shift gears manually. Other vehicles feature automatic transmissions, which means the vehicle does the work for you. There are also continuously variable transmissions, which can smoothly and fluidly shift gears.

What Does a Transmission Do?

The transmission serves as the intermediary. It transfers engine power to the wheels, allowing the vehicle to move. It regulates the gear ratio between the engine and the wheels, which allows the vehicle to drive at various speeds. It also allows the vehicle to change gears between forward and reverse. The car would not be able to move without the transmission! It's a crucial component of the vehicle that contributes to the overall driving experience.

What Causes a Transmission To Fail?

A transmission might fail for a variety of reasons, the three most common reasons for transmission failure are listed below.

Low Transmission Fluid

Low transmission fluid is similar to low engine oil in your car. It keeps everything working smoothly, and without enough of it, everything can start to break down. When the fluid level falls too low, the transmission can overheat, causing harm to the internal components.

Transmission Fluid Leak

A transmission fluid leak occurs when the fluid that aids in the smooth operation of your vehicle's transmission begins to leak. This can be caused by worn-out seals, loose or damaged lines, or a faulty transmission cooler.

Clogged Transmission Fluid Filter

When it becomes blocked, the transmission may struggle to shift gears or possibly overheat. You may detect a burning odor, a warning light on the dashboard, or decreased fuel efficiency.

Bad Transmission Symptoms

The symptoms of a bad transmission may vary depending on the condition, but some common signs that the transmission is failing are listed below.

Whining Or Clunky Sound

If your transmission makes a whining or clunky sound, it could be an indication that something is wrong. The transmission's gears or bearings may be worn out or damaged. It's the same as hearing cracking or popping sounds in your joints; it's a bad omen. This type of noise is common while driving or shifting gears.

Burnt Smell

If you notice a burnt smell coming from your car's transmission, it could indicate that something is wrong. It's possible that the transmission is overheating, which might happen due to insufficient fluid or a clogged filter, as previously mentioned.

Issues Shifting Gears

If you're having trouble shifting gears, it could be a sign of a transmission issue. Low fluid levels, worn parts, clogged filters, mechanical issues, electrical issues, or damaged linkage/cables can all cause this. To avoid further damage and costly repairs, have your vehicle checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Gear Slippage

When your transmission slides out of gear or fights to stay in gear, this is referred to as gear slippage. Low fluid levels, worn parts, clogged filters, or mechanical faults can all cause this. Symptoms include difficulties shifting, unusual noises, and a burning odor. To avoid further damage and costly repairs, have your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Tips On Lengthening The Life Of Your Transmission

When you replace your vehicle's transmission, you'll want to make the most of your investment. The following are some useful tips for extending the life of your vehicle's transmission:

Checking the transmission fluid level is a vital step in keeping your transmission in good working order. You should always check this when you change the oil or at least once a year. It is also critical to use transmission fluids that are appropriate for your vehicle. For the recommended ATF for your car, consult your owner's handbook.

Routine transmission service is a crucial step in keeping your vehicle in good working order. Routine servicing often involves a transmission fluid change, which helps to remove dirt and debris that can accumulate over time and can help to improve the transmission's performance and lifetime.

It is essential to consult the owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended servicing intervals. Transmission fluid should be changed every 30,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle, but again, it's best to verify the manufacturer's instructions.

Investing in a transmission cooler can extend the life of your transmission. This will help to regulate heat while also keeping the fluid very chilly. This is required because heat can do significant harm to your transmission. It can cause seals, electronic components, and metal surface damage. This can easily increase the lifespan of your transmission by twice or three times what it would be without a cooler.

FAQs About Transmission Cost

How Often Should The Transmission Fluid Be Replaced?

The recommended intervals will differ depending on the make, model, and type of transmission in your vehicle. Transmission fluid should be changed every 30,000 to 100,000 miles in general, but consult the owner's handbook for the exact service intervals recommended by the manufacturer.

How Long Does a Transmission Last?

The lifespan of transmission varies based on many factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, the kind of transmission, and how well it has been maintained. Transmissions can often last 100,000 to 150,000 miles or more. Regular maintenance, such as transmission fluid changes, can help your transmission last longer.

Is It Worth Replacing The Transmission?

The value of replacing the transmission is determined by the degree of damage and the overall condition of the vehicle. If the transmission is not working properly or is showing signs of substantial wear and tear, it may be time to replace it. However, if the transmission is in reasonable shape and the repair cost is low, it may be preferable to just repair the existing transmission.

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