When you open the hood of your car, one of the first things you’ll probably notice is the engine. It’s the feature touted in every car commercial for a sports car or heavy duty truck. But the engine can’t do its job without the transmission, which is one of the most important machines in your vehicle. In addition to its status as one of the most important parts of your car, transmission repair cost also tends to be more expensive than most other repairs.
If you’re watching your budget like most people, it’s helpful to know ahead of time what sort of costs you could be looking at with various types of manual and automatic transmission repair. Realistically, you could see costs that run anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a quick fluid replacement to several thousand dollars for a full rebuild or transmission replacement.
As you might expect, some transmission repair jobs might sound easy but may require a lot of work because of the need to remove the transmission from the vehicle to fix it. The transmission is also connected to other machinery in the car, so it takes some time to take the transmission out of the vehicle.
Although you might be able to score a used transmission from a salvage yard for a few thousand dollars, the cost to install the transmission into your car will cost anywhere from a thousand to two thousand more once the labor costs have been included in the overall price.
Call (281) 392-5060 for an honest transmission repair quote in Houston.
Domestic Versus Foreign Transmissions
Vehicles like BMWs usually cost more to repair because they’re considered an imported vehicle. You might see higher repair costs with imports like Mercedes and Volkswagens while repairing a Ford or Buick might cost less because of their domestic status.
Interestingly, many vehicles that you might think are completely foreign are assembled in the United States. However, most parts for those vehicles are manufactured overseas. For example, Honda has assembly plants across the Midwest, but they manufacture most of their parts in Southeast Asia.
A foreign car doesn’t automatically mean you should expect to pay more for your transmission repair, but it’s something you’ll want to be aware of when you come in for servicing.
One of the ways your mechanic may fix your broken transmission is by searching salvage yards for junked vehicles that still have viable parts on them. For example, a vehicle that was rear-ended and totaled by an insurance company because of frame damage could still have a viable transmission.
If your car is less than a decade old, there’s a good chance you could find a working used transmission at a salvage yard. Sometimes, it can cost less to replace a transmission with a used machine rather than undergoing a transmission rebuild on your current one. However, if you’re driving a car that’s close to classic status, it would probably be a little more difficult to find a serviceable transmission at a salvage yard.
In such cases, you could be looking at a more expensive rebuild or the outright purchase of a new transmission, which would probably push your cost to anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. If you drive a rare or expensive car, there’s a good chance your transmission repair will be higher than if you drove a common vehicle like an F-150 or an Accord.
Did You Know? It usually costs less for manual transmission repair and replacement than it does to replace or repair an automatic transmission.
Small Issues that Can Be Repaired
Hearing that you need an entirely new transmission is one of the worst calls you can get from your mechanic, but sometimes it might seem like there’s a huge problem, and it turns out to be something minor like a damaged seal.
Some of the parts inside the transmission that may fail over time include:
In addition, a problem with the clutch could also require transmission service. Remember that an automatic transmission has a clutch, just like a manual transmission, so clutch repair can be necessary on any vehicle.
Bear in mind that fixing some of these issues requires the labor of taking the transmission apart and removing it from the vehicle, so you’re also looking at labor charges and time for the repair, even if it’s just a busted seal.
Other pieces of your transmission that could break, but which are a rare occurrence include:
If you bring your vehicle in and your mechanic tells you the vehicle needs a completely new transmission, you’ll probably have a few options depending upon what’s actually broken inside the transmission.
When is a rebuild appropriate? Sometimes your transmission will refuse to function because one major part has broken. In such circumstances, your mechanic may suggest a rebuilt transmission that might cost somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000.
When is a replacement appropriate? If the problem with the transmission can’t be fixed by disassembling it and replacing one or two key parts, your mechanic might suggest a replacement would be a faster option and cost less because of less time spent on labor.
How is a Transmission Rebuilt?
The process your transmission expert will take on a transmission rebuild is to disassemble the entire machine and inspect each piece to check it for problems. Parts that are worn out are replaced, and then the transmission is reassembled. Sometimes, this route is less expensive than a full transmission replacement because it’s only a few components that need replacement rather than the entire machine.
Don’t Forget: If your car is only a few years old, or you’ve recently had your transmission replaced, it could still be under warranty. Before undergoing any repairs, check on the warranty.
When is the best time to get auto transmission repair?
Before the problem gets so bad you need to get your transmission replaced!
The difference between an early repair and a late replacement is thousands of dollars. If you suspect a problem with your vehicle’s transmission, make an appointment for transmission service as soon as possible with My Transmission Expert.