Some of the most dreaded words any car owner can hear is that their vehicle needs a new transmission. Replacing a transmission is quite possibly one of the most expensive services that your car will ever require because working with the transmission is incredibly complex and can be quite time-consuming too. In most cases, when you replace the transmission on any vehicle, you have two choices. You can rebuild the transmission or install a new (replacement) transmission. So, which of these is the best option? The answer isn’t always cut and dry.
Rebuilding a Transmission
Rebuilding a transmission means that your existing transmission will be taken completely apart and inspected. Any damaged parts are replaced until the transmission is back to factory specs. In most cases, the gaskets and other rubber parts will all be replaced, but damaged moving parts may need to be replaced as well. This is a complex process and rebuilding a transmission is a job for a specialist for certain.
The beauty of rebuilding a transmission is that you can rebuild an older transmission with up-to-date parts that manufacturers have designed to be more efficient and safe. While a transmission rebuild is a great solution in many cases, it can be challenging to find a transmission specialist who is up to the task and it may take him or her some time to complete the job correctly.
Installing A Replacement Transmission
Replacing your transmission is a bit misleading–in most cases, you can’t actually find a “new” transmission. You’re likely working with a remanufactured transmission. This is similar to a rebuilt transmission, but it was done in a factory setting. For a quick fix, this is ideal. However, you may not have access to the most up-to-date parts and you don’t get to pick and choose how it is rebuilt.
Work with a Transmission Expert
Deciding on whether your transmission should be rebuilt or replaced is usually a question of cost and time. Having a transmission expert rebuild your transmission may take a little longer and cost a bit more up front, but it can result in a longer-lasting and better-performing transmission. The other option of installing a “new to you” transmission still assures you have a safe, functional vehicle but you may not get as many options. Whichever way you are leaning, it makes sense to discuss your desires with an expert.
See Also: Replacing Your Transmission