Is It Worth Replacing A Transmission?

(Last Updated On: March 14, 2024)

Should you consider replacing a transmission? Preferably, your options would be to either replace or rebuild a transmission. Certain factors should ideally assist a person in determining whether their vehicle’s transmission requires replacement or reconstruction.

Due to the fact that transmission is one of the most expensive car components, any damages to it can be a big deal for a car owner. That’s the reason why people take it seriously when it comes to transmission-related issues.

In this article, I will discuss whether it’s worth replacing a transmission or do we have other options when a car transmission is broken. So let’s dive in!

What Is A Transmission?

Transmission is the mechanical system that links the back of the engine generating power to the wheels. This mechanical system is installed beneath the engine. If your car happens to be a  rear wheel, then the transmission is located behind the engine that is almost under the dashboard. Transmission makes it possible for the transmission of power from the engine to the wheels. A transmission has multiple gears that enable the driver to change speeds while driving.

manual transmission
A manual transmission. Credit:

Some of the impacts of a car transmission include:

  • Controls the power transmission from the engine to the car wheels
  • Utilizes the power generated from the engine to spin the wheels
  • Can control the speed the driving wheel can be driven
  • Manages the engine speed
  • The transmission makes it possible for the turn of the drive around 90 degrees

The three main types of transmissions are Manual, Automatic, and CVT.

  • CVT Transmission – this is Continuously Variable Transmission. It consists of the driving pulley, the driven pulley, sensors and microprocessors, and a belt.
  • Automatic – works under the principle of the engine running in its small range of speeds to output a wide range of speed.
  • Manual transmission – the driver manually selects the desired gear using the clutch and gear stick.

Read more: Automatic Transmission Vs. Manual Transmission

What Should You Consider Before Replacing A Transmission? 

Failure Type 

Transmission has different kinds of failures. Having your transmission fluid contaminated quickly indicates that your transmission fluid filter may be defective. In this case, you should replace the transmission fluid filter.

You may also experience grinding of the torque converter. The damaged needle roller bearings cause this. At this point, you will have to replace your needle roller bearings.

Water is a contaminant to the transmission fluid and should be away from the fluid. If you notice that it is pink in color every time after changing the transmission fluid, which indicates that the oil cooler radiator line has to get a replacement. Contaminated transmission fluid may cause regular overheating of the system, leakage, difficulty in gear shifting, and transmission slipping issues.

The Disadvantages

Changing your transmission or rebuilding may take long before being completed. The cost of doing this exercise may also be very high that it discourages you as a car owner.

The Car’s Mileage

The age of the car transmission is essential. One should change the transmission when it has covered about 80,000 to 150,000 miles since they start failing at this range. Changing the system increases the mileage of the car.

The Car’s Health

When the car has been neglected for some time, it is recommended to rebuild or replace the transmission. This is to start fresh and avoid future complications one could experience when using the same system.

Read more: Bad Torque Converter Vs. Bad Transmission

Is It Worth Replacing A Transmission?

While replacing the transmission fluid, you also find other defective parts within your transmission that you could change to avoid future problems.

Replace a transmissionRebuild a transmission
DefinitionTransmission replacing is purchasing a whole transmission system as a whole.
It is simply replacing the specific parts of a transmission that are failing

Cost- The cost of replacing the whole transmission is friendly since you need a durable and quality system since you get it from the manufacturer.
The cost of replacing the whole transmission is friendly since you need a durable and quality system since you get it from the manufacturer.
- The cost range of replacing a transmission is from $1,300 to $2,800
- Rebuilding is quite expensive since you get different parts individually.
- The price of rebuilding a transmission ranges from $1,500 to $3,000.
LifespanBrand new transmissions can serve an individual car for about 150,000 to 200,000 miles.
A rebuilt transmission can last for about 30,000 to 50,000 miles on average.
Pros- Having a new transmission from a certified car manufacturer may increase the value of your car.
- It is pocket-friendly.
- Replacing the whole system with a new one helps increase the car mileage.
- If you change the system completely, there are low chances of getting complications soon.

- It is quicker to install in the car.
Cons- It takes a long time for the transmission to be completely installed.

- When you replace the defective parts, some other components may be left unattended to lead to future complications.
- It is expensive to implement.

Read more: How Long Does Transmission Last?

What Causes A Transmission To Go Bad?

Causes of a bad transmission
Checking for any causes of a bad transmission is very important to prevent further damages.

The system can get damaged in various situations. They include

Leaking Transmission Fluid

This results in low transmission fluid which damages the system. There is insufficient lubrication provided.

Clogged Transmission Fluid Filter

A clogged transmission fluid filter leads to contamination of the transmission fluid that later damages the transmission system.

Broken Transmission Bands

This leads to the malfunctioning of the gear and gear spillage.

Broken Transmission Gears

Broken transmission gears are the main reason why you are not able to accelerate well.

Faulty Torque Converter

A faulty torque converter causes the car to shudder and slow down your car when accelerating.

Ruptured Transmission Seal

This may lead to the leakage of the transmission fluid and the level becoming low.

Read more: CVT Transmission Vs. Automatic Transmission


1. Does mileage change with new transmission?

Yes, the mileage is increased after installing a new transmission, thus increasing miles to be covered. Mileage is the number of miles the vehicle covers with a certain quantity of fuel.  

2. Is it better to buy a used or rebuilt transmission? 

It is better to buy a rebuilt transmission fluid. The reason is that having a rebuilt transmission from a reputable car manufacturer may increase your car value. The service provided by the transmission will also be long-term.

3. How many hours does it take to replace a transmission?

Transmission replacement requires patience since it is not a simple task. The average time to replace a transmission wholly is often six to twelve hours. If you are to replace the whole system, you will have to leave the car at the garage for a day or two.

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