Should I Replace or Rebuild My Transmission?

cross cut of a transmission

Can you fix a transmission without replacing it?

The words “automatic transmission” sound simple enough, but the complexity of this component in your car is, well, complex. From your view in the driver’s seat, you simply put the gear shift in drive and away you go! There is so much more to than that though – a lot more – and a transmission rebuild is even more complex! 

Your cars transmission is the vital link that can keeps the motor from overworking when you’re at highway speed. The transmission is what increases the torque when you accelerate at a stop. So, while the engine is important, without the transmission, your car isn’t going anywhere. That is why a transmission rebuild is important enough to chat about for a few minutes. 

When you get the estimate for a new transmission or a transmission rebuild, this may be the first question you’d ask. We have good news and bad news about car repairs, and there really isn’t a short answer to this question.

So, yes, there are some car repairs that can be done without replacing the part in question, like electrical components of your transmission, or the external components like bushings and shifter cables.  Some bad news for you: everything with your car’s transmission cannot be  fixed from the outside.

The transmission is built with a melody of gears, levers, synchro, and other devices. While attempts can be made to fix a transmission by only fixing easily parts accessible on the exterior, the issue may not be addressed. 

This what we would refer to as a “band-aid” fix, which would have limited warranty, if any, and any future problems won’t be covered. You could end up having a true transmission rebuild or worse, replacing the transmission. 

Is it worth fixing my transmission?

Depending on the car make, model, year, and which transmission it has, a transmission rebuild can cost a rather good amount of change, starting around $2500 and up. While that is a lot of money for the immediate time, it can save you money over the short-term and keep a new car payment at bay. 

That initial cost of a transmission rebuild may be worthwhile for you and not your neighbor, everyone’s budget is different. It goes without saying of course, that you want to choose a mechanic that has the experience and knows how to rebuild a transmission. This isn’t something that you want a novice mechanic to attempt.

Is it better to rebuild or replace a transmission?

When your car quits rolling because the transmission died, it is an unplanned expense. Your mechanic gives you some options, one being a transmission replacement vs transmission rebuild, but which one is better? 

Is the problem a big  enough problem that the only option is to replace it with a new transmission? Or will a transmission rebuild, changing a few components inside it, be enough? Which way is the better way? Why repair or rebuild a transmission?

Sometimes, mechanically, the option for repair isn’t possible because enough of the parts have quit, or there is damage to the transmission, rebuild isn’t possible.  So, with that in mind, you have to trust your mechanic’s advice, or seek a second opinion. 

Financially, immediately, a transmission rebuild is the less expensive way to go when using new factory parts like the bands, clutch, gaskets, and seals. Once the mechanic gets your transmission out and taken apart, they may find it needs a new torque converter and solenoid, which will raise the cost. 

gear shift in car

Are Rebuilt transmissions reliable?

When a transmission is goes bad, there is the option of having it fixed by replacing only the parts that are damaged. Or you can buy a used transmission from a scrap yard and hope it works. Most mechanics will tell you the best and most sound way to fix your transmission worries is a transmission rebuild. Why? Here are the three sound reasons from seasoned mechanics: 

  • Quality: A transmission rebuild is the most reliable option because each part is removed, then inspected, and replaced if needed. Most transmission rebuilds will come with a three year and unlimited mileage warranty. 
  • Quicker: Depending on the make, model, and year of your car, locating a working transmission may be impossible. From junkyard to online auctions, it can take weeks to find one and then more time waiting for it to arrive.  A transmission rebuild can be done within three days or less in most cases. 
  • Warranty: The best part about a transmission rebuild is the warranty you’ll get from your mechanic, especially if this is a mechanic you rely on every time you have mechanical problems. With a transmission rebuild, if you have any problems during the warranty period, they’ll pick the car up and get it fixed. 

So, with all this information, you’re probably wondering, “Can I rebuild a transmission on my own?”, and we recommend that you don’t. If you’re a shade tree mechanic, backyard buddy mechanic, you may have a working mechanical mind, but do you know what goes into a transmission rebuild? 

If the vehicle isn’t something you need to get back and forth to work, a transmission rebuild project can be a worthwhile experience. However, with all the internet research, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask a seasoned mechanic for help. Call 469-904-0734 today for your transmission replacement in Dallas, TX.