Transmission Shop FAQs

  • Introduction

    Transmission repair technicians work in auto body shops and assist with broken transmission adjustments, new transmission installs, transmission resealing, and inspections. Vehicles often require transmission repair when they're leaking fluid, making grinding noises, or shaking. Most transmissions are designed to last between 80,000 and 150,000 miles.

    In certain vehicles, the check engine light may come on when there are transmission problems, and in most cases, transmissions don't completely go out without giving off warning signs. Minor transmission issues can often be remedied by flushing out the system or repairing small parts of the system, while more extensive matters may require complete replacement.
  • What is transmission repair?

    Transmission repair refers to multiple types of repairs performed on a vehicle's transmission. Repair options include fluid replacement, adjustments, resealing, leak repair, and complete transmission overhaul. In cases where transmissions have completely failed due to age or severe damage, full replacements are often required.

  • What are signs that your transmission is going out? 

    Signs that a transmission is going out can include fluid leakage, slow response or a total lack of response, grinding and jerking when driving, and a burning smell coming from the vehicle. A vehicle owner may also notice that their car doesn't easily go into gear, and the service engine soon light may come on more frequently.

  • What causes a transmission to go out?

    Transmissions can go out for a variety of reasons, including overheating, failure to maintain fluid levels, starting the vehicle too quickly, and abrupt stopping. In certain cases, using the wrong type of fluid can also lead to transmission failure.

  • Can you drive with a bad transmission?

    In certain cases, it's possible to drive with a bad transmission. However, depending on the extent of the damage, it can be risky and dangerous, and it's not recommended. When a transmission continually slips out of gear into neutral or it's continually leaking fluid, it should be assessed by a mechanic immediately.

  • Can you repair a transmission without replacing it?

    If only one specific part of a transmission requires repair, or if a transmission is simply in need of a tune-up or fluid replenishment, a full replacement may not be needed. Replacements are generally recommended when there is total transmission failure or vehicles have been driven between 80,000 and 150,000 miles.

  • Should I repair my transmission?

    When a transmission is leaking fluid or causing the vehicle to jerk or not start properly, it's important to consult with a skilled mechanic who can perform repairs to prevent further damage and potentially dangerous driving conditions. In certain cases, such as complete transmission failure, replacements or rebuilds are often recommended.

  • Is it worth fixing a transmission?

    It is worth it to fix a transmission when there are minor issues, such as parts replacement, throttle adjustments, and leak sealing. These matters rarely require full transmission replacement, which is more costly than minor fixes. Fixing a transmission also helps drivers avoid accidents and expensive replacements and rebuilds in the future.

  • How long does it take to repair a transmission?

    On average, it can take between three and four days to repair a transmission. Factors that may lead to extended repair times include vehicle make and model, transmission types, and the extent of the repairs. Complete system overhauls or replacements may take longer, while some minor repairs can be completed within a day.

  • How much does it cost to repair a transmission leak?

    The average cost of transmission fluid leak repair is between $150 and $200. Costs can vary depending on the type of leak that is occurring. For example, fluid leaks caused by broken torque converters require more extensive repairs, sometimes even full replacements, than a leak because of a broken seal.

  • How much does it cost to repair a transmission?

    Vehicle transmission repair costs can range from $300 to over $3,000, depending on the specific repairs needed. Transmission overhauls start at around $1,300, and full replacements can cost up to $3,400. Prices can also vary based on whether the transmission is manual or automatic.

  • Will insurance cover transmission repair?

     Auto insurance is designed to cover damage from accidents, and it does not cover transmission repairs due to normal wear and tear. If a vehicle owner can show that a transmission was damaged in an accident, repairs may be covered depending on specific policies.

  • Is it cheaper to rebuild a transmission or replace it?

    In most cases, the cost of replacing a transmission is significantly higher than repairing it. However, repair costs can vary depending on the extent of damage or specific repairs needed. Replacing a transmission can cost up to $3,400, while repairs range from $300 to $3,000 or more.

  • What is a CVT transmission?

    A CVT transmission is a continuously variable transmission. It differs from mechanical transmissions because it can change through endless ranges of effective gear ratios as one drives. A mechanical transmission shifts hard between gear ratios, and the number of ratios is fixed.

  • Can you repair a CVT transmission?

    CVT transmissions are repairable sometimes. However, the overall design of a CVT transmission is extremely complex compared to a mechanical transmission, so it must be repaired by a professional mechanic in most cases. Leaks and sluggishness can sometimes be repaired with special CVT transmission fluid. When damage is extensive, replacements are often required.

  • Are CVT transmissions expensive to repair

    CVT repairs cost between $3,500 and $8,000, making this type of transmission expensive to repair. Specific prices vary depending on specific repairs needed and the vehicle makes and models. For example, Hondas and Nissans with CVTs typically are less expensive to repair than Subarus.

  • How do you repair an automatic transmission?

    Specific repair procedures for an automatic transmission can vary based on the parts that are damaged or failing. Leaks can be repaired by replacing fluids, while resealing the transmission can help prevent and repair slippage problems.

  • How do you repair a slipping transmission?

    Slipping transmissions can often be repaired by resealing the entire system. Transmissions can also experience slipping due to damaged or worn-out transmission bands. This issue can be repaired with transmission band replacement.

  • Should I repair my own transmission?

    Adding transmission fluid is one repair that can be performed in a DIY fashion. If a vehicle owner is experienced in auto repair, more extensive repairs can possibly be completed without the help of a professional. However, it's always best to consult with a mechanic before attempting to replace or repair a transmission when the exact issues are unclear.

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