Transmission Rebuild Cost – How Much Does It Cost?

Transmission Rebuild Cost – How Much Does It Cost?

August 23, 2021 0 By CarGuy

.So, your transmission suddenly stopped working well and started slipping gears or shuddering? This is sad news because you are probably going to need a transmission rebuild. And you should also know the transmission rebuild cost and transmission rebuild labor cost as well. Numbers can get hefty when it comes to transmissions. But we are going to share with you the easiest and simplest ways how you can perform a transmission rebuild for a good deal.

The transmission is a key component that allows you to shift gears and move the vehicle from a stationary position. In order to keep the transmission in check, you have to maintain it properly and change the fluid and filter. But sometimes even if we maintain the transmission the transmission can go bad and require a rebuild.

This is most pronounced on transmissions that have a lot of miles on them. Especially cars with over 150,000 miles are more prone to transmission problems. Problems with the torque converter and also gear slipping and shuddering. When the transmission reaches the end of its lifespan you will have to either rebuild it or replace it.

In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to automatic transmissions and transmission rebuilds. We are going to learn the basics of how a transmission works. Then we will move from there and understand what are the symptoms of a bad transmission. And the transmission rebuild cost and as well the transmission rebuild labor cost. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the article.

What Is A Transmission?

The transmission of the gearbox as many people call it is an integral part of every internal combustion vehicle. The transmission is converting the rotational energy of the crankshaft into torque.

This torque then from the transmission is successfully transferred towards the back of the vehicle through the driveshaft in the differential. Then the differential is transferring the power to the wheels. This example is for rear-wheel-drive cars.

On front-wheel-drive cars on the other hand the transmission is laid out differently. The transmission in front-wheel vehicles is located on the front right side of the engine bay. The transmission is connected to the transaxle.

The transaxle is a component that converts the torque from the transmission in rotational power that spins the wheels. Every wheel is connected with a CV shaft from the transaxle. The CV shaft is something like an axle but is placed at an angle.

This allows the CV shaft to follow the movement of the vehicle and successfully overcome the obstacles on the road.

There are also two types of transmissions that we are going to discuss about before go in deeper into this article and start discussing the transmission rebuild cost.

Types Of Transmissions, Transmission Rebuild Cost

There are two types of transmissions that are used in cars. The manual and the automatic transmission.

In the manual transmission, the driver is going through the gears by selecting the gears manually with the gear stick. And pressing the clutch to engage and disengage the clutch.

The manual transmissions are pretty much bulletproof and do not suffer a lot of issues since there are fewer moving parts inside and they do not require flushing the fluid that often like in automatics.

Driving a manual can be tricky since you need to synchronize your foot with the change of the gear. And also, driving a manual for a long time will get you tired. Your leg will get sore and you basically will feel less focused.

And that’s why automatic transmissions were invented in order to simplify this gear shifting. And from now on we are going to stick to automatics. Since the article is about automatic transmission rebuild cost.

Transmission Rebuild Cost

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The automatics work by using transmission fluid. This fluid is moving through the transmission based on the input that you give on the gas pedal.

The automatic transmissions are extremely complicated because they carry with them a lot of electronics as well many fluid lines that are used to activate the transmission and make it work.

The downside with the automatics is their complexity. This makes the automatics less reliable and prone to errors.

This is the case because over time, the automatics tend to wear and impurities start to appear in the fluid. These impurities are metal shavings in transmission fluid. And they can cause the fluid to make problems to the transmission gears.

This will result in transmission shudder, slipping gears, jerking. These symptoms are a clear sign that you need a transmission rebuild soon and you have to know the transmission rebuild cost.

Transmission Fluid

The automatic transmission in order to run is using a special fluid called ATF or transmission fluid. This is a hydraulic fluid that is also used in other applications such as shocks, struts, power steering.

This fluid is extremely durable and can withstand the work in the transmission and also deliver proper and reliable work.

This fluid has a characteristic red color. This color has been given to the fluid in order to distinguish the fluid from other fluids that are used in vehicles, namely engine oil or brake fluid.

The transmission fluid is usually changed every 50,000 miles or less. Changing the fluid often will guarantee that your transmission is not going to have trouble working and with the regular fluid changes you are going to extend the transmission life and you will not be looking for transmission fluid rebuild cost.

If you skip a few transmission fluid changes your transmission will for sure going to start developing issues with shifting and will start to show its dark side. And this is slipping gears, shuddering, creating metallic noises.

All these symptoms are one of the first indications that you are going to need a transmission rebuild sooner or later and you should start looking for transmission rebuild cost.

But before we discuss the transmission rebuild cost. Let’s first see the symptoms of a bad transmission.

Symptoms Of A Bad Transmission, Transmission Rebuild Cost

When a transmission is going bad it starts to develop some symptoms like every other component of the vehicle. Knowing these symptoms will make you prepared and ready if you come against some of them and you are going to know how to react. That’s why we are sharing this essential data in order for you to have a better picture of what to expect when the transmission goes bad. And after diagnosing a bad transmission you will be able to look online for transmission rebuild cost. And that’s what we are going to discuss later after we look at the symptoms.

  1. Check Engine Light
  2. Grinding Sounds
  3. Transmission Shudder
  4. Burnt Smell
  5. Transmission Stuck In One Gear
  6. Noises In Neutral Gear
  7. Slipping Gears

Check Engine Light

Check engine light is probably one of the first symptoms that appear when you have issues with your transmission. But the downside is that you don’t have a clear idea of what is causing the check engine light.

The check engine light has to be investigated in order to see what is causing this light to appear and then address the problem. In order to do this, you will have to connect the car to a scanner and see what really is going on inside.

The scanner will give you the error codes and based on these codes you will look for your solution. If the codes are telling you that you have a problem with the transmission you should know that you have to investigate deeper and see what really is causing the issue.

And based on that you will either repair, rebuild or replace the transmission. If you have to rebuild it you have to know the transmission rebuild cost and that is something that we are going to cover later in this article.

Grinding Sounds, Transmission Rebuild Cost

Another symptom of a bad transmission are the grinding noises that appear when the transmission shifts. Grinding metal with metal is not a good thing and you have to address this problem immediately because if you do not address the problem this will possibly destroy the transmission and you will have to buy a new transmission.

A new transmission will cost you much more than a transmission rebuild cost and you are going to have to pay a considerable amount more money in order to get things done.

That’s why when you hear metal grinding in your transmission things are going down very quickly and you will have to fix this problem asap, and by this, I mean not driving the car, or drive it immediately to a mechanics shop.

Transmission Shudder

Another symptom that indicates a damaged transmission and torque converter is the transmission shudder. This transmission shudder symptom causes the transmission to shake when you put your transmission in overdrive or if you are driving uphill.

When this problem usually appears is because of a bad transmission torque converter or contaminated fluid. That’s why making sure that the transmission fluid is in perfect condition is very important.

If you drive your transmission like this a lot you may end up rebuilding the transmission in the end. So, when you feel a shudder. The best thing is to replace the transmission fluid. And if that doesn’t help, the next thing you should do is replacing the torque converter, and if that doesn’t help you can start looking for transmission rebuild cost or transmission rebuild labor cost.

Smell Of Something Burnt

If you have started smelling something like a burnt smell coming from the transmission this means that your transmission is overheating and the fluid that is inside is no good.

The fluid inside of the transmission is probably heavily contaminated and it hasn’t been flushed for more than 60,000 miles.

These contaminants are preventing the fluid to properly flow and allow the cooling of the fluid itself. Resulting in overheating transmission fluid and a burnt smell.

You can inspect your transmission fluid by checking your transmission dipstick. If the fluid has a brownish coloring and is full of particles it means that it is no good anymore.

The fluid has to be flushed, and if the transmission is working properly then it’s great. If not, you should start looking for transmission rebuild cost in order to solve your problem.

Transmission Does Not Want To Go Into Gear

Another symptom when the transmission is broken and has to be replaced or rebuilt is when the transmission does not want to go into gear. The transmission just doesn’t want to go into drive and make the movement of the vehicle possible.

Or in some cases, the transmission can get stuck in one gear and will not gonna like to go up or down. This is a clear sign that you need to check your transmission and make sure that the transmission health is good. But if you have this problem, its health is probably not very good and you will have to rebuild it sooner or later. It’s better to act on time and look for transmission rebuild cost or transmission labor cost and see the prices. Something that we are going to discuss later in the article.

Noises When Transmission Is In Neutral

Another symptom when it comes to worn transmission are the noises when the car is in neutral gear. This can be very annoying especially if you are driving on a daily basis. This problem has to be solved immediately and you should consider visiting a transmission shop in order to get your transmission checked.

The experts there may help you sort the issue without rebuilding, or if it’s too far gone, you will have to rebuild the transmission.

You may pay more in order to get the transmission rebuilt, but you shouldn’t worry because in the end you will have a properly working transmission and you will enjoy driving your car without annoying sounds coming when the car is in neutral gear.

Slipping Gears

A transmission that is slipping through the gears is not good news for you. This is the case because if the transmission does not shift the gears properly does not sound very good.

This means that the transmission has to be checked by a mechanic. If the transmission starts to slip gears too often. The car may also go into limp mode in order to protect its components.

The limp mode is a safety feature that most modern cars have. The limp mode is limiting the performance of the vehicle not to exceed and possibly damage other components. In limp mode as the name implies you will not be able to go more than 20 mph. And your transmission will only going to operate in one gear.

Nevertheless, when you notice your transmission slip gears, this is an instant red alert and sign for you to stop your car and let it cool off a bit. Because maybe the transmission fluid got too hot, or there is a lack of it in the tank.

If your car slips gear the first thing to do is to flush the transmission fluid and see if there are any metal shavings inside. See if the new fluid does any good. If the new fluid does not work and the transmission again is slipping gears then you know that you have to look for transmission rebuild cost and find out more. And we precisely that are going to cover in the next chapter.

Transmission Rebuild Cost

When it comes to either replacing or rebuilding a transmission you should know that it doesn’t come cheap. The best thing to do first is to make your research and find a good shop that has a lot of experience rebuilding transmissions.

You don’t want to pay a lot of money and end up with the same problems. That’s why do your research first and look for a lot of feedback online on forums to learn which company offers the best value for the money.

Transmission rebuild cost usually goes between $1,500 to $3,0000 depending on the extent of the rebuild of the transmission. The shop is going to tell you the what will be the real price but you should expect something between these two figures.

The price for a new transmission is going to be more expensive and it can cost you between $2,500 to $6000. Depending on the make and model. This is also a good option if you don’t want to face the same problems again in the near future. This will guarantee many more miles on your car without headaches.


In this article, we have learned a lot when it comes to transmissions. We learned the basics and how manuals differentiate from automatic transmissions.

Then we discussed the symptoms of a bad automatic transmission. There are plenty of symptoms and you should be able after this article to know if your transmission has issues.

Then we have covered the transmission rebuild cost. The cost is important to know when you are on the market for a used transmission, new transmission, or doing a rebuild like in our case. You have to see which is the best deal for you before you make a decision.

If you want to learn more about transmission problems you can check our article on seized throwout bearing. Or if you have some engine problems you can check out our articles on engine rebuild cost, rod knock symptoms and low oil pressure symptoms.