Transmission repair is one of the most expensive repairs most drivers don't want to hear about. In this article, we will discuss transmission repairs. More specifically, we will focus on the AAMCO transmission rebuild cost.
We will first give you an overview of what does it mean to get a transmission rebuild? Then, we will illustrate the different factors affecting the final cost for your transmission rebuild. Moving to the details, we will provide you a high-level overview of AAMCO transmission rebuild services and the expected repair costs by geographic location and car type. We will conclude with some discussion on whether it is worth performing a transmission rebuild at AAMCO or not.
What is a transmission rebuild?
A transmission rebuild is one of the most complicated transmission repairs. Like the car's engine, the transmission has internal parts that can get wear and tear over years of usage. When someone says “transmission rebuild,” it means replacing the worn parts inside the transmission without completely replacing the whole part.
While transmission rebuild is very expensive, it remains less costly than getting a new transmission, especially with a more skilled mechanic knowing how to perform the rebuild successfully.
What are the different factors affecting your transmission rebuild cost?
Many factors are affecting how much you would need to pay to get your transmission rebuilt:
Your car's make
Your car's make is one of the most important factors affecting how much you will pay to get your transmission rebuilt. In general, vehicles that are U.S. domestic tend to cost less than imported vehicles.
For example, if you have a GM, Ford, or a Chrysler, you will pay way less to get a transmission rebuild as compared to a BMW, Mercedes, or Volkswagen.
Your vehicle's transmission type.
If your own a manual transmission, you will have to pay a different price for rebuilt than for an automatic transmission. In general, if you own a manual transmission, expect to pay less money to get it to rebuild as compared to an automatic transmission.
This is because the automatic transmission is upgraded every year and require advanced mechanical skillsets to get repaired, considered time-consuming, and has a lot more parts inside it that can fail.
The location you will go to.
Price varies significantly by the shop you would get your transmission rebuilt at. Of course, going to a professional mechanic in a dealer shop will cost much more than going to a local dependent mechanic.
It is important to note here that getting a transmission rebuild is a very expensive and costly process. Thus, it might make more sense to pay a little more and make sure that a skilled professional party does the work for you. Therefore, getting a low price for a transmission rebuild doesn't always mean a good deal, and there should be a balance between selecting a good price and having the required skill set to perform the rebuild.
Transmission rebuilt does not necessarily mean a “complete rebuild.” As we mentioned earlier, the goal of the transmission rebuild is to replace the worn parts with new ones without completely replacing the transmission. Thus, the level of tear and wear can determine the level of complexity of rebuilt. The more tear and wear, the more effort from the mechanic, the more money you will pay.
Your car's year
Your car's age can also affect the final price you will end up paying to get a transmission rebuild. Surprisingly, older cars cost much more than a newer car to get a transmission rebuild.
You might expect that modern cars have a more complicated transmission design and will require a certain level of skill set to get it fixed. This is true; however, the older the vehicle, the harder it is to find parts to replace.
AAMCO Transmission Rebuild Service
AAMCO, or Anthony A. Martino Company, is one of the industry-leading names for transmission repairs. This American transmission repair company is based in Philadelphia, and it has more than 50 years of experience in work related to transmission repairs to car's tune-ups.
AAMCO provides a lot of services, including reseal services, transmission services, and clutch services. We will focus our article on the transmission services only.
Before performing any transmission rebuild service, AAMCO performs what is known as the “Multi-point Inspection & Diagnostics Services.”
In this inspection process, AAMCO's mechanics can identify the exact root cause of your transmission issue. This inspection is very significant because it can identify that your transmission problem can be very simple and doesn't require a lot of effort and money. Your transmission might end up needing a fluid change or a sealing service.
In this inspection process, AAMCO looks in detail at several things, including, but not limited to: the fluid's level, a road test, internal computer diagnostics, pan gasket check, wire connections confirmation, axles, and shafts testing, and much more.
Once the diagnosis is done and confirmed that your car needs a transmission rebuild, AAMCO's experts will work on it. To complete the transmission rebuild, the mechanic has to do the followings:
- Disassemble the transmission
- Check the worn and damaged parts
- Remove the worn parts carefully and replace them with new ones
- Perform an overall detailed cleanup to the internal and external components of the transmission.
- Refill Transmission fluid, if needed
- Assemble the transmission and put parts together
- Reinstall the transmission in the right place
- Take the car on a road test to confirm that the rebuild was completed successfully.
How much do I need to pay to get my transmission rebuilt at AAMCO?
While the transmission rebuilt price will depend on the factors mentioned earlier, expect to pay between $2,800 and $3,800 to get your transmission rebuilt at AAMCO.
To give you more idea about what to expect when you go to AAMCO, here is a list of some of the most recent customers estimates online who just got their transmission rebuilt at AAMCO by geographic location:
|Car||AAMCO transmission rebuild cost||Location|
|unknown Toyota||$3,600||Wilmington, NC|
|unknown car||$2,100||Stockbridge, GA|
|Expedition||$2,800||Salt Lake City, UT|
|unknown car||$2,500||Orlando, FL|
AAMCO transmission repair additional costs
It is important to note that transmission repair real cost is not only what you paid for the actual rebuild. There are additional small costs that can add up together and almost double the final amount of money you will end up paying.
For example, we mentioned before that AAMCO has to perform some initial diagnosis. Don't be surprised that you might have to pay between $500 and $900 only for this initial diagnosis. They sometimes call it the “evaluation fee.”
Furthermore, if your transmission issue is very significant, you might not be able to drive the vehicle. Thus, you have to tow the car to an AAMCO location. This towing cost will not be included in the AAMCO transmission rebuild cost.
A transmission rebuild is not a couple of hours task, mechanics and technicians will need a lot of time to perform the rebuild and test the vehicle. During this time, you might need to rent a vehicle to be able to get to your everyday destinations.
Some transmission rebuilds might require you to replace other parts in the car to have a perfectly working vehicle. Here is a list of common parts you might end up changing whenever you have a transmission rebuild: TC switch, valve body, shift kit, reverse drum, torque converter, and others.
You are assuming that AAMCO completed your transmission rebuild. If you were not able to pick up your vehicle within one day, you would be charged $45 for each day you keep the vehicle. This fee is called a “storage fee.”
As you might notice, the total price of the transmission rebuild can be much more than what you are thinking of. It might be worth the time doing the math and seeing the overall cost of repair versus getting a new transmission.
Can I save money in the transmission rebuild at AAMCO?
Getting a transmission rebuild is one of the most expensive transmission repairs. Therefore, it is recommended that you spend some time shopping for quotes in your area.
Keep in mind that AAMCO is a franchise, which means that there might be mechanic shops that offer better prices.
Getting at least three quotes won't take a lot of time or effort, you can get some ideas even over the phone without really taking your car to each of the mechanic shops.
Yes, you need to make sure that you have a professional doing the work for you. It is still worth the time getting an overall idea of the price difference.
The other thing you need to consider is checking the AAMCO website for promotions. If you visit the official website of AAMCO, you will find that they post promotions from time to time. Therefore, if you know that your transmission issue is not severed and can wait, it is good to keep an eye and listen for any upcoming promotions.
However, you have to be very cautious about your transmission problems. Usually, the most obvious transmission issues can't wait, and the car has to be taken to the mechanic immediately. Therefore, sometimes it might not be worth waiting for promotions and causing more severe issues to your car's transmission that will cost you double or triple the price of the promotion.
In addition to the promotion, AAMCO has a reward program. In this program, if you say you performed a specific service, you will get some points or discounts when you come back for other repairs. Just like many clothes stores with reward programs. Some of the rewards that the AAMCO offer include: free oil change, 50% off for tire rotation, and much more.
When should I bring my transmission to AAMCO?
AAMCO listed several checks you can perform on your own to check if you need an immediate transmission repair, whether it is a rebuild or any other service. These checks can be done anywhere and not necessarily in a mechanic shop. For example, you can perform any of the checks in your garage or driveway.
The first thing you need to keep an eye on is the fluid level. If the transmission's fluid level gets very low, this can be an indication of a fluid leak or major issues with your transmission. Therefore, any time you see a low transmission fluid level, take your car to the mechanic immediately.
The second thing that is considered of the top tips AAMCO expert recommendation is to monitor the transmission's fluid color. Below is a list of the different transmission fluid colors and what does each color mean:
- Reddish-brown. This color indicates that your transmission fluid is in a normal condition, and you can confirm that by making sure there is no particular smell for it.
- Transmission fluid with water or particles. If you see some water or strange particles in your transmission fluid, this is an indication of contaminated fluid, and it needs to be replaced.
- Dark brown or black. If you see a burnt like color to your transmission fluid, this is an indication that there is internal damage due to high temperature.
- Varnished fluid. This is an indication of transmission overheating continuously.
Is it worth getting a transmission rebuild at AAMCO?
By now, we expect that you have some idea about how much can the total transmission rebuild cost be. When it comes to “is it worth it?” well, it depends.
I say transmission rebuild will cost you $4,000, and you know that your car's overall value is only $5,000, then definitely you don't want to go this route. It will make sense to trade, sell, or junk your car and use the money as a down payment for a new vehicle.
Like most mechanic repairs, it's all about balance. Anytime you want to have a costly repair to your car, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- How much is the repair cost as compared to the actual price of my car?
- Does the car has any other major issues that also need repair?
- How old is my car?
- Is the car having mechanical issues continuously?
Your answers to the mentioned questions will determine when it is worth this specific repair, and when it is not.