A failing transmission, with the huge amount of money it may cost, can be a real headache. But with the car’s transmission being a very crucial component of your vehicle’s operation, you can’t just set the problem aside. Transmission problems, if you’re lucky, can be fixed with a simple transmission fluid change, but unluckily there comes a point when you will have to go to transmission rebuilders who will repair and replace parts of your transmission so that it could operate, not only normally but even as good as new again.
Rebuilding a transmission is a time-consuming task that demands a substantial amount of effort. This entails disassembling the transmission, examining, cleaning, and repairing “hard” parts before reassembling it as a whole unit with all of its “soft parts,” such as the seals, the gaskets, the clutches, and bands.
Rebuilt transmissions can be a significant overhaul involving multiple elements being replaced or fixed, or they can be a smaller process involving only a few replacement parts and a thorough cleaning. It's critical to comprehend what's going on and how much it'll cost, regardless of whatever path you need to take.
If you're in the market for a transmission repair, it's important to know what your options are. You'll be better equipped to decide whether you should have your transmission repaired or buy a new one if you understand a little about rebuilt transmissions. In any case, learning more about either choice could help you save money and extend the life of your vehicle.
Transmission Rebuilders: The Basics of Transmission
To anyone who wishes to accomplish the work of transmission rebuilders they must first understand the basics of transmission. Your car's engine generates rotational power, which must be delivered to the wheels in order for the car to move. This is accomplished through the drive train, of which the transmission is the most important component. The transmission converts the engine's rotation into power for the wheels. The power required to move the wheels varies with speed, and the gear ratios within the transmission enable for power transfer from the engine to the wheels to be adjusted. This allows you to smoothly accelerate, decelerate, or stop.
The torque converter or clutch, if it's a manual transmission, connects the automatic transmission to the engine at the bell housing. The transmission can be compared to a switchboard that controls the vehicle's power.
A transmission's outside shell is often built of aluminum and has sensors that detect input speed from the engine and output speed to the rest of the vehicle. The torque converter is located between the engine and the transmission and is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the input shaft while also increasing torque output.
The torque converter is made up of four primary components. The torque converter clutch, the pump, turbine, stator/reactor, and the torque converter. When you press the gas pedal, these components work together to give power to the transmission, which increases or lowers torque to move your car, or slow/stop when you let off the gas pedal or use the brake
In a manual transmission, planetary gears are controlled by the driver shifting between ratios, but in an automatic transmission, they are controlled automatically. These gears, which are made up of a sun gear, planet gears/pinions, and a ring gear, can shift through a variety of forward and reverse gears.
There are frequently multiple sets of planetary gears in an automatic transmission, and they all function together with the support of brake bands and clutches. Vehicles are increasingly being designed with additional gears to assist meet fuel efficiency criteria and increase drivability, or comfort.
The transmission's electrical components, such as the valve body and solenoids, have become more sophisticated as a result of this progression. A transmission control module must also be able to accommodate more gears as a result of its programming in conjunction with the numerous sensors that detect speed, pressure, and temperature.
The transmission as a whole is a mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical engineering marvel that consistently delivers the performance you anticipate every time you start your car. It's easier to understand why transmission rebuilders work can be costly once you understand how it works and the complexities of the design. It's also easier to understand why it's critical to take your vehicle to a shop that is honest and transparent, fully explaining the problem and your options for fixing it.
What does it take to rebuild a transmission?
It's a fact: transmissions may and do break down, sometimes due to age, sometimes due to neglect or abuse, and occasionally for no apparent reason. Some designs are superior to others, and transmission rebuilders need to be well-versed in typical model failures. For cost effective transmission rebuild, they must know to repair and replace only what is really needed to be able to go back to its normal operation
Competent transmission rebuilders must be able to identify the root cause of the failure to be able to fix it. They must be able to take into consideration the quality of the transmission fluid, identify transmission trouble code, and identify drivability symptoms. Competent transmission builders must be able to replace the parts that are bound to deteriorate overtime like gaskets, clutches, seals, snap rings, o-rings, etc, replace parts that also may have been affected by the transmission failure and know common transmission failure specific to the car model.
But at what point should you start considering rebuilding your transmission? Your trusted transmission rebuilders will make the recommendations either to repair, rebuild or replace your transmission depending on the age, the cost of new parts that have to be replaced, and how many issues your transmission has.
Instead of rebuilding you will be recommended to replace if your transmission reached these points:
Your vehicle’s transmission has too many issues, and has to be in the shop every few weeks to put a new “band-aid” on it to keep it running. A few hundred dollars here and there is often better spent on replacement to extend your life.
The transmission issue has become too difficult to diagnose because they are so deep. If it takes an hour for a mechanic to locate anything, it's usually wiser to replace it rather than spend hundreds on labor, knowing that the fix would cost hundreds more.
If you have a high-cost transmission repair, compare the expenses of repair vs. replacement. Minor repairs are financially effective in extending the life of your car. When a minor repair becomes a significant one, though, it's usually always a good idea to reconsider. Your mechanic can tell you how long a repair will last and what the best course of action is for your car.
Your technician can tell you how much life your existing transmission has left and whether it's time to replace it. Your transmission may have considerably less mileage than the manufacturer's recommended mileage if it hasn't been properly maintained.
Is it cheaper to rebuild transmission?
A transmission rebuild can be a good option because it’s cheaper than doing a transmission replacement. And that is because you are only replacing the transmission parts that have issues. But you will have to do it with very reputable and competent transmission rebuilders.
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to rebuilding a transmission, new gaskets, seals, clutch, and bands will be replaced as they are most likely to become worn out as the transmission is taken apart to be rebuilt.
The disassembly and cleaning of the pieces is the first stage in a rebuild. The solenoids will be replaced, and a new torque converter will be employed. When all of this is finished, the transmission will be reassembled and put back into your car, so be sure you have transmission rebuilders who know what they are doing during the whole rebuilding process.
How long does a transmission rebuild last?
Any well-made transmission may endure for years inside a vehicle with proper care. The same can be said for the rebuilt transmissions. All of the effort involved in removing a transmission from a vehicle, replacing any worn or broken parts, and reinstalling it into the original vehicle can bring tremendous improvement on the transmission.
But how much can we expect from a remanufactured or rebuilt transmission? It all depends on how the transmission rebuilders handle their rebuilding projects. Rebuilding a transmission should provide results that make it ‘like new' again if done correctly.
All worn pieces are replaced, seals and soft parts are restored, and the body is returned to the vehicle from which it came. In terms of comebacks, a competent rebuild project should not incur any additional expenditures or labor for your shop.
The warranty is adjusted to match the skill level and efficiency of the experts and rebuilders. The length of the warranty varies by shop and is determined by the amount of work, effort, and attention put into the service.
The 30,000 to 40,000 mile milestone is an excellent starting point for rebuilt transmission success. A refurbished unit should, at the absolute least, last this long. If a rebuilt unit is given greater attention and care in terms of tiny, routine maintenance work, it may theoretically last as long as a new unit – roughly 150,000 to 200,000 kilometers on average.
Paying attention to the quality of the new parts you're installing throughout the service is the greatest method to assure a rebuilt transmission will survive. Cutting corners on quality or completeness will undoubtedly affect the outcome of your project. The quality of the parts used in a rebuild will have an impact on how well it performs on the road, so make sure you use only the best parts especially made for the application you're working on.
Consumers should also be knowledgeable on appropriate transmission maintenance that can keep them happy with the job while also saving them money in the long run like regular repairs such as oil, fluid and filter changes. In addition, band adjustments and transmission cooler installs can increase the life of their rebuilt transmission. Aggressive driving, which puts extra strain on the transmission, should also be avoided. In conclusion, with the correct combination of preventative measures and diligent upkeep, a rebuilt transmission can perform and will last for a very long time.
How much should a transmission rebuild cost?
The cost for rebuilding transmission depends. Angie's List discovered in 2014 that the average cost of rebuilding a transmission is between $2,800 and $3,800. The website also discovered that purchasing a replacement can cost anything from $4,000 to $8,000. Neither is a cheap fix, but it's simple to understand how rebuilding is the most cost-effective option.
Depending on labor, parts, and unforeseen situations, a rebuilt transmission can cost anywhere from $2800 to $3800 according to General Transmission. This is still less expensive than replacing your transmission, which can cost anywhere from $4000 to $8000 depending on your vehicle's make and model.
The cost of a transmission rebuild also varies greatly depending on a number of factors, including the type of vehicle you drive and the extent of transmission damage. But one thing is for certain — no one can estimate the cost of transmission repair for your vehicle over the phone.
When it comes to rebuilding a transmission, the greatest approach to “save money” is to avoid the need for one in the first place. Maintenance and inspections of your transmission and related components on a regular basis will save you a lot of money in the long run. If you're considering skimping on the rebuild itself, reconsider. What you pay for is what you get.
When it comes to the rebuilding cost and quality of transmission, the most important consideration is labor. You must only trust experienced transmission rebuilders who can complete transmission rebuild competently. Do your own homework when choosing one. Read reviews and ask around so that you could make sure you are making the most out of your money.