Key Factors to Consider Before Car Transmission Repairs

Key Factors to Consider Before Car Transmission Repairs

December 11, 2023

Making sure your vehicle’s transmission stays in top shape is super important for keeping it running smoothly for the long haul. 

Transmission fluid plays a big role in keeping the moving parts of both automatic and manual gearboxes cool and well-lubricated. As time goes by, the insides of the transmission start to wear out, and tiny particles can mess up the fluid. If this happens, it could cause some serious damage.

Issues like gear slipping, sluggish gear changes, rough shifts, gear grinding, gearbox overheating, grinding noises, and fluid leakage are potential signs of transmission problems, signaling the need for immediate attention to prevent further damage. In case of more damage, the transmission repair service might suggest a rebuild. Rebuilding is like giving your transmission a makeover, swapping out, or fixing parts to get it working all fresh and new again.

When they rebuild transmissions, it can mean some big updates, where they replace or fix lots of bits. Or it could be a simpler deal, just switching out a few pieces and giving everything a good scrub-down.


Factors to consider before getting the transmission repaired:


1. Time to change the transmission fluid

Changing your transmission fluid is essential, although, for newer vehicles, this might not be necessary until they've covered over 100,000 miles. It's a smart move for anyone planning to keep a vehicle for a while or for those who've bought a used car with high mileage.


2. Mechanic's experience

The mechanic's experience is crucial when choosing the right car transmission repair shop. Modern vehicles require specific expertise for top-notch repairs, so if you want the job done right, make sure the mechanic knows their stuff. Ask about their experience, how long they've been in the business, and where they received their training.


3. A good transmission repair shop

A good transmission repair shop should be equipped to service all types of vehicles and handle various transmission models. They should also have connections with specialized shops that provide extra knowledge about specific vehicles, enabling them to address unexpected issues.

Finding such a shop means your vehicle can get back to running smoothly without having to hop around for different services. 


4. Cost

While certain transmission shops might charge a bit more initially, it's often a worthwhile investment for better-quality service down the road. It's essential to inquire about the costs involved, including diagnostics and parts. A trustworthy shop will give you these estimates upfront to avoid any surprises on your bill. Before starting any work, they should offer an estimate and ensure that only necessary replacement parts are installed and not overcharge for anything unusual.


Should you rebuild or replace the transmission?


Choosing to replace your transmission is the most expensive option, involving the manufacturer swapping out all worn or damaged parts with brand-new ones. While it ensures a high-quality job by skilled professionals, it comes at the cost of giving up control over the specific replacement process and may not include the latest updates.

On the other hand, opting for a transmission rebuild is a more cost-effective solution, making it the ideal choice for those looking to save money. During a rebuild, the mechanic focuses on fixing the specific components that are failing instead of replacing the entire unit, resulting in significant savings.

The rebuilding process involves a thorough cleaning of all parts to identify specific issues, with the replacement of key components like the torque converter and solenoids. Components such as seals, gaskets, clutch, and bands are also addressed. It's crucial to ensure the proper functioning of solenoids, as they direct transmission fluid into the valve body, engaging the correct gear. Any issues with the valves can lead to faulty transmission operation.

It's important to note that rebuilding may take longer compared to a complete replacement.


How long does it take to complete transmission maintenance?


For a flush and fill, the most common maintenance, i.e., taking out old fluid and debris, expect about 3-4 hours. 

If minor repairs are needed, the time depends on the issue and the mechanic's experience, usually requiring 1-2 days in the shop. 

Rebuilding a transmission takes longer, around 3-4 days, due to its complexity, while a complete replacement, although quicker, may take 1-2 days, considering the parts and labor involved. 

These timelines can vary based on the mechanic and specific transmission requirements.

To wrap it up, taking care of your vehicle's transmission is crucial for its longevity. Choose a reputable repair shop, considering both quality and cost. Stay on top of maintenance, and consult your mechanic for the best approach to keep your transmission running smoothly.