Transmission Repair and Cost in 2021 [Guide]

transmission cost and repair I hope you agree with me when I say:

 Is my transmission shot? 

A scary thought for every driver, expert or novice, everyone learns of the importance of the transmission soon enough. The first clunking sound during a gear shift would send down shivers for any driver.

If you were a smart driver, you’d know better than to ignore it. After all, as time goes by, the damage increases, and does the transmission repair needed and its cost.

Fortunately, you’ve landed on this page. In our transmission repair cost guide, we comprehensively help you avoid or fix this problem. Starting from understanding the mechanics of transmission to understanding what causes the faults to give a detailed breakdown of the costs of the different solutions like repairing a transmission. Looking at transmission repair or replacements cost estimates is an essential step.

Stick with us to find out which option fits your budget best!


Understanding the Mechanics: What Does a Transmission Do?

All of us are quite aware of the role of an engine, the powerhouse of a car. The energy stored or provided by the engine is regulated by another essential part called the transmission. The transmission is responsible for allocating the right amount of energy needed to accelerate the car, decelerate it, or use power to tow heavy objects.

This is why it is a vital part. There are two ways a transmission functions: automatic and manual. Manually, you’d shift gears like in a bicycle, whereas in automatic transmission the car does the work for you using sensors and torque.

Now is the time to realize how important the role of the transmission is. Imagine the transmission failing, your car would malfunction and lead to terrible consequences. Before you start googling, “transmission replacement near me”, understand what might be causing the issue.

How much does a new transmission cost?

Buying from the best-remanufactured transmission company would easily cost you between $1,800 to $3,400.

That’s why it is important to look at repairing options beforehand!



How to Tell if Your Transmission is Acting Up?

This is perhaps the most important part of our transmission repair cost guide. Knowing these symptoms is essential for every driver, these help you know when it’s time to repair a transmission.

Refusal to shift

One of the earliest yet subtle signs of a transmission failure is the lack of response from the gear. Feeling like there’s a delay when shifting gears, a sensation of the stick getting stuck can be indicators. However, this sign is most visible with manual transmission.

Transmission Fluid Leakage

This is the easiest symptom to recognize. ATF is responsible for the smooth working of the transmission, that is to minimize friction.

If you see bright red fluid under your car, the leakage is prominent, and you need to get to the closest workshop. If the liquid is close to a brown colour, it is burnt and that indicates that the damage is greater and that you require faster inspection.

Burning odour

We talked about burnt AFT above but a similar sign that is easy to recognize is a burning odour that is not necessarily accompanied by fluid leakage.

The burning odour, which resembles an acidic smell, is an indicator that your gear is overheating and that it’s time to look for “transmission replacement near me” options.

Jerking and Clunking

When AFT stops performing its function, it is indicated by the sound of metals clashing. The clunking sound, also categorized as whining or humming, is often hard to decipher.

Since there are many causes for this kind of sound, it is important to have an expert diagnose it.

The jerking is characterized by the failure of the gear shift. Although it is easier to detect in manual gear shift, a sensation of ‘slipping’ can be caught by the rapid trembling of the vehicle. A sign to start looking at transmission repair and cost!


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What Might Have Caused It?

The best way to not break your bank on a new transmission or in repairing an existing one is the prevention of its failure.

Looking out for these causes is a great way of preventing irreversible damage. If you pay attention, you’ll realize that most of the causes and symptoms have to do with the lubrication of the hydraulics or the use of AFT.

The best way to ensure prevention is to keep the parts clean and lubricated.

Low Transmission Fluid

As discussed above, the transmission fluid not only acts as a lubricant but is essential in the functioning of hydraulics.

Lack of this fluid leads to a bunch of associated problems such as grinding of metal parts due to friction, which leads to overheating and the loss of a safe operating inner temperature.

Another problem is the loss of inner pressure which leads to the gears slowing down during a shift and eventually a complete refusal to shift.

For an average driver, it is essential to change it every 2.5 years to 5 years.

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Transmission Fluid Leakage

One of the first things a mechanic will tell you when dealing with low transmission fluid is to check for fluid leakage. If you often see pools of red liquid, that’s your valuable (and expensive) AFT there. You’re losing money and wasting an important lubricant for your gears.

The most important step here is to examine common leak areas and apply a sealer. Determining whether the leakage is happening from the input seal or output, or even the gasket is important.

If you can’t identify it yourself, going to a workshop and having an expert examine it is always a better option.

Clogging of Fluid Filter

Your transmission fluid filter is responsible for preventing any

dangerous materials to create havoc on your gears. It filters out dust and even harmful metal particles before they can cause problems for your engine.

However, with time, like any other filter, this filter can become clogged up and prove to be a dead-end causing all these harmful bits to create problems for your car. It is essential to regularly clean your filter or replace it.

Although replacing seems to be a more convenient option, not many people want to spend bucks on a new filter every year. There are ways to unclog the filter manually using brake cleaners and brushes. Here’s a guide that might help you out.

 Looking for related articles? Read our guide on: Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate? [Guide]  

Replacement Vs Repair

An average driver usually doesn’t even realize that their transmission needs fixing, much less what kind of fixing is required. A transmission is made up of several bits, in hundreds, damage to any part would lead to malfunctioning.

Depending on the severity of the damage, your transmission might require minor repairs with the respective repair costs, replacement of one part or all, or a complete rebuild of the transmission. Let’s look at the respective options with the transmission repair and cost estimate!

Transmission Replacement

If your car is new, it would be a good option to trade or sell your current transmission. You could also go for certain types of replacement such as shift solenoid replacement which is basically the replacement of the valve that controls the flow of liquid during transmission.

It can cost anywhere between $150-$400.

Q) How much does manual transmission replacement cost?

An average manual transmission replacement can easily cost you $1,800-$3,500. Complete new replacements lead to $3000 to $8000. With the additional transmission replacement labour cost, the bill can expand by $450 to $850, depending on your mechanic.

Transmission Repair

A transmission repair is essentially the same as a transmission rebuild. You can replace broken parts and work with damaged ones. It is the cheapest method and will work for cars that haven’t been used for too long and have sustained less damage comparatively.

Similarly, when looking at how much transmission repair costs, the used transmission repair cost is obviously going to be higher.

Q) How much does it cost to repair a transmission?

The answer here really depends on the kind of damage your transmission has sustained. Prices can easily go from $300 to $1,500 to $2,500-$4,500, for severe damage.


Is it worth replacing a transmission?

Usually, the transmission replacement costs are much more affordable. A rebuild costs more in most cases. However, there is the issue of durability. Most people believe that the underlying issue will return over and over again and build up huge costs towards the end.

In that case, it is worth replacing a transmission. Likewise, if you plan on trading or selling your car soon, or if it’s new, replacing might be better.

In the end, it solely depends on your needs and budget.

Is it cheaper to rebuild a transmission or replace it?

Again, this matter is highly subjective as well. Technically, a complete rebuild costs more, and with the labour costs, even more than a replacement.

Tips & Ways to Save Money on Solutions

When it comes to fixing cars, a lot of money is involved. With spontaneous problems that pop out of nowhere, there’s no telling when you’ll need to use your saved up bucks. It is a real pesky deal. Most people can’t afford the grand option of complete rebuilds or the extravagance of labour costs. Here is what you can do while you save the cost for an expert makeover.


  1. Most cars come with a warranty. Looking at your contract, you should be able to tell what the warranty encompasses. If your car is new, it is even better to use this option. The manufacturer might fix the problem for you.
  2. Try repairing on your own to avoid labour costs. Although keep in mind, a transmission has 800 parts, and that’s no easy job.
  3. Used transmissions can be good replacement options, they will let you off by $1000 or so. You will get better results this way too. However, the cost difference isn’t much.
  4. Lastly, you do realize that this problem wouldn’t be caused if prevention took place. Keeping your car clean and ensuring your gears are well lubricated is of utmost importance. Keep an eye out for the symptoms and look out for the causes. It’s always better to take your car for a check over the span of a few months!



In a Word:

Well, we hope after all that reading you were able to understand the mechanics behind transmissions, learnt what signs to look out for, became more aware of possible underlying causes that often get overlooked, and, most of all, managed to find the answer you came looking for.

It is of utmost importance to maintain the transmission you already have instead of having to spend bucks on finding good replacements and accommodating labour costs. No one wants to experience the nerve-racking, and in most cases, a life-threatening situation of gear malfunction, and later pay a great deal for effective solutions.

The best way to have a good transmission is by maintaining the one you already own (and paid for). It’s pretty simple!


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