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Transmission Repair

on February 14, 2019

Transmission Repair

on February 14, 2019

Transmission repairs are among the most expensive components you can have repaired or replaced in your vehicle, which can sometimes supersede the value of the car in the first place. Most repairs done in repair shops are normally overpriced thanks to the high hourly fee mechanics charge, even if the repair is a small fix. In the case of transmissions, you will expect to be paying an average of $1500 for a replacement after combining both the cost of the part and the intensive labor process that occurs to ensure the transmission is fully installed.

How Do You Know Your Transmission Needs to be Repaired?

Typically, if you are looking up information online regarding pricing and the repair process you are already at the point that you need your transmission fixed. This is usually seen by the Check Engine Light illuminating on your dashboard and having stores like Auto Zone or Advanced Auto Parts read the error code that is being thrown.

Some common signs of replacements will also come in the form of noises and feeling of your vehicle over time. If you notice any of these occurring in your vehicle it may be time to visit transmission shops for full diagnostics.

Refusing to Go Into Gear

Your vehicle refusing to go into gear is never a good thing by any means. This is a little more common in manual transmissions, but you may have occurrences in which the stick shifter refuses to engage even with the clutch pedal depressed.

This occurrence can happen due to low transmission fluid, or fluid of the wrong viscosity. Regardless, a call to the repair shop should be considered to avoid making this problem into a larger issue.

Burning Smell

Cars should never make a burning smell, so when you smell something burning while operating your vehicle the best course of action would be to pull over and shut off the engine to asses where the smell is coming from.

In the transmission, you may smell burning if your transmission or engine is overheating. The engine overheating could occur due to the lack of transmission fluid present in the transmission in the first place, or if the current transmission fluid is outdated and needs to be replaced.

Transmission Loud While in Neutral

While some cars idle stronger than others while in neutral, there is no reason to hear excessive noises while in idle. You may hear a bump type of sound, which may be heard during the shifting of gears as well. If you hear noises emitting from the vehicle while in neutral, you may need to fill the transmission fluid.

If filling or replacing the fluid doesn’t work, it may have an indication that you have a larger issue with your transmission and should have the vehicle brought to a repair shop as soon as possible.

Slipping Gears

Probably one of the most common signs of a transmission issue is the gears slipping. Gears slipping simply means that the gear your transmission is set to does not stay engaged on its own and can slip while driving or when in idle.

If you experience this happening on any of your vehicles it may be time to visit a repair shop.

Red Fluid Leaking from Car

This one is pretty obvious, as fluid is supposed to stay inside the vehicle not leak out of it. With the composition of transmission fluid, there is no event in which the fluid is used up during the circulation, unlike engine oil.

When you check your engine oil you should see a bright red/pink substance that has a slightly sweet smell to it. Engine oil is purposely manufactured this way in order to allow it to stick out if it was ever to leak from your vehicle. If you are to check your transmission fluid and it is a burnt or dark color and emits a burning smell you know its time for it to be replaced.

Again, the transmission is a closed system and the fluid doesn’t dissipate over time so if you are running low on fluid you most likely have a leak.

Check Engine Light

If there is an internal issue with your transmission your check engine light will illuminate, as there is no check transmission light. Simply bringing your car to AutoZone or Advanced Auto Parts, which both offer a free engine light diagnostic. Adversely, if you have an OBD reader in your possession you can read your error codes right at home.

Some of the most common lights to be thrown for a transmission error are:

P0218: Transmission Over Temperature Condition

P0613: TCM Processor

P0614: ECM/TCM Incompatible

P0700: Transmission Control System Malfunction

P0706: Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range

P0715: Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction

P0720: Output Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction

It’s recommended you bring your vehicle to a mechanic if any of the above codes are present.


If you attempt to switch gears on your vehicle and are greeted with a grinding feeling or tension when shifting, it may be an issue with your transmission. If you engage the clutch, then shift and hear a grinding noise you could have a worn clutch.

There are a ton of factors that could cause your vehicle to emit a grinding noise when shifting gears, it is highly recommended that you leave it to a certified mechanic to deal with the issue.

The general rule of thumb to follow is if the car doesn’t have a smooth transition between gears there’s something wrong.

Limited Response

The transmission was created specifically to be fully operable every time, without fault. So, if you notice your transmission slipping or lack in response you know something is very wrong.

If you successfully shift your gear into the correct position but experience no movement after pressing on your gas pedal, your clutch may not have engaged to match your gear change. In this case the only thing you can do is contact a repair center to have this problem fixed.

Average Cost

The costs for the average transmission denoted above is based on rough estimates, as repair prices will vary depending on the age of your vehicle, the cost of the part and the repair process itself. So, in cars such as Volkswagen and BMW, you can expect to pay top dollar for a replacement, whereas those who own a Dodge or Toyota can be charged significantly less. With the average price sticking well around the $1,800 – $3,500 range, you may find yourself being charged more for foreign cars.

You may also find yourself in the position where you are offered an estimated transmission repair cost based on choosing between installing either a rebuilt transmission or a remanufactured transmission. The difference between the two though would be the cost to retrieve the part.

Rebuilt Transmissions

A Transmission Rebuild is exactly as it sounds, the transmission itself is being rebuilt with the parts and components that have failed as opposed to the full replacement. Often this is the more price effective option, but there is always the chance of the cost superseding the older cost if you have a vehicle that is more labor intensive or requires a specific way to extract the transmission.

Generally, you can expect to pay around $1,000 – $3,000 depending on the make and model.

Used Transmissions / Salvage Transmission

If you are going to a local repair shop you may be able to stumble upon some which double as a salvage center. This may allow them to give you the option of purchasing a used transmission that will be pulled from a totaled vehicle or salvaged vehicle. This option is one of the hardest repair options to gauge, as a salvaged vehicle can simply be denoted as salvaged due to cosmetic damage, whereas others could be flooded due to weather or damaged due to a severe accident.

If you are considering this option, it is imperative you do your research into the shop providing the part to make sure you won’t receive a transmission that has previously been damaged. Inquire about gaurentees available before going ahead with the repair.

Generally, a used/salvaged transmission replacement will cost you $800 to $1,500. Making It the cheapest option but also the riskiest.

Remanufactured Transmission

A remanufactured transmission is a transmission that has gone bad at some point, such as internal or external components no longer operating, and has been sent back to the manufacturer for repair. The transmission is then deconstructed and filled with new internal components straight from the assembly line. The transmission is then stress tested to ensure it meets driving specifications and to ensure there is no leaks throughout the components.

Generally, you can expect to pay between $1,300 to $3,500 for a remanufactured engine thanks to the assurance and warranty provided from the manufacturer.

Visit this website to lookup 2019 Remanufactured Transmission Prices

Transmission Repair Near Me

It may be easy to Google “Repair Shops Near Me” to make sure the shop specializes in transmission rebuilds. If the repair shop can do a full rebuild of a transmission you can find comfort in having them replace a full component if that is the route you wish to take. This will also allow you to gauge if you want the shop to install a used/salvaged transmission as opposed to a rebuilt or re-manufactured transmission.

Drivesmart’s Powertrain Plus and Elite plan will cover any repairs necessary on your vehicle’s transmission. Be sure to get coverage on your vehicle before such a serious problem arises. Transmission repair is one of the more expensive fixes on any car on the road today. Protect yourself with Drivesmart.

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