Some of the most expensive auto repairs in the United States result from engine and transmission problems. Luckily, there are several different options available for automatic transmission repair that might be more cost-effective.
The type of transmission repair depends on the nature of the problem, the type of your car, and the mileage. If you’re one of the 10% of drivers that uses a manual car, these may not apply to you.
Rebuilt: If you opt for a rebuilt transmission, your transmission will be taken apart and inspected, then worn or damaged parts are replaced, and the whole thing is put back together to factory specifications. During this process, mechanics will also install new gaskets, seals, bands and clutches. This is a custom process typically performed by a specialist. These types of repairs may also be called refurbished, reconditioned or overhauled.
Remanufactured: Technically, there are no new transmissions available on the market. They’re all used in new cars and trucks. When you purchase a new transmission, it’s actually remanufactured, so consider whether the cost is truly worth it. Remanufactured transmissions are essentially the same thing as rebuilt transmissions, only the work is done in a factory with a team of specialized workers instead of in a transmission repair shop. The team rebuilds the transmission from start to finish and tests it on a dynameter.
Repaired: A repaired transmission entails a transmission with one fixed or replaced part. This can be done if the rest of the components still have a lot of mileage and only a few components are causing problems. Though this is often a cheaper option, it can also be risky, since you’ll put more money into a transmission that may still fail later.
Used: It’s also possible to install a used transmission. There are actually several to go around since insurance companies often total cars in accidents that don’t damage the transmission. Used transmissions are practical and cheap options, but they do often come with less impressive warranties to balance the lower transmission repair cost.
Transmission repair costs are only one factor in the type of repair you should get. Other factors include time the car will need to spend in the auto repair shop, and whether you’re looking at a big or small engine repair. There are 701,100 automobile mechanics in the US, so if you have time, compare transmission repair costs until you find the best option for your repair.