Some transmissions repairs can be quite inexpensive, while others may end up costing more than the value of the car itself. Transmission repairs costs can easily escalate in price range depending on the problem. That’s one good reason to have your transmission inspected by a qualified mechanic if you suspect something might be wrong.
If you know something is wrong with your transmission, the causes can be numerous. A simple lack of transmission fluid level can leave parts unprotected by lubricant and allow internal components to warp and gaskets or seals to fail. Modern transmissions also contain a number of electronic modules and controls that could fail and cause transmission problems.
In manual transmission vehicles, one of the most common major repairs is replacing a clutch that’s become worn over time or damaged by improper driver shifting. In all types of transmissions, sometimes an overhaul, rebuild or replacement may be necessary depending on the severity of the problem.
When facing an expensive transmission repairs such as a rebuild or replacement, vehicle owners should ask themselves a few questions. First, is the transmission under warranty? Many vehicle manufacturers now offer power train warranties that cover some, but not all, transmission components. Having a transmission repaired under warranty represents a much less expensive proposition.
If a repair shop has proposed an expensive repair based on their sole diagnosis, it may prove useful to get a second opinion. With some transmission problems such as issues that prevents the car from driving, this may represent an extra expense in towing the vehicle to another location, so consider exercising this option judiciously. Call around other transmission repair providers to get an idea of the cost range based on the prescribed repairs.
Finally, if facing an expensive transmission repair, especially for an older, high-mileage vehicle, determine whether you should repair the vehicle or replace it. The first step is determining how much repairs will cost. Next, find your car’s retail value by using car pricing tools available on websites. If the cost of the repairs greatly exceeds the value of your car, you may want to avoid repairing your transmission. On the other hand, if your car is in otherwise fair condition and transmission repairs will ensure many more years of trouble-free operation, it may be wise to consider investing in repairs, especially if you want to avoid the effort of purchasing a new vehicle and making monthly payments.