Nothing lasts forever and the transmission in your vehicle is no exception to that – especially if it’s automatic. In fact, the average transmission in a car will last up to 200,000 miles.
If your car is nearing the 200,000-mile mark, or if you’re already considering getting it rebuilt, then you might be wondering how much it would cost and how long would it take to rebuild the transmission. That’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this article.
How Long Does It Take To Rebuild a Transmission?
Here’s the short answer – on average, it takes 1-2 days to rebuild a car transmission at a qualified shop, and 2-3 days to rebuild a truck transmission.
The exact time it will take to rebuild the transmission on your specific vehicle depends on a bunch of factors:
- Complexity of the transmission
- Availability of parts & tools
- Removal and reinstallation difficulty
- Experience level of the mechanic
With that said, 9 times out of 10, it will take up to 2 days to rebuild most passenger vehicle automatic transmissions. If your car was made before 2010 and has a manual transmission, then it’s certainly possible that the transmission will be rebuilt within the same day.
How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild a Transmission?
Alright, we’ve discussed the amount of time it will take to rebuild a transmission, but what about the cost?
The cost to rebuild a transmission will vary greatly depending on the type of transmission and the year, make, and model of your vehicle. In general tough, transmissions in older cars will be much cheaper to rebuild than those found in new cars with complicated internals.
Back to the question – on average, it will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 to rebuild a car transmission, and $2,500 to $6,000 to rebuild a truck transmission. Of course, the final cost will depend on the specific transmission, the number of parts that need to be replaced, and the amount of labor involved.
For example, a transmission with major damage (broken teeth on multiple gears, etc.) will be more expensive to rebuild than one with minor damage (like a blown seal).
Here’s a breakdown of the average cost to rebuild a transmission by transmission type:
- Manual Transmission – $1,500 to $2,500
- Automatic Transmission – $2,500 to $4,000
- CVT Transmission – $3,000 to $5,000
- Diesel Transmission – $3,500 to $6,000
As you can see, the average cost to rebuild an automatic transmission is higher than the cost to rebuild a manual transmission.
Is a Transmission Rebuild Worth It?
Considering recent economical events, you might be wondering whether it’s even worth it to rebuild your car’s transmission. In fact, there are multiple ways to go about fixing a broken transmission – you can get it rebuilt, buy a junkyard replacement, or buy a remanufactured transmission.
In short, if you have the money – get a remanufactured transmission, as they’ll likely last another 200,000 miles. If you want to save a bit of money, you can choose to rebuild your transmission if it’s possible to do so. Lastly, if you’re on a really tight budget, consider replacing your transmission with a one from a wrecked car.
The best option for your specific case depends on a lot of factors. We’ll go over most of them now.
Pros & Cons of Rebuilding a Transmission
When it comes to reliability and longevity, rebuilding your car’s transmission (if it’s in good enough condition to be rebuilt) is a good choice. If done well by a professional, a rebuilt transmission can last another 100,000 miles or way more. Furthermore, since the mechanic will disassemble the transmission, you’ll get a chance to look over every single internal part and be sure that everything is up to par and that you won’t be getting any surprise breakdowns.
The bottom line is that a rebuilt transmission will likely last for a very long time, but the cost of having it rebuilt is rather high. However, the main advantage to rebuilding is that you’ll know for sure that every single part of your car’s transmission is in good condition.
Pros & Cons of Reman Transmission
Now, you can also opt for replacing your transmission with a remanufactured one. This is the most expensive option, but in most cases, the transmission will last the longest. Plus, you’ll also get a decent warranty.
However, the biggest disadvantage to reman transmission (apart from cost) is that you’ll have no idea whether the parts inside it are good. Of course, the remanufacturer is required to get the transmission up to spec before legally being allowed to sell it, but in some cases, the remanufacturers use the cheapest parts to maximize profit. It doesn’t happen very often, but we’ve seen it happen a few times.
Pros & Cons of Junkyard Replacement Transmission
Lastly, if you’re on a really tight budget and need to get your transmission fixed, then the cheapest option would be to get a junkyard replacement. Now, this is a big gamble, as you’ll have no idea whether the junkyard transmission was maintained well or not, but it is a decent option in a pinch. In our experience, junkyard transmissions have an 80% chance of being good.
Again, it’s a gamble, but one that’s worth considering.
How Long Does a Rebuilt Transmission Last?
A properly rebuilt transmission should last just as long as a new or remanufactured transmission – which is to say, around 100,000-200,000 miles or so. However, if the rebuild was done on the cheap and not all worn parts were replaced with new ones, then you can expect the transmission to last 40,000 miles at the very least.
Of course, this number will change depending on how well you take care of your transmission and whether the mechanic rebuilding it didn’t make any mistakes.
If you’re someone who tows a trailer every day and puts a lot of miles on their car, then you can expect the transmission to last quite a bit less than 200,000 miles. On the other hand, if you only drive your car on weekends and you take good care of it, then the transmission could potentially last much longer than 200,000 miles.
Also Read: Average Ram 2500 Transmission Rebuild Cost
Most drivers will have to face a transmission rebuild or replacement eventually, and it’s certainly not a fun experience financially.
While in most cases a transmission rebuild will take no longer than two days, the cost of having it rebuilt is pretty high – $1,500 to $4,000. However, you don’t need to have your transmission rebuilt, as you can also buy a remanufactured one or simply get one from the wreckers.
There are multiple pros and cons to each approach, and which one is the right for you depends on your specific case.
Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below or contact us through email – we’d love to hear from you!
Eddie is the co-founder of CarCareCamp.com, and the site’s primary contributor.
Under his belt, Eddie has a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Electronics Engineering and almost a decade of experience working as a semi-truck technician (specializing in electrics).