Complete Transmission Repair Cost Guide

There is no engine component more complex and essential than a car’s transmission. Transmissions are responsible for shifting gears (automatically or manually) to dynamically change the speed-torque ratio in order to deliver power to the wheels in an efficient manner based on the speed of the vehicle. The reason for this is that engines output a high rotational speed which cannot be used for low speeds or starting. Using gear ratios, a transmission reduces the rotational speed and increases the torque (or “power” to the wheels) in the process.

In This Guide

Vehicles are usually described as 5 or 6 “speed” meaning then have that many gear ratios to allow the vehicle to travel at the full range of speeds required and to make use of the engine’s output power as efficiently as possible. Due to their complexity, constant use and function within a vehicle’s operation, transmissions experience a lot of wear and tear. Add to this the fact that many owner’s forget to check and change the fluid on a regular basis and it’s easy to understand why so many people have transmission problems.

Symptoms of a Problem

There are a number of symptoms of a damaged or worn out transmission to watch for, some of which are listed below. Many problems can be solved/avoided by regularly changing a car’s transmission fluid or getting the transmission flushed on a regular basis as recommended by the owner’s manual (recommendations are typically between every 30-50,000 miles). A single mechanical failure can cause the car’s engine to shut down and disable it entirely, so it is important to watch for these signs and get your car inspected at the first sign of trouble.

  • Transmission is slipping between gears while driving or popping back to neutral
  • Unusual grinding/clunking/humming noises – especially when in neutral
  • Fluid smells like it is burned
  • Clutch is dragging – clutch stays engaged and causes grinding noises when trying to shift
  • Grinding or thumping when gear changes instead of smooth transitions
  • Lag/delay between gear changes and/or higher than normal RPMs for a given speed or gear change

In the event that a transmission does begin to fail in some way (or fails completely), mechanics will often recommend a replacement, a rebuilding process, or other smaller repairs to ensure that the car will function properly and reliably. Each type of repair has different procedures and costs associated with it.

Automatic Transmission

A full transmission replacement is one of the most expensive procedures a mechanic can perform on a vehicle. The cost of the other option – getting a transmission rebuilt – can be significantly less if the problem(s) can be fixed by simple procedures that deal with easy-to-replace parts. However, it can also cost just as much or more than replacement in cases when there are major issues that need to be addressed. It all depends on how comprehensive the repairs are: from installing a few new parts to a complete overhaul.

Rebuilding involves removing the transmission, opening the case, inspecting and cleaning all the components and replacing the “soft” parts that are damaged or worn out. Some of these parts include seals, O-rings, bands, gaskets, valves, clutch components and filters. Drums, shafts, pumps, converters, the casing and gears are referred to as the “hard parts” and rarely break because they are much more durable and rarely break. This process takes no more than 3 days in most cases.

If problems are caught early on, minor repairs are far more budget-friendly as they do not require complete removal/disassembling or replacement of “hard” parts, though the costs vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle and several other factors discussed below. When it’s time to get a car’s transmission fixed, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure high value, great work, and long-lasting results.

The Process: How a Transmission is Rebuilt

The process of rebuilding a transmission is rather lengthy and labor-intensive. Mechanics must disassemble the transmission to look for problems and replace the parts that are causing it to not function properly. Through this process, the part(s) causing the mechanical failure are eventually found and replaced instead of having to install a brand new transmission.

Generally speaking, there are three different aspects that must be checked before any transmission rebuild. The first is probably the easiest, and definitely the most affordable: changing the transmission fluid. The cause of many problems is low or dirty transmission fluid, which can also cause the vehicle’s fuel economy decrease. This causes shifting to become noticeably “stickier” and, in some cases, the car will change gears and stay stuck in neutral. This “fix” often costs less than $100, though many vehicle owners find that they can do it themselves.

Next, the mechanic checks the vehicle’s computer system that controls automatic shifting (for automatics). Transmission slipping and hard shifts can actually be caused by the computer if it is not reading the RPM correctly. Sensors can be easily replaced without disassembling a transmission, so this is the second easiest (and cheapest) repair that can fix the problem(s).

After a number of diagnostic tests including test driving the vehicle and a comprehensive inspection, the technician will remove the transmission from the vehicle and disassemble it. Each part is inspected, cleaned and replaced if necessary (especially if it is outdated). Parts such as seals and gaskets are replaced anyway. The electrical system is tested and any required repairs are made. If the problem was found and none of the “hard” components require attention, the unit is assembled and reinstalled into the engine. After another test drive to ensure everything is working properly, the car is returned to its owner.

Rebuild, Repair, and Replace: The Average Costs

Transmission replacement is one of the most expensive jobs done by any mechanic, ranging on average from $1,800 to $3,500. Rebuilds can cost just as much as a replacement, depending on the extent of the damage. The upper end of the range is typically for the replacement of a high end vehicle’s transmission or a complete rebuild after a major mechanical failure. Basic repair jobs are on the lower side, from $1,000 to $2,000. For example, fixing a manual transmission often only requires a new clutch, a $1,000-$1,500 job.

Two ways you can save some money are: buying a used/remanufactured transmission instead of a new one and rebuilding the transmission yourself. These topics are outside the scope of this article and will be covered in a future post.

Factors that Affect the Cost

The cost of transmission repair varies widely based on a number of factors, the most important of which is the type and extent of the repairs being performed by the mechanic. If the transmission needs to be completely replaced or rebuilt, drivers can expect to pay several thousand dollars for parts and skilled labor, while a few minor repairs and a fluid change will only be a couple hundred dollars.

  • It also depends on the make and model of the vehicle, with domestic/standard models costing quite a bit less than high-end or imported vehicles such as BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.
  • Extent of the damage. What the car has been through can also affect the price as newer cars that have been well maintained will cost less than those that have been through tough times.
  • Considerably older or rarer cars are harder to find parts for, which also increases the cost.
  • Manual transmissions cost less to repair/replace than automatic transmissions.
  • Some shops charge higher prices than others for the same work (due to marketing, location, reputation, etc.)
  • Finally, the driver’s location will contribute a great deal to the overall cost of the procedure. Areas with higher costs of living, higher demand of services and/or lower availability of skilled technicians will charge higher labor costs, escalating the overall price.

As mentioned previously, when deciding whether to rebuild or replace a transmission it is important to know that either option can be more cost effective, depending on how complex and extensive the issues are (it can take a long time to troubleshoot and repair some problems, in which case a replacement would save you money). Making this decision is difficult for the average consumer, which is why it’s so important to…

Find the Right Repair Shop

Due to their complexity and how difficult they are to service, choosing the right mechanic to handle your transmission can make the difference between a long-lasting repair and one of questionable quality. As with any car maintenance, it’s best to get a quote from a certified technician or repair center before making an assumptions. In fact, it’s generally a good idea to gather multiple quotes and compare prices in order to make a sound decision based on quality and value. Do some research both online and locally and to find highly rated shops that have solid reputations. The cheapest service is not always the best option as some repair shops offer unrealistically low prices in order to get you into their shop so they can add hidden/additional fees onto the final price.

Consider getting friends or family to recommend a mechanic who repaired a transmission for them and did quality work. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a shop locator for finding a certified mechanic. The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) has a similar function for finding a shop that follows ATRA’s Code of Ethics. Reputable shops offer a warranties on their services in order to ensure customers’ peace of mind. In fact, a warranty should be the number one thing that drivers look for when choosing a repair shop.

Due to the wide range and severity of problems that can occur and the variance of costs involved, it is advised to get mechanics to explain exactly what is wrong with your transmission and what has to be done to fix it. They should also be able to give you a clear estimate as to what the price will be once they have done basic diagnostic tests.

Finally, drivers should pay attention to the appearance of the repair shop itself. Good repair shops are clean, inviting, and customer-centered. Less attractive options are dirty, poorly operated, and not as focused on the customers they’re supposed to be serving. With careful attention to certifications, warranties, and shop conditions, it’s easy to find a low-cost, high-value transmission repair shop that can get the job done right.

Have a Question or Experience?

Had a repair, replacement or rebuild done in the past? Have a quote on a job and not sure if it’s too high? Have a question about a particular situation with your transmission?

Please sign up and then post it in the forums so that we can discuss your situation directly.

What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

  1. Mark Benoit says:

    I paid $2100 a couple of weeks ago to have my Chevy silverado’s replaced by Mister Transmission in Toronto. I was quoted $1500-$2000, so I feel like things went okay overall. I had to drive in second gear (drive wouldn’t work) to the service center and the technician announced the transmission dead on arrival so a replacement was the obvious choice.

  2. greg theodore says:

    A year and half ago my Trans-Am trans was rebuilt cost $1,500.00 now its out again. Trying to find a repair shop that will hopefully do the job and hopefully last longer.

  3. Kevin Pack says:

    I have had two bad transmission experiences, and the larger chains were always the rudest and the most overpriced option (next to the dealerships). Just this year I had a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander rebuilt by Dayton Transmission Repair in Dayton Ohio, and they were the most professional shop I had ever been to. They were $1000.00 cheaper than the large chain phone quotes! Smaller is better in my experience with auto/transmission shops.

  4. victor cole says:

    I just had my transmission replaced a week ago. I only had reverse and a bit of second gear. it cost me about $2800.00
    I still seem to be having problems. When its cold it does not want go into second gear only when I warm it up it starts to work. After driving for ten or so minutes it accelerates but does not go to gear. The garage says it may be something else.
    I do have problems with fuel pump but brief bouts I need some advice. Thank you.

    • Admin says:

      Hey Victor, since you got it replaced only a week ago, the work should still be under some sort of warranty/guarantee by the garage that did the work. Show them those problems, have them test drive the car and get them to re-do the work or give you your money back so you can go somewhere else. Those all sound like transmission-based problems to me.

  5. Kate D says:

    I would appreciate any & all input. My 2000 Plymouth Grand Voyager is in need of TRANNY solution. High RPMs maybe once a week but for several days in a row that week. Transmission fault code and light is on intermittently for past 1+ yrs. I am a single parent financially strapped with no outside help. I have $1500 – $2000 I can use for transmission work. I was told my engine is excellent and with everything else I have replaced in past 3 yrs I don’t wanna trade into a worst vehicle financially at this point. I researched Michael’s Transmission in Issaquah WA they are ATRA approved. Help me know what to ask so I am not taken financially. Also, any recommendations to start in rebuild first to keep things less costly?

    • Admin says:

      Hey Kate, sorry to hear about your situation. Based on the information you’ve given, your budget should be enough to cover the cost of the repairs. Given the age of your car, a replacement might be necessary and could cost slightly more than what you’ve set aside. As for finding a shop, being ATRA approved is the first step. Please read the last section of this page for other great tips on finding one that won’t rip you off. Then bring your car into several shops to get several quotes to choose from.

      Questions to ask each shop:
      What is the problem exactly and what was the cause?
      Will a minor repair, rebuild or replacement be required?
      What warranties do you offer on your work?
      What is your quote?

      Then compare their answers.

  6. Ashton W. says:

    Hello,

    I drive a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the transmission is going out. It’s still letting me crank and drive… but there’s no guarantee that will last much longer. I’m considering trading it in and making car payments… but I love it and am torn. Do you know of a rough estimate I may be charged to have it repaired? Also, do you think it would be a good idea to have it repaired and then resale? I’ve checked KBB and it’s not looking like it would be worth it…

    Thanks so much!

    • jake provo says:

      I have the same problem with a 1997 jeep grand, I love her to death her name is dixie I bought her 3 years ago and worked on her. Now she has trouble going more then 15 miles without issues shifting from 2nd to 3rd. I don’t have the answer of how to resolve the issues with mine. I used lucas automatic transmission fluid treatment to help with the last 6,000 miles but now it doesn’t seem to have any effect. Let me know what you do if you buy a new one or just fix it maybe I can take your advice to help my situation with dixie.
      Thank You.

    • Aaron says:

      I am a Jeep owner myself, 2 99 Cherokee Sports, I have had a lot of people tell me if I ever start having shifting problems to change the shift solenoids, they make ones for them that are larger than stock and run somewhere around $200 and it’s an easy fix, if you can change a tranny filter you can do this, btw this is a fix for the Japanese tranny that was used on models w/ the 4.0 look this up on google or find a Jeep forum, there are tons of how to videos and etc.., I considered doing this to my lifted custom Cherokee just to beef it up.

  7. M. Bruno says:

    I have a Plymouth Voyager 1999 that cannot take the reverse. When in reverse, it is like neutral. It goes forward well but not backwards. I need a good shop in Delaware. Anyone knows one?

    Thanks!

  8. Chris eaton says:

    I have a 2006 ford focus and drives fine but when
    You put it in reverse it seems to jump is that the
    Transmission or is it another issue? It only been happening
    For about two days know. Please let me know what u think.
    Thanks

  9. Jamie says:

    Got an estimate on a transition rebuild of 4,500-5,000. Is the mechanic asking too much?

    • Admin says:

      Hey Jamie, without knowing the year, make and model of your vehicle it is hard to say whether or not that is a fair price. That is definitely on the expensive side though, unless the car is a luxury import or rare antique.

      My advice is to get a couple more quotes from shops in your area to see if they all think that the job will cost that much. You might also want to consider having a re-manufactured transmission installed instead.

  10. dave says:

    My pathfinder is leaking red fluid and doesn’t want to go in drive. Is it because of a bad transmission?

    • jeanine gainers says:

      Dave, if your pathfinder is a 2005, there is/was a recall b/c as the mileage is higher it causes a crack in the radiator. Which causes an internal leak to other areas such as the transmission. Nissan will cover it for free up to 80,000 miles, 90,000 a copay of 2500, 100,000 a copay of 3000. After that it’s on you.
      I am experiencing that now. My dilema is I am over the mileage. The dealer says I have $10,000 of damage @ my expense, to replace the radiator, transmission and catalytic converter. There is a class action suit against Nissan b/c of this. My problem is they should cover it regardless of the mileage b/c they knew it was defective. My advise is call Nissan.

  11. Dan says:

    I was driving along this morning and the car lost power. I have a pristine 2003 Mercury Sable with 133K miles on it that has never had problems and has received the usual timely fluid replacements and exchanges. I pulled over stopped the engine and called AAA. before the tow arrived, I restarted and everything worked great (as always) but when I went to put it in gear (automantic) nothing happened. So I tried reverse nothing happened. Any ideas?

  12. Jim says:

    I have a 2003 Blazer. It wont go into reverse as of yesterday. I have been having issues with it for a month or so. When you are at cruising speed and not accelerating the RPM will go crazy. People have said a vacuum leak for that issue. I wonder if they are related. Anyone have an idea what is going on?

    • phil says:

      Hi Jim,
      What did you find with your transmission? I’ve got a 2000 Blazer and having similar problems. Occasionally wont go into reverse properly, occasionally seems to disengage when going downhill over approx 70km/hr when car speed overruns engine speed, and has started occasionally what i would describe as minor slipping with a small clonk while driving. The old beast is worth less than a replacement transmission so would like to know if you found a solution for your problem or had to get major works???
      Thanks
      Phil

  13. Johnny says:

    I have a 96 z28 Camaron and the tranny seems to be messing up it still goes 110 mph but if u go over 3k rpm befor a shift it will just reduce speed and the rpms will go up. Does anyone have a estiment on a rebuild for that

    • Admin says:

      Hi Johnny. Take your car into at least 2 shops to get an estimate on the repairs. Give them as much information as you can and describe the symptoms in more detail.

  14. Rick says:

    Have a 1999 Nissan Maxima with approx. 120,000 miles. Transmission is on its way out. Took it to a local “transmission” shop who recommended a “re-build” vs. buying a used transmission and having it installed. Told me a “re-build” will cost anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000, depending on parts needed when it is disassembled. Will provide a 3-year warranty on re-build or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Would appreciate any ideas/thoughts if re-build is better than installing a used transmission and if costs seem reasonable. Thanks.

  15. Samantha C says:

    I have a 2000 Saturn SL2. The transmission whinys like crazy even if its just sitting there in park, and there is also this rubbing/vibrating noise it gets when it goes over 25mph it also shakes the car. I had it to over 4 shops and everyone keeps telling me it’s a wheel bearing or cv joints. I just really need an answer to fix this car does anyone have any ideas????

    • Admin says:

      Hey Samantha, if over 4 shops all say it’s a wheel bearing or cv joint, then I’d say they’re right and you should pay to get it fixed. Based on your description and the fact that it “whinys” even in park, you should address the problem ASAP or you’ll run the risk of damaging the transmission itself. Fixing the current problem will be considerably cheaper than transmission repair. In the case of a cv joint replacement, you’re looking at a $150-$400 job, including labor.

  16. Karla says:

    My Hyundai Santa FE is 2004, is 183,000 miles suddenly stopped running, start is good, reverse is good, and now I’m not sure if I must get it fixed or get another car… cause if I fixed having to those miles is gonna cause a new problem or the same problem. Im not sure what to do. I’ll be glad to hear comments.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Karla, I’m not sure I completely understand the problem you’re facing. You say it stopped running but the start and reverse is good. Could you explain the problem in more detail?

      Based on the age and mileage of your Santa FE, I wouldn’t be surprised that at least some minor transmission work is necessary. I would personally get repairs done (as long as the price is decent), especially if the vehicle is in good shape otherwise.

      • Lauren says:

        Thanks for this reply admin. I have a 2004 Santa Fe with 163K and think I will try to get the transmission repaired and keep it running as long as I can.

  17. Happy Z says:

    A friend of mine whose mother decided that his Buick Century should go into the shop while he was out of town ended up with a $2300 bill for transmission work. The car ran fine, had no transmission symptoms of ANY kind. The reason his mother took it in was because the ‘service engine soon’ light came on. That was the ONLY symptom. What are the chances that a car with no symptoms actually needed a new transmission?

    • Admin says:

      Hey Happy Z, it sounds like the shop took advantage of the situation as I would say the chances are quite low if no symptoms were previously noticed. The “service engine soon” or “check engine” light turns on for a wide variety of reasons, from a temporary system error that has little to no effect on performance or safety to a major malfunction of an important electronic component.

      That said, it very well could have been a problem with the transmission that caused it to light up. The only way to know what caused it is to run a diagnostic test on the vehicle’s system. Personally, in this situation I would have asked to see the results of the test and have them explain to me what the resulting fault code(s) mean and how they in turn require a complete transmission rebuild/replacement (based on the price you quoted).

  18. Megan says:

    I’m on vacation and my 2006 X-Terra with 152,000 miles transmission is fried. I drove 20 miles to dealer at 20 mph (as fast as she’d go). Dealer said its the crack in the radiator leaking into the transmission. Quote of $5400 to get 12 month 12,000 mile warranty transmission and radiator or $6500 for a 3 yr or unlimited mileage. Advise? Going to call around to see if I can find another shop. Being 9 hrs from home not knowing anyone to ask makes me nervous about the repairs.

    • Tim Mullins says:

      Hi Megan;

      Even for a 4×4 that sounds a tad stiff. I would shop that price around a bit.

      However, you have a problem that is all too common. Antifreeze is corrosive as all get out, and you are using your transmissions cooling lines to pump it directly into the heart of your transmission. Whatever you do, be absolutely certain that a dedicated transmission cooler is included in the job. A quality transmission cooler can be had for just over $100 on the high end, and it’s well worth it. In fact everybody who has an automatic transmission would be well advised to go out and buy one TOMORROW, if they don’t already have one.

  19. Nicole says:

    I have a 2001 Volkswagen Passat – 130K miles. Yesterday it started ‘jerking’ when coming out of reverse. It also revs the RPMs up really high (3-4) when just starting from a complete stop- like at a light, and takes a little bit to build speed. It eventually gets up to speed, but not fast enough for the cars behind me! :) It also shifts pretty hard and it’s an automatic. I took it to a little mom and pop shop and they said it was something with the transmission (didn’t give me any specifics – grrr), but they’re not comfortable working on a VW so they recommended a few other places. Do you think the entire transmission needs to be replaced/ refurbished? Or could it be something that could be a minor repair. I called one of the shops and they told me it would be a flat $3000. Is this a repair I need to fix immediately or could I just be really careful for a month or so to save up some money? The car is only worth $4-5K, so I’m really debating how much work to put into it. Thanks!

  20. Jones says:

    I have a 2010 Saturn Vue with about 60k miles. When I accelerate, there’s a whining noise and every so often it jerks when shifting. Also, a time or two this week, the RPMs were jumping. I took it to a GM dealer…they said there was a crack in the transmission case and that it wouldn’t be covered by the warranty. Does this sound right? Technician said it can’t be covered because something must have hit the case and caused the damage. Estimate was $4000!

  21. nick says:

    Hi,
    I have Honda Accord 2004 EX V6.
    I was having a shifting gear problem, then I drove to AAMCO trans repair shop.
    They asked me to leave the car for a day, next when they call me and said that trans mission need to be rebuild soft parts and hard parts estimate was $3200.
    I told them that I don’t have that amount right now I need some time and went to shop to pickup the car but car wont move at all, when I drove the car to their shop.
    According to them they didn’t do anything bad with a car. My car has only 105,000ML
    on it. Can help me out please , where should I take my car for cheap repair I live in Central jersey,NJ. I heard some shop in NYC are pretty cheap.

  22. Brandon says:

    How much should it cost to get my tranny rebuilt if I pull it out myself and take the tranny to him? It’s an AW4 tranny out of my 88 jeep Cherokee automatic. I called to get some quotes, but the more the better.

  23. Nimish says:

    I have a 2006 Acura TL automatic. It ha 164K miles on it. When I drive cold it’s okay. Once warm and press on the accelerator it will seem like it goes into neural and the RPM’s shoot up and then it’ll Make a bang sound and will go into gear. On the highway when I’m at 60mph or so it will seem like it’s dropping into 2nd or 3rd gear and will feel like you down shifted really quick.. It’s a bit scary. Do I need a rebuild? I’m getting quoted $1,900 for a rebuild plus labor which I don’t know what the normal rate is? $80 an hr for labor? Plus getting 15 percent off labor.. How may hours would a rebuild take?

  24. Ed says:

    I was just quoted almost $4000 for a complete overhaul on the tranny in my ’04 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4×4 with 129,000 miles. The vehicle is in real nice shape but slips every so often on upshifts and sometimes bangs on downshifts. I plan to hold on to it for a few more years, but don’t want to overpay for the trans work. I believe the shop to be reputable and it is part of ATRA. I’m located in southeast PA. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

  25. Latosha Watterson says:

    I have a 2005 Durango with 140,000 miles, it started leaking transmission fluid and now won’t go in reverse and only goes 10mph. We consulted a shop without even looking at it they said it would cost 1000-2500 to fix. What does it sound like could be wrong?

  26. lana says:

    I have to say, I really appreciate this page and it is making me look into getting more quotes when it comes to getting a new transmission done, especially from the dealer (my 1st quote).
    My engine light came on two days ago on my Honda Oddessy, 2004 and I took it to the dealer for them to figure out what was going on. They just called me and told me my transmission needed to be replaced, specifically the clutch and it would be $5,000 (along with other issue) for a told cost of over $6000. And of course they can give me a discount of 10% ($600), my mouth dropped. From reading your site I see about how much a transmission should cost me and I cannot believe how much more they want to charge me. As a single parent of three children already living paycheck to paycheck and I am completely shocked, in addition to not having this type of funds, not even close, to get such an expensive markup of an expense taken care of at this time. I live in Southern California, Orange county, and am desperately looking for a reliable mechanic who deals in transmissions who can assist me at a much reasonable cost.

  27. Kiwianna says:

    Does this sound like transmission problems or something else??

    Car runs fine, automatic.. Engine light came on last week – took it to mechanic, they said it’s no problem and just ignore it, and services the vehicle.

    Yesterday the car took 3 attempts to start, it shifts perfectly between gears, but if it’s sitting at the lights without revs it starts shaking a lot. So I gave it some revs an the shaking stops while it’s revving. Apart from that it seems fine. Started nurseries times afterwards but…

    This morning – can’t start it. Sound like it’s just turning over and over

    PLEASE HELP!! stuck in Australia where everyone seems to be trying to rip you off :(

  28. Mark T. Reams says:

    This is my third transmission failure in five (5) years, on a 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD. The transmission was initially replaced (used tranny) by a large corporate garage, and failed after 1.5 years. The second transmission was replaced with a used tranny with 41K miles, by a locally owned and recommended shop. It also failed about 2 years. Now (12/2013), I’ve been with another local garage that I trust, and they have made many repairs and routine prevention/maintainance procedures that seem to last. That garage quoted me $2,900.00 for a used tranny that has 42,000 miles. The past two repairs cost about $2000 each. I’m happy to pay more if the transmission lasts more than several years. Is this quote realistic if they follow proper mechanical procedure and ethics (ha)?

  29. pamwrobertson says:

    I have a 1999 toyota camry 4 cylinder. It has had a transmission code for a long long time but I thought it would slowly go out. A few weeks ago it had tried not to go unless heated up since the weather had gotten cold. Lately it had not done that. This morning it was fine and I was in a rush and did not heat it up long and it made a funny noise about a 1/2 minute after I pulled off. It sounded like a hose blowing and I pulled over and it wouldn’t go into gear after that. Do you think it could have been avoided if I had heated the car up?

    The problem was not the transmission after all but the front axle which only cost $200 instead of $1200 plus- HALLELUAH!! I always thought the transmission would slowly go out but not all at once. Thanks for all the info from this site and God Bless everyone with patience througjt their challenges and know that it will all work out for everyone!!

  30. kallaloostx says:

    Hi –
    I just had my transmission rebuilt for $2400, which I feel was fair. It was going into neutral when I drove and also it would have to be revved up after starting to go forward or backwards. It’s a 2007 RAV4. The problem with going into neutral has been repaired, as has the need to rev up before going in reverse. However, I still need to rev up to go forward after I start the engine, then it jerks forward. Once I drive it’s fine. I have to admit that I took really bad care of my vehicle for the first three years (practically no maintenance) and it needed a new engine. I purchased a used one about three years ago. After that happened, I got my RAV4 serviced on a regular basis. When searching for what this issue might be, I read about the computer (ECU) going bad. Might this be the issue? My repair guy said that he can’t see anything regarding a computer code that diagnoses why it’s not going into gear when starting. He’s on holiday break for two weeks (I just got it back today). He says he’s willing to look at it again after the holiday break. My second question is if it’s ok to drive it for that period of time. I don’t think I am being scammed, given my poor maintenance track record, but I don’t know. Thanks!

  31. rick says:

    Hey i have a 2003 Chevy Impala Ls 3.8 V6 it has 129k miles on it and drives good but as soon as i got it ive been having problems. The RPM meter goes all the way up to 2/3 without me pressin the gas and when i drive off it takes a while to get to 20mph than normal. I took it to 2 autoshops in NY and they both gave me a price range for $1100 and $1200.. my tranny fluid burns and starts to smoke after a while..i took it to autozone and the computer read that the 2nd and 3rd gear needed to be fixed..should i get a rebuild or brand new tranny..im bringing the car to Lincoln Tech for free labor i just need to know the best price for transmissions

  32. Bernardo Camacho says:

    Hello I own a 2007 Chevy Tahoe 5.3 with 120k miles and it slips after 2nd gear, I took it to 2 shops and they said that my 3rd gear is gone and that I need an overhaul. What exactly does that mean? They said it will cost anywhere between $1,500 to $2,000 does this sound right to you guys?? Do I really need to rebuilt the whole tranny??

  33. johnwilson2006 says:

    I am having my 2004 Z71 trans rebuilt for $1,900 and quoted me around $1,000 for the transfer case. Is this a fairly average cost for what’s being done?

  34. Sam says:

    Hi. My husband has a 2008 Ford Focus, and he has about 147,000 miles on it. It won’t go on reverse and we’ve talked to a couple of repair shops that says they need to rebuild the transmission. How much does that usually cost? The shops quoted me $2400-2600.

    • Admin says:

      $2500 sounds about right for a rebuild, but I would try to pit the two shops against each other for your business to get the price down a few hundred dollars. If they’re both not willing to go lower, then they expect there to be a serious problem and $2500 is still an okay price. Be sure to find out exactly how long the warranty will be on their work.

  35. Stacey Williams says:

    I was told from one shop the only way the can give me a estimate for a transmission for a 2000 GMC SAVANA 1500. Is open up the trans to see the exact problem. This doesn’t sounds right to me.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Stacey,

      Yes, they need to open it up in order to find out exactly what the problem is and see the extent of the damage.

      That said, by running the engine, driving the car around a bit and hearing your description of the problem, they should be able to give you a ballpark estimate. Make sure they give you one so that you can be sure they don’t try to inflate the cost and rip you off. If they refuse to, go somewhere else. Ask a couple of other shops in your area to get a second opinion. As mentioned in the article, anywhere from $1900-$2600 is common for a complete rebuild.

  36. Darneshia says:

    I have a 2000 Mitsubishi galant. My transmission went out in Feb 2013 and again in July 2013. I paid $1,800 to get it fixed the first time and I’m having problems trying to find a good place to fix it this last time. In July I was headed home one night I press the gas and it wouldn’t budge frontward or backward. I have looked and looked and everyone tells me I have a rare model car and transmissions for my car are hard to find. Can you suggest anything?

  37. Wanda says:

    I have a 2005 ford focus and about 2 weeks ago I noticed when I put car in reverse it did not shift for about 2 or 3 seconds and then kicked into gear. I checked transmission fluid and it was low. I topped it off and couple of days later shifting was a little better. It is still a problem 1 week after fluid was topped off so I got an estimate of transmission for 400.00 + 350.00 for labor. Not sure if this sounds too good to be true or not. Please help!

  38. Damarys says:

    I have a toyota corolla 2013 i bought brand new in march 3 2013. A couple weeks ago when the car was supposed to be a year old my transmission began to give me problems. I took it to the dealer and they’re charging me $4,500 to replace with a new transmission. This sounds absurd.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Damarys,

      I would highly advise you to take your car to another mechanic (or two) and to stay away from dealerships as they tend to significantly overprice their services. $4,500 is definitely on the high side, especially for something as common as a Corolla. I would expect a new replacement to cost you somewhere in the $2500-$3000 range. If you’re looking for something cheaper, consider getting a used/rebuilt trans.

      It is somewhat unusual to have problems with a year old vehicle/trans. What warranty coverage do you have? Since it’s a new car, your powertrain warranty should cover some or all of the repairs to the engine, transmission, drivetrain and other components such as the constant velocity joints.

  39. Etta McFadden says:

    Megan- this is probably way too late to assist you but I had much the same thing happen to me. Strange town, where to take it, who to ask? My sudden idea (and it worked out really well for me) in our provinces, some more than others, many thrift stores are operated, staffed by volunteers, by the Mennonite Central Committee. Their goal is to assist those in need, usually in other countries, but they are a good group of people. I went there and explained my problem and how I had no idea where to go. On top of that, it was Christmas Eve afternoon. They not only recommended several shops that were trustworthy, they called a couple for me to make sure they were open that afternoon, how late, and arranged for them to come and tow my car in. The work could not be done that afternoon of course but they were able to check out the problem for me, let me know what would need to be done and, as I was no where near where I live, they recommended clean, safe, reasonably priced hotels for me to stay. They then offered to drive me there.

    I don’t expect this to happen everywhere but it might be a useful thought for someone else to pursue should they be placed in the situation I found myself. e

  40. MonkeyFLow says:

    2003 Buick Ultra SC 58,000 miles well maintained was hit front end collision by a late model Honda. Transmission made a horrible noise and car would not move or change gears. Turned car off, than restarted car put car in park than in drive (hard shuttering jerks). Other driver was at fault, but their insurance Allstate claims the accident could not have damaged the transmission. Cost $2500.00 to rebuild trans and they refuse to pay. Buick is front wheel drive with trans on the drivers side of the lower engine.
    Your in good hands with Allstate
    “YOUR money is IN GOOD HANDS WITH ALLSTATE, but not you”

  41. andrew says:

    Hey all, looking some help.and maybe a general cost estimate. 2013 Nissan sentra hit a tire on the freeway, slid under my car and busted my transmission. Air bag went off seat belts locked and light cosmetic damage. Was quoted 8300 to get it all fixed and walked away from that offer. Only had liability insurance so I have to front the bill. Have a little over 5k saved up for this and live in Los Angeles County. Anyone have an idea how much the tyranny alone will cost or any recommendations where to go? Thanks all for the time.and.consideration if you read my post.

  42. Ej says:

    Hey, I’ve got a 2003 Land Rover Free-lander (aka the worst car ever spawned) been having problems with high RPMs and lad between gear shifts. called pep boys and they gave me a quote for 3,000. I’d rather take her to a licensed LR dealer but I heard they’re prices are very high.

  43. J Grove says:

    I have a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. 2 months ago I spent $1600 to repair an oil leak. Today I have it in for another leak and I’m told it’s the transmission, total for today if I go through with it is $2500 to replace the transmission. Car has 89,000 miles on it. I’m really afraid this will continue to be a money pit. This past year I also paid for radiator issues as well. Any advice on continuing down this horrendous money journey or getting of and putting this SUV to rest?

  44. akilah says:

    I have a 1999 ford explorer that won’t go into drive. I took it to a mechanic who had it for 2 months and never fixed it properly. I finally went and got it and took it to a garage I Tallahassee and the mechanic told me he doesn’t know what the other so called mechanic did to it but the transmission pan is missing. He called me and told me that he doesn’t think I should rebuild it because there is no telling what the guy did to it. He said he could get me a used transmission with 71,000 miles on it for $1100 which will include the tranny and the labor and it will have a 12 month warranty. I am not sure if I should do it because I don’t know if something might happen to the used one in a few months and then I’ll have to pay him for another labor fee. What is recommended. HELP!

  45. Rakter2011 says:

    Hi, my 2011 ford focus creates a rattling noise while it speeds up from 20kmh to higher. it is not all the time. the engine also causes some minor humming noise. I have checked with RAA mechanics but they couldn’t find any problem. But I am not satisfied. is there any problem with auto transmission? Do I need to take it ford service center? Please help

  46. leonard van valey says:

    Have a 2001 Toyota Avalon w/164,000 miles on it. First estimate was $3800 for rebuilt one and $10,000 for a new transmission. Fair or too high. van

    • Admin says:

      Hi Leonard. The rebuild price is on the high end and $10k for a new transmission is very, very high. That said, the combination of the age and high-end/rarity of the car makes it tougher to find replacement parts for, especially ones that are brand new so the $10,000 might be a reasonable price if (for example) the market value for a new one is around $8000 (plus labor). I’m not sure how much a new one should cost though.

      Are these quotes from a Toyota dealership or repair shop? You might be able to reduce the price by getting a quote from an independent mechanic, but they might not be familiar with the design of the transmission. Either way, I would go for the rebuilt and try to get the price down to at or below $3500.

      Hope this helps.

  47. richedco says:

    I am having problems with my 2000 Chevy Blazer. My check engine light came on shortly after it was hesitating shifting to a higher gear. I took to auto zone were they tested for a code(s). Results said the 2nd to 3rd gear shift solenoid was faulty. I then took to a repair shop with the results. They said I should have the tran. rebuilt with a bunch of garage slang that made no sense! Am I being bamboozled into a $3000 rebuild when the test code revealed a faulty shift solenoid? Which is $30 part & min. labor. It is located on bottom of tran. So I’m thinking just a new gasket, fluid and filter. Any advice? Please.

  48. youitt says:

    2001 lincoln Navigator need transmission. I was quoted $4100 from the dealership. Is that too much?

  49. susan says:

    CORRECTED POST. 2001 Honda Civic 73,000. Excellent maintenance, except had transmission fluid changed for 1st time in Feb 2013. 10/4, in rush hour traffic car just stopped moving, engine running fine. Would not go into any gear. Had car towed to reputable repair shop. Was told needs transmission. Shop said a TSB was put out on it by Honda for this issue, but not a recall. Dealer manager said he has never heard of a civic transmission failing! I went after Honda for a possible “good will” repair and have been fighting with them for a week & they refuse to do anything – even after going all the way up the ladder. Shop can put rebuilt trans in for $2700 with a 3 yr warranty. I feel comfortable with my repair facility but was wondering, does it make a difference if the repair shop does it, or is it better to have a transmission shop do it?

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