8 Options if Your Transmission Has Failed

For one reason or another, your transmission has failed (I’m sorry to hear that). It might be that your car won’t move forward, will not shift, or has no reverse.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Now you’re wondering whether you should repair, rebuild or replace your transmission. Or maybe you’re thinking it might be better to simply buy a new car. To help you make this important and often time-sensitive decision, this article outlines the 8 options you have to choose from once it has been confirmed that your transmission has failed.

In This Guide

  1. Junk the Car
  2. Sell it or trade it in
  3. Used Transmission Locally
  4. Used Transmission Online
  5. Rebuild by Local Shop
  6. Remanufactured Locally
  7. Remanufactured Online
  8. Dealership
  9. Repair or Replace Your Car

1) Junk the Car (or Just Let it Sit)

Junk the CarIf your vehicle is 20+ years old and has over 275k miles on it, then the cost of repair or replacement is most likely higher than the value of the vehicle. In this case, it’s typically not worth getting the car fixed unless it holds significant sentimental value.

Owners of newer cars can find themselves in this situation as well. For example, it can cost between $3000 and $4000 to fix the CVT transmission in a 10 year old 2005 Ford Freestyle when the value of the car is less than $4000 at the time of failure.

2) Trade Car In at Dealer or List for Sale on Craigslist

craigslistA car dealer will pay you a small amount (typically around $500 to $1500) for a car with a failed transmission, depending on the year/make/model, mileage and book value. The dealer will usually have a transmission repair shop do minor repairs or replace the transmission with a used unit to get the vehicle running again.
Alternatively, you can list it for sale on Craigslist. Repair shops, junkyards, dealers and hobbyists buy vehicles with bad transmissions constantly to either fix or part them out.

3) Buy Used Transmission Through a Local Shop

Used TransmissionA general repair shop will find, purchase and install a used transmission in your car. This is a cheap, hands-off option, but you pay the markup the shop applies to the cost of the transmission for “sourcing” the unit and labor for installing it.

Unit price range: $400 to $1600, Labor & Fluid: $400 to $800
Warranty: 90 days to 6 months

4) Buy a Used Transmission Online or From a Junkyard

You can buy a used transmission from a local junkyard or online and have it shipped to a repair shop for installation. This is the most affordable option, but it is also the highest risk as shops don’t warranty transmissions that aren’t supplied by them. There is no recourse if the unit turns out to be faulty and fails soon after it’s installed. Pro tips on buying a used transmission here.

Unit price range: $400 to $1600, Labor & Fluid: $400 to $800
Warranty: None

5) Transmission Rebuild by a Local Transmission Shop

Transmission RebuildOne of the most popular choices is to take the vehicle to a local transmission shop o have the transmission rebuilt. They will remove the transmission, take it apart, clean all the parts, replace the worn out/failed parts including clutch plates and bands, seals, gaskets and solenoids, put it all back together again and finally re-install it.

The cost of an average rebuild usually ranges from $1500 to $2500 (some higher end cars can be $3500+). The range is so wide because it depends heavily on what was wrong with the transmission and what caused the failure. The final price could be higher or lower than the price initially quoted by the shop as it’s very difficult to determine the extent of the damage/problem until the transmission has been removed and disassembled.

Another potential drawback is that there is no way to tell if the shop did a thorough and complete job or simply patched the transmission (did the minimum amount of work to get it back on the road). This is why it’s so important to find a quality repair shop that will give you an honest estimated price range, stick to it and do the work they said they would.

Cost range: $1500 to $2500
Warranty: 1 to 2 years

6) Buy Remanufactured Transmission Through a Local Repair Shop

Another popular option is to have a general/transmission repair shop find, purchase and install a remanufactured transmission. This is a convenient option because the shop handles the entire process, but just like the used transmission in option 3 above, you’ll pay for the parts markup the shop applies to the unit for finding and buying it. If you want to save some money by eliminating this markup, consider option 7 below. If you’re wondering, here is the difference between a rebuild and remanufactured transmission.

Price range (incl. labor): $2500 to $3500 – See full pricing guide by model
Warranty: 3 years, 100,000 miles or unlimited miles, nationwide.

What Transmission Do I Have?

 

7) Buy a Remanufactured Transmission Factory Direct

Street Smart TransmissionYou can purchase the remanufactured transmission factory direct and have it shipped to a local repair shop for installation. This may take a little extra time (because you have to find a local shop willing to install the transmission you have shipped to them) but you can save by avoiding the repair shop’s parts markup by $300 – $900 and save hundreds of dollars. Interested in a remanufactured transmission factory direct? Get a quote at Street Smart Transmission. At the bottom of this page is a pricing guide that lists common suppliers of remanufactured transmissions and their current pricing.

Transmission Price: $1300 to $3500 – See full pricing guide by model
Install Labor: $500 to $900
Warranty: 3 years, unlimited miles, nationwide, transferable.

 

 

8) Buy A Remanufactured Transmission Through A Dealership

You can also take your car to your local dealership to have them find and install a remanufactured transmission direct from the OEM. This is the most expensive option – it typically costs $1800 to $2800 for the transmission itself plus labor at $100 to $150 per hour to install it.

How to Decide Whether to Repair or Replace Your Car

Now that you know the options available, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth repairing your car or if you should start looking for a replacement. There isn’t one right answer as it depends on the year, make/model, mileage and condition of your vehicle as well as your personal situation (work/family driving requirements), but here are a few tips to help you make this important decision:

Does your car still meet your needs?
Things change. Sometimes the purpose you bought your car for years ago is no longer necessary. For example, if you’ve recently been married and are planning to have kids, does that sports car still make sense? The kids have all moved out, do you still need that 7 seat minivan? Or maybe you’ve retired and no longer need a pickup for hauling things at work.

What condition is it in?
If your 14 year old car that has more than a little bit of rust on it, has over 200,000 miles and is worth less than $2,000, then it probably isn’t worth investing several thousand dollars in a transmission repair or replacement. If the car is rust free, runs smoothly and all the other parts are in good condition, then it makes sense to at least consider a replacement transmission.

How long would you have kept the car?
If your transmission hadn’t died, were you planning to keep it for another 2+ years? The payback period of a replacement transmission is about 2 years, which means that if you choose to get a new transmission installed, you’ll want to drive your car for another 2 years in order to get your money’s worth.

That said, if your car is newer or in really good condition and is still worth a significant amount of money, then it probably makes sense to replace the transmission and get it back on the road. You can then continue driving it, sell it or trade it in. Otherwise, the value of a car that won’t drive is very low.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What to Read Next

 

More Information by Transmission Type

GMFordChryslerOther MakesManual / Standard
4L60E4R75E / 4R75W42RLENissan RE5R05AT56
4L65E4F27EA604 / 41TENissan RE7R01AT45
4L80E4R10046RENissan RE4R01AT10
4T45E4R44E47RENissan CVTAX15
4T405R55E / 5R55N48REMercedes 722.6AX5
4T65E5R55S / 5R55W45RFEMercedes 722.9Jeep NSG370
4T65E-HD5R110W545RFEToyota AB60ETR-3650
4T80E6F3562TEToyota U241ENV5600
5L40E6F5065RFEToyota A750ENV4500
6L806R6068RFEToyota A750FNV3550
6L906R80W5A580 / NAG1Toyota A340FNV3500
6T406R140F4A42-1Toyota A340EG56
6T4510R80F4A42-2Toyota A650EMT82
6L45 / 6L50AX4N / AX4SF4A4B-1Toyota A541E5MT
6T70AWF21F4A4B-4Toyota A246E
6T75ECD4E948HPToyota A245E
8L90FNR5Aisin AS68RCToyota A140E
8L45TF-80SCAisin AS69RCToyota V4A51
9T65GF4A-ELZF 5HP24
9T50JF506EZF 6HP19
10L80A4LDZF 6HP26
Allison 1000C6ZF 8HP70
TH400AODEZF 8HP75
TH350E4ODZF 948HP
700R4AODHonda BYBA
Aisin AW55-50SNHonda MZHA
Aisin AW55-51Honda MKYA
Honda MZJA
Honda MT4A
Honda SPCA
Honda B0YA
Honda BZHA
Honda B4RA
Honda B6VA
Honda B7TA
Honda B7TA
Honda B7WA
Honda BVLA
Honda B7XA
Honda PN3A
Honda BAXA
Honda P36A
Honda BCLA
Honda GPPA
Honda PGRA
Honda BDGA
Honda B97A
Honda BGHA
Honda BMXA
Honda BVGA
Honda SMMA
Honda SP5A
Honda MCVA
Honda M6HA
Honda MDLA
Honda MJFA
Honda BJFA
Honda MJBA
Honda MRMA
Honda B90A
Honda MGFA
Honda B5SA
Honda MDKA
Honda MRVA
Honda MDRA
Honda BDKA
Honda BYFA
Honda BB7A

Over to You

Has your transmission failed? Which of these options are you considering and why?

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Leave a Comment

Kristin

I just got a new transmission in my Ford Flex. It’s still not working. The manufacturer of the transmission said to drive it 500 miles so it can match the computer?? Cinque?? Does this sound like a load of bs to anyone else?? It has a 3 year warranty but they won’t replace it and I’ve not had my car in 5 months. The shop said it wanted to drive my car another 500 miles and I have refused. Please help. I need my car fixed and I can’t spend anymore money. Am I being scammed ??

Mike

Call Bbb a put them on the news