What would you do if the transmission failed on your car? How much would it drain out of your wallet? This subject often strikes fear in the heart of many car owners.
What Is A Transmission?
A transmission is a mechanical part that is joined to the back of the car engine, and it allocates engine power to the wheels.
The transmission plays a critical role in supplying power to the wheels while maintaining a good RPM range. It does this through a combination of gears: first-fifth, park, neutral, and reverse.
The workings of the transmission are vital to the operation of the vehicle. This is why it’s so important to keep your car well maintained with scheduled check-ups and flushes.
However, sometimes things happen that can drive a car owner to replace their transmission. This is when your existing transmission is replaced with an entirely new one. Most likely, the “new” one will be remanufactured or rebuilt unit.
When you’re in need of a transmission replacement, it’s crucial you make sure there is this compatibility. If not, some of the following problems could crop up:
- A speedometer that reads too low or too high.
- Shift points could be incorrect
- There could be a complete transmission failure.
Repair shops don’t always like to rebuild the unit that is already in your car because it simply takes so long to do. Making a transmission repair extremely costly because of the hours of labor.
Nowadays, transmissions often last as long as the vehicle does, and older cars may give out at around 80,000 miles.
How Much Does A Transmission Replacement Cost?
A transmission replacement can typically cost anywhere from $1,800-$3,500 depending on the make, model, and year of the vehicle. Labor costs can be lower if you have the car repaired in a lower-salary region.
If you’re in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, be sure to check out the transmission. Without a complete maintenance record, you could be in for hefty additional costs if the transmission is near failure or damaged.
If you can’t take it a mechanic beforehand, do a test drive. There are a few signs that will indicate there’s trouble:
- Delayed engagement when shifting gears
- Gear slipping (the car pops out of gear into a neutral position).
- The speed remains constant event through you step on the gas pedal.
There should be no jerks or strange noises coming from the engine when you engage, and all the gears should shift easily and smoothly. Rebuilt transmission must be compatible with the operating system of your vehicle. If they aren’t, problems could arise down the road.
What Is A Transmission Flush?
As a mechanic for several years, including changing and servicing transmissions, I have to say the flushing procedures come up short on many occasions. I have looked at several articles and videos on flushing the transmission on used cars and it seems they all agree that it is not a good idea especially on high mileage cars.
The flushing procedures use pressures to force a cleaning solvent back through the transmission and this is supposed to clean it.
The first problem is flushing transmissions on used cars. Many mechanics don’t drop the transmission pan and change the filter. The filter is designed to catch particles and keep them out of valves of transmission and that keeps everything working as it should.
You should keep in mind as you drive your car transmission parts do wear out slowly, so there will be small particles in the filter.
The second problem I see is forcing fluids backward through the valve body. Fluids flushed in reverse could cause particles to get lodged in a valve, causing an expensive transmission rebuild.
In my experience, it is never a good idea to reverse the flow of fluids on a piece of hydraulic equipment that was designed to flow one way. The automatic transmission in a car is no exception because it works with hydraulic pressure.
If your used car needs the transmission serviced, find a shop that will drop the pan, change the filter, and flush the fluids out the proper way. It is best if they can drain all the fluid out of the torque converter as well.
Many of the newer cars do not have drain plugs on the torque converter so this may not be something that can be done.
A few shops may have the equipment and knowledge of how to add a drain plug, so check with them about doing so.