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Automatic Transmission Rebuild

 How to Know If You Need an Automatic Transmission Rebuild


Not sure whether you should get your automatic transmission replaced or simply rebuilt? Well more frequently than not, an automatic transmission rebuild will save you a lot of money. A transmission replacement can cost from $1,800- $3,500 while rebuilding a transmission only requires to buy the parts that need replacing which usually results in a much cheaper bill. Also, before thinking that you need to rebuild your transmission make sure that you change your car’s transmission fluid and make sure that the transmission is flushed on a regular basis (check your owners manual to see what the manufacturer suggests.) If you have done those things on a regular basis and you’re still finding yourself with a problem, you may need to rebuild your transmission.

You probably need an automatic transmission rebuild if…

  • Your transmission is slipping between gears while driving
  • Your transmission is popping back to neutral while driving
  • You are experiencing an unusual grinding or clunking noise – particularly while your vehicle is in neutral
  • There is a delay between gear changes
  • During gear changes are not smooth but rather rugged and make a grinding or thumping noise
  • You smell a burning fluid smell
  • The clutch stays engaged and makes strange noises when you’re trying to shift

Various Factors That Might Affect Cost of Your Rebuild:

  • Your location will greatly determine how much your transmission rebuild will cost. Depending on the demand of the services, costs of living, and availability of skilled mechanics, your rebuild cost may be higher or lower than average.
  • The make or model of your car may make the availability of certain parts harder to obtain which could cost more. Specifically, older or rarer vehicles are often very hard to rebuild because their parts are sometimes no longer in production.


Automatic Transmission Rebuild

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Automatic Transmission Rebuild: How It’s Done

Before rebuilding the transmission, the mechanic must change the transmission fluid to make sure that the problem isn’t something as simple as low or dirty transmission fluid. The second thing that the mechanic does is checking the vehicles computer system to make sure that sensors are working properly. If the problem is with the sensors, it is usually a fairly cheap and quick solution that does not require taking apart the transmission. The last thing that the mechanic does is take the transmission apart in order to look for all of the pieces that need to be replaced in order for the transmission to run properly. After replacing all of the necessary parts, a few diagnostic tests are run to make sure that the car is working properly and there you have it!

Other Things You Should Know:

To check your transmission fluid…

  • With the engine running and in neutral, lift up your front hood and look for a red dipstick. Pull up the dipstick and wipe it clean. After it is clean, take the dipstick and put it back inside and then remove it again. If the level reaches the mark on the dipstick that says “warm” then you’re good to go. If not, you need some more transmission fluid. (Check your manual for car specific instructions.)

If your check engine light is on…

  • This could mean that there is a problem with your transmission, but it does not always mean that is the problem. If the check engine light comes on, get it checked out right away and a mechanic will let you know what your next step is.

Pay attention to…

  • You know your car. Make sure you’re paying attention to any changes in the way that your car drives or sounds. These are usually the first indicators that something may be wrong with your transmission. If you hear a strange noise, be sure to get it checked out sooner than later to avoid further damages of greater cost.


*If you do find that it would be smarter to replace than to rebuild, look into buying a used or remanufactured transmission before seeking out brand new ones.

If you’re a mechanic, and you know your way around your car, automatic transmission rebuild is definitely a long-term project that you can take on yourself. There are plenty of online resources to walk you through the process if you find yourself stuck or needing to double check your choices. But for everyone else, talk to a professional and they will be able to guide you through the process. British 4×4 is a great auto repair expert that is there for all of your transmission needs including automatic transmission rebuild or replacement.


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