Is it Time to Rebuild? What You Should Know About Your Car’s Transmission

The transmission is one of the most important parts of a car; if your transmission breaks, you
aren’t going anywhere. It controls power to the wheels and the gear shift and without it a car is
no more than a metal cabinet. That’s why it’s important to deal with transmission issues as
soon as possible when they arise. The problem is that repairing your transmission can be very
expensive— depending on the car and the problem, it might cost more than you paid to buy the
car. In order to decide what course of action to take, there are several questions you should ask

What’s the problem?

An obvious first step is to identify the problem in order to make sure it is actually coming from
the transmission. The easiest way to figure out if your transmission is having issues is if the
check engine light comes on. If you notice loud sounds coming from around the engine when
you put the car into drive or if your car seems to be having trouble shifting gears, that might
also indicate that something is wrong with your transmission. If this happens you should take
your car to a mechanic as soon as you can, especially since many mechanics offer free

How bad is it?

Even if a mechanic identifies a problem, that doesn’t mean your transmission needs to be
replaced. Sometimes transmission problems simply require you to replace your transmission
fluids; in other words, you might just need an oil change or a transmission service. If that is the
case, it’s a quick and easy fix and shouldn’t cost much. If it’s more than that, it could require a

lot more intensive work. As a side note, your mechanic might offer to do a transmission flush,
which is similar to an oil change except instead of simply draining most of the oil in the engine,
a mechanic will hook the engine up to a pump to pump out as much oil as possible. Not only do
many regard it as a simple up-sell of an oil change but also many car manufacturers say it also
has the possibility of damaging your transmission.

How many miles does your car have on it?

Of course, one thing to consider is how old your car is and how much it has been used. Anything
under 75000 miles is considered relatively new and, with the proper maintenance, should still
be able to last for a long time. If your car is having transmission problems when it’s under or
around 75000 miles and you’re having serious transmission problems, it would probably be
worth replacing the transmission. If the car has significantly more than 75000 miles on it, it may
simply be time to cut your losses and purchase a new car altogether.

What are the options?

There are a couple of options when needing to replace your transmission. One option, of
course, is to take out the transmission and replace it with an entirely new one. This seems like
the obvious answer to the problem, but since getting your transmission replaced is an
expensive process, some people might want to save some money and get their transmission
rebuilt or remanufactured instead. A rebuild and a remanufacturing both share the same basic
idea— your transmission gets taken apart, the parts are cleaned and the defective components
are replaced, then the transmission is reassembled with the new part. The difference is where it
is done and by whom. A rebuild is normally done by a local mechanic and tends to be less
intensive than a remanufacturing and the quality of the rebuild tends to depend on the
mechanic that performs it. A remanufacturing, on the other hand, involves sending the engine
to a car manufacturer to be rebuilt in a factory. Not only is this process more intensive,
manufacturers have strict quality guidelines for their remanufacturings that rebuilds do not get.
This ensures more consistent quality and will likely be better overall for your car in the long run.
If your car still has a lot of life left in it, a remanufacture is likely the way to go. There is one big
downside to these two processes, however; they take a long time. Still, as stated previously, the
transmission is one of the most important components of a car; while it may be tempting to
seek the cheapest option, this is one part you definitely shouldn’t skimp on.