If you can avoid it, you really do not want to replace your transmission. Transmission replacement is not cheap. However, sometimes it is your best option. But how do you know if your transmission needs to be replaced?
Transmission problems can manifest in dozens of ways. It is always sensible to keep your eye (and ear) out for possible problems so you can spot them before they become so big that they require you to replace your transmission.
Transmissions are intricate pieces of machinery. In fact, they are dozens of different parts of machinery all working in congruence with one another. This means there is a lot that can go wrong. But like with most things, transmission problems start off small before they get big. Only big problems require transmission replacement so it would be wise to nip small problems in the bud.
See patches of red liquid underneath your car as you pull out of your driveway? That is transmission fluid and it means you have a leak. Top up your fluid and visit a transmission shop as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Low levels of transmission fluid can do enough damage that you may need to replace your transmission. Furthermore, listen for funny noises —whirring, humming, buzzing, grinding, etc.— which are symptomatic of transmission problems. Slipping out of gear or difficulty shifting gears are also symptoms of transmission problems.
Do any of these above transmission problems mean that your transmission needs to be replaced?
Not necessarily. Many of these problems can be solved with relatively minor fixes. Sometimes you just need your transmission fluid flushed out and replaced. Other times, the problem part or parts are accessible while the transmission remains in the chassis, meaning they can be swapped out rather easily.
But what if a transmission problem can’t be fixed with new transmission fluid or replacing an accessible part? Does it have to be replaced then?
Maybe. If the transmission techs need to remove the transmission from the body of the vehicle, then you are looking at a more involved repair. Sometimes you can get lucky and the techs will be able to narrow the problem down to one or two components that can be replaced once the transmission is removed. However, some transmissions are so damaged that they need to be replaced altogether. Other times, transmissions can be overhauled, in which each component is removed, inspected, and replaced.
At Mister Transmission, we often recommend transmission overhauls, replacing one with another transmission of unknown provenance. But every case is different and you can’t know if replacement is necessary right away. To learn more about transmission replacement, please contact us.