Repair Transmission or Replace Car: Transmission Repair Cost Guide

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Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

If you have a transmission that’s causing you problems, chances are it’s not going to be a cheap repair. Mechanics all over the USA will tell you the transmission is one of the most expensive repairs you will ever have to do on your car. Read on to see if it’s worth repairing your transmission, replacing it, or cutting your losses and selling your car for junk!

In What Cases Is it Worth to Repair a Car Transmission?

The answer to the question “How much does it cost to repair a car transmission?” is usually pretty high! But there are some times when asking “Is it worth fixing a transmission?” that the answer is yes! Here are a few of the cheaper instances when it’s worth repairing your car’s transmission. 

Solenoid replacement

The solenoid is an electro-hydraulic valve that opens and closes at a certain time and allows your automatic transmission to shift properly. Without a properly functional solenoid, your car will have difficulty (or delays in shifting). You will especially notice trouble while your car is decelerating and trying to downshift on its own. A solenoid replacement will cost you anywhere between $150 for parts and labor all the way up to $400, and possibly more depending on the make and model. 

Transmission fluid replacement

There are a few signs that your car has low transmission fluid. Erratic shifts, strange grinding noises, sudden spikes in RPMs while shifting, and sudden up or downshifts are a few symptoms of having low transmission fluid. Unfortunately, they’re also some signs of more serious transmission issues. If you are lucky and it’s only the transmission fluid (and we do mean lucky, as it’s the cheapest car transmission repair cost you’ll find), you’re looking to pay between $80 and $250 to have your transmission fluid flushed and the filter replaced. 

The more expensive transmission repairs 

Those are the cheap options to repair your transmission because the average transmission repair cost is much higher. Still, it might be worth it for you to pay to repair the car before you decide to sell it. The biggest factor you’ll have to consider when deciding to repair your transmission or replace your car is how much the repair will cost and how much the car is worth. If your car is still worth a lot and you have some money for the cost of repairs, it might be worth it to repair the transmission. 

Replace your clutch

If your whole transmission doesn’t need to be replaced, one of the more common issues is requiring the clutch to be replaced. Clutches are meant to last around 75,000 miles and even up to 100,000 on some newer models, but they will eventually need to be replaced. Depending on what needs to be replaced (the mechanic might need to replace the pressure plate, clutch disk, or throw-out bearing), the average price for a clutch replacement is between $1200 and $1400. 

Honestly, replacing your clutch is really the only transmission repair worth doing, and it’s really only worth it if it’s a newer car that’s still worth quite a bit of money and you have the money to replace it. The answer to the question “How much does transmission repair cost?” beyond a clutch replacement is: very expensive! Once you have issues like grinding gears or a transmission that fails to go into gear, repairing it will rival the cost to replace your transmission. At that point, it’s worth replacing the entire transmission, but beware, that will cost you a lot. 

Car Transmission Repair Challenges You May Face

If you have signs of transmission problems, ignoring them will lead to a much higher transmission repair cost. In many cases, ignoring the warning signs of a failing transmission will require you to end up paying for a transmission replacement because once your transmission is going bad, it won’t take long for it to fail completely. There are two main challenges you may face when it comes to having your transmission repaired.

The repair may cost more than the initial estimate 

Sometimes a mechanic will diagnose your issues based on what you tell them the symptoms are, only to open up the transmission and see that the damage is much worse than they thought. The issue here is twofold. 

The first issue is that if your mechanic quoted you, say, $500 to fix the transmission and you were willing to pay that, but after he opened it up and discovered the actual repair will cost $1500, that means you have to pay three times as much as you were expecting! 

The second issue here is that, if this happens, you still have to pay the mechanic for the few hours of labor he did just to open up the transmission! This means you might be hit with a much larger repair cost than you initially expected, and even if you choose not to fix it at that point, you still owe him money for the labor he already did! At this point, even if you decided to junk your car because of the repair cost, you will still owe him a few hundred bucks in labor costs! Not to mention, the auto repair shop will usually charge storage costs while you make your decision or find the money to complete the repair. It’s a lose-lose for you. 

The repairs might take much longer than expected

This is especially the case if you have a foreign car that needs a transmission repair or a classic car that needs a transmission repair. With cars like these, parts aren’t always available right away. This could take weeks for the shop to receive the parts. That means weeks go by while you don’t have a car. If you need a car for daily driving, like going to work or taking the kids to school, it means you’ll have to pay the cost of a rental car while your car is sitting idly waiting to be repaired. This just means it’s one cost on top of the other, coming straight out of your pocket. 

How Much Does it Cost to Change a Car Transmission?

A new transmission costs a lot of money, no matter if you drive a Honda or a Mercedes Benz. And while Honda is going to be on the much cheaper end, Kelley Blue Book estimates the cost of a transmission replacement for a 2012 Honda Civic (a car widely known for its low cost of maintenance) is going to be between $4100 and $4400 depending on where you live. If you have a car like a Ford F-150 (which is known for expensive repair costs due to the body removal required), you’re looking at upwards of $4000 as well. 

If you have a foreign car like a BMW or a Mercedes Benz, those cars are notorious for having high prices for parts and complicated engineering requiring a lot of labor hours going into repairs. The fact of the matter is that no matter what car you own, replacing a transmission will be very, very costly. If your car is a bit older and has a lot of miles, it’s probably worth selling your car and putting the money towards a new one. 

If Your Car Transmission Repair Costs Are Too High Consider Selling it to Juncarsus

The fact of the matter is no transmission repair cost guide will give you an entirely accurate cost of your transmission repair or replacement. And when you do get the final bill, it’s likely to be very expensive. If you have a car with a damaged transmission that the repair bill costs more than the car is worth, it’s probably worth selling it to us at JunkCarsUS because we buy damaged cars

With over 12 years in the junk car buying industry, JunkCarsUS has become the number one junk car buyer in the entire USA. Our team of experts has come up with a simple three-step process for you to get rid of your junk car! It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Have a look below. 

  1. Contact us! Give us a call at (855) 547-1550 and speak to one of our friendly customer service representatives. Give us some information about your car—the make, the model, the mileage, and the condition of your car, and we’ll give you an instant offer in cold hard cash.
  2. Accept our offer! We offer a highest price guarantee, so we’re sure you will be happy with the offer we make you. Once we make our offer, we’ll never go back on our word!
  3. Arrange for free towing! When you sell to us, there are absolutely NO hidden fees. That means you get FREE towing. All you have to do is tell us where the car is and when you want us to pick it up. Then we’ll arrive on time to safely tow your junk car away. 

If you’re worried about the paperwork, don't be! Our experts know exactly what information goes where and we’ll have all of it filled out. The tow truck driver will bring it with him when it’s time to collect your car. All you have to do is sign on the dotted line, and that’s that. 

So if your transmission is completely shot and the car is considered totaled, sell your totaled car to us at JunkCarsUS today! Give us a call at (855) 547-1550 or go online and fill out an online application to see how much cash you can get for your car today! 

FAQ block

Is it better to repair the transmission or replace a car?

This depends on a few factors, but the biggest factor to take into account is the cost of repairs compared to the value of the car. If the cost of repairs is greater than the overall worth of the car, it’s better to sell the car for junk and put the money towards buying a new car.

Is it worth fixing a transmission?

Again, many factors should be considered when making this decision. A transmission repair isn’t cheap, so you’ll need to weigh your options to see how bad the damage is and how much the repairs are going to cost you. If it’s a high price and the car isn’t worth much, it’s best to sell the car for junk and put the cash towards a new car.

How much does it cost to repair a car transmission?

This depends on how bad the damage is. It may cost you as little as around $100, but that’s if you get very lucky. If you’re not so lucky, it can cost you upwards of $1500! It’s best to take your car to a trusted mechanic to see what the damage is and get an estimate for repairs before making a decision on what to do with your car.

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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