Selling a Car With a Bad Transmission in 3 Steps

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Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

Selling a car with a bad transmission can be a long, drawn-out, intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be! Let us explain how to do it in the easiest and most profitable way possible.

9 Common Symptoms of a Bad Transmission

1. Difficulty in changing gears

If your car does not respond as quickly when you attempt to change gears. This can also happen when you are parked or in neutral and is one of the common signs your transmission is going out.

2. You can smell something burning from the transmission

This stench could mean your transmission is overheated or the transmission fluid is old and burned.

3. The transmission is noisy when in neutral

The noises could mean that the transmission fluid needs to be replaced or, worst-case scenario, the transmission has serious mechanical damage. 

4. Slipping gears

When you hear the engine revving during a gear change, you know your transmission has slipped. A delay in acceleration, unusual noises, and an overall unpleasant response when shifting gears are some of the other symptoms.

5. The clutch is dragging 

This happens when the clutch disk fails to release from the flywheel and causes the gears to clash. A mechanical failure or misplacement of the clutch is the most common cause of a dragging clutch.,

6. Leaking transmission fluid

If you see a red, oily fluid underneath your car after parking for a few hours, you should have a mechanic check the transmission fluid level. If it falls below the minimum level, then the transmission is leaking.

7. The Check Engine indicator lights up

When the dashboard check engine indicator is lighted, it can signal a range of minor and major automotive problems, including a faulty transmission.

8. When the gears change, there is a grinding or shaking sound

This usually happens in cars with automatic transmissions. Changing gears while driving will cause the transmission to grind and shake.

9. Strange noises while driving

Strange clunking, grinding, whining noise coming from below the car can mean a variety of mechanical issues, including a failing transmission.

How to Sell a Car With Transmission Problems

If you have a car with a bad transmission, the first step is to decide if you want to repair it or sell it. Transmission problems can range from moderate to severe. Before spending the money on a tow truck to take it over to a local mechanic, call them and explain the problem. Chances are they will have an idea of what’s wrong with it but will never know exactly what it is until they can get their hands on it and even open up the transmission. Nevertheless, explain the problem to them over the phone, and they will likely give you a range for the repair costWhile dealing with transmission issues is one concern, many also wonder what happens if you don't pass smog tests, as both can impact the value and usability of your vehicle.

Depending on the cost, it may be easier and more cost-effective to just sell your car with a bad transmission. So what options on how to sell a car with transmission problems do you have?

  • Selling a car with transmission problems as a trade into your local car dealer

This is an option, but definitely not your best. Car dealers will always focus on their bottom line, meaning they will always try to give you the least amount of money possible. If you’re not completely familiar with your car's worth or the negotiation process, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get top dollar for your car from a dealership — because a dealership will know the value of your car and are often very experienced in the art of negotiation. 

If you do go this route, use Kelley Blue Book to determine your car’s value. The more you know, the better off you will be during the negotiation process. 

  • Selling your car with a faulty transmission to a private buyer

Depending on the buyer, this will likely earn you more money for your junk car, but it comes with risks. There are laws in the United States that protect car buyers, so if you knowingly fail to disclose issues with your damaged car, it can come back and haunt you. Of course, telling the buyer about the broken parts on your car gives them more negotiating power when it comes to offering you less money. Taking it to a local mechanic for an inspection for the buyer is a good idea, but this will cost you money — not to mention you’ll have to pay to get it towed over to the mechanic in the first place. 

  • Selling your car in parts

Call us now at (855) 547-1550
or email us at

Receive a guaranteed highest-priced quote for your junk car from the best junk car buyer by filling out the form online.

We’re open Mon-Fri: 8 am - 8 pm, Sat: 8 am - 3 pm

This is always an option, but depending on how mechanically inclined you are, it can be a difficult and long process. Not only is it a gamble to break a car down yourself, if you don’t know the right outlets to sell your car parts to, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to sell them. This would leave you with an even more incomplete car than you started and a garage full of old car parts with no guarantee of making any money from the parts. 

  • Sell your car to a junk car buyer

This is undoubtedly the most hassle-free way of getting rid of a car with transmission in bad condition. Considering all the costs of towing or rebuilding, it is likely this is the most cost-effective, too. Because junk car buyers know the value of scrap vehicles and know who to sell the parts to, you may be surprised at how much your car is worth. Let’s discuss that next.

How Much Can I Get for Selling a Car With a Bad Transmission

As someone looking to sell your broken down car, of course, your million-dollar question is, “How much can I get for selling a car with a bad transmission?” 

The answer is largely dependent on your vehicle, how old it is, what condition it’s in if the transmission is the only problem with it, and numerous other factors. In general, the newer and better condition your car is in, the more money you’ll get for it. This is obviously because it provides more parts for a junk car buyer to sell later to scrap yards or metal buyers. That doesn’t mean an old, broken-down car won’t get you a fair price from a reputable junk car buyer.

To accurately answer your question, you’ll need to get a quote. Without knowing the basic stuff about your car — the year, make, model, mileage, condition, etc. — we simply can’t give you an accurate answer. Your best option is to give JunkCarsUS a call at (855) 547-1550 and get your top dollar instant offer. Alternatively, you can use our scrap car value calculator and see just how much you can get for your junk car in less than 90 seconds. JunkCarsUS offers a highest price guarantee to all of our customers, so if you want to make sure you get the most money for your junk car, JunkCarsUS is the junk car removal service for you. 

Where's the Best Place to Sell a Car With Bad Transmission

If you’re wondering how to sell a car with a bad transmission in the easiest, fastest way possible without sacrificing how much cash you can get for it, JunkCarsUS is the right choice for you. For those in Texas, if you're looking to sell a junk car in San Antonio, there are similar services available to assist you in the process. With over 12 years in the business, we have come up with a simple, three-step process to selling your junk car. 

  1. Contact us! Give us a call at (855) 547-1550 or go on our website and fill out an online application
  2. Get your instant offer! Our friendly customer service representatives will ask you for some basic information — the year, the make, the model, the mileage, and your car’s overall condition — and then give you a cash offer on the spot. No waiting around! Once we give you our offer (complete with the highest price guarantee), we’ll never try to haggle with you to try to lower it again. 
  3. Arrange for FREE towing! There are never any hidden costs or fees when dealing with JunkCarsUS, which means we provide free towing. We’ll send one of our trusted tow truck drivers to your location exactly on time to get your vehicle. If your car has a faulty transmission, driving it around may make it even worse, and if it’s undrivable, a tow will cost you your hard-earned money to get it where it needs to go. We completely solve this problem by making sure you don’t have to do ANY transporting of your vehicle — it’s all done by us. 

Hopefully, you’re no longer wondering, “Where's the best place to sell a car with bad transmission?” It’s to JunkCarsUS, of course! But there’s more. Not only do you get the highest price guarantee, an instant offer with same-day service, you’ll also get the paperwork completely taken care of for you. That means NO PAPERWORK for you! All you have to do is sign on the dotted line, and it’s all taken care of! Don’t hesitate any longer; give JunkCarsUS a call today and see for yourself just how easy it can be to get rid of your junk car with a broken transmission! 


How to define serious problems with a car transmission?

The transmission is responsible for sending torque from the engine's crankshaft to the drive wheels. To determine damage in a car transmission, pay attention to difficulties in changing gears, the weird smell of smoke, too much noise, slipping gears, and signals from a dashboard check engine indicator.

Can I sell a car with transmission problems?

Yes, it is possible to sell a car with the broken transmission. There are several ways to do this. The first one to be mentioned is to sell such a car as trade into your local car dealer. Also, you can sell it to a private customer, in parts, or to a junk car buyer.

What is the best option for selling a car with transmission problems?

If you want to trade your old car quickly, legally, and for fair money value, rely on us. With JunkCarsUs, you will also save lots of time on paperwork and other difficulties.

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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