Do I Really Need My Transmission Re-Manufactured?

December 1st, 2015 by


A Lineartronic CVT transmission. Photo by Qurren, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A transmission problem can be one of the most destructive and costly problems a car owner might encounter. The transmission is critical toward your engine being able to shift gears effectively, and in the absence of a properly working transmission you could find your car stalling or, worse, completely dead.

If you’ve noticed your vehicle has been having trouble shifting, has been stalling, has been making strange noises from under the hood, or has been leaking transmission fluid – you might need some transmission repair.


As with an engine, however, not all repair jobs are the same. Depending on the scope and severity of your transmission woes, you might have two distinct – and differently priced – options available to help save your car and get both of you back on the road. These are the transmission repair and the full transmission re-manufacture.

Have you been experiencing minor problems like a broken gasket or a leaky valve? Perhaps your clutch has overheated and started to wear away a bit, leading to pieces of metal shavings mixed in and contaminating your transmission’s inner workings. In this case, your car may be a candidate for a simple transmission rebuild.

In a transmission rebuild, a mechanic carefully disassembles your vehicle’s transmission piece by piece and inspects each part. Then, depending on their conditions, the mechanic may choose to re-machine or fully replace each damaged part. Those parts which the mechanic deems in working order, even if only marginally, are placed back into the unit.

By only replacing those parts which show noticeably visible damage, a mechanic may be able to get your transmission back in working order for a relatively low cost. When many of the original pieces can simply be put back in without re-machining or replacement, the consumer ends up saving in both cost for parts and cost for labor.

If, however, the mechanic deems your transmission’s damage extensive enough, he or she may recommend a full transmission re-manufacture. This involves replacing every part of the transmission with a new, working part, regardless of the condition of the original. This means that even functional or marginal pieces of an otherwise damaged transmission are replaced along with the rest of the transmission.

This is an extensive, and often costly, repair job. Often, the customer must bear the brunt of a greater cost for labor on top of the cost of every part needed for the re-manufacture. In some cases, the mechanic may choose to simply re-machine some parts, which could save a little money but often requires expensive equipment that many mechanics simply do not have. In this case, he or she may send the parts out for re-machining, which can be a long and costly process. Once completed, the mechanic can test the transmission in a dynamo, guaranteeing it works prior to placing it back in the car.

For consumers, however, the assurance granted by knowing that every part of the transmission is functional offers peace of mind, and guarantees that the transmission won’t need more repairs shortly down the road. Most re-manufactured transmissions also come with an extended warranty, which can save the consumer a lot of money if something happens with the new transmission.

So there you go. Depending on the scale of your transmission troubles, you may be a candidate for a transmission rebuild or a re-manufacture. Each has their positives and negatives, and it’s a good idea to consult a certified, professional mechanic before committing to any transmission repair.