Transmission inspection, repair and replacement
Updated 15 Apr 2021
How much is a transmission repair or replacement?
The cost of carrying out transmission repairs or replacement varies between make and model. With basic repairs costing between $200 up to $500+ and extensive repairs costing anywhere between $1000 up to $5000+, especially if the transmission requires complete overhaul or replacement.
The transmission fitted to your vehicle is what transmits drive, from the engine to the wheels. These transmissions can come in many forms, including;
- Constantly Variable
Although configurations vary, they are all designed to carry out the same job and all require periodic maintenance to continue operating at their best.
All transmissions are filled with certain types of transmission fluid which provides lubrication and cooling of the transmission.
In the case of automatic transmissions, the fluid also provides hydraulic pressure to select the proper gear.
Carrying out maintenance on a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission is as simple as changing the oil in the gearbox as there is no filter to capture particles and debris. In an Automatic transmission however, there will be a filter located in the transmission pan.
This filter will be attached to the transmission oil pump and will remove any debris or particles to allow for proper transmission operation.
If not changed, these particles will cause premature wear and failure of components. Transmission problems if not rectified, will cause expensive repairs or even replacement of the transmission assembly.
Symptoms of a transmission issue
- Engine light on dashboard
- Vehicle struggling to accelerate, or engine speed increase with no increase of vehicle speed
- Shuddering coming through vehicle when driving
- Whirring, grinding or clunking noise coming from vehicle
- Vehicle has no drive, or cannot select gears
Check engine light coming on
On vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, if the transmission computer detects an issue with the transmission, it will cause the Check Engine Light to appear on the dashboard.
This may be accompanied by vibration or strange noises coming from the vehicle.
It is recommended not to drive the vehicle in this condition and have it inspected as soon as possible, as it may stop at any time without warning.
Strange noises while driving
Transmission noises can be hard to pinpoint but they can usually be identified as a whining, clunking or high pitched humming noise when driving, depending on road speed.
Driving with these symptoms is not advised and may cause further damage if the vehicle is not inspected as soon as possible.
If your vehicle hesitates to take off from a stop, or the engine speed increases but the vehicle speed stays constant or slows down, this may indicate an issue with the transmission, or clutch on manual transmission vehicles.
Car won’t select gears or go into gear
If you cannot select a gear, or the car is in gear but does not drive, this indicates that there may be a simple issue such as low transmission fluid, or something more sinister – such as a failed clutch or valve body.
If you notice your vehicle leaking fluid, it is recommended to have it inspected as soon as possible to prevent damage to major components and to make sure it is safe to drive.
Our mechanics will inspect under the vehicle for any leaks or damage to the transmission, check the level and condition of the transmission fluid and clutch fluid (if applicable) and road test the vehicle to ensure correct operation.
The mechanic will then prepare a quote for repairs or replacement if required.
Transmission repairs or replacement
Depending on what the vehicle requires, a repair or replacement of components will be carried out.
The mechanic will then top up the transmission fluid, clutch fluid (if required) and carry out a full system test to make sure the vehicle is in full operational condition.
A road test will then be carried out to ensure the repair/ replacement has rectified the issue and a final visual inspection to make sure no fluid is leaking from the vehicle.
Why is it important to have your transmission inspected or repaired?
Having your transmission inspected as soon as an issue is detected is not only vital for the safety of you and your family, as well as other motorists – but may also save you money in the long run, by preventing further damage to the sensitive internal components of the transmission.
These can be expensive to repair, and may require a complete overhaul if the issue is not diagnosed early.
If you notice any of these symptoms, have your vehicle inspected by one of AutoGuru's 1,600+ qualified workshops, or have a fully certified mobile mechanic come to your house or office – Too Easy!
All data gathered in September 2016.
Finding a passion for cars from a young age, Joel carried out work experience as a mechanic whilst at school before starting an apprenticeship after finishing year 12.
After almost 10 years on the tools and in customer service, he moved into the IT realm as a Data Analyst and In-House mechanic at AutoGuru.