No one ever wants to hear that there is a problem with their vehicle. But few phrases strike more fear than this one: “Your transmission is going.” Before you panic, there is a lot to consider, as you’ll see in this transmission repair and rebuild cost guide.
And if you do need transmission work in the Rogers, Arkansas area, the experts at A-1 Transmission have you covered.
What Is a Transmission?
Your car’s transmission is part of the powertrain of the vehicle. The powertrain includes your car’s engine, transmission, and drivetrain. The drive train connects the transmission to your car’s axles.
If you think of your car’s powertrain as a horse, the transmission works like the reigns that can control the speed of the horse. Instead of verbal or physical commands, though, your car’s transmission uses gears to control the speed of your vehicle.
The transmission will move up and down the gears depending on how hard you push on the gas pedal. It is essential to the function of your car.
Which Type of Transmission Do You Have?
Transmissions come in two types, manual and automatic. Manual transmissions are called that because the driver manually works the transmission through the gears. They use a clutch and gear shift to do this. Manual transmissions can also be called standard transmissions.
Automatic transmissions keep it simple. They do the shifting for the driver. Once the vehicle is in drive, the transmission does the rest of the shifting automatically. The automatic transmission came about in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became widely popular. Most cars produced today are automatics, though not all.
Symptoms of Transmission Trouble
As the driver, you are the most likely person to spot the signs of a failing transmission. However, you may not recognize them as such. You probably will notice some of the issues early on and chalk them up to something like the need for an oil change.
Like just about everything in life, the sooner you can identify and deal with a transmission issue, the less expensive the fix will be.
Some of the common signs that your transmission is trying to tell you something are:
- Slipping Gears - Does your car have trouble staying in gear?
- Unusual Noises - Sounds such as grinding, clunking, or humming when you speed up or slow down are not typical.
- Clutch is Dragging - This happens only with manual transmissions and usually feels like a ‘light’ clutch. That is, it offers little or no resistance when pressed down.
- Noisy Gear Changes - Grinding or thumping sounds that occur during gear changes may signal a problem.
- Lag or Delay - You may notice a delay between gear changes. This problem usually happens with higher than normal RPMs.
If you start to notice any of these symptoms, get your transmission checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem gets costly. A transmission rebuild or replacement can run more than $3500.
Just knowing a little more about your transmission and what to watch or listen for, can help you catch problems early.
Factors That Affect Transmission Repair Cost
Many things can impact the price tag for transmission repair costs. The make of your vehicle is one of the most significant factors since the transmission varies from car to car. Even among cars from the same manufacturer, there are big differences. Luckily, technology can come in handy here with websites that help you find out which transmission you have.
Other factors that come into play in transmission repair and rebuild costs are:
- Extent of damage
- Age of car
- Manual transmission vs. automatic transmission
- The shop you choose to use
- Your location
Is the Warranty Still Valid?
Don’t forget to check your car’s warranty. This is an often-overlooked option when it comes time to have your transmission repaired. The powertrain, which includes the transmission, often has the most extended coverage in a warranty.
Before signing on the dotted line for repairs, do your due diligence. Find out what is wrong and if it is still under warranty. This simple step can save you thousands of dollars.
Finding the Right Shop
Now you have some knowledge about the transmission and its potential problems. So it’s time to find a shop to get your car healthy once again. Before you start calling around to local repair shops, be sure you have all your information ready to offer:
- Make, model, and year of car
- Make and model of transmission
- An explanation of what sounds or feels wrong
- How long has the problem been occurring
The transmission is a big deal, and you want a reputable repair shop to do the work. Ask friends and family members for referrals, and make sure to get bids from several places. Gathering multiple estimates from different shops may help you avoid a huge transmission repair bill. Don’t get pulled into the first option you find.
Depending on the amount of damage, bids may offer repair, rebuild, or replacement. Make sure the mechanic’s estimate includes a breakdown of parts and service, in layperson’s terms. They should be able to explain the problem and the proposed fix in reasonable terms. If they are unwilling to take the time to explain these things, you might want to keep looking.
Take a look around the shops you are considering. The appearance of the shop and how the staff runs things are decent indicators of how they will take care of your car. Do they respond quickly to your questions? Are they polite on the phone? Although it is not always the case, if they have a messy shop that looks like a junkyard, they may not treat your car with the best care possible.
A-1 Transmission Is On the Job
Transmission problems quickly can become a car owner’s worst nightmare if they don’t handle warning signs right away. At the first hint of trouble, reach out to the experts at A-1 Transmission. We will get you an accurate estimate at a fair price so that you can rest easy. We’ll have you up and running in no time.