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Repair, Rebuild, or Replace?

by | Feb 17, 2023 | Best Western Transmission

Is your vehicle’s transmission having troubles?  Are you worried about costly repairs?  Not all transmission problems require an expensive overhaul.  The decision whether to repair, rebuild, or replace your transmission has a lot to do with the extent of the problem and how far along the problem is when it is discovered. In this month’s blog, we review considerations for which direction you might take when the transmission is not functioning properly.  Because the options you have rely on catching problems early, we also share signs to look for to catch transmission issues before they become monumental problems.

Should You Repair?

The option of repairing your failed transmission is the ideal route from a labor and cost perspective if you experience problems with the transmission.   However, most service professionals will only make repairs to your transmission if they are easily accessible and do not involve disassembly of the transmission.  Repairs are typically done for individual parts, whether large or small but this route is more often the option when the parts are on the surface without a lot of labor time.  Unfortunately, many vehicle owners may not be lucky enough to have surface issues with their transmission.

Should You Rebuild?

A transmission rebuild is a very labor-intensive process.  A qualified service professional disassembles your entire transmission and will clean and inspect parts that either need repair or replacement.  Once all the parts and repairs are complete, the transmission is re-assembled in the vehicle.  This process is not only time-consuming for the service professional, but it can put your vehicle out of commission for an extended period of time.

Should You Replace?

Replacing your entire transmission is the third option that you have if there are too many issues to repair or rebuild.  More often, service professionals will replace a failed transmission with a used and refurbished one.  This is less costly than putting in a brand-new transmission.  This decision depends on your budget, and the length of time you plan to keep your vehicle.  Discuss this option in detail with your service professional so you are making the right choice.

How to Spot a Transmission Problem

While you can never predict what may go wrong with your vehicle’s transmission, there are some ways you can stay more alert to your transmission to catch problems earlier.  This may help you minimize any costs of extensive repairs, or even a rebuild or replacement.

Below are five of the most common transmission problem signs:

  1. Transmission fluid leaks: If you notice leaking transmission fluid, this could be an early warning of a problem on the horizon.  If you notice red fluid beneath your vehicle, don’t ignore this sign.  Leaking fluid will diminish the protection within the parts and cause further damage from heat or friction.
  2. Grinding Sounds: Grinding sounds are synonymous with transmission problems.  Manual transmissions that are failing or have clutch problems will make grinding noises.
  3. Shifting Difficulty: If you are having a difficult time shifting gears, or there is hesitation or jerking between gears, this is another sign that something is wrong with the transmission.
  4. Whining Sounds: Whining is another sound that is commonly associated with a failing transmission.  You may hear it when the vehicle is in neutral.  Have your vehicle inspected promptly by a service professional.
  5. Burning Smell: Burning smells while driving could be the result of leaking transmission fluid.  If the transmission parts are not getting enough lubrication, they could be rubbing and overheating from too much friction.

For more information on identifying transmission problems, check out our blog called Detecting Transmission Problems. Pay attention to your transmission.  It is a critical component of your vehicle and if you stay attentive to the signs it provides, you may be able to avoid a rebuild or replacement.  If you have concerns about your transmission, contact the service professionals at Best Western Transmission to schedule an inspection.