Doing This Will Save You Thousands in Transmission Repairs (2023)


Doing This Will Save You Thousands in Transmission Repairs, DIY life hack and car repair with auto mechanic Scotty Kilmer. Car life hacks. How to save thousands of dollars by not having to go to an auto mechanic for car automatic transmission repairs. How to fix cars. Expensive automatic transmission repairs. Car hacks that will save you thousands in transmission repairs. 5 minute life hacks to make your transmission run as long as possible. Make your car's transmission last forever. Transmission maintenance tips. Car advice. DIY car repair with Scotty Kilmer, an auto mechanic for the last 51 years.

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Rev up your engines, now there's two super expensive things on your car, there's the engine and there's the automatic transmission, you don't want either of them to go out, you want them to last as long as possible, so here's some transmission tips, the most obvious and bring thing is, keep clean fluid in it, you got to change it every so often, now decades ago when I was a young mechanic, we had to change automatic transmission fluid every 20-30,000 miles, but synthetic automatic transmission fluid lasts a lot longer, but don't be fooled by this nonsense that people say it's lifetime fluid you never need to change it, you still need to change those too, so just do that every so often, it depends on each make and model, you got to do a little research like nissans I'd still do those every 30,000 miles cuz their problematic transmissions, but something like a toyota you could get away with changing the fluid every 60-80,000 miles and you probably won't have any problems, but now I'm going to talk about thing you might not have thought about, the next thing to make your transmission last as long as possible is your tires, believe it or not.

Yes, you want to have the correct tire pressure.

Because if your tire pressure is low, your tires are going to drag and have more friction, that makes the transmission work harder.

The harder, it works, the faster it's going to wear out.

And if you have one of these fancy new all wheel, drive vehicles, realize that all your tires have to be almost exactly the same size from wear, when your tires wear out, or you get a blowout, on an all wheel drive vehicle.

If you want the transmission to last you have to replace all 4 tires at the same time with the same exact tires, most of the modern all wheel, drive systems.

The computer is continually monitoring tire, speed/spin.

It lets the transmission adapt to what's happening.

If one tire is a different size from the other either front or back, it's going to be completely changing how much drive it gives to each wheel to compensate for that.

And while it's doing that compensation, the internals of many of these all wheel drive transmissions will start to wear out much faster cuz.

They keep compensating instead of just going normally and not having to compensate for the different size tire, which makes for a different speed, and it confuses the computer.

And with the addition of all these modern anti collision, avoidance system in cars, abs, brakes, lane assistance, even semi, automatic braking on some of them, it's important that your tire are all exactly the same, even on a two wheel, drive vehicle, because it's monitoring all 4 wheels and crazy things can happen if it thinks that one wheel in the back is rotating at a different speed than one wheel at the front, just because the tires are different sizes.

Now, another way to make them last as long as possible is this, when you do change, the fluid make sure you use the same fluid that came with the transmission, in theory, lots of different ones can be mixed together, but with additive packages.

And especially with these modern cvt transmissions, you want to stick with the exact fluid that the vehicle came with.

All the modern cars come with high tech.

Synthetic fluid, it's, a very good fluid.

It can take heat better.

It lasts longer.

It doesn't break down as fast, it's, a purer type of fluid.

So you want to stick to that, and not take a chance by putting a different type in.

Nobody really knows what's in each of the different ones.

You know that if it came with one particular one, you buy that same stuff it's going to have the same additives, it's going to have the same exact viscosity and that's very important for a modern transmission, and I know, really that's.

One of the reasons that a lot of transmissions don't have dipsticks or drain, plugs anymore, because the manufacturers were worried that people are going to put the wrong kind of fluid in it and ruin the transmission, which I've seen quite a few times.

You really can't now, a days, you better off paying a mechanic who knows what he's doing to change your fluid on any modern car.

Some of them have multi step processes that can take an hour and a half, including road test, hooking up a scan, tool, measuring temperature and pressure.

It gets really complicated.

And you don't want to put a monkey wrench in the whole thing by using the wrong type of fluid, so stick to OEM fluid on any modern transmission.

Now, another big tip to make your transmission.

Last as long as possible is keep your cooling system in good shape, make sure the cooling fans are working, make sure there isn't any kind of blockage like paper bags, or if you live out in the country, a zillion bugs that have covered up your radiator, and that's because most cars have transmission coolers that help cool the automatic transmission, fluid, their generally built into the radiator of your car.

So if your radiator is running too hot, that's going to make your transmission, run too hot too.

Now, big truckers have known this for years.

They have temperature gauges for their transmissions, but cars don't come that way, unless you special order one or put on a temperature, gauge yourself, your not going to know what temperature your automatic transmission.

Fluid is running at.

So really your not even going to get a warning.

If your radiator starts to overheat sure, you know, you really need to work on it, let's say that the part that cools your transmission is kind of blocked.

It might be that your transmission is running a little bit hotter.

You don't have a gauge for that.

So this is an indirect thing, make sure your cooling system is in top shape, because that with make your transmission last longer, because the main enemy of automatic transmissions is heat.

You want to keep friction down as much as possible.

Just the very running of itself creates friction.

You don't want to have extra friction added because the cooling system isn't helping to cool that friction down, that would just make things worse.

If you have dirty transmission, fluid and a cooling system that wasn't working right, there's, a double edge, sword, that's going to cut through your transmission and make it wear out faster.

You want to make sure you got a good battery and alternator in your car, because modern automatic transmission, their all computer controlled.

If you don't have the correct battery voltage going, if the alternator is wearing out and either puts voltage surges, or doesn't, put enough voltage out, you can have transmission.

Problems, you not might notice it much.

But as time goes on it, the electronics are weak that can strain different parts of the transmission and cause them to break down, it's, a simple thing to have your mechanic load test your battery, load test your alternator every once in a while, it's part of the job I do for my customers all the time, sure in the old days when a battery was going out, and you try to start the car.

It will go grunt and won't start.

And you know, the battery is getting low, but these modern cars, their completely different with all.

These electronics, I've had a lot of cars that will just crank like mad.

But they still won't start and it's a weak battery, because it doesn't have enough power to spin the engine and run all the electronics at the same time.

And since your transmission is now controlled by all this electronic stuff, that makes it even more important to have a good battery and alternator, cuz if their not putting enough electricity out, most of the sensors on those things are either a 5, volt reference signal that have very little power, or 12, volt ones that still don't use all that much power.

And if the power has gone down, it won't shift right.

They might not even go down the road.

The might just start slipping.

If the solenoids don't, let them shift, you can have all kinds of problems, which leads me to another thing that I have to talk about with electricity in your transmission, realize that your whole transmission is grounded, it's negative electricity.

And if the ground cable from the battery to the frame, to the transmission, isn't working, right, they can go haywire, all these transmissions solenoids.

They have to get a signal from the computer and the module yeah.

But they also have to have negative electricity, because cars work on direct current, in order for anything to work it's got to have power and it's got to have ground, I've seen these things where from either corrosion or somebody worked on the car, and they knocked a ground strap loose or even worse, took it off and didn't, put it back on, that will make the transmission.

Go haywire if it doesn't have correct ground.

Now, if you have cars like GM, that are know for having ground faults in them.

It might not be a bad idea.

If you work on your car to get a good wiring diagram of where all the ground wires on the car are, and especially the transmission, ground wires and check them every once in a while when your car gets older.

And the last tip is this, if you got a dipstick like this old car, check it every once in a while to make sure it's not loosing any fluid.

Now, of course, modern transmissions, a lot of them don't have dipsticks anymore.

So it's, a good idea to crawl under there every once in a while and look at the transmission, if it's fine, it will be bone dry, but it's all covered in oil and greasy.

You know, something is wrong and have it looked at, and have the fluid topped up if necessary, because if you run a transmission, when it's getting really low on fluid, that will destroy them, I've had lots of customers.

Sometimes maybe they hit something.

And the bottom of the pan gets a leak on the transmission, and then they drive it around that way for quite some time.

And when they bring it to me, I find the leak and put a new pan on it.

But then they just don't work right cuz.

The were running low and sucked a lot of air in, and that ruined the inside of the transmission.

So now you know how to save thousands in transmission, repair with some pretty simple stuff, cuz, let's face.

It we're all in this together.

We don't want to spend our hard earned money fixing an automatic transmission that we can keep from breaking in the first place.

So if you never want to miss another, one of my new car, repair videos, remember to ring that bell!.


Can you fix a transmission without replacing it? ›

Transmission Repairs

Often with a transmission repair, you are only fixing one specific part of the transmission. This repair can take place without having to rebuild the entire transmission. This option typically costs less than a rebuild or a replacement.

How can we save transmission? ›

Here are our top 5 tips that can help you preserve your transmission.
  1. Check Your Transmission Fluid Regularly. ...
  2. Avoid Heat Damage By Following The “Severe Use” Replacement Schedule. ...
  3. Keep Your Engine's Cooling System In Good Shape. ...
  4. Be Careful About Changing Gears (And Use That Parking Brake)
Aug 24, 2018

How long should it take to fix a transmission? ›

Most repairs are fairly quick. Flushing the fluid, sealing, and recalibration can be done within a day. Replacing the shift solenoids takes a day or two. A full rebuild, however, is very time and labor-intensive and will typically take three to four days.

Are transmission repairs worth it? ›

If the price of a new transmission is no more than 40% to 60% of your car's value, then it's probably worth the cost of repair. If your transmission is in good condition, there are benefits to repairing it rather than scrapping it entirely.

Can a car run with a broken transmission? ›

Short answer: no! The only thing you should do if you think you have a faulty transmission is go for a quick jaunt to your local mechanic. If you have a bad transmission it's only a matter of time before your vehicle literally won't be able to drive anywhere.

Is it better to fix a transmission or replace? ›

Transmission Mileage

If your car is manual or dual-clutch, the transmission can fail sooner than an automatic or automated manual. Opting for a brand-new transmission is best because spending money on repairs can be costlier and counterproductive over the years.

How do you get rid of a bad transmission in a car? ›

If you're looking to sell a car with a bad transmission., you can try these things:
  1. Avoid selling to a dealer or trading in. ...
  2. Try looking into junkyards. ...
  3. Get in touch with a used auto parts garage. ...
  4. Contact the car buyers at CarVIO.

Can you save a failing transmission? ›

If your transmission slipping fix was not completed in time, then it may cause devastating damage to the point where your vehicle will not be driveable. There is no “Quick Fix” at this point and it will require either transmission replacement or full disassembly to perform an internal transmission rebuild.

Can a automatic transmission be repaired? ›

Newer automatic transmission often requires a repair process that is quite complicated given that it needs specialized technology.

What happens if you don't fix your transmission? ›

Issues That Can Happen From Having a Bad Transmission

In some of the most extreme cases, you will not be able to give the car any gas, which means you may slow down and this can cause problems when trying to continue going, especially on a highway or major road.

What happens if you don't replace a bad transmission? ›

"Transmission problems can lead to a range of issues such as overheating, slipping gears, and holding on to a gear for too long," says John Ibbotson, Consumer Reports' chief mechanic. "Ultimately, minor concerns can lead to catastrophic failure, leaving the car undrivable.

How long does a transmission last before it goes bad? ›

Automatic transmissions often fail between 80,000 and 150,000 miles. Manual transmissions can fail even sooner than that, especially when routine maintenance is neglected.

Is a car with a bad transmission worth anything? ›

With a bad transmission, your car isn't worth much. Even if you trade it in, you're probably looking at taking a loss on the vehicle you currently own. If the car wouldn't be worth much either way, or the repair job costs way more than the vehicle is worth, that might be alright.

How much does a transmission rebuild cost? ›

Average transmission repair costs range from $300 to $1,400. For example, if your manual transmission needs a new clutch, you can reasonably expect to pay around $800 to $1,500. On the other hand, transmission replacement is one of the most expensive repairs you can get. Replacements can range from $1,800 to $3,400.

How much is labor for transmission replacement? ›

Transmission replacement is one of the most expensive jobs done by any mechanic. The average cost of transmission replacement ranges from $1800 to $3500. The labor to remove and replace a transmission ranges from $450 to $850 for 4 to 9 hours of billed time.

What hurts a car transmission? ›

Low transmission fluid, clogged filters, and problems with the clutch can all contribute to transmission damage, so watch out for these issues.

Can bad transmission destroy engine? ›

It's good that you're asking this question, though, because driving with a bad transmission will cause damage to the engine if left unaddressed! If your transmission is failing, you may already be experiencing shifting issues like slipping and loud mechanical sounds that are difficult to discern.

Is it worth fixing a transmission in an older car? ›

Work you do to fix up a classic car—from a new transmission to an EV conversion—is often well worth the investment. While you are unlikely to find a classic transmission, updating with newer parts will keep the vehicle drivable. Many drivers also find it worthwhile to fix up cars with sentimental value.

Is new transmission better than rebuilt? ›

Final Takeaways. Reman transmissions are more reliable than rebuilt systems. The actual cost for a reman or rebuilt transmission differs by manufacturers/workshops. It takes longer to rebuild and reinstall a transmission into a vehicle, but reman systems are readied and shipped from the factory.

Is it cheaper to buy a new transmission or rebuild? ›

New transmissions can cost thousands of dollars more than rebuilt ones, and the down payment requirements for a new vehicle can be much more, depending on the vehicle you want. Rebuilt transmissions typically come with warranties, ensuring that you'll get your money's worth out of the unit.

What happens if you keep driving with a bad transmission? ›

If there have been issues with the gears not engaging or slipping, this can cause the vehicle to unexpectedly start shaking when driving. If you are operating your vehicle at a high speed, this can be quite dangerous.

Is transmission failure easy to fix? ›

This requires specialized experience and education, which is why you'll want a mechanic to address the issues. Vehicle transmissions are one of the more complicated components of a vehicle and, consequently more difficult to repair or replace.

What happens before your transmission goes out? ›

Typically, when your transmission begins to fail you may start to notice some form of difficulty when changing gears. Occasionally you may hear or feel a clunk noise when you shift gear. Another sign of a rough shifting is difficulty in accelerating to the speed for the gear that it is in.

Can a blown transmission be rebuilt? ›

A transmission rebuild is a great option in most cases. This means you are only replacing the parts that have failed. Just like a replace, you are fixing certain parts, but not doing it in a factory setting. You will want a very reputable repair shop to have this done.

Do transmissions go out suddenly? ›

It's labor intensive and cost prohibitive. Luckily, transmission failure doesn't usually happen without warning. There are several warning signs that your transmission's going out.

What is the most common failure in automatic transmission? ›

1. At the top of all auto repair experts lists for causes of problematic transmissions is low transmission fluid. Usually caused by a leak somewhere in the system, low or contaminated fluid makes it nearly impossible for the transmission to automatically shift gears and run smoothly.

How many hours does it take to replace an automatic transmission? ›

In general, service experts agree that it doesn't take more than one to two days to replace a standard transmission, with more finicky models taking closer three or four days.

What is the longest a transmission can last? ›

With proper maintenance, transmissions can last up to 300,000 miles or more. This includes changing the fluid in your transmission system and regular checkups. However, when you don't keep up with routine maintenance, your transmission might have problems at the 100,000-mile mark or even sooner.

What happens if you don't replace transmission? ›

In some of the most extreme cases, you will not be able to give the car any gas, which means you may slow down and this can cause problems when trying to continue going, especially on a highway or major road.

Is it better to rebuild a transmission or buy a used one? ›

With a transmission rebuild, or even a high-quality remanufactured transmission from a reputable company like Certified Transmission, your vehicle will retain a higher resale value than it would with a used transmission.

What happens if you don't change your transmission? ›

Not changing or flushing your transmission system can result in system failure and expensive repairs. Read on to discover more about your vehicle's transmission fluid, including which factors determine how often you should change it and what happens if you don't change your transmission fluid regularly.

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