How Much is a Used Transmission & How to Replace

How Much is a Used Transmission & How to Replace

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The transmission in your car is a crucial part that controls how the gears in your car are changed. Either an automatic or manual transmission is required for your car to function properly. This requires routine maintenance and a regular infusion of transmission fluid, but sometimes, you will simply need to replace the part entirely.

If you live in the US, the cost of a used transmission ranges from $500 to $1,000 depending on the car. You often stand to gain hundreds of dollars in savings.

Many people choose to purchase a used transmission, but you should carefully consider if this is the best option for you.

Pros and Cons of Buying Used

Due to cost savings and the knowledge that a used car will perform nearly as well as a brand-new one, many people choose to purchase one. You can anticipate a benefit similar to this if you decide to purchase a used transmission. Naturally, used transmissions are less expensive than new ones, which is a significant factor. It’s possible to save hundreds of dollars in many situations. Many used transmissions are technically remanufactured, which means they come with new parts and updates. You might get a transmission that is almost exact duplicate of a fresh one.

Nevertheless, purchasing a used transmission has a number of drawbacks. To begin with, if you do receive a warranty at all, it won’t be very long. Sometimes the warranty is only good for a year, which might not be long enough to address all issues. The clutches and seals inside a transmission will start to dry out, crack, and eventually rot if it is left idle for a long time in Phoenix’s scorching heat. Additionally, if you purchase a used car, you have no way of knowing if the previous owners took good care of it or had it properly tested. Most vehicle recycling centers do not inspect used transmissions prior to sales. When you buy a new transmission, you can be sure that it has undergone the most recent testing procedures.

How Do Transmissions Work?

Gears that spin inside a gearbox make up a transmission. The gears determine how much power is being applied to the driveshaft, and ultimately the wheels that move the car. Similar to changing gears on a bicycle, shifting gears in a car involves more intricate parts.

There are two types of transmissions: automatic and manual:

  • With manual transmissions (also referred to as stick shifts), the driver must use their right hand to depress the clutch and shift the gears.
  • As you drive, automatic transmissions change gear on their own.

Both automatic and manual transmissions are essential components of a car, so if one is damaged, you can’t operate the vehicle. Additionally, they rank among the most expensive components you can exchange. For these reasons, a used transmission is frequently used in place of a broken one by professional mechanics.

How to Tell If Your Transmission is on Its Last Legs

How Much is a Used Transmission & How to Replace

You should keep an eye out for the telltale signs that your transmission is about to completely fail, whether it is brand-new or used. When you start to drive, if you notice fluid dripping from your car or a puddle of fluid, the transmission is probably leaking. Also possible is a postponed engagement. You may have trouble shifting your vehicle from “P” to “D.” In the event it does shift, it may feel rougher than normal.

Reason to Take Action Immediately

As soon as you notice the warning signs, you need to replace the transmission with something. This is because driving with a frequently slipping transmission is very dangerous. It’s possible for the transmission to abruptly shift gears while you’re driving. This puts you and other drivers in danger in addition to doing more harm to the system. You should still take your car to a mechanic to have it checked out, even if you are unsure of the precise issue.

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Catch potential damage before it becomes serious by checking your vehicle’s transmission fluid regularly. You can do this if you simply:

  1. Turn the car on to warm up the engine.
  2. discover the dipstick for the transmission fluid. If you’re having trouble finding it, refer to your owner’s manual.
  3. Remove the dipstick and put some of the fluid on your finger. It can be moved between your forefinger and thumb. This liquid should have a pinkish tint and be mostly clear.
  4. Make sure the fluid doesn’t give off a burnt smell or look dirty. Bring in your model for a replacement if this is the situation.
  5. Reinstall the dipstick after cleaning it with a rag.
  6. Pull it out again to check the levels. Add more if it’s under the “Full” marking.
  7. Using a funnel, add more fluid until it reaches the “Full” marking.

How Often Should the Transmission Fluid Be Replaced?

Your model will determine how this works. Some say every 30,000 miles, while others say every 100,000 miles. Make sure to consult the owner’s manual for your car for a more precise mileage estimate. As long as you’ve followed the recommended maintenance schedule, this should be covered by the warranty on your car. Additionally, by doing it this way, you’re less likely to need the transmission replaced and can delay more costly repairs.

Reason to Buy New

You should think more about the long-term benefits of a transmission purchase than just the immediate ones. When you buy a used transmission, you may be saving a few hundred dollars up front, but there is an increased risk the component will wear prematurely. A new transmission should typically last up to 100,000 miles, or roughly seven years, for most drivers. If you purchase used, the transmission might only last 50,000 miles or less. In the long run, it costs more money if you have to buy a second transmission soon after buying the first one.

Additionally, you must always purchase your new transmission from a reputable vendor. No matter how adept you may think you are at working on cars, you should let a pro install your new transmission to make sure it is put in correctly. Fortunately, you can contact Sun Devil Auto’s experts whenever your transmission starts to malfunction.


There is no guarantee on the quality or mileage of the part, but you could look through classified ads or try to find an individual seller.

The most reliable place to find used transmissions is at a dependable auto parts recycler like My Auto Store. Even many non-drivable cars still have many parts that are in excellent condition and in working order. You can take advantage of free shipping and our six month warranty while saving a ton of money if you know where to look.

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