Transmission failure can result in the need for repairs or complete replacement, so it's important to know the early warning signs of transmission problems to attempt to minimize the damage and save yourself some repair costs.
In the event that you do need transmission work done, it's also important to know your options on transmission repairs and replacement. There are various options from which you can choose, depending on the severity of the damage, the length of time you intend to keep your vehicle, and your financial situation.
What are the signs of transmission problems?
The clutch is often the first suspect when your vehicle has a manual transmission. The clutch pedal may begin to descend closer to the floorboard, and changing gears becomes more difficult as the teeth of the clutch wear away over time.
Most owners of vehicles with manual transmission will eventually need to replace the clutch if they keep the vehicle long enough. Fortunately, this is less expensive than repairing or replacing the transmission itself, although it may cost several hundred dollars.
You will notice transmission problems in an automatic transmission when gears begin to slip. Instead of a smooth transition of gears, the vehicle will hesitate, then spring into gear. During the hesitation, the engine will increase in speed in an attempt to compensate for the transmission's deficiencies.
Slipping gears and revving engine are signs of transmission problems in both types of transmissions, and should be addressed promptly. Failure to do so will not only result in further damage to the transmission but also possible engine overheating and a breakdown.
Discolored or lower levels of transmission fluid
Transmission fluid should be a clear pinkish color and should never fall below the proper level. If your transmission fluid is dark and discolored or has fallen below the proper level, you must have your vehicle serviced.
Always check your transmission fluid with your vehicle running on a flat level surface. Be very careful of the revolving fan blade before attempting to check the fluid.
What are your options for transmission repair or replacement?
Transmission work can be costly, and you will need to consider the cost to benefit ratio before choosing how much to spend on transmission work. This will include your ability to pay, the overall condition of your vehicle, and the length of time that you intend to own it.
Always check your vehicle's manufacturer's warranty when you need transmission work performed. The warranty on the drive train, which includes the transmission, is usually much longer in duration that that of the initial overall warranty. However, this warranty will only include manufacturer's defects, not damage from abuse such as towing or other operator's misuse.
Other options, from least expensive to most expensive, include:
If there is a specific component that can be repaired, but the transmission is in good condition overall, it may be most cost effective, especially if you don't intend to keep the vehicle for an extended period of time or your financial situation only allows for minimal repairs, to just fix that part.
You can choose to have your own transmission completely rebuilt or buy a previously rebuilt transmission and pay to have it installed. This is a middle option, which provides a limited warranty and a mid-level price range.
Most transmission repair facilities will only install rebuilt transmissions that they provide, not ones procured by the owner, because they can buy from a trusted source and earn a premium of the transaction.
This option can cost thousands of dollars, but it provides the best warranty, often for the lifetime of the vehicle. This is for vehicle owners who intend to drive their vehicle for years to come and have the money to pay the cost.
Talk to a professional like those at B G & S Transmissions to learn about the right option for you.Share