If you have to take your vehicle to the shop to get the transmission replaced, a common question you might ask is – how long does it take to replace a transmission?
You can’t move any automobile if the transmission system is not functioning correctly. You can’t start driving your vehicle without a well-functioning transmission system, and if the transmission is completely damaged, you will need a replacement.
This article will explore a lot about a car’s transmission and transmission plug replacement, how long it takes to replace a transmission, how long they can last, how to maintain them, and how much it will cost to replace one.
How Long Does It Take To Replace a Transmission?
The amount of time required to replace a transmission depends on the vehicle and the type of transmission. For most rear-wheel vehicles, it takes one or two days to replace a transmission. However, some old model front-wheel drive vehicles can be quite labor-intensive and can take three to four days.
Also, the time you used to get the necessary tools and parts could be factored into the time required to replace your transmission.
Related: How Long Does Transmission Last? (Answered)
How Long Does It Take To Replace a Rear Wheel Drive Transmission?
The transmission system is easier to replace or repair in a rear-wheel drive. This is because you don’t have to remove any main components or the engine before replacing it.
So, ensure you add the time you’ll use in unbolting the engine as you think about how long it takes to replace your transmission.
Repairing or replacing the rear wheel can take longer than the front-wheel drive but depends on the level of damage.
Some experts in this field can finish the whole process within 2 to 3 hours.
How Long Does It Take To Replace a Front Wheel Drive Transmission?
As stated by the maintenance tips of professionals, unbolting the motor and engine consumes more time when it comes to a front-wheel drive.
You must unbolt your engine first to take out the transmission system. It takes longer to replace the front-wheel-drive transmission than the rear-wheel drive.
It could take a full day or more to do that. And the cost of replacement is higher compared to the rear wheel based on the level of damage. And also, before you unbolt your engine, you need to remove the axle shafts.
Related: How Long Does it Take to Rebuild a Transmission? [+ Cost]
What Causes a Transmission to Fail?
1. Low Transmission Fluid
Just as the engine needs fluids to function properly, so does the transmission need fluid, and for the transmission system, the fluid is known as the transmission fluid. The fluid function as a hydraulic fluid and also as a lubricant.
This helps lubricate the rotating or moving parts, facilitate gear shifts, and help in a safe operating temperature.
This means the system can get hot if the transmission fluid is low, and you will not be able to move or shift swiftly, and the internal components might seize at the end.
Unfortunately, most transmission fluids tend to last for about 30,000 to 60,000 miles; for an average driver, you’ll need to change it every two and a half to five years. Apart from that, the replacement cost is low, around $80 to $250.
2. Transmission Fluid Leak
This is similar to the previous one. It simply means that the transmission does not receive the necessary fluids it needs. Nevertheless, if the transmission fluid is leaking, you would not be able to add to it; rather, you repair the problem first.
Luckily, the color of the transmission fluid is red. So whenever you see a red fluid beneath your car, you’ll know where it came from. Now we will talk about how you can fix the transmission fluid leak and the cost of fixing this issue. For more information, check out our article on Transmission Fluid Leak When Parked.
3. Clogged Transmission Fluid Filter
Your transmission has a filter stopping harmful debris such as metallic flakes, dust, and dirt from getting into it. Hence, as soon as the filter separates much debris, it could become clogged, making it useless.
In addition, it could hinder the flow of the fluids, which can cause the first two problems mentioned earlier.
Replacing the transmission filter and fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles will help the transmission stay healthy. In addition, doing this would let you see little faults that arise before they worsen.
Since we have discussed what could lead to transmission failure, let’s talk about the most popular symptoms of a failed transmission system.
Bad Transmission Symptoms
1. Burning Smell
If you start to notice a burning odor coming out of your vehicle is never a positive sign. As stated earlier, low transmission fluid could lead to overheating. If you have a little amount of fluid, it will burn and leave a special sweet burning smell.
Once more, discovering a failed transmission on time is very important as it will help prevent the problem from getting worse and eventually reduce the repair cost.
2. Gear Slippage
You can easily notice this; it simply means that the gear is being shifted by the transmission when it should not. Not only would it lead to serious issues, but it might also put you at risk when you drive your car.
A lot of work is involved in ensuring that the automatic tranny shifts swiftly, but if the gear is slipping, it becomes misplaced. This simply means that you’ll undergo a bumpy jerking sensation as the RPM goes up without warning.
This can cause your vehicle to lose traction when driving on smooth roads. This can put those around you, your passengers, and you at risk.
3. Whining/Clunking Sound
As mentioned earlier, it can be dangerous if your transmission has low or no fluid. This is because the fluid plays the role of a lubricant that creates a slim layer between the metals.
When the gear locks in a place, it can create a “whining” or “clunking” sound if there’s no fluid and there’s a contact of metal to metal.
The more the sound continues, the longer the transmission would endure the beating and, in the end, lead to failure.
4. Problems Shifting Gears
If the transmission jerks or hesitates when you adjust gears, this might result from a low level of fluid in the system. The fluid aids in the shifting of gears. And without the fluid, problems can arise.
According to the symptoms mentioned earlier, taking your vehicle for inspection would help prevent the problem from worsening as soon as you notice a problem. And as you know lesser problem means a lesser repair bill.
Transmission Replacement Cost
The replacement cost for transmission would be based on the transmission type and if it would be swapped with a remanufactured unit or a used rebuild. The prices might vary, but usually, the used rebuilt transmission costs around $200 to $600. Factors like the model and make of vehicle’s transmission, age, warranty terms, and availability could play a vital role in the price.
A rebuilt or remanufactured tranny could cost between $1000-$6000. The prices depend on if it’s an automatic or manual transmission, the type, and the warranty of your vehicle.
Replacing the transmission of your vehicle, depending on the type of your vehicle, on average, is around – $3,090 for minivans and SUVs, with the price ranging from $1,700-$6,000 – $2,792 for trucks, with the price ranging from $1,600-$4,500 – $1200 for passenger vehicles with the price ranging from $1200-$4,179.
How Long Does Transmission Maintenance Take?
The majority of your car manufacturers schedule regular maintenance for the transmission; usually, it’s around every 30,000-60,000 miles.
The more you use the vehicle, the more your transmission would likely need to be maintained. Vehicles used for heavy-duty tow loads need regular maintenance more than vehicles used for commuting.
1. Transmission Flush and Fill
One common way of maintaining the transmission is the flush and fill method. The service involves removing all the old fluids and using suction to take out any grime or grit that might have clogged up in the transmission.
This is necessary since debris might have contributed to the transmission’s wear and tear and reduced transmission lifespan.
It takes three to four hours to flush and fill your transmission.
2. Transmission Repairs
When the transmission displays some symptoms but doesn’t require a complete rebuild, you’ll probably have to do a middle ground fixing. The fill and flush method might not fix the issue, but a professional mechanic shop can work on it than rebuilding the transmission.
The transmission has a range of feasible repairs it might need. This means that the time it will require is based on the type of repair and the mechanic experience.
It is a great idea to schedule your vehicle to stay in the shop for one or two days for a transmission replacement. You might not need such a long time; the mechanic could be done with everything after a couple of hours. But it is better to schedule more time for your vehicle than to schedule less.
How Long Does It Take To Rebuild a Transmission
Rebuilding the transmission is better than getting a new transmission as your vehicle’s transmission might be rare, more expensive, or if the mechanic suggests rebuilding the current transmission would provide a better result than replacing it.
Regardless, rebuilding can take much of your time. It can take up to 3 to 4 days for someone with experience.
The shop could provide you with a more precise estimate. But on average, three to four days is enough, but some mechanics can take a longer time to get it done, while some can get it done faster.
Frequently Asked Questions – How Long Does It Take To Replace a Transmission?
How long does it take to install a brand new transmission?
It takes about 3 to 4 days. Usually, it takes 3 to 4 days to repair or replace the whole transmission system. It also relies on the transmission type and the model of your vehicle. And it might take some time if other components need to be repaired also.
Is it worth changing a transmission?
Rebuilding the transmission could save you some money in the short term, as you keep the car bills out of your budget. Many people feel that rebuilding the transmission is better than the initial cost. This might cost you about $2500 or more.
Is it easy to replace a transmission?
This depends on the model and make, the vehicle’s year, and the labor cost in your location, so expect to spend about $550-$1,250 or higher. The work of replacing and removing an automatic tranny is not that difficult to do. You have to be prepared, follow instructions, and be safe.
How much does it cost to replace an entire transmission?
Replacing the transmission could cost around $1800-$3400. It depends on the technician and the repair shop; the cost for labor can be about $500-$1200. An average price for replacement of transmission; For remanufactured transmission, is between $1300 to $3,400.
How long does it take a mechanic to rebuild a transmission?
It takes about three to five days. In a situation whereby you have to rebuild, it means the transmission must be taken out, dismantled, parts purchased, rearranged, and reinstalled back in the vehicle. All this process takes about 3-5 days.
How long does it take to remove and replace a transmission?
The time taken is based on the type of vehicle and the transmission. Usually, it takes about one or two days to replace the information in rear-wheel cars. However, modern models that are front-wheel-drive cars require much intensive labor and can take 3 to 5 days.
Conclusion – How Long Does It Take To Replace a Transmission?
Now you’ve got the answer to the question of how long does it take to replace a transmission. Always remember to take your vehicle to a professional service center for inspection. This will reduce the possibility of transmission failure. If the service and repair are not done correctly, it might increase the risk of your transmission malfunctioning.