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How Much Does It Cost To Service A Transmission?

Your transmission is one of the most important components of your vehicle. It helps convert the motion of the crankshaft into power usable by the wheels and it adjusts the power at the wheels based on the engine’s output. With this level of functional importance, it’s essential to make sure that your transmission is serviced regularly but many people either forget or outright neglect to service their transmission. Regular service can help prevent incredibly costly repairs, but how much does that regular service cost?


What Is A Transmission Service?

A transmission service ensures that all of the old and contaminated transmission fluid is flushed out of the transmission, as well as a large amount of the gunk and varnish that has built up over the miles. However, it is more complicated than a simple fluid change, which can leave a considerable amount of the old fluid in the system.

A transmission service starts with a mechanic adding a cleaning solvent solution to the existing transmission fluid. The vehicle is then operated for about 15 minutes, giving the solution a chance to break up and dissolve the varnish in the transmission. Next, the vehicle’s transmission is connected to a professional transmission fluid exchange machine, which uses the vehicle’s power to pump out all of the old fluid, which now contains a great deal of the build-up that was in the system, while actively pumping in new fluid.

This process ensures that two important things happen. Firstly, it gives the vehicle a chance to flush out much of the internal contamination that has built up over time, instead of just putting new fluid over the same dirty components. Secondly, it makes sure that all of the old and contaminated fluid is pumped out under power, instead of simply being drained, so that instead of only replacing about 75% of the fluid, the newly-cleaned transmission receives 100% new fluid.


Do You Need To Get Your Transmission Serviced?

In most cases, a fluid exchange will be sufficient to service your transmission. However, if you haven’t had a transmission service in the last 30,000 miles or so, it is definitely time to get one done. No matter how well you treat your transmission and how gently you drive, the transmission internals will develop build-up and, eventually, that build-up will need to be cleaned and removed.

Maintaining proper transmission fluid level is vital to keeping your transmission running, and making sure that fluid is clean and fresh is crucial to making sure your transmission runs smoothly and efficiently. If you neglect to get your transmission serviced for long enough, eventually it can result in performance degradation and damage to your transmission.


Types of Transmission Service & How Much They Cost

There are several different types of transmission services, and each has features unique to it. Each one will also have its particular process and cost associated with completing the service. The most common types of transmission services are as follows.

Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

Automatic transmission fluid change is one of the most common types of service. Many people have the transmission fluid changed every few oil changes since most oil change shops offer it as an additional service. This service consists of draining the automatic transmission fluid, properly disposing of it, and replacing it with fresh, new fluid.

This fluid is essential to ensuring the hydraulic system functions properly and facilitates smooth gear changes, efficient power transfer from the engine to the wheels and sufficient cooling abilities. The transmission generates a tremendous amount of friction, so this cooling ability is one of the most important features.

Depending on where you have your automatic transmission fluid changed, you will face drastically different costs. The most expensive option is going to a dealership, which will often start at several hundred dollars, and may go as high as $500 depending on your make and model. Changing it yourself, however, will only require the cost of the fluid, usually $40-$90, and a little free time.

Manual Transmission Fluid Change

Manual transmission fluid changes are largely the same as automatic fluid changes, except that a different type of fluid is used. Manual transmissions are far less common these days than automatic transitions, though the cost for both will be roughly the same.

Complete Transmission Service

A complete transmission service will not only replace the contaminated fluid, but it will involve injecting a cleaning solution into the system and pumping out the contaminants under power. The new fluid completely replaces the old, and the transmission internals are cleaned at the same time. This will generally cost between $200 and $300 at your local service shop but will be far more expensive at a dealer, just like any other work you have done there.

Transmission Replacement

A transmission replacement is the ultimate transmission repair cost. If your transmission has suffered a catastrophic failure, it may not be repairable or able to be rebuilt, necessitating that it be replaced entirely. If this is the case, a new transmission along with the labor to install it can run you anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000 or even more in some cases. This is something that absolutely requires an expert transmission professional to complete properly.


When to Replace Your Transmission vs. Repairing

Judging when you replace your transmission instead of trying to repair it is something that can be difficult for the average person to determine. Dead solenoids, for example, can be replaced or repaired for a few hundred dollars. For more labor-intensive tasks like main seal replacement, you may be looking at up to $1,000. Anything more than that and you may want to discuss a replacement with your mechanic.


How To Save Money On Your Transmission

The best way to save money in the long term on your transmission is to make sure it is maintained as well as possible over the years. This means getting full transmission service every 30,000 to 60,000 miles and having it inspected every one to two years. Doing so will help you catch any potential issues before they grow into expensive repairs or replacements.


Call Today!

If you’ve been experiencing any symptoms of transmission problems, or need to schedule regular maintenance, make sure you use a trusted, local transmission expert. Reach out to Blaine Brothers today to discuss your needs and make sure that your transmission is in top form!

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