Must Knows When Deciding To Replace Your Transmission Or Buy A New Car


Transmissions are one of the most expensive repairs that you can make on a vehicle. If you find yourself in the situation where your vehicle needs a major repair to its transmission you are probably asking yourself if it is worth the repair. 

The answer is that a lot of the time it isn’t unless the transmission break is extremely premature in the vehicle’s life. Once a car gets to a certain age and mileage count, the new transmission may cost more than what the car is worth. We call this totalled in the car industry. 

If the car is relatively new and in great condition other than the transmission, then it is probably worth fixing. Other reasons to fix the transmission of a vehicle include you having a vintage car that is worth the money to fix. 

Knowing whether or not your car is worth the cost of repair will start with how much the car is worth and be followed by how much the transmission will cost you to replace. You can expect a new transmission to be somewhere in the range of $1,000 to $7,000 so if your car is worth more than $8,000 or $9,000 then you should consider repairing it. However, if your car is in the transmission cost range or under it, you may want to decide to scrap or sell the vehicle and spend the money that you would on repairs on a new car. 

The cost of your transmission replacement will come according to what type of vehicle you have. A luxury or exotic car will cost $10,000 or more. A sedan will average around $2800 and a truck will average in at $3000. 

Deciding If The Vehicle Is Worth Fixing

Things to consider include:

  • Getting information on how much the vehicle is worth 
  • Knowing how much it will cost to completely repair the vehicle (for the transmission and anything else that may be wrong)
  • How well maintained the rest of the car is
  • Evaluating if the car still meets your needs
  • Ask yourself how long you want to keep the car
  • If the car holds any value to you outside of monetarily 

There are benefits to replacing the transmission in your car over scrapping it entirely. It can be cost efficient if the car is in decent shape and environmentally friendly to continue using the vehicle you have instead of buying another and sending your current car to the junkyard. On the other foot, you could be putting a lot of money into a car you probably shouldn’t. 

Evaluating Your Vehicle’s Worth

What you paid for the vehicle is irrelevant. How much will someone else pay for the vehicle is a much better question to ask when valuing the car.. How much is it honestly worth? You can find the answer to this by using a non biased 3rd party value estimator like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. You should also look online for vehicles similar to yours in the area to see what they have recently sold for. Find out the value with the damage and as the car currently is to know how much you can sell it for. You should also find out how much the car is worth with a new transmission put into it. 

Get Estimates On Repair Damage

Next you’ll want to get a quote from a mechanic on how much the car is going to cost you to repair. If it is just the transmission troubling the car then the quote should reflect that. You should ask the mechanic to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle before agreeing to have anything fixed. If anything else is broken on the vehicle that is causing mechanical failure you should get quotes for these items as well. You want to know how much it is going to cost you to get the vehicle back up and running. 

How Well Maintained The Rest Of The Vehicle Is

The transmission is the part to go prematurely in some vehicles and in these cases it may be worth fixing the vehicle. If the transmission is likely breaking because it is the cars time to go or because it hasn’t been well taken care of either with maintenance or driving habits it is probably time to consider selling or scrapping the car.

 If you’ve been diligent in taking care of the vehicle you probably have a better shot at repairing the car and not having your money wasted. If you don’t know how the car has been maintained, get it to a mechanic that you trust and have the car inspected. They won’t be able to tell you everything, but they will have a decent idea of if the car is worth repairing or not

Evaluating If The Car Still Meets Your Needs

If you bought a coupe convertible and now years later  have several children then it is possible the car doesn’t meet your needs to begin with. You should still do your research on if it is worth it to fix the car before selling it, but regardless of the price the car will command, it is time to rehome your car and find something different that suits you and your family’s needs better. 

Evaluate How Much Longer You Want To Keep The Car

If the car had continued to operate well, and didn’t need a transmission repair, how long would you have kept it? Indefinitely? I tend to drive my cars until they break down which can definitely have its benefits financially. If you answered any time period longer than 2 years then consider replacing the transmission. This helps you get your moneys worth out of the new transmission before selling the vehicle. 

If your car is still worth a good amount of money it is recommended that you get the car fixed. Whether or not you decide to drive it or sell it, you’ll want to put a new transmission in the car because you can’t safely operate a car without a working transmission and you won’t get much of a price for a car that can’t be driven. 

Sentimental Value

If this vehicle is important to you in a way that cannot be replicated by a new car, you may want to consider repairing the vehicle. No one can put a price on sentimental value so you need to evaluate how important it is that you keep this car. 

Why Transmission Repairs Are So Expensive

The transmission of the modern car is incredibly complicated, built of uncountable moving parts. Unlike other vehicle components, the transmission isn’t just one solid piece. This is one of the reasons the transmission of a car is more difficult and more expensive to repair. 

For this reason, the transmission can also be valuable when you go to scrap or piece out a car. People love to buy a working transmission used, it is a great way to repair your car without spending the money. 

Other factors that may impact how much it costs to replace a transmission include:

  • Who makes the car
  • How old the car is 
  • If the transmission is a manual or an automatic
  • Who you’ve quoted to do the repairs
  • Where you are getting the car fixed

Car Manufacturer Costs

Who makes the car and how easy the cars are to work on will significantly influence how much you pay for a transmission repair. Mechanics tend to specialize by make. Some mechanics will only work on US vehicles, others prefer Japanese cars. German cars in particular are difficult to work on and mechanics tend to charge more. Volkswagen, Mercedez Benz, and BMW are among the most expensive transmission repairs you can make. 

Age Of The Car

The older the car, the more difficult it is to find parts and the mechanic is going to charge you for their time. If the car is rare, you will run into this same problem and may have to wait on repairs until the part can be found. 

The Type Of Transmission

Manual transmissions tend to be less expensive than their automatic counterparts. 

Your Own Location

It is far more expensive to own a car in New York or Colorado than it is in a state like Alabama. Not only are your tag and title costs lower, you rarely have to pay to park. Costs of everything car related are higher in states like NY because the cost of living is higher. This is something that you need to take into account when factoring how much it will cost you to repair or replace your transmission.  

DIY or Mechanic

The cost will vary significantly between these two options. If you are planning on doing the repair yourself the cost will not include labor, though I do recommend putting a valuation on your time unless car repairs are something that you enjoy doing. What mechanic you choose is also a big determining factor on how much it will cost to have the transmission replaced. 

Common Transmission Repair Items And Their Costs

The following repairs are common in cars with transmission problems. 

Transmission Fluid Flush

This is an inexpensive repair that won’t cost you more than $300. On average it will range from $75 to $150 

Leaking Transmission

This repair will typically cost somewhere between $150 and $200 however if the leak affects the front seal you will see a jump in that price. 

Shift Solenoid Replacement

The cost of this repair will vary depending how many solenoids you have to replace. One solenoid replacement will cost you between $20 and $100 to replace. 

Transmission Replacement Cost: How Much You Can Expect

You can expect a new transmission to be somewhere in the range of $1,000 to $7,000 so if your car is worth more than $8,000 or $9,000 then you should consider repairing it. However, if your car is in the transmission cost range or under it, you may want to decide to scrap or sell the vehicle and spend the money that you would on repairs on a new car. 

The cost of your transmission replacement will come according to what type of vehicle you have. A luxury or exotic car will cost $10,000 or more. A sedan will average around $2800 and a truck will average in at $3000. 

Reasons To Get Rid Of Your Car

There are reasons to keep your car and others to say goodbye. Ultimately the right choice is going to be the one most applicable to your situation and the decision is entirely up to you. Here are a few great reasons to wish your car fair well. You can either sell it or scrap it from there. 

You Hate Your Car

If you’ve been looking for a reason to say goodbye to your vehicle, this is it! The only reason to put this much time and money into replacing the transmission  in your vehicle is financial. By fixing your car, you may be able to get extra money selling it that outweighs what you spent. The other financial reason is that it can be far cheaper to fix an existing car that is in good shape than it is to buy something new. 

The Car Doesn’t Have Much Life Left, Even With A New Transmission

If your car is on the way out, there is no reason to put a fresh transmission in it. You may as well dump your money down the toilet, because you will not get a return on investment by putting a new transmission in a beater car that won’t last more than two years.

Figure out how much money you’ve already spent on the vehicle and decide if putting more money into the car is a financially sound decision. If you decide the answer is no, consider utilizing the money you will get from selling  as well as the cash you would have spent on repairs to buy yourself something new. 

The Cost Outweighs The Worth

You’ve taken the time to price out how much it will cost you to make the repairs to the vehicle and you’ve also sought out 3rd party data on what the fair value of the car is when it is running properly. Remember that your opinions on the car have nothing to do with either of these numbers. If the numbers aren’t matching up and you’re not going to get a return on the investment of putting in a new transmission it isn’t worth doing.

If the car is at the end of its life, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a buyer for it. Sometimes you just have to be honest that the car isn’t worth fixing and cut your losses. 

Your Car Is  Dangerous to Operate

Car accidents lead to injuries and sometimes fatalities. Tons of accidents happen every year that are caused by one of the vehicles being an unsafe driving option that shouldn’t be on the road. Transmission failure can absolutely cause an accident. If the car isn’t driving predictably, you’re more likely to get into a collision. 

Your safety and the safety of others should be to top priority as a vehicle owner. If the car is unsafe to operate you should get rid of it or make the necessary repairs to get it operational.

The Solution Is Selling

The best option for you if you aren’t going to fix your vehicle is to sell it. Someone will likely still want to purchase it even if just to scrap it out for parts. At some point it will cost you money to rid yourself of the vehicle so it’s best to get some money out of it before this occurs.

Reasons You Should Replace Your Transmission

There are a few reasons to take the time and financial investment and fix the car. 

It Is Cost Efficient

If the car still has life in it, you’re usually better off fixing the car and continuing to use it. If you have confirmed with the mechanic that other than the transmission the car is in good working order, you should think long and hard about getting it fixed. Remember the cost of taxes, tag and title when you buy a new car can be up to 20% of the car’s purchase price. By keeping your existing car you avoid paying these fees to the government. 

It Is Environmentally Friendly

If you replace the transmission, instead of scrapping the car there can be environmental benefits. The concept of reuse I’m sure isn’t lost on you and the energy cost of making a new vehicle is high. There are limitations to this like if your older vehicle sucks down fuel or is also having exhaust issues causing it to pollute more. 

Never Get Yourself Into Debt Over Car Repairs Again

Car repairs can be absurdly expensive, and you can expect those unexpected repairs before too long no matter what vehicle you drive. 

If you have to replace the transmission in your car  it could cost you more than $5,000 

Depending on your vehicle it could cost you up to $10,000 to replace the engine block.

If that seems absurd to you, luckily you aren’t alone.

A vehicle service contract from Protect My Car can help cover the cost of these excessive repairs. In fact, you could pay as little as $100 dollars for that $5,000 transmission replacement.

Yes, you heard that right.

For less that the cost of a cup of coffee each day, you can get coverage for:

  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • A/C and Heating
  • Navigation and Electronics
  • …and so much more.

When you walk into the repair shop with a coverage plan from PMC, you can rest assured that you will never pay for these repairs listed here. You pay a $100 deductible, just like insurance and we pay the rest.

Does that sound like a fair deal to you?

If it does, just fill out the form below for a free quote, and see how great it can be to never have to pay for car repairs ever again.

About Protect My Car

Protect My Car is an extended auto warranty company. Our goal here at Protect My Car is to eliminate your worry of being financially responsible for an expensive mechanical breakdown. With our extended auto warranty, you don’t have to worry about being fully burdened with the cost of a covered repair.