A transmission rebuild is one of the best options when your transmission fails typically getting you the best quality for your money. When your transmission fails you’ve only got a few options. You can buy a new or remanufactured transmission from the dealership if they haven’t discontinued it, you can buy a used transmission and install it, or you can have your original transmission rebuilt. What matters is quality, cost and warranty. Ideally you want the best quality and warranty for the lowest cost. A transmission rebuild cost might even be better than used and is almost always better than a dealer replacement.
If your considering a transmission rebuild you should take a few minutes to read this page and learn everything you need to know about rebuilds as a consumer. Whos the best to go to? How long should it take? How much should a transmission rebuild cost?
Every vehicle is different, and the cost and warranty on the transmission will vary based on the types of transmission and where you choose to purchase or have it rebuilt. Ideally a used transmission will come with the lowest price, but will also have less warranty as its used already and has miles on it. Going to the dealership is typically the most expensive, but you’re basically getting a brand new transmission or the closest to it, dealer warranties will vary. A rebuilt transmission can get you the best of both worlds, sometimes it can cost less than a used transmission and get you more warranty than the dealership offers on a new or refurbished transmission!
A rebuilt transmission can get you the best of both worlds, sometimes it can cost less than a used transmission and get you more warranty than the dealership offers on a new or refurbished transmission!
What Is A Rebuilt Transmission, What Does It Mean To Rebuild A Transmission?
A transmission rebuild is the process of removing your broken or failed transmission, taking it apart and cleaning it all, and then inspecting and replacing each part that’s bad. A good rebuild will also address any common failures for your particular transmission as well as any failed parts. Once all the parts are replaced it will be re assembled and re installed into your vehicle with a new filter and proper transmission fluids. The vehicle should be road tested to make sure its behaving properly, double check the fluid levels and make sure there are no leaks or issues before it’s returned to you.
There are hundred of parts in a transmission and its important to know all the parts, how they work and why they are there. Some parts are tricky and you cant always tell if they are good or bad just by looking at them which is why it’s important to properly and thoroughly diagnose the vehicle before removing the transmission. A combination of diagnostics, road testing, visually inspecting all of the parts and having experience with a particular transmission will get you the best results.
The people who rebuild transmissions are typically referred to as builders, or transmission builders, these guys are not the same as a mechanic. A builder specializes in transmissions, and rebuilding transmissions. And there is a huge difference between someone who calls themselves a builder because they can take a transmission apart and change some clutches VS someone who actually knows the ins and outs of the transmission, its common failures, the updates available for that transmission and so on.
What Makes One Rebuilt Transmission Better Than Another?
The builder is the main difference. But there are a lot of factors, the shop you go to and their reputation matters too. Not to mentioned the R&R technicians that remove and replace the transmission. Consider a shop where the builder is excellent but the owner/management is cutting corners. The builder may request a list of parts and management chooses to cut corners, maybe buying the cheaper parts or possibly choosing to buy used parts rather than new parts to save money.
The diagnostic and R&R process is very important too. Maybe the transmission has more than one issue and the shop misses during diagnostics. Another common issue is the R&R technician skipping or missing issues as they remove the transmission. They should pay attention to things such as the cooling lines, the condition of the transmission and its fluids, taking care to remove the transmission without breaking sensors or plugs. If a wiring harness is melted or damaged they should say so, although its more work these types of things could lend to why the transmission failed in the fist place. Things like axles, mounts etc. can contribute to transmission problems and should be paid attention to.
In Arizona you can call 5 different shops and get 5 very different quotes for the job. Some shops might give you a 12 month unlimited mileage warranty and will rebuild your transmission for as cheap as possible, using used parts and cutting corners because they want to advertise the best price and save as much money as they can. Other shops will give you a price range depending the vehicle and the issues you’re having but will give you a 5 year warranty because they have a great builder and will be using nothing but the best quality, brand new parts and thoroughly rebuilding your transmission with all the updates and corrections. Other shops might have one average builder who cant keep up and they will be forced to outsource the job, which will drive the cost up a little bit.
How Long Does It Take To Rebuild A Transmission
Actual time vs. how long it takes a shop to get the job done are two different stories. Dealerships, franchises, and family owned transmission shops or mechanics use a guide that shows how many labor hours it should take to get a job done. However they usually have several jobs going at a time, you have to consider the time it takes to order and receive parts and odd ball situations such as a rusted, stuck bolt that needs to be extracted or something like that.
Most vehicles can be rebuilt with anywhere from 15-25 labor hours. Most shops will take 4-5 days to get the job done. Typically you start with a diagnostics which may take an hour or more, then remove the transmission. Once removed the builder should open the transmission inspect and clean everything and get a parts list together. While ordering and waiting for parts you might invite the customer down to see the internals and understand what failed, and inform them of the final costs to get the job done. Once the parts arrive you’ll give the builder anywhere from a half a day to a day to reassemble everything. Then it’s ready for installation. Once installed there is a typically a couple hours spent on programming or re learning the computers and getting everything tuned in.
If there are any issues with the installation, or building process it can take longer. Any delays in parts orders can add several days to the job. A lack of communication or decision making throughout the process can hold things up as well.
Desert Transmissions will typically have a price gap when they take a transmission rebuild job in, and the final price cant really be determined until the transmission has been opened and inspected. Then we update the customer. At this point you’ll have to choose between the installing a used transmission, a new transmission, or rebuilding the one you have.
How Much Does A Transmsision Rebuild Cost?
Costs will vary based on the the type of vehicle and it’s transmission. Each vehicle has a standard labor rate for how long it should take to diagnose a vehicle, remove the transmission, rebuild and replace it. This is your labor cost. Then there’s parts cost which varies per job, and for each type of transmission. Some shops might charge more or less for labor, some shops may mark up their parts other may not.
Desert Transmissions Has The Best Rebuild Pricing And Warranty
Desert Transmissions advertises that we will beat any other transmission shop’s price and warranty! We are one of the best rated transmission shops in Arizona, and offer incentives to help you through the transmission repair process such as free towing, diagnostics and rental car reimbursement.
Contact Desert Transmissions today and get a hassle free transmission rebuild quote, schedule a free tow, or set an appointment for a free diagnostics. Call 623-248-8016.
Dealership Transmission Cost
Dealership’s are typically the most expensive, charging more for labor with the largest parts markup. Dealers also have the most overhead. However dealerships don’t rebuild or repair transmissions they replace instead which is even more expensive.
Transmission Franchise Shop Rebuild Rebuild Cost
Franchise transmission shops are sort of a cross between your family owned transmission specialty shop and the dealer. They typically have larger facilities that with high rent prices and more employees so they have to accommodate for their overhead costs with their pricing. Not to mention their fees for being a franchise. You’ll pay a premium at a franchise, but might not cost as much as a dealership. Some might be more than others, they still have to be somewhat competitive with the mom and pop shops.
Local, Family Owned, Mom And Pop Transmission Shop Rebuild Cost
You’ll typically get your best value and pricing from a local family owned shop. You’ll notice the good ones typically have better reviews and ratings than franchise transmission shops or dealerships as well. In many cases the quality of the builders, customer service and the attention to detail will stand out more than the need to make as much money as possible to keep up with the high overhead.
Standard Transmission Rebuild Cost Vs. Automatic Transmission Rebuild Cost
Typically standard transmissions will cost less to build than an automatic. The labor times to remove, install and overhaul a standard transmission are less than they are for automatics. Automatics also have more parts and have started to use computers and electronics to function. Standard parts are starting to get harder to find, and are becoming more expensive, standard transmission builders are less common than automatic transmission builders as well.
Can I Rebuild A Transmission Myself?
Its certainly possible, but it’s not likely that your everyday person is going to have all the proper tools and know how when it comes to building their own transmission. Also consider pricing, when you purchase your own parts you pay a retail price which is much higher than what a shop will pay for the same parts. It’s probably easier for a do it yourselfer to build an older transmission than a newer one which has more parts, more electrical components and is more complex.
With that said there is a wealth of resources available online that will show you what tools you need, what to watch for and provides plenty of information and tips on how to build.
Building your own transmission may not be the same quality and it doesn’t exactly mean you’re going to save money either. The transmission is an amazing piece of machinery and a good builder will have years of experience, constantly learning and treats the job like a piece of art.
Its recommended to find a good transmission shop near you, check their reviews and ask as many questions as possible about the process. Sometimes its better to travel to another city or area to find a good transmission shop if you have to. Desert Transmissions is located in Glendale Arizona but we service customers from all over including Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Tolleson, Avondale etc. Due to a lack of quality shops in the area and because we guaranty the best pricing, warranty, and we are one of the best rated shops in Arizona.
Could I buy A Rebuilt Transmission And Install It Myself?
Yes! There are several transmission shops that will sell an over the counter, rebuilt transmission. Arizona has a couple local shops that will have certain types of transmissions that are already built and ready to go, others will have to take your order and build it for you, or will ask you to bring your original transmission in and they can build it as a bench job.
You’ve also got several options that are out of state, who will allow you to call and order any transmission you’d like such as Jaspers Or Monster Transmissions. You can choose a stock rebuilt transmission or something upgraded for towing or racing.
Pros and Cons Of A Bench Job, Or Buying A Rebuilt Transmission
At Desert Transmissions we have no problem building your transmission for you as a bench job, you can remove the transmission yourself and bring it to us. Or we can sell you one that’s already built and ready to go if we have it in stock. The good thing is you wont have to pay the labor to remove or replace the transmission. The negatives can be wide spread, for us we like to properly diagnose the issues with your transmission before pulling it and rebuilding it. On a bench job we are going in blind.
When we have a built transmission in stock ready to sell you’re going to pay more for that in most cases than to rebuild your own. We take and old “core” or junk transmission and rebuilt it with all new parts. The problem is we don’t know what was wrong with that transmission or what failed, During the rebuild were going to change more parts than what might have been necessary. Quality wise that’s not a problem, there’s nothing wrong with new parts but you might spend more than you had to.
Buying from a name brand company out of state such as Jaspers Or Monster Transmissions means your going to pay a premium for their name or brand, but you’re getting the same parts you would have here at Desert Transmissions. You’re also going to pay for shipping which is a few hundred dollars extra in most cases. Lastly nobody is perfect, sometimes mistakes are made during the rebuild, even at the dealership on new vehicles and parts which is why you get a warranty, unfortunately if there is an issue with an out of state transmission its more timely and expensive to correct the issue.
Potential Self Install Issues
Something to beware of is potential issues with self install. Any company that sells you a transmission to install yourself will have a list of things you’ll need to do to keep the warranty valid during install and will usually require you to visit a third party shop to verify installation. If Desert Transmissions sells you the transmission we will have you bring the vehicle back to our shop so we can double check the work, road test and document mileage. Some customer do make mistakes and it will end up costing them. Some companies aren’t very fair and will look for a reason to void your warranty choosing to blame you rather than take responsibility for an issue. its important to check a company’s reviews online.
Transmission Rebuild Reviews
Although nobody is perfect and people can write whatever they want as a review you can tell the difference between a quality transmission shop and a shop that needs to make some improvements. Look at the overall number of reviews, read the bad reviews, and look for patterns. If a shop constantly has a bad review saying “my transmission lasted a week and I had to take it back” you can assume what your experience might be like.
There’s always a customer that’s impossible to please. There’s always human error and mistakes are made. Nobody is going to earn 5 star reviews 100% of the time. Sometimes a customer will leave a great positive review and give you 4 starts. You might rebuild a transmission cheaper than anyone, help the customer get financed, get the job done early, and leave fingerprint on the car while the customer is having a bad day and you get a 1 star review. Communication is big, if a customer gets their transmission leak fixed but still has engine oil leaks they might be upset with you and leave a bad review.
Beware of negative reviews that speak about the quality of the transmission build, about how the staff handled the situation or if they cared or not. Pay attention to repetitive reviews from different customers. Some of the best name brand transmission shops that charge top dollar for a transmission have some of the worst reviews for their rebuilt transmissions. Some of the smallest little shops in town have near perfect reviews.
If you want the best experience with a transmission shop for your rebuilds or general service its a good idea to check reviews on as many platforms as possible. Make a decision, call around, get some pricing and then go from there.
See Our Reviews To See Why Desert Transmissions Is The Best Transmission Shop In Arizona For Quality, Price & Warranty.
Lets Rebuild Your Transmission Now!
If you want the best price, warranty and quality of service in Arizona contact Desert Transmission now! Call us at 623-248-8016