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How to Save $500 or More
on an
Automatic Transmission Rebuild

Posted in: Knowledge Center, Articles
Published: 11/2/2016

With automatic transmission rebuild costs ranging from $1,300 to $4,000 or more depending on the year, make and model of your vehicle, finding ways to reduce this cost is a necessity for many people.  Fortunately, once it is determined that your automatic transmission needs to be rebuilt, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the cost.

First, transmission repair shops typically charge less than car dealerships and independent transmission rebuilders typically charge less than transmission repair shops.  In some instances, the difference in cost can be many hundreds of dollars, even a $1000 or more.  The cost for a transmission rebuild can also differ from one transmission repair shop to the next and from one independent transmission rebuilder and the next.

So, a substantial savings can be realized just by spending a little more time and effort looking for the lowest price.  And, contrary to what many people think, finding the lowest price does not mean you have to sacrifice quality - it's all about having a little transmission knowledge and knowing what to look for when searching for the best price and what questions to ask.

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Dealerships typically charge more for transmission work than transmission repair shops.

Dealerships typically do not rebuild transmissions.  Instead, they sell you a remanufactured transmission that they purchase from a third party remanufacturer.

A dealership that agrees to rebuild your transmission will almost certainly outsource the job to a transmission shop or an independent rebuilder.


Transmission shops typically charge less than dealerships for transmission service and repair work.

Transmission shops typically offer a 1 to 3 year warranty on transmission rebuilds.

The price for a transmission rebuild can vary considerably from one shop to the next - sometimes many hundreds of dollars can be saved just by shopping around.

FREE: Download Printable Transmission Rebuild and
Remanufactured Pricing Guide


Independent rebuilders typically charge less to rebuild a transmission than dealerships and transmission shops because they have less overhead to pay.

Independent transmission rebuilders typically offer a 1, 2 or 3 year warranty on all rebuilds.

The cost from one rebuilder to the next can differ but the difference is usually not that great. 

In the end, it is your decision as to who you have do the work.  The main thing is that you are comfortable with your choice.  Peace of mind is difficult to put a price on.


If you want to cut the cost of a transmission rebuild even more, consider doing some or all of the work yourself.  If you are mechanically inclined, have some tools, a place to work and can follow instructions you can save a bundle.  For example;   

> You can cut the cost by 40% or more by removing and installing the transmission yourself.  See our Transmission DIY Center for do-it-yourself information and instructions.

> You can cut the cost by as much 75 to 80% if you do all the work yourself.  This includes removal, rebuilding and then re-installing the transmission.  The work is considerably more involved than removing and installing the transmission. 

When removing and/or installing an automatic transmission you may need certain tools that you do not have and that you do not use enough to justify purchasing.  Check with your local AutoZone store to see if the tool you need is available for loan.

When rebuilding an automatic transmission it is extremely important that all parts be cleaned thoroughly before being reassembled.  Several cans of brake cleaner can do the job if you do not have access to a parts cleaning machine.  

get estimate
Get a Transmission Estimate online


get estimate
Get a Transmission Estimate online

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