Tips And Advices About Transmission Repair

An Inspection Will Reveal If Transmission Repair Is Necessary

An Inspection Will Reveal If Transmission Repair Is NecessaryThere are external inspections, which are the simplest. There are internal inspections, which are much more in depth. Then, there are also transmission diagnostic tests, which can be very helpful in identifying specific problems.

Most customers come into our shop assuming they have transmission problems. Perhaps a transmission fluid leak was noticed. Maybe the gears are grinding more than normal. The vehicle may not be shifting into gear, or it just may be unusually sluggish. These are all signs that there is something wrong with the transmission. As with any automotive repair, some repairs are simple and some are way more complex. That’s why we perform the inspections as needed.

Let’s look at the different inspection processes

External Inspection

When you bring your car into Ralph’s Transmission, we’ll gladly perform an external inspection of your transmission for free. It can be done without having to remove the transmission from the vehicle. One of our technicians will take a detailed look at the transmission and common issues such as transmission fluid levels and viscosity. If the fluid is low or burnt, it could be a sign of a major transmission problem or the vehicle may just need a standard transmission service where we change the fluid and filter.


In most cases, we’ll perform diagnostic tests in conjunction with an external inspection. However, it is a much more technology based procedure. Your car’s computer will reveal fault codes if something wrong is detected in the engine or transmission. A diagnostic test may show any number of fault codes. Again, some may be minor and others may be major. Between the computer diagnostics and the hands-on external inspection

Internal Inspection

A proper internal inspection of the transmission requires us to remove it from the vehicle, so we can actually look inside the housing and inspect specific internal components. Sometimes, the whole transmission needs to be disassembled to get to the source of the problem. However, an internal inspection will always reveal everything that is wrong with a transmission, which will allow us to accurately quote recommended repair prices. In many cases when there are major issues, we will simply recommend a full custom transmission rebuild. Our flat rate price is often less expensive than a bunch of a la carte repairs, and the rebuilt transmission will be backed completely by our 3 Year, 100,000 Mile Warranty.

Times when a transmission repair can be the better option

Transmission RepairWhen only one part is broken or needs replaced. Because a transmission repair only entails replacing or fixing the minimum number of parts (as few as one), it can be a great option for transmissions with a lot of mileage left in the rest of its parts. Parts like the input shaft, clutches, seals, rings, or torque converters can often be replaced with an overhaul kit and without rebuilding or remanufacturing the entire unit. In these cases, repairs can be both time- and cost-effective.

When you’re dealing with an older vehicle. Your customer is wary to invest in a rebuild or reman unit for a vehicle that doesn’t have many miles left in it. As long as the transmission still has minimal issues that can be solved by replacing very few parts, a repair is a great option for a car that only needs to be on the road for a little while longer.

When you’re working on a commonly repaired unit or transmission type. Ultimately, the ability to simply repair a transmission depends on the type of failure you’re working with. However, some transmissions may be known to experience issues that can are generally resolved with minimal repairs, as opposed to a full rebuild. Researching a specific unit or type of transmission before starting your work might reveal that in general, it’s a good candidate for a repair. Reach out to other technicians or shops, industry professionals, or suppliers who can help you learn more about the transmission you’re working with.

The true costs of transmission repairs

The key trait of any transmission repair job is that the transmission is only experiencing the failure of one (or very few) parts. If the damage to the transmission is too great and affects too many components, a repair job will end up costing almost as much as a rebuild, but without the security of fully replacing all worn parts or updating to the latest transmission technology. At that point, a repair might not be the smartest option.

Additionally, if something else within the unit fails, it may cause more damage and effectively undo the repair you completed. Depending on your warranty, your shop may be left responsible for a comeback to correct the repair, and if more work is necessary, your customer might be less than satisfied to pay for that additional work. Repairing transmissions inherently come with more risk, in this respect.

While a transmission repair can be a useful option, especially in terms of saving time and money, you should always consider each transmission job as an individual case. Know your options; you might be surprised by the benefits of a full reman, the positives of rebuilding the transmission in-house, and the quick solutions a repair can provide. With all that in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make the best service choice every time.

Commonly Asked Transmission Questions:

We often get several questions regarding the health and upkeep of the average transmission. Here are answers to the most popular ones from our service center professionals:

How frequently should I get my transmission inspected?

In general, it’s best to come in for an inspection once a year, or at the longest, every 15 months for a full multi-point inspection which would include a transmission check. In other words, don’t go more than 15,000-miles between inspections to stay safe and minimize your chances of a large repair. However, this time frame might differ based on the type of transmission you have and the age of your model.

How do I know if my transmission is damaged?

Unexpected gear changes with an automatic transmission, difficulty shifting with a manual, fluid leaking beneath your vehicle, and an illuminated transmission light on your dashboard are all signs that your transmission might be damaged.

How can I keep my transmission healthy for longer?

In cold weather, warm up your car before driving, check your transmission fluid yourself with a dipstick, don’t drive on a spare tire for long periods of time, and don’t tow extremely heavy loads. Additionally, if you drive an automatic transmission, never change gears while your vehicle is moving.