Transmission Rebuild – What you need to know

First, please do not assume you need a transmission rebuild. If you call just any transmission shop and tell them you need a transmission rebuild, many shops will sell you a rebuild, even if you don’t need it. It’s best to tell a shop you are experiencing some problems and would like your transmission diagnosed.

Schedule a full transmission diagnostics, FREE OF CHARGE!

1. DO NOT let them sell you an RDI (Remove, Disassemble, and Inspect)!
Some reputable shops use this technique until they build up a library of repair costs, but after a few years they should be able to give you a repair range estimate at no charge after they have diagnosed your car and have a good idea of the problem.

  • An RDI for the most part is designed to trap the customer into having to do the work. The charge is anywhere from $450-$800 in order to make it more painful for the customer to walk away.

2. Not all cars need a transmission rebuild, regardless of what the customer thinks is wrong with the car.
Often, a small repair such as a solenoid or shift cable will fix the issue or it’s not even a transmission problem.

    • Example: BMW dealer wanted $8500 to replace a transmission is a 2006 BMW 750Li. The customer had already spent $3000 at another European shop and it didn’t fix it. Eagle determined it was the bridge seal and repaired the BMW for $630 which included $225 worth of BMW special fluid.
    • Example: A reputable, ethical general auto repair shop had a 2002 Honda Civic 5 speed manual transmission with issues. They were so confident of their diagnostic that they pulled the transmission and brought it to Eagle. Eagle opened it up, found nothing wrong and worked with the repair shop to determine the shift cable was the problem.

3. Nobody can tell you for sure if you have a transmission problem without properly diagnosing it.
And, even if you’re confident it is a transmission problem, they can’t tell what parts are bad. If they can’t tell you any of that, how can they tell you what parts you need and what the price might be?

      • Maybe it’s just a banner kit because your clutches are worn out.
      • Maybe it’s just clutches worn out, but they’ve worn off enough that contaminates got into your torque converter and it needs replacing.
      • Maybe your snap ring broke which caused your clutches to burn up meaning you need a banner kit, snap ring, and torque converter.
      • Maybe you need a banner kit, torque converter, pump, and snap ring.
      • Maybe banner kit, drum, and shift solenoid.
      • Maybe banner kit, servo, planetary gear, and torque converter.

That’s a lot of maybe’s, isn’t it?

No two transmission rebuilds are the same. If your uncle had chest pains and ended up needing a quadruple bypass for $250,000, when you end up having chest pains, are you going to call the doctor and tell them you need a quadruple bypass as well? Could just be heartburn from too many wings, beer, and a horrible loss by your favorite football team!

Bottom Line: Make a transmission shop, earn your business by doing the job properly. Don’t be won over by guesses and them telling you things you want to hear.

We eliminate all risk with a full transmission diagnostics, free of charge!

4. There is no such thing as a FULL rebuilt transmission.
The average automatic transmission has over 300 parts inside it. To replace ALL the parts inside the transmission would cost 4 to 5 times as much as an average rebuild. That doesn’t mean you’re getting a lesser quality product, it just means you’re not paying for things you don’t need. Keep in mind, nobody replaces all the parts or anywhere near it so do not be misled.
EXAMPLE: If you wreck your car on the front driver’s side corner and need a paint job, do they paint the whole car? No, instead, they paint a section larger than the damaged area to “feather” and blend the paint so you can’t tell it was painted.

5. There is a right and wrong way of completing a transmission rebuild.
Transmissions take anywhere from 6 to 14 hours to remove and replace, plus rebuild time. A reputable, ethical shop will want to make sure it is done right the first time which involves using the right parts and all of the parts.

  • Eagle Transmission uses a full “banner” kit when rebuilding a transmission which includes all the seals, gaskets, and bushings to reseal your transmission as well as all the clutches. Beyond those parts, it depends on what other damage there is such as drums, pump, torque converter, snap rings, etc.
  • Clutches are like brake pads. Clutches are what “clamp” down inside your transmission to make it shift. Clutches are a wearable item just like brake pads meaning they get worn out over time. To do a transmission rebuild and not put all the clutches in new is just plain wrong. You can’t easily go back later and ut them in; the transmission rebuild will not last. Any shop that takes short cuts like this is not going to stand behind their work later.