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The Difference Between a Transmission Rebuild and a New Transmission

Transmission Rebuild

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Having problems with your transmission is a challenge enough without facing the decision between rebuilding and replacing it. However, it is worthwhile learning the difference between a transmission rebuild and a new transmission. This way, you can be pro-active in deciding which route is actually best for you. Your mechanic should be forthcoming with all the influencing factors, and having some knowledge of your own will help you to identify if you have chosen a mechanic wisely.

The Difference Between a Rebuild And New Transmission

Transmission rebuild is possible when some parts might still be working, or when a new transmission is not an option. It requires a thorough stripping and cleaning of the transmission to determine what is going wrong, and building up the parts again to make it run as close to new as possible. It is a job for your mechanic, who will have to be very well versed in the model of your car. You should use a specialist for this to avoid costly mistakes. Replacing a transmission is done by sending off to a factory for an entirely new transmission as close to the one fitted originally as possible. 

New Transmission Versus Rebuilding Transmission

In the majority of instances, your choice will be based on time and money. In some cases, there will be a few other factors.Taking the time to read through these other factors will help keep you informed, and bring things to your attention that you possibly had not considered.

New Transmission

  1. The decision to rebuild or replace your transmission will be affected by which part of the transmission is causing problems.
  2. It is also affected by extensive the damage is. There are small parts like bands and seals that are well worth replacing in a rebuild.
  3. Time could be a factor. If you are not willing to be without a vehicle while the transmission is being stripped and then parts are being sourced, all before it can be put back together and tested, then you may opt for a pricier but possibly quicker – availability dependent – option of an entirely new transmission.
  4. How many years of running the car has left will tell you if full replacement is worthwhile or not – fewer years would render it a costly procedure.
  5. Warranty on parts ordered for a rebuild might have implications that void it more easily than the warranty on a new transmission.
  6. Are build will not guarantee the car transmission runs like new. It will be improved, but may take a few extra tweaks and adjustments after you think the job is done.

Rebuilding A Transmission

  1. Some might feel it’s a waste of good parts to replace without considering the alternative.
  2. As with all changes, a rebuild that is not to the same specifications as original parts and function might have implications which should be taken into account.
  3. Rebuilding extensively is time consuming but could be considered the most efficient option.
  4. This route may also be the natural route for those hands-on car owners who treat their vehicles as part hobby, part asset.
  5. Rebuilding has the advantage of revealing what areas are weak points, where a completely new transmission may end up giving the same problems, if the issue lies in a weak running point.

When Is Your Choice Limited?

In some cases, you may not be faced with this choice at all. Some model cars have to be rebuilt because new transmissions are not available or compatible. Older cars could fit a new transmission but eventually will “reject” the part for various reasons. A specialist mechanic might be able to tell if your model generally experiences this.

Having a mechanic who does not treat car maintenance and repair as a necessity but rather as an intricate art is really how you can tell if they are going to do what is best for the smooth running of your car. Our mechanics at Foreign Affairs Motorsport love cars. We know how well they can run when properly cared for. Beyond that, your biggest influencing factors are cost and time.

As always, we recommend reverting back to what the manufacturer would suggest. If this is difficult to find out, having a specialist who is known for following manufacturer guidelines is in your best interests. 

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