Should I Rebuild My Transmission

rebuild transmission

I have a Nissan Maxima that has over 300,000 miles on it.  (I put all of the miles on it)  I had my some work done my a mechanic that cost me $2300.00 to resurface heads and redo the seals for something on it.

One thing lead to another thing and the car was back and forth with him for about 3 months (hell) 30 days later put car in reverse and car would not go…put back in forward will not go…Cranks up, can put into any gear..but car will not do anything.

Got a different mechanic to look at it and he stated will need new transmission.  I am wondering does the transmission go out without warning?  Also, he stated I can get a used transmission but it would be better to rebuild this one.

I have been looking online and looking at transmissions that have low mileage are around $500-$800 ( but to have one rebuilt is $2,800 (Napa auto parts)  Which is better, to buy a used one or from a parts place/dealership?



Do you want my HONEST opinion?  Can you handle it? 🙂

I see this happen allll the time.  People spend $2K on a new engine or some other big repair thinking all will be good for a while …but but but the repairs never stop.

The vehicle has 300K now, 150K more than it was designed to have.  EVERYTHING on this car is worn out in some respect.

So you spend $2k on a transmission, and next month the a/c compressor, radiator, water pump etc. etc. goes out.  You will get into such a hole that you will never recover 1/2 of your repairs when you finally give up and cash out.

You are not in a good spot now, so I would make darn sure about the transmission diagnosis before I did anything. Could it be low on transmission fluid due to a leak?  Possible. Yes a transmission can go without warning, or all the fluid can leak out without warning too. No fluid, no movey.

You can buy a used transmission from a local junkyard, or the place you found online. The local junk yard is closer with no shipping fee and usually you can buy a warranty with it as well. YOU ARE taking a big gamble that you are not buying another worn out transmission.

You can get your local mechanic to install it for you, probably $250-450 or so in labor, maybe make a cash deal on the side or something with the mechanic.  So you will probably be into a used transmission for $1k, give or take.

You can do that and take a gamble…then think REAL hard about selling quickly before anything else goes wrong.

OR you can cut the cord now and take that $1K and make a down payment on a 2 year old lease trade in Kia Rio (great car)

You can sell your car as is on craigslist…maybe $800???

So you might have $1800 to put down on a lease trade in on a KIA Rio with less than 25K miles and still under factory warranty.  This is what I would do if it were me. Just sayin.

Please share this with your friends
Austin Davis

6 Comments on "Should I Rebuild My Transmission"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tracy says:

    My car transmission will not go into reverse when it is hot. It will go into drive and after it cools down it will go into reverse. Can thin fluid cause this to happen? Does this mean my transmission needs to be rebuilt? The engine was rebuilt 3 years ago but the transmission has 214,000. The car is paid for and has been a reliable car. It is a Ford Escape 2001 model. Any suggestion would be helpful!

    • Austin Davis says:

      Yes, the fluid gets hot and the internal parts of the transmission are worn out and not able to push that thin fluid around anymore. Cold fluid is thicker and has more pressure/friction on the internal clutches.

      Bottom line, you need a new transmission or rebuild yours.

  2. Steve says:

    I picked up my Ranger yesterday. So far so good. The shop owner said it shouldn’t die on me again, but if it does to disconnect the battery cable, then reconnect the cable. He said this will reset the computer. Time will tell. I’ll carry a wrench with me from now on.

    • Austin Davis says:

      Awesome Steve, thanks for the update.

      I got all my fingers and toes crossed this will not happen again.

      Keep me posted.

  3. Steve says:

    Reverse went out on my 2000 Ford Ranger in December so I had the transmission rebuilt. Last week when I stopped for a light the car died. Every time I started it and put it into drive it died. However, reverse worked fine. So I had it towed to the transmission shop. The shop says the problem was the computer which needed to be reset. The charge to do so is $95. What’s your opinion?

    • Austin Davis says:


      Well that might be a good start, but doubt that is going to fix the problem. You could have an internal transmission problem like a torque converter or maybe the shift solenoids. I am not really a transmission mechanic, so cant really be sure what is the problem.

      I would get them to flash the computer (read the codes FIRST) and if that does not fix the problem have them credit that amount to the repair of the next guess. If they already did it and it is fixed….well ok, but shouldn’t the warranty have covered it? I would assume it SHOULD have.

      I had a similar question a few days ago…almost same vehicle with very similar issue. Have not heard back from him as for the outcome.

Got Something to Say?