A transmission in basic terms is the system which carries the power produced by the engine to the drive axle through the use of various gears. The modern automatic vehicle transmission systems is a very complex unit which is made of many electronic, mechanical and hydraulic parts. For this reason, they fail well before the engines. When properly maintained, a modern engine will very easily last for more than 200,000 miles without requiring to be replaced unlike transmission systems which normally fail between 80,000 miles to 150,000 miles. Yeah, that is quite a great range, but is justifiable in that the quality of transmission systems vary and also due to the fact that different people use their cars differently which has an immense effect on the longevity of the transmission system.

 Dodge Transmission

Each time the transmission system changes gear, bands and clutches inside of the transmission platform will apply and get released to allow for the gear shift to take place. For each shift the transmission system wears out and the higher the speed at which you are accelerating at the time of the shift, which increases the amount of wear that the transmission will go through. In a scenario whereby you are riding along the interstate at a speed of 60 miles per hour, your transmission system is not shifting and for this reason no wear is expected regarding the bands and clutches. Further, if there are two identically similar cars; one used mainly on the highway while the other used primarily for city driving, the one used for the city will definitely fail well before the former.


While making a decision on the transmission choice while replacing your transmission system, i.e. whether to get a new one, a used one or a rebuilt one there are many considerations that you ought to take in mind. When the time comes to replace your transmission system, the question is, ’is it worthwhile to invest a lot of cash in your car or should you just get a new one?’ This question neither has a right nor a wrong answer because each of these situations have to be analyzed on a case by case basis.

New transmissions

A new transmission will definitely save you a lot of time in that they take less than one day to be installed into your vehicle.

New transmission systems involve getting a completely new transmission, which although is more costly when compared to a used or rebuilt one, delivers greater results because all the components such as the bands, seals, clutches and gaskets are all brand new.

Unlike rebuilt and used transmissions, new transmissions may include various updated modifications that were not present in the former version which make the vehicle last longer. However, new transmissions that might have been built well before you purchased them may not have the updated modifications.

New transmissions are most times only available for new-vehicle manufacturing. Black market transmissions that are actually rebuilt, may be touted as new ones by transmission dealers, when they are not.

Used transmissions

Most times these transmissions are just a gamble. Many transmission repair shops do not even consider installing used transmission systems because the risks involved are immense. With these transmissions, even when the mileage tends to be quite low, you do not have any idea about how the transmission had been maintained by the previous user.

Moreover, modern day’s computerized transmissions have great differences from those used 30 or 40 years back. Whilst it may have functioned very well to place a 1967 Chevy transmission into a 1970 car, the same assumptions cannot be made for example with a 2002 transmission and a 2001 vehicle. This is basically due to the fact that the computerized systems come with softwares distinctly made for unique applications and in case things are not right, real nightmare scenarios will arise, such as engine lights that will simply not go out or problems with shifting gears.

Furthermore, although many junkyards which sell the used transmission systems and offer a warranty on them for short periods of time, they don’t pay for the labor price to change defective systems in case they fail which is definitely an added cost to you.

Rebuilt transmissions

These are transmissions that undergo disassembling, inspection, replacement of worn out components with new components and finally reassembling in accordance to the specifications of the auto manufacturer.

Rebuilt systems come with the advantage that your original vehicle’s transmission was the best possible fit for the car therefore it will work best.

These transmissions provide you with a cost effective method of getting your car back on the road with the same old transmission while at the same time with brand new performance.

Rebuilt transmissions for your car, truck or van may result in great success, but there can be grave drawbacks at times. The first is the issue of warranty. For example, if you drove your vehicle for a vacation many miles from home and the vehicle undergoes transmission problems, getting back to the shops that rebuilt the system will not be possible or would just be too expensive to transport it to them.

Rebuilding your transmission also wastes a lot of time during the processes of removal, disassembling, purchasing of parts, reassembling and installation back to the car. These processes may need a minimum of 4 days, when installing a new transmission, it could take on average only a single day.

Another disadvantage is the estimation of the cost of rebuilding new transmission systems mainly because you cannot estimate the price of the job before it begins. The problem arises in that unexpected costs come up in the form of damaged pumps, broken drive shells and cracked castings.


Moreover, rebuilt transmissions involve replacing only the core components which are completely worn-out, such as clutches, seals, bands and gaskets. The components that are reasonably good are put back into the transmission untouched. These will not work as good as when a new transmission system is installed.

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