Northwest Metro Denver

3686 W. 72nd Ave
Westminster, CO 80030
8AM – 5:30PM Mon-Fri

(303) 421-4140

(303) 421-4140

Southwest Metro Denver

SE Corner Mississippi & Pierce
1194 S. Pierce
Lakewood CO 80232
8AM – 5:30PM Mon-Fri

(303) 922-4102

(303) 922-4102

Lakewood 303-922-4102

Westminster 303-422-4140

Transmission Rebuild vs Replace: What to Do with a Failed Transmission

transmission rebuild vs replace

When a transmission is having trouble, there are warning signs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we always pay attention to them. Now, your car won’t move—no forward, no reverse—and you’re wishing you’d visited a repair shop. The real question is should you rebuild it or scrap it.

There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding if you should rebuild your current transmission or install a newer one. Not all of them are always logic-based. For instance, if a car has high mileage, you might ask if it’s worth doing anything. Maybe you should get something different. However, maybe you really love your car. Or, is it rare or one-of-a-kind? These factors also influence the decision you will make.

What Does a Rebuild Include?

There is no question. Rebuilding your existing transmission remains very popular with owners. Of course, this is best done by your local transmission shop and not your regular mechanic. Rebuilding a transmission properly requires a specialist trained to do that job specifically. There are hundreds of different parts inside a transmission, and once it has been taken apart, it could be a nightmare for someone unfamiliar with them to know where, exactly, each one belongs.

The process of rebuilding the transmission involves removing the transmission from the vehicle, draining the fluid and taking it all apart, cleaning every part, replacing the worn-out parts—including clutch plates and bands, seals, gaskets and solenoids—then putting it all back together again and re-installing it.

What Happens if I Scrap it?

If you scrap the transmission, you have to replace it with a different one, or your vehicle will just become a driveway ornament. This means you’ll most likely replace it with a remanufactured transmission. 

Remanufacturing a transmission is a very involved process that takes a failed transmission and restoring it back to factory standards in a factory setting. This also includes upgrading the transmission with any fixes or updates from the manufacturer. This could include modifications to identified weak points that caused the failure. In this way, it is as close to new, without being new, as possible.

The process is similar to that of a standard rebuild, by taking it apart, draining fluid, inspecting and cleaning all the parts, and checking them against original specifications. If they are determined to be worn or damaged, they are replaced with new parts.

Next, the valve body is tested and brought back to original specs, metal surfaces are measured and repaired, and then all electronic components and solenoids are installed with any remaining electrical parts.

The case is machined and painted before the transmission is reassembled, then tested and quality checked. Once done, it is placed in storage until purchased. 

Which Do We Recommend?

Due to the highly technical nature of automatic transmissions today, most dealerships do not have transmission technicians in their service department. What this means is, if you have a transmission problem, they will recommend that your transmission be totally replaced. Most often, they will replace it with a remanufactured unit, not a new one. In most cases, you do not need a whole new transmission. You need some work on your transmission and many times that work is minor. Even if it turns out to be a major repair, most of the time it will cost less to rebuild your transmission than to replace.

Advanced Transmission Centers have been rebuilding and repairing transmissions for people in Denver, Lakewood, Golden, Arvada, Westminster, Littleton, Englewood, Thornton and Northglen since 1986.

We have the experience to get the job done right. Make an appointment today to come in for our free TrueTest Inspection.

Westminster – Northwest Metro Denver: (303) 421-4140
Lakewood – Southwest Metro Denver: (303) 922-4102

Owner at Advanced Transmission Center | Website | + posts

Advanced Transmission Center is a Colorado-owned and operated auto repair shop with locations in Denver / Lakewood and Westminster. ATC specializes in driveline issues such as automatic transmission repair, four wheel drive repair, clutch replacement, differentials, manual transmissions and CVT. As Colorado's first AAA approved shop our goal is to provide accurate, timely service with exceptional customer satisfaction. All of our technicians are certified in the latest makes and models and we are one of the few transmission repair shops with a nationwide warranty.

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Our Commitment to You

Free towing is just one of the ways we strive to save you money on a major in-house repair such as a transmission rebuild. With our thorough TrueTest™ Inspection process, you will fully understand what is wrong with your car and only pay for the repairs you need.
Every transmission repair should start with a thorough and accurate diagnosis of the problem. Our multi-step TrueTest inspection procedures have been designed over decades to identify whether a minor repair can fix your issue or if a major repair is required.
We can turn around a transmission repair in as little as 2 days with our fast services! Our in-house rebuild department, expert technicians and strong vendor relationships help us get vehicles fixed ASAP. It also helps to have two local repair shops with identical operating procedures and quality standards.
After a major repair, you can take a breath and know Advanced Transmission Center has your back! We offer various warranty options (1-year, 2-year, 3-year, local or nationwide) and make sure any warranty claim is hassle-free for our customers.

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