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How Long Does it Take to Replace a Transmission

How Long Does it Take to Replace a Transmission

As a former used car dealer, there have been many times I had to replace major components of a car I bought, such as a transmission, and as a dealer, time was money!

So, how long does it take to replace a transmission:

Replacing a transmission is a complex job that requires the removal and installation of many components. As such, it typically takes 1-5 days for the average repair shop to complete a transmission replacement.

Here is a more precise breakdown of replacement times based on the type of transmission you have:

Transmission TypeAverage Replacement Time
Manual1 full day
Automatic3-5 days
Major repairs requiredCould extend past 1 week
Table showing how long it takes to replace a transmission based on transmission and repair type

Related Articles to Read:

Overview of the Transmission Replacement Process

Before diving into time estimates, it’s helpful to understand the key steps mechanics take to replace a transmission:

  1. Drain transmission fluid
  2. Disconnect drive shaft, shifter linkages, mounts, electrical connectors
  3. Remove old transmission
  4. Install new transmission
  5. Reconnect components
  6. Refill transmission fluid
  7. Road test vehicle

The time-intensive steps are removing the old unit and installing the new one. Additional repairs like replacing the clutch can also add time.

Key Factors that Impact Transmission Replacement Timelines

Several key factors influence how long it takes to replace a transmission:

Transmission Type

Manual transmissions are generally simpler and quicker to replace than more complex automatic transmissions.

Vehicle Make/Model

The layout of components varies across vehicle makes and models, impacting accessibility and replacement difficulty.

Additional Repairs Needed

If other parts like the clutch need repair, it lengthens the timeline.

Availability of Parts

Rare parts may need special ordering, causing delays.

Shop Workload

Wait times may be longer if the shop has a backlog.

Mechanic Skill Level

An experienced mechanic works faster than one less familiar with the process.

Getting an Accurate Time Estimate

Since transmission replacement time varies significantly, it’s best to consult with your chosen repair shop for a specific estimate. They can assess your vehicle, repair scope, parts availability and workload to provide tailored expectations on turnaround time.

Planning Tips

When faced with a transmission replacement, follow these tips to ease the inconvenience:

  • Ask if a rental car or loaner vehicle is available
  • Inquire about after-hours drop-off or pickup
  • Request progress updates from the shop
  • Have a backup transportation plan like carpooling

With the right preparation and expectations, you can navigate transmission replacement downtime more smoothly. Reach out to a qualified mechanic to learn how long your specific job will take.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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