Opt for a Remanufactured Transmission

Maximize Your Investment – Opt for a Remanufactured Transmission

OCTOBER 3, 2013 By Powertrain Pro


Transmission woes can leave you on the side of the road. Whether you drive a stick shift or an automatic, transmission troubles are expensive. When your current transmission fails, you’ll need to replace it, but should you opt for a rebuilt or a remanufactured transmission? If you’re making your decision strictly on your budget, it might seem that a rebuilt transmission is the best choice, but that’s misleading. There are plenty of reasons to opt for a remanufactured model, not the least of which is the greater lifespan you’ll get. What should you know?

Rebuilt Means Parts Added

First, let’s discuss the difference between rebuilt and remanufactured transmissions. Essentially, rebuilt means that the transmission has had failed components replaced. Often, that’s the end of it. Once the problem has been corrected, the transmission is reassembled and put up for sale. While that does mean the transmission works, it doesn’t mean that it will work for very long. For instance, while the failed components will be replaced, what about the components that are damaged, but not yet completely failed? What about the components that have significant wear and tear, but are still operational? Over time, those components will also fail, leaving you once more on the side of the road and in need of another replacement transmission.

Remanufactured Means Re-Engineered

Now, let’s contrast the rebuilding process with the remanufacturing process. Remanufacturing is exactly what it sounds like. The transmission is completely torn down, all of the old internals are removed and replaced with new components. The case is resurfaced and the entire transmission is brought back into new OEM specs. Then, the transmission is reassembled and tested before being made available for sale. It is, in essence, a new transmission. Yes, these are a bit more costly than rebuilt transmissions, but when you really think about it, it’s the best way to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth.

A remanufactured transmission will last as a long as the transmission in a new car that just rolled onto the dealership’s lot. A rebuilt transmission might be in almost any condition, including “just about to fail again”. Remember – the biggest difference here is that a rebuilt transmission has had the failed components replaced (nothing more). A remanufactured transmission is completely re-engineered from the ground up in a factory setting.

What Makes the Most Sense for You?

Everyone is constrained by a budget to at least some extent. Superficially, that might make it seem like going with a rebuilt transmission is the better option. You pay less and can take your chances with further component failure. However, that’s not the wisest course of action to take. It’s far more important to have reliability, peace of mind and the knowledge that your transmission is going to last at least another 100,000 miles. A rebuilt transmission or used transmissions might get you another 1,000 and die again leaving you footing the bill for another transmission replacement in less than a month.