Get the Job Done: DIY Steps For Changing Your Transmission

Posted by on Friday, January 23rd, 2015

If you want to watch your car last a long time, make sure to change your transmission when it starts to fail. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

If you want to save money in the long run, remember to rebuild your transmission rather than replace the entire car.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

When your transmission stops working, it’s usually because there’s a single, interior component that has gone bad. Fortunately, if you know what to look for, spotting what’s wrong is always that difficult. But not all of us are experienced mechanics, so in the following sections, we’ll provide you with some helpful DIY tips for changing your transmission.

Transmission Replacement Steps

Remember that transmissions are considered “stand alone” systems in vehicles. Instead, they rely on other parts in order to function properly. Here are the steps that you’ll need to take when properly changing your transmission:

  • Step 1: Detach the battery ground cable.
  • Step 2: Remove the electrical connectors from the transmission underneath the hood.
  • Step 3: Remove the vehicle’s front wheels.
  • Step 4: Either A) Move, or B) Remove the drive axles.
  • Step 5: Detach the dipstick tube.
  • Step 6: Remove the cooer lines.
  • Step 7: Remove sensors, solenoids, and electrical connections.
  • Step 8: Uninstall the starter motor.
  • Step 9: Uninstall catalytic converter and exhaust pipes.
  • Step 10: Support transmission using transmission jack.
  • Step 11: Detach the cross member support system.
  • Step 12: Detach the flex plate from the torque converter bolts.
  • Step 13: Remove the bell housing from the engine bolts.
  • Step 14: Finally, take out the transmission.

While these many not be the exact steps for each and every model vehicle, they are relatively accurate for most models. As a result, they should serve as a reliable reference when changing out your own transmission. Depending on your particular model, there might be a fewer steps that aren’t listed here (like dealing with corroded fittings for example).

The 4L80E GM 4-Speed Automatic Transmission comes with a fully manufactured torque converter that has already been tested for leaks and balance. Not to mention, the transmission’s all-new shift solenoids are designed to promote positive shifting while driving.

Important Tips

Remember that the average transmission can easily weigh several hundred pounds, and can be difficult to move around – especially in a confined space (for instance, the engine compartment). Once you’ve successfully removed the transmission, that’s when the work really begins because now you have to install the new transmission. In this case, all that you would do is work backwards until it’s installed, using the steps above as a reference.

How much time should you expect to spend changing your transmissions on average? The process itself can take anywhere from 5 to 15 hours depending on your experience and ability to follow directions. The average cost to replace a transmission is $1,500 (for a rebuilt unit). If you’re willing to put in the time, you’ll actually save money by changing out your transmission rather than taking it somewhere to get fixed.

Maintenance Tips To Remember

In order to prevent having to go through this process in the first place, it always helps to follow good maintenance habits. Transmission fluid plays a very important role in the durability and health of your transmission. Like engine oil, make sure that you change it out and check it frequently. This will ultimately increase transmission longevity so that you don’t need to take the extensive steps of changing it out. If you do end up changing it out, make sure that you follow the tips and steps in this article.

If you’re looking for a quality remanufactured transmission, then you won’t do better than ETE REMAN. That’s why we offer a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty on all our products. Browse our online catalog and contact us today.

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