The Top 5 Most Replaced Automatic Transmissions

Posted by on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

There are hundreds of different automatic transmissions on the market. Automatic transmissions, just like every other part on your vehicle have a finite life span. So which transmissions are getting replaced most often? Let’s take a look at the top five.

1)  The most commonly replaced transmission is the GM 4L60E. This transmission is an electronically controlled update of the original 700R4 four speed with overdrive. This transmission came in everything from pickup trucks to Camaros, from Chevys to Oldsmobiles and every GM brand in between.  Being number one on this list has more to do with the sheer number of vehicles produced with this transmission than the transmission being a problem child.

2)  The 5R55S is a four speed automatic transmission manufactured by Ford. It was extensively used in the Ford Mustang from 2005 through 2010. This transmission makes the list at #2 mainly because of the type of vehicle this transmission was used in. Mustangs are relatively cheap muscle cars and as such are subject to constant abuse. Like the transmission in the #1 spot, Ford made millions of these transmissions.

3)  The 4R75E is another four speed transmission made by Ford. It was use used extensively in the F150, Expedition and E-series vans from 2005 through 2008. These are all work horse types of vehicles and as such are often subject to abuse such as towing over the recommended limits. The Ford F-series trucks have been the number one selling vehicle in the USA for a long time. The large number of transmissions produced has much to do with it landing at the number three spot on our list.

4)  The CD4E is a 4 speed trans-axle used by both Mazda and Ford. It was in production between 1994 and 2007 and was used primarily in small compact type vehicles. Unlike the transmission above, this transmission makes the list because it fails so often. It’s not uncommon to only get 30,000 miles out of the CD4E. Overheating was a big cause of many of the failures.

5)  The A604 is another front wheel drive trans-axles transmission, this one made by Chrysler. It first went into production in 1989 and is still made today. This transmission was one of the first to use adaptive shifting.  After many complaints from consumers, the US Center For Auto Safety, and others, Chrysler made the unprecedented move of waiving the $100 warranty deductible. They also agreed to buy back any car equipped with the A604 that could not be fixed easily. In the end, Chrysler tried to make things right by going out of their way to locate owners of the A604 equipped vehicles and notify them of the issues and offered to fix them.  It was a noble attempt by Chrysler, but by then the reputation of the A604 transmission had been sealed.

Chrysler A604 Automatic Transmission

Source: Google

So what can you do when your transmission fails? You can buy one from a junk yard or Craigslist but you’re rolling the dice hoping that it will actually work. There are all kinds of scams out there. People will rip you off , if you aren’t careful, and sell you a used transmission that has given up the ghost. You can buy a rebuilt transmission, but a rebuilt transmission only contains replacement parts where the old ones had failed. Or you can buy a re-manufactured transmission and get a unit where all the specs have been brought up to new.

My advice is to spend a little more money and get the re-manufactured transmission. Chances are much less that you’ll be replacing that unit again anytime soon! A re-manufactured transmission will also include a much better warranty; three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. As a bonus, in the rare event that a re-manufactured transmission fails within the warranty period, they will cover your R&R cost to replace your customer’s transmission. And remember, the companies that re-manufacture transmissions are very easy to contact. They are just a quick phone call or email away from helping you out.

One Response to “The Top 5 Most Replaced Automatic Transmissions”

  1. […] The 4R75E is a four-speed automatic transmission manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It is heavily based on one of Ford’s first automatic overdrive transmissions, the AOD. It was first introduced into the lineup in in 2004 and was eventually phased out of use at the end of the 2005 model year. It was used in a number of well-known Ford vehicles, including the F-Series Ford Pickups and the Ford Expedition. It was also used in the very popular E-Series work vans. […]

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