What Does A Failing Transmission Sound Like?

Updated 3 days ago

A failing transmission tends to sound like a high-pitched whining. Different actions, such as switching gears or accelerating, can change when this sound occurs. But when you hear it, you want to take your car to the nearest auto shop right away.

Signs your transmission is failing

A car's transmission allows for the smooth, controlled application of power. It lets you switch gears depending on driving conditions. And when you notice the following, you want to get it checked out.

Whining noises

Loud whining is often a telltale sign of a faulty transmission. This whining may be accompanied by the sound of gears slipping, which may be more of a grinding noise.

Slipping gears

You should control which gear you're in. If the gears change on their own, then the transmission isn't working properly.

Leaking transmission fluid

You never want to find a pool of fluid under your car when you pull out. The fluid could be several different things, so take your car to a shop to confirm whether the transmission is to blame.

What's the cost of replacing my transmission?

Depending on the extent of the damage, transmission repair can cost anywhere between $300 and $1,500. You may be better off replacing the transmission, which comes at the following price points.

  • New transmission: $1,800-$3,400
  • Used transmission: $800-$1,500
  • Rebuilt transmission: $1,100-$2,500
  • Labor: $500-$1,200

Should I repair the transmission or get a new car?

On the high end of the scale, you may need to spend a couple thousand dollars to make your vehicle safe again. At that point, you have to ask yourself if getting a new car would be preferable.

Repair the transmission


  • Probably more affordable
  • Maintain sentimental attachment


  • Other issues could exist
  • Could be more expensive in the long run

Get a new vehicle


  • Much safer
  • Everything works


  • More expensive
  • A new car immediately loses value

Don't mask the problem—get your car fixed, now!

Transmission issues can be pretty affordable if you address them quickly. A minor flaw can be corrected for only a few hundred dollars. But you need to take it into the shop soon.

It may be easy to ignore a whining sound or slipping gears for a while. However, those issues worsen over time. Save yourself money and trouble by fixing your car promptly.

Does my insurance pay for maintenance and repairs?

A transmission should last around 100,000 miles. Insurance doesn't cover repairs at that point if the damage is the result of age.

Insurance could cover the costs if your transmission was damaged in an accident. Coverages also exist for damages due to weather or vandalism.

Now is a great time to review your insurance policy to see what you have covered. Make sure it's as comprehensive as possible to protect yourself.

When the time arises, is my insurance going to be enough?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

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