Rebuilding an automatic transmission – how long should it take?

Rebuilding an automatic transmission is not a simple process. The transmission is completely stripped back and rebuilt, with any worn or damaged parts being replaced. Once the process is complete, the transmission should be in full working order again, as long as every step is completed carefully and accurately. Automatic transmissions have a lot of working parts, so the whole process takes time to complete.

It’s possible for an an experienced amateur mechanic to rebuild a transmission, but if even the thought of an oil change causes you to panic, it’s a good idea to get some professional help. If you need to have a transmission rebuilt one of the main questions you will be asking is how long is it going to take?

What is the average time taken for a transmission rebuild?

It’s possible that the repair shop may be able to rebuild an automatic transmission in one day. However, this is only likely to happen if the transmission has already been removed from the vehicle, by you or another repair shop, and the problems with the transmission are simple to resolve.

On average, it takes three to four days to rebuild an automatic transmission. The repair shop should give you an estimate of the amount of time it’s likely to take when you ask them to carry out the work. Most repair shops allow one day for each stage of the process, from removing the transmission to replacing it. This gives them time to do the work, and deal with any unexpected problems, without exceeding the time estimate they have given you.

What can affect the amount of time taken?

The experts have plenty of experience when it comes to rebuilding a transmission, and they should be able to give you a pretty accurate estimate of how long the work will take. However, there are some things which can lead to the work taking longer than expected.

Finding the root cause of the problem

There is little point in replacing parts in the transmission only for your car to be back in the shop a couple of months later with the same problem. This can happen if the root cause of the issue is not identified. It could be as simple as the amount of miles the vehicle as done, but it could be a tiny crack somewhere on one of the parts that can continue to be a problem if it’s not identified. Finding this root cause can take more time than expected.

Issues with getting parts

If your car is an old or rare model, it’s possible that the repair shop may have problems sourcing a part. If this happens it could cause a significant delay. Usually, the repair shop will know if this problem is likely to occur, going by the make and model of the car. If they do have this knowledge, they should make you aware up front.

Problems with contacting you

There is one potentially time consuming issue that you can help with. If the repair shop needs your approval for work to be completed, and is not able to reach you, the repairs may have to be removed from the schedule. By the time they get in touch with you the schedule may be full and the repairs may have to be put back to the next day.

Hopefully, these delays will not happen, but they are possible. Normally, you should expect to have your vehicle back, with a rebuilt transmission, in three to four days.

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