What is an auto gearbox specialist?
Many drivers make the decision to buy an automatic car because they’re more convenient to drive. It also takes less time to learn how to drive an automatic car than a manual. However, these added conveniences come with a few trade-offs when it comes to gearbox repairs.
One of the biggest trade-offs is that you’ll normally need to hire an automatic gearbox specialist to carry out repairs and maintenance. This is because automatic car gearboxes are more complex. There are three types of automatic transmissions.
Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs): CVTs work by using a pulley system. This means that not only are they the quietest and most efficient type of automatic gearbox, they also essentially offer an infinite number of gear ratios.
Automated manual transmissions (AMTs): AMTs are also known as semi-automatic transmissions and are the cheapest of the three types to manufacture. People tend to like them because they’re fuel-efficient and associated with low maintenance costs.
Dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs): DCTs use a two-clutch system which is controlled by a computer. This makes for fast, reliable and smooth gear changes.
Being familiar with the different types of automatic transmissions, how they work and how to fix them when something is wrong is exactly what you can rely on an auto gearbox specialist to help you with. And, luckily, it’s easy to find highly-trained and skilled automatic car specialists.
Auto gearbox specialist average costs and prices
The average cost of booking an auto gearbox specialist on WhoCanFixMyCar is £685.12. However, your exact price will depend on lots of different factors, such as the garage the specialist works at, their level of experience and the location. Prices also tend to vary based on the make and model of your car. You can get an idea of prices for a range of car makes below.
|Car Make||Average Price|
Common auto gearbox problems
Some of the most common automatic gearbox issues are:
Torque converter malfunction
Transmission slipping when accelerating
Broken, worn or damaged transmission bands
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to diagnose any of these issues yourself! Instead, you’re likely to notice some clear warning signs that something isn’t quite right.
The average cost of an automatic gearbox specialist booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £685.12. If you're having problems with your gearbox, or you're not quite sure what the issue is, an automatic gearbox specialist can help to diagnose and repair your vehicle's gearboxCan include
- Gearbox repairs
The average cost of automatic transmission diagnostics booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £107. An automatic car can suffer transmission faults that are hard to pinpoint due to the system’s complexity. A professional can diagnose automatic transmission problems to help you get a suitable repair.Can include
- Transmission diagnostic
- Transmission repair
The average cost of a car diagnostic test booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £53.99.
A car diagnostic test is a digital analysis of your car, undertaken by a specialist mechanic, to assess potential faults and issues with your car engine, transmission, brakes and many more.Can include
- Diagnostic test
Top warning signs of automatic transmission problems
The most obvious sign that there’s something wrong with your automatic gearbox is the automatic transmission warning light appearing on your dashboard. This looks like an exclamation mark inside a cog or circle. However, there are some other symptoms too. If you notice any of them, get your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
Weird noises coming from your car, even when in neutral
A burnt smell coming from your car
A dragging clutch (normally, this means you’ll hear grinding noises when you press it)
Unexplained leaks or puddles under your car
Your car vibrates
Your car is unresponsive or doesn’t move
When do I need to get the help of an auto gearbox specialist?
If you notice any of the issues mentioned in the previous section, be sure to get your car checked by an auto gearbox specialist. Only a specialist will be able to tell you what the issue is and how urgent it is to make the repair. If you don’t follow through on these repairs, your car may become unsafe to drive or completely break down.
That said, you don’t have to wait for there to be a problem with your gearbox before you get an auto gearbox specialist to look at it. It’s best practice to get your gearbox serviced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. The gearbox is one of the most important parts of your car and is essential to maintain.
An auto gearbox service will focus on the transmission fluid and the parts that it comes into contact with. Typically, the mechanic will drain the old fluid, install any new parts (such as a filter) if needed, add new fluid and check for any leaks.
Although servicing your transmission isn’t a legal requirement, it’s the best way to keep your gearbox in good condition and, therefore, reduce your cost in the long run. A gearbox that’s well maintained is likely to have a much longer lifespan than one that’s never serviced.
What impacts the cost of an auto gearbox specialist?
The price of repairing your auto transmission can vary greatly and depends on several factors. Some of these factors are:
The amount of damage: If you haven’t regularly maintained your car, you may have more issues to repair.
Type of transmission: Some gearboxes are more complex than others.
How old your car is: The older the car, the more difficult it can be to find replacement parts.
Car make: Luxury or imported cars generally cost more to repair than domestic cars.
Where you live: Labour costs may vary depending on demand or the cost of living.
The garage you go to: Every shop is free to make its own price lists. Get a quote from more than one place to ensure the best price.
Whether you need a new transmission: If you need to replace your transmission, you may be able to save money by choosing a rebuilt, remanufactured, or used transmission rather than a brand new one.
Auto gearbox versus manual gearbox repair cost
Automatic gearboxes tend to be more complicated than manual ones, which is why you need an automatic car specialist. Automatic gearboxes have more moving parts, components and, in some cases, computers. Due to the number of parts that need to be examined, as well as the specialist knowledge and the additional labour required, automatic gearboxes are generally more expensive to fix than manual ones.
In some cases, the specialist will also need to use a computer to run a diagnostic test on the gearbox. These computers will return a series of codes which indicate to the specialist where they should start when examining the vehicle.
Due to the specialised skills and knowledge needed to work on automatic gearboxes, you will find that labour costs for these specialists are generally more expensive when compared to manual gearboxes.
Find an automatic gearbox garage near me
Nowadays, pretty much every garage offers automatic gearbox repairs and services, so working out where to look can be a bit overwhelming. Generally, it’s cheaper to use an independent garage as opposed to a dealership. However, we’d always recommend getting a few quotes to find the best price.
You may also find that the make and model of your car narrows down your list of potential garages as some only service cars from certain manufacturers.
If you are wondering how you can be confident that you chose the right auto repair shop, we have a few simple tips:
Ask if they offer warranties on repairs or services
Check out reviews online
Ask about any certifications the shop or their specialists may have
Check if your car is one of the shop’s specialties
Get an automatic gearbox specialist to come to your home
If you can’t drive your car to the garage or don’t want to pay a tow truck to bring it there, a mobile mechanic can help by going to your location to carry out repairs. Surprisingly, mobile mechanics are also usually cheaper than going to a garage as they don’t tend to have the usual overheads associated with working at a fixed location.
Mobile mechanics can carry out most but not all repairs. The services offered also vary from mechanic to mechanic. If you’re unsure if a mobile mechanic is right for you, feel free to consult with them on the phone before setting up an appointment. Your mobile mechanic will be able to advise you on what they can and can’t do and, if the repair requires specialised equipment, the mechanic may recommend a garage to you.
How often must a gearbox be serviced on an automatic car?
You should take an automatic car in for a service every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
Can an automatic gearbox be repaired?
Yes, automatic gearboxes can be repaired. However, be aware that this can be complex and labour intensive. Automatic gearbox repairs are typically one of the most expensive repairs you will make on your car.
How much does an automatic gearbox repair cost?
The price to repair an automatic gearbox can vary greatly. The price depends on several factors such as transmission type, car age and the amount of damage. Generally speaking, an automatic gearbox repair will cost you somewhere between £300 to £600.
How long will an automatic gearbox last?
Most automatic gearboxes last 150,000 to 200,000 miles. It takes the average driver around seven years to put this much mileage on a car.
Does an auto gearbox repair fall under warranty?
This depends on your warranty. Most manufacturer warranties will cover auto gearbox repairs as long as you go to one of their approved garages – this is usually at a certified dealership. However, some drivers may have third-party warranties instead. Be sure to read your warranty in detail to see if it covers gearbox repairs and what the conditions are for them to cover the cost of repairs.
Will an auto gearbox specialist be covered by insurance?
Most auto insurance policies don’t cover the costs associated with gearbox repairs. However, read your policy carefully or get in touch with your insurance company to find out if they will cover repairs carried out by an auto gearbox specialist.