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Selling A Car With Transmission Issues

Your transmission is an integral facet of your car’s entire operation. Because of this, a faulty or broken transmission severely hinders a vehicle’s performance and, in turn, its value.

In order to protect your car’s value, you want to be on the lookout for the first symptoms of transmission problems.

If you're looking to sell your car with its bad transmission, you can calculate the value online pretty quickly.

Otherwise, read on to see your options and see how you can maximize the value of your vehicle with a bad transmission.

Signs A Car Has Transmission Problems

Do you know the signs of a transmission problem? They can vary depending on what’s happening with your car.

Several common symptoms of transmission problems are:

  • Shift flaring. It feels like a sudden and unexpected engine rev-up when your transmission changes gears. This is often caused by worn clutches or fluid pressure problems.
  • Burnt transmission fluid smell. When clutches burn out or there are internal friction issues in the transmission, the fluid emits a pungent charred scent.
  • Slipping gears. As you drive, your engine RPMs are going up quickly but your speed is barely increasing. Or, you might inexplicably start slowing down.
  • Clunking, rattling, or whistling noise underneath. Something’s loose in the tranny – it could be anything.
  • Delayed gear engagement. You shift into drive and hit the gas, but nothing happens for a few seconds. It finally slams into gear. It’s usually a fluid pressure problem inside or low transmission fluid.

Signs of Transmission Failure 

Most transmission problems can be repaired, despite the high costs of transmission repair and replacement.

Even transmission cooler hoses or a transmission pan gasket can be several hundred dollars to fix up.

More involved repairs could easily be $1,500 or more, like replacing a faulty valve body, and we’re not even talking about a transmission rebuild!

Signs of Transmission Failure

Failure to identify symptoms of transmission issues can lead to outright transmission failure. That’s when repair costs grow exponentially. These are a few signs of transmission failure:

  • No gear engagement. Whether it’s drive, reverse, or both, your car won’t go into gear.
  • Huge puddle underneath. We’re talking a gallon of fluid. There could be a hole in the transmission case.
  • Knocking noise that varies by speed. There may be a part inside the transmission that is loose.

For these signs of transmission failure, you’ll probably need either your transmission rebuilt or replaced. That’s going to come with a hefty price tag – expect $2,500 to $6,500, and it could be more.


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What Causes Transmission Problems?

Selling a Car with Bad TransmissionWhat could cause your transmission problems? Often it comes down to three things, all of which are preventable. These include:

  • Lack of proper maintenance. This is the leading cause of transmission problems. Simply following your vehicle’s maintenance schedule will prevent most transmission issues from ever happening.
  • Abuse. Driving a car very hard could cause internal damage in a transmission. The best way to prevent it? Drive responsibly.
  • Fluid leaks. This is an easily-addressed concern. If you see red fluid leaking from the front of your car, get it fixed to avoid some of the most expensive repairs you can imagine.

What to Do With a Car With A Bad Transmission

Fortunately, a car with a bad transmission is still a viable piece of equipment. It still has much of the same options as a car in optimal working condition. Those options are:

  • Sold to a Junkyard
  • Traded into a Dealership
  • Sold to a Private Buyer
Trade in Value of a Car with Bad Transmission

A vehicle with a bad transmission has the additional option of “being repaired.” However, as stated before, transmission repairs can be costly.

While the option to sell or trade-in your car is on the table, keep in mind that its value is negatively impacted by a bad transmission.

Most buyers will attempt to test-drive your vehicle before committing to a purchase or trade. With a bad transmission, your car is likely to be non-running and, as a result, will grab a lowballed offer from any interested parties.

How Much Is A Car With A Blown Transmission Worth?

Here’s a rough idea for you: if your car is worth $10,000 before your transmission troubles and transmission repairs are around $2,000, expect to lose about double the cost of the repairs – your car is probably worth around $5,000 to $6,000.

Keep in mind, however, that your vehicle’s value could be even lower due to damage and the car’s overall condition.

Sell A Car With Transmission Problems

If you’re looking to sell your car with transmission problems, then CarBrain is the solution to your problems.

CarBrain specializes in all kinds of less-than-perfect cars – cars with mechanical issues, junk cars, damaged cars, cars with transmission issues, and cars for scrap, just to name a few.

Request an online quote for your vehicle. You’ll receive a guaranteed offer for your car in as-is condition.

Like the offer? Accept it and get paid in just 24 to 48 hours. We’ll even pick up your car from wherever it is at no cost to you.

Need answers? Get FREE advice from our client care experts NOW!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Buys Cars With Bad Transmissions?

Many dealers and private buyers are looking for damaged cars to purchase. Whether it’s a Ford, Audi, or BMW, there is someone out there looking to buy it, even if it has a broken transmission. There’s a market for cars in every condition.

How Much Is A Car Worth With A Bad Transmission?

It is difficult to accurately determine the value of a car with a damaged transmission. Numerous factors play into the total value of a car including the make, model, year, and mileage. You can utilize websites like to obtain an approximate estimate for your car with mechanical problems.

The cost to repair a transmission is not one anybody wants to pay. It is one of the most expensive parts to fix and, unfortunately, you will not make back the money spent on transmission repair when selling your car. On the bright side, you can still sell your vehicle without repairing its transmission.

Can I Trade In A Car With a Bad Transmission?

Trading in a car with transmission problems is completely possible. Dealerships accept a variety of cars and let drivers trade them in. These are just some of the types of vehicles that can be traded in:

  • Jeep Patriot
  • Chevrolet Impala
  •  Honda Odyssey
  •  Toyota Corolla
  •  Honda Civic
  • Chevy Silverado

While you can trade in a car with a bad transmission, you must keep in mind that it will likely be valued less than the car you are trading it for. As a result, you will have to put more money into the new car because your trade-in wasn’t in drivable condition.

Is It Worth Replacing A Transmission?

You might be searching for cheap transmission repair near you but keep finding the price way too high.It is a crucial component of a vehicle and does not come cheap. A new transmission can cost thousands of dollars.

In addition to the part itself, you have to factor in the transmission replacement labor cost. This price can vary from $500 to $1,500. So, replacing a transmission might not be worth it if the value of your vehicle is less than the total cost of replacement.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Transmission?

How much to fix a transmission in your area will vary depending on a few factors. The primary factor will be what is actually wrong with it. Minor issues will cost less to fix than major ones. The time that the mechanic has to spend on the repair will also impact the cost.

For what it’s worth...

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