Gearbox defect / gearbox damage – symptoms, repair / replacement and costs involved explained simply and briefly!

Gearbox defect / gearbox damage - symptoms, repair / replacement and costs involved explained simply and briefly!

Depending on the type of gearbox, typical symptoms include the following:

Manual transmission

  • gears cannot be engaged as usual and / or "jump out again"
  • noises when engaging the gear (e.g. "ratchet")

Automatic transmission / automated transmission (incl. dual-clutch gearbox / DSG)

  • Shifting operations are clumsy or. "rough"
  • Gear changes take longer than usual
  • Engine torque is not transmitted completely, not at all, or only above a certain speed (increased engine speed, no / little propulsion)
  • driving is only possible in certain speed levels or in emergency mode
  • error memory entry indicates a gearbox defect

Generally the following signs are typical:

  • Gearbox makes unusual noise while running or when motor is idle
  • Vibrations during travel
  • transmission oil loss, because the transmission is leaking (attention – act fast! Otherwise, gearbox damage due to insufficient lubrication is unavoidable!)
  • Gearbox oil is very dark, smells burnt and / or has a lot of metal debris or. Chips picked up

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In the case of a manual transmission, the symptoms may be mistaken for a defective clutch. Here it is important to first check the disconnection and slipping behavior of the clutch. You can find more information about this in our guide to clutch defects.

In addition, it can be that a too low transmission oil level ensures that gears can no longer be engaged or disengaged.

Generally a gearbox oil change (and gearbox flushing in case of automatic gearbox) not seldom for elimination of individual symptoms.

In the case of an automatic transmission / automated (incl. In the case of a double-clutch gearbox (DSG), other electronic defects, such as the gearbox itself, may also be present in the case of individual symptoms. A defective brake light switch is conceivable.

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Repair or replacement of the transmission

First of all, the question arises whether a repair / overhaul of the gearbox is possible or whether the component must be replaced completely. There are basically three options here:

  1. The defective gearbox will be repaired by a specialized workshop. The transmission is removed and disassembled so that defective individual parts such as gears, bearings and/or synchronizer rings and wear parts can be replaced with new components. In this case, the car can be expected to spend a long time in the repair shop.
  2. The defective gearbox is replaced by an exchange part (regenerated gearbox) or a used part. This is often the most economical option, but is only recommended if your model series is not known for transmission problems. Otherwise you will often get "the same problems in the car" again.
  3. The defective gearbox is completely replaced by a new one.

procedure for replacing the gearbox with a used or new part

Once the diagnosis of a defective transmission has been confirmed, work can begin on removing the transmission. To do this, the vehicle is first lifted on a lifting platform. In the next step, the transmission oil must be drained off.

Depending on the vehicle model, the following costs may be incurred for the removal of the gearbox various other components like e.g. Fairings, car battery, starter, drive shafts, torque arm, aggregate carrier and the gearbox holder are dismantled.

Before load-bearing components such as the transmission mount can be dismantled, the engine must be secured with an engine bridge or other special tool, or the transmission mount must be replaced. Be hung up.

After the old gearbox has been completely removed, it can be replaced by a (reconditioned) used part or by a new part and filled with new gearbox oil.

Finally, a test drive takes place.

Procedure for a transmission repair

In the case of a transmission repair, the transmission must first be removed as well. The overall condition is then assessed and a decision made as to whether a selective repair or a general overhaul of the transmission is required.

In the case of a general overhaul – irrespective of their respective condition – all wear parts, e.g. the transmission, are replaced. Gaskets, clutch plates and the transmission oil filter replaced. In addition, all damaged transmission components are replaced.

Once the work has been completed, the transmission can be reinstalled and filled with new transmission fluid. Finally, a test drive takes place.

Independent attempts at repair should be avoided at all costs. the reason for this is that the disassembly, dismantling and reassembly of the gearbox are very complex and require both special tools and extensive expertise.

Cost of replacement / repair of a gearbox

If a defective automatic transmission or. Automated manual transmission (e.g. DSG) are replaced by a new part, you can expect material costs of around 3.000 to 4.500 euro calculate.

In addition, there is the work involved in replacing the gearbox. This depends mainly on how easily attachments can be disassembled and whether many other components have to be disassembled in order to be able to replace the gearbox.

Often, the change takes about five to eight hours, which means that at an hourly rate of 100 euros total cost of about 3.500 to 5.300 euro result. If it is a defective manual transmission, the costs are lower.

You can save money if you opt for a reconditioned transmission. A distinction is made between partially overhauled (only defective wear parts have been replaced) and completely overhauled (all wear parts have been replaced as a precaution) transmissions. The latter are always more expensive.

In the event of a transmission defect for which the customer is not responsible – especially if the car is less than five years old – we recommend that a claim for compensation be submitted in any case.

TIP: don’t go to a repair shop until you have determined the current value of your vehicle. So you always know in advance exactly up to what costs a repair is still worthwhile!

Simply use the following form from wirkaufendeinauto.De (100% free of charge and without obligation).

Increase the service life of the transmission

Basically you should always shift "smoothly. High speeds when shifting gears can also lead to increased wear and tear! With manual transmissions, it is important that the clutch is always fully depressed when shifting gears.

If there are first signs of transmission problems, a specialist workshop should be consulted as soon as possible. So you can often avoid major damage with a direct repair or a gearbox oil change.

Checking and changing transmission oil

Gear oil is present in manual transmissions as well as in automatic transmissions and automated transmissions.

For the latter, the correct level should be checked regularly in the workshop. Partly this is possible with an oil dipstick also independently as with the engine oil.

While automatic transmissions often have a fixed oil change interval, the oil in a manual transmission is usually only changed when other work is being performed on the transmission.

However, regardless of the type of gearbox, new oil will increase its service life and can also solve slight problems in the beginning.

For automatic transmissions, a transmission flush is also a good idea. Without flushing, a high proportion of used oil typically remains in the gearbox.

A gearbox oil change incl. Gearbox flushing ensures that impurities and other residues, such as. metal abrasion are completely removed. You can find more information about this in this guidebook!

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