I have been reading and hearing about transmission rebuilding or replacement. Today a person was asking if they should sell their car or keep repairing it (it had a transmission problem). Notice that most of the times that I hear about transmission rebuilding or replacement was from someone in USA and mechanics asking 2k-3k $.

Nevertheless, one of the answers said that a transmission should be able to handle 30k miles (~50k km) with no problems.

Thus my question would be if this is a normal thing to change atleast once the transmission of a car. Does it make a difference if the car is manual or automatic?

My parents's cars are manual and have not even once changed transmission for more than 180k km or even 300k km.

  • 1
    R&R or R&I plus a rebuild on most transverse engine transmissions is labor intensive. You can easily hit 20 hrs doing the job and when you figure anywhere from $90-120 USD labor rate it’s not out of the norm to be quoted in that range.
    – Ben
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:40

2 Answers 2


In general, a transmission should last for the lifetime of the car, assuming regular maintenance (regular oil/filter change according the specification).

On manual transmissions the clutch (and dual mass flywheel, if equipped) is a wear item. Those repairs are one of the "big jobs", where the owner needs to decide if the effort is worth it.

The average cost a of a clutch job is very difficult to tell, as the work-hours and part prices vary highly. Assume 1000-1500$ for a clutch job, some more in case of an equipped dual mass flywheel.

The wear depends highly on type of usage (highway use vs. stop and go), driving style and type of car, but a clutch life of 150 kkm to 200 kkm should be in the average. It can be drastically reduced by bad driving habits.

  • It also depends very much on the usage of the vehicle. Three hours driving on a freeway or motorway with light traffic clocks up plenty of miles, but you might never touch the clutch pedal at all in that time. Three hours in stop-start city traffic - negligible mileage, but hundreds of clutch pedal depressions.
    – alephzero
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 11:54
  • @alephzero My intention was that the highway-use was included in the "driving style" condition
    – Martin
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 12:01
  • @Myself I was thinking the "driving style" was about those drivers who slip the clutch for 5 minutes while pulling away....
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 12:16
  • A dual mass flywheel and clutch replacement is £800-1000 in the UK...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:02
  • @SolarMike apparently "my garage of least mistrust" tried to sell me off.
    – Martin
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:17

Yes and no, Auto boxes may need more frequent oil changes, but, properly looked after they can do 100K or 200K just as easily as a manual box.

For a manual box the issue tends to be the clutch - as some drivers are "more sympathetic" to the clutch and treat it better, but some need a new clutch every 30K (like those customers : clutch change can be easy money...)

  • and auto boxes can easily be trashed if oil change is done incorrectly, not that big issue with manual box Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 0:12

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