Replacing Your Pickup Truck Transmission Might not be Worth it

Eventually, if you own your pickup truck for long enough, you might encounter transmission problems or transmission failure. And when that happens, you have to make the call on whether you should replace the transmission or move on to a new truck. The answer might not be as simple as you think. 

How much does it cost to replace a pickup truck transmission?

Replacing a truck’s transmission can vary depending on the make and model. Another factor that comes into play is if you are replacing the transmission with a new unit or you find a donor transmission from an older truck. Generally speaking, you will likely pay between $1,000 to $7,000, and in some cases, even more. 

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor pickup truck on the trails.
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor | Ford

Because of that, if the cost of a transmission is more than the value of your current pickup truck, it might be best to move on. A transmission that is not new will likely be cheaper than getting a brand-new one. So that is something that you should keep in mind as well.

Should you rebuild your truck’s transmission?

According to Ace Auto Parts, in some cases, rebuilding your pickup’s transmission might make sense. Rebuilding a transmission can be much cheaper than buying one, even if it is not all that cheap. A rebuilt transmission might not be as reliable as a new one. But not everyone has the funds to go out and buy a new trans for their truck. 

Orange Toyota Tundra TRD Pro on a Trail as a full-size pickup truck.
Orange Toyota Tundra TRD Pro on a Trail | Toyota

There are likely businesses in your area that specialize in rebuilding transmissions. And they can let you know what the best course of action is. Because, ultimately, each situation is unique. 

How long do truck transmissions last?

This varies on what kind of transmission you have and how you drive your pickup truck. Some transmissions are known to last over 200,000, while others tend to fail earlier than that. If you adhere to routine maintenance practices, you should be able to get the most out of your pickup’s transmission. And that can save you from having to replace it prematurely. 

At the end of the day, things happen, though. Your transmission can fail even if you treat your truck well. So if you notice things like slippage, strange noises, or inconsistent shifting, it is probably best to get your pickup truck into the shop. 

Which truck has the most reliable transmission?

The ZF 8HP automatic transmission found in Ram trucks built after 2013 has proven itself to be a reliable option. It can handle the various power outputs of Ram pickups, including heavy-duty models. There are different variants of this trans depending on application, but it does seem like owners are satisfied with it. 

Two Ram Classics parked by a bridge
Two Ram 1500 Classic trucks | Ram

Even when Ram built the TRX, the high-performance version of the Ram 1500, the company once again worked with ZF to develop a transmission that would be able to handle the unbelievable torque output. Automatic transmissions can be frustrating in some cases, especially if they do not shift as you would expect. But it looks like Ram got it right with this build.

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