Are Automatic Transmissions More Expensive to Repair? 

Since their introduction, automatic transmissions have contested standard ones in almost every way. Are they better to drive? Are they easier to maintain? Do they cost more to repair? Drivers in El Cajon want to know that they are making the right choice and investment in their car, but sometimes the answer is not black and white. That’s why we are breaking down one of the most controversial questions about automatic transmissions for you.

Do automatic transmissions cost more to repair?

As automatic transmissions are inherently more complex than manual ones with more moving parts, they can be significantly more costly to repair. Their unique computers and components can make repairs complex, taking more of the mechanic’s time and requiring more replacement parts. More parts and labor simply, and unfortunately for the driver, means a higher cost.

But repairs aren’t always straightforward.

Individual driving habits and maintenance history can greatly impact when and how often a car will need transmission repair. Because manual car drivers participate in the work of changing gears, human habit and error can wear down parts more quickly. Manual drivers who have less than ideal hand-foot coordination could be winding down their gears and clutches more rapidly. This means more frequent repair costs that could outweigh the cost of repairs for automatic transmissions in the long run. Although an automatic transmission is still susceptible to wear and tear, different driving styles won’t have as much of an impact.

In addition the grey area caused by individual driving habits, It’s also important to consider a specific vehicle’s maintenance history when considering repair costs. A well-cared for car will likely have fewer and less frequent repair needs, regardless of the type of transmission. Different kinds of vehicles may even have higher transmission repair costs, whether automatic or manual, thanks to more costly parts for replacements. Finally, vehicle warranties can also influence cost of repairs for individual drivers, depending on the manufacturer.

The real answer is, it depends.

Repair costs for both automatic and manual transmission vary too greatly to decisively say which is more expensive. With so many considerations, including individual driving habits, manufacturer warranties, parts durability and repair types, there just isn’t a one-size fits all answer.

Written by Brian Bowersock

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