Honda Transmission Repair and Replacement Cost

It’s worth knowing how to maintain the transmission on your Accord or CR-V: Honda transmission repairs can cost up to $4,000.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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If your Honda needs transmission repairs, you could be looking at a pretty steep bill. While some minor repairs could cost $100 or less, a Honda transmission replacement or rebuild can cost from $1,000 to $4,000 on average. And, unfortunately, transmission issues are among the most common problems reported by Honda owners
Honda is known for its vehicles’ reliability and practical performance. From the compact Civic to the Odyssey minivan, Hondas are the accessibly-priced workhorses of the automotive world. But transmission issues are a common problem in Hondas of a certain age, particularly from the 2001 to 2004 model years. 
Here to help you estimate the cost of a possible Honda transmission repair—and follow a maintenance schedule to reduce the odds of an expensive replacement bill—is
Jerry
, the trusted
car insurance
broker designed to help you save on car ownership costs. We’ll go over everything you need to know about Honda transmission repairs and give you tips to save on
Honda insurance costs

How much does a Honda transmission repair cost?

The cost of a Honda transmission repair can range considerably depending on the nature of the repair, where it’s done, and what model you own. In general, you can expect Honda transmission repairs to cost between $100 and $4,000, with the higher end of the scale more common. 
While the most expensive transmission repair for any Honda vehicle is a transmission replacement following full transmission failure, it’s not the only type of transmission service your Honda may need. While a replacement can cost between $1,000 and $4,000 on average, other common Honda transmission repair services include: 
Bottom line: while smaller repairs will cost less than a full transmission replacement, your vehicle’s transmission is one of the most expensive parts to repair. And because the average Honda transmission lasts for between 100,000 and 200,000 miles and the average Honda can last up to 300,000 miles, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to replace your Honda’s transmission at some point. 
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What does a transmission do?

Just what exactly is this super-expensive component of your Honda for? The transmission is the part of the powertrain that ensures your wheels get the right amount of power to drive at a given speed. It does this by shifting gears, either manually or automatically. 
Almost all newer Hondas have an automatic transmission, in many cases a continuously variable transmission or CVT. As of the 2022 model year, there are just three exceptions: the Honda Civic Hatchback, Honda Civic Type R, and
Honda Civic Si
are all available with a manual gearbox, which is standard on the Type R and Si. 

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a transmission?

A transmission replacement is the most expensive type of transmission service, typically costing between $2,000 and $4,000. However, the cost of your transmission replacement depends on the type of transmission you choose to install in place of the old one. 
The most expensive type of transmission replacement is an OEM replacement. If you have your transmission replaced at a dealership with
a genuine OEM transmission
, you’re likely to pay between $3,400 and $8,000 for parts alone—not to mention labor charges, which run from $500 to $1,000 depending on the location. 
If you’re looking for cheaper replacement options, you could go with a remanufactured or rebuilt transmission, or even a used transmission from a salvage vehicle. Of those, the salvage transmission will be cheapest, ranging from $800 to $1,500—but, of course, its quality and reliability will be lower, and you may end up having to replace it again before too long. 
A remanufactured transmission, i.e. one rebuilt by Honda specialists to manufacturer specifications, will cost less than a transmission rebuild. Remanufactured transmissions generally run from $2,000 to $4,000, while rebuilt transmissions can cost as little as $1,100. 

Does it cost more to repair a manual transmission or an automatic?

Manual transmission repair costs are generally lower than for automatic or continuously variable transmissions. That’s because manual transmissions have fewer parts and simpler construction, making both repairs and replacements cheaper. 
If you own a Honda Civic with a manual transmission, you’ll likely pay between $1,500 and $3,000 to replace the transmission. For an automatic transmission—the standard in almost every other Honda—costs range from $2,000 to $4,000, with CVTs near the top of that range. 

Common Honda transmission problems

Unfortunately, transmission problems are common in most Honda vehicles. In fact, transmission issues were the most-reported category of problems on CarComplaints.com for the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Honda Odyssey, and Honda Pilot. 
While general transmission failure is the most common problem reported by Honda owners, you may encounter some of these common transmission issues: 
  • Damaged torque converter pump
  • Transfer case failure
  • Faulty shift solenoids
  • Bad gaskets
The underlying cause of most transmission problems is related to bad or low transmission fluid. Just like regular oil changes keep your engine lubricated with the appropriate amount and type of engine oil, annual transmission fluid flushes and routine fluid level checks are essential to preventing Honda transmission failure. 

What year Hondas have the most transmission problems?

While many Honda vehicles are prone to transmission problems, there’s a stark pattern in which model years see the most transmission problems. Below are the most common problem years for the most popular models: 
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2015 Honda CR-V
  • 2001 Honda Civic
  • 2003 Honda Accord
  • 2017 Honda Ridgeline
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Signs your Honda transmission is going bad

Not sure how to identify a failing transmission? In addition to regular transmission fluid checks, keep an eye out for these telltale signs of transmission trouble—especially if your Honda is nearing the 100,000-mile or 200,000-mile mark. 
  • Rough shifting: If your Honda’s reluctant to change gears, there’s likely something wrong with the transmission. 
  • Fluid leaks: Not sure
    what fluid is leaking from your car
    ? If you notice a puddle of slick red fluid underneath your Honda, you’re likely dealing with a transmission fluid leak. 
  • Strange noises in N: If you’re hearing odd noises, especially when the vehicle is in Neutral, it could be a sign of transmission failure. 
  • Burning smell: Like most dire and expensive car problems, transmission failure can produce a distinct burning rubber smell in the cabin. 
  • Grinding or shaking: A transmission that’s not performing correctly generally translates to a rough ride. 
  • Check Engine Light or a Transmission Service Light: The old terror that is the
    Check Engine Light
    can sometimes be a sign of very minor issues, but it’s likely to illuminate if you have a problem with your transmission. 
If you suspect a transmission problem, you can use an on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) scanner to check for engine trouble codes. Look out for the
P0730 engine code
, which indicates an incorrect gear ratio, or the
P0846 engine code
, which detects problems with transmission fluid pressure. 

What to do if your Honda transmission fails

If your Honda transmission fails, it’s time to get to an auto repair shop or Honda dealership as soon as possible. The sooner you head to the transmission shop when you notice problems, the better. 
If you already have a mechanic you trust, you can bring the vehicle to them or look for transmission specialists in your area. Independent auto shops often offer great customer service and special deals that can keep costs lower—but a dealership will have specialized technicians with expertise in fixing Honda transmissions. 

How to maintain your Honda transmission

The best way to maintain your Honda’s transmission—and prevent a costly premature failure—is to regularly check and maintain transmission fluid
Common causes of transmission failure include low or contaminated fluid and an overloaded vehicle putting undue strain on the drivetrain. In order to prevent these problems, you should: 
  • Check your transmission fluid periodically, about once a month
  • Use the correct type of transmission fluid as recommended by your Honda’s owner’s manual
  • For automatic transmissions, avoid changing gears while the vehicle is moving
  • Regularly replace the transmission filter
  • Allow your vehicle to warm up before you start driving
  • Get an annual transmission inspection
Regular transmission maintenance can extend the life of your Honda’s transmission and improve performance overall. 

How to check transmission fluid

If you’ve never checked your transmission fluid before, good news: it’s just as easy as checking your engine oil. Note that you should check transmission fluid while the car is running. The best practice is to allow the car to warm up for a few minutes to allow the fluid to expand. After that—
  • Locate the transmission fluid dipstick. It will look similar to the oil dipstick, but it’s usually further back in the engine bay. 
  • Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, then reinsert it and take it out again. 
  • Ensure that fluid reaches the “warm” line on the dipstick. 
  • Add fluid in increments, if necessary, checking the level with the dipstick in between. 
  • Replace the dipstick. 
Your Honda’s transmission fluid should be a clear, dark red color—not unlike really thick, oily Hawaiian Punch. If the fluid on the dipstick looks brown or black, you’re looking at old or contaminated fluid and will need to replace the fluid and the filter. 
Light pink fluid, on the other hand, is very bad news: it indicates that the transmission fluid has been contaminated by either water or coolant, both of which can necessitate a total transmission replacement. 
Keep in mind, not all Hondas (especially newer models) have transmission fluid dipsticks. These cars have what are known as "sealed transmissions." You can check the fluid level on these vehicles by removing an inspection plug located on the side of the transmission case. However, checking and servicing these transmissions is more complex than working on one with a dipstick. And generally, an inexperienced driver is better off taking their car to the professionals for service on these types of transmissions.
MORE: Are Hondas expensive to maintain?

How to save on Honda insurance costs

Regular maintenance can keep your Honda automatic transmission in peak operating condition and reduce repair costs down the line. Another way to reduce Honda ownership costs is to shop for car insurance quotes with
Jerry
As a
licensed insurance broker,
Jerry can find you personalized real-time quotes drawn from a pool of over 55 top-rated insurers. When you find a quote you like, just click on it and Jerry’s team of star insurance agents will handle all the paperwork to get you switched over. 
While a good insurance policy typically doesn’t cover transmission repairs, it can put money back in your pocket to save for future car-related expenses. On average, Jerry users save over $800/year by shopping in the app.
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