Used Transmissions vs. Rebuilt Transmissions

Used Transmission vs. Rebuilt Transmission: Making the Right Choice for Your Equipment

Improper transmission functioning can interfere with project timelines, pose safety concerns and lead to costly downtime. Replacing the transmission with a brand-new unit is not always financially feasible or necessary. Used and rebuilt transmissions allow you to get the performance you need while saving costs. 

We are comparing the key differences between used vs. rebuilt transmissions to help you determine which option is right for your equipment.

What’s the Difference Between Used Transmissions and Rebuilt Transmissions?

When your heavy equipment’s transmission is not performing at its best, it may be time to replace it. You have a few options here, including:

  • Purchasing a brand-new transmission.
  • Buying a used transmission.
  • Rebuilding the transmission with updated parts.

A used transmission is sourced from another piece of heavy equipment. A professional will salvage the unit and perform extensive inspections to ensure it is in good condition. Then, they will install the used unit into your heavy equipment so you can get back to work.

Rebuilding your transmission involves removing the unit from your equipment, inspecting its parts and replacing any that are overly worn or broken. Once the transmission has updated components, an expert will reinstall it, and it should work like new.

4 Signs of Transmission Failure

The following are some telltale signs that your heavy equipment’s transmission needs an update:

  1. Burning smell: If your transmission is producing a burning or unpleasant smell, the unit is likely overheating due to low fluid levels. There may be a leak that requires attention.
  2. Fluid leaks: Consistently low transmission fluid often indicates that there is a leak and the unit needs maintenance. Low fluid levels can be detrimental to your component, so you’ll need to tend to this issue promptly.
  3. Unusual sounds: Listen closely when powering up your equipment. Strange noises can be a sign that your lubricating fluid levels are low or a component is malfunctioning.
  4. Unresponsiveness: If you experience trouble shifting gears or they suddenly shift on their own, your transmission fluid is likely low, too thick or dirty.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or Rebuilt Transmission?

If your heavy equipment’s transmission is failing, you have an important decision to make. Should you purchase a used transmission or have a professional rebuild your current unit? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Both options come with their own set of pros and cons.

Used vs Rebuilt Transmission

Buying a Used Transmission

The following are key advantages of opting for a used transmission for your equipment:

  • Low upfront costs: A major perk of buying a used transmission is saving money. They can be as much as half the price of a brand-new unit and help you get your equipment up and running quickly.
  • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications: You can often find used transmissions from the OEM of your machine. These transmissions will align with the specifications of the original transmission and offer greater reliability.
  • Great for short-term needs: A used transmission is a great solution for meeting your short-term equipment needs. If you need to complete a current or upcoming project, used options can help you get back to work as soon as you install the replacement.
  • Quality inspections: Many used parts sellers perform extensive quality inspections to ensure the transmission is in good working condition and will perform as expected.

Along with all the benefits of purchasing a used transmission, there are a few downsides, as well. Explore these disadvantages of installing a used transmission into your heavy equipment:

  • Less predictable: When you opt for a used option, you may not have access to its maintenance and repair history.
  • Pay for unit and labor: If you do not have a skilled technician on your team, you will need to pay for both the used unit and the labor to install it.
  • Temporary solution: A used transmission is best suited as a temporary solution to get your equipment up and running. These options often have many operating hours before you buy them.

Rebuilding a Transmission

In comparison to the points above, the following are some of the benefits of rebuilding a transmission for your heavy equipment:

  • Cost-effective: When you opt to rebuild your transmission rather than replace it, you can save significant costs. You’ll pay for only the parts needed to get the transmission working instead of the entire unit.
  • Warranty: Some service providers offer a warranty on rebuilt transmissions. If problems arise with your updated unit, they will cover eligible replacement or repair costs within the predetermined period.
  • More sustainable: By choosing to rebuild your equipment’s transmission rather than replace it with a new option, you are making an environmentally friendly decision and minimizing unnecessary waste.
  • Save time: Another perk of rebuilding your transmission is saving time. In some cases, finding a replacement transmission for your equipment can take weeks, especially if your equipment is older. Rebuilding allows you to promptly fix the unit and return to operation.

Despite all the benefits of rebuilding your equipment’s transmission, there are a few disadvantages of this option, as well. Explore the following cons of utilizing a rebuilt transmission:

  • Uneven wear: When a technician rebuilds your unit, they incorporate replacement parts for various components. Since your rebuilt transmission is made up of original and new parts, they will wear at different speeds.
  • Different wait times: If your transmission requires many components, some may not be as readily available as others. This could potentially lead to different wait times and make your rebuild take longer to complete.
  • Cost: Despite being more cost-effective than replacing your transmission, a rebuild will typically be more expensive than traditional repair services.

No matter which option you choose, the following four tips can help you get the most out of your upgraded transmission:

  1. Inspect your equipment regularly.
  2. Perform routine preventive maintenance.
  3. Promptly address repair needs.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s operational guidelines.
Find a Rebuilt and Used Transmission From Mustang Cat

Find a Rebuilt and Used Transmission From Mustang Cat

If you want a rebuilt or used transmission, turn to Mustang Cat. We offer a wide selection of readily available used power equipment and certified machine component rebuild services in Southeast Texas. Our experts are here to help you discover the best option for your specific piece of equipment.

Ready to get started? Find a Mustang Cat location near you or speak with a representative today.