The Cost of Out-of-Warranty Transmission Repair and Replacement

Aside from having an accident, the requirement of a major transmission repair or replacement is about the worst news you can get as a car owner. You can limp along without your car’s heating or air conditioning system for a period of time, but a transmission problem means your vehicle is dead in the water until it gets repaired.

It’s difficult to be specific about the cost of repairing or replacing a transmission because of a vehicle’s many variables, including year, make and model. But regardless, any transmission repair is expensive.

With a major transmission failure, there’s really no inexpensive way out. You’ve essentially got two options: Rebuild the transmission you have or replace it with a new or, most likely, remanufactured transmission.

Either option is nearly identical in price because so much goes into the rebuilding process. For example, say your vehicle suddenly won’t shift into reverse any longer. In some automatic transmissions, that problem can be traced to a crack in the clutch housing, a drum that holds the clutch pack in place.

To determine that problem, a technician would have to remove the transmission, split the case and partially disassemble the inner workings of the transmission. By that point, before any real work has even begun, you’re looking at hours worth of labor at the shop rate. And that’s before the rebuilding process even begins.

When common transmission problems like this arise, the more cost-effective route can be to simply swap out the problematic transmission and replace it with one that’s been factory rebuilt already. That way, the labor cost is kept lower by removing the transmission and replacing it with another one, rather than rebuilding the entire transmission, along with the labor cost to remove and replace it.

Either way, a transmission rebuild or replacement is expensive. A search at reveals that a factory-new transmission for a 2017 Chrysler 300 lists for $5,994. Of course, you can spend less than that on a remanufactured unit, but it will easily cost you in the $3,000 range before you factor in the labor to replace it.

That’s a position you don’t want to find yourself in. There are preventative maintenance steps that you can take to help avoid a major transmission failure. The best advice is to follow the service schedule that appears in your owner’s manual and replace and/or flush the transmission fluid if required. Still, many transmissions in modern vehicles are “lubed for life,” and require no fluid or filter replacement at all.

Beyond that, paying a monthly fee for a factory-backed service contract can be a major cost savings when compared to the four-figure cost of a major transmission repair. A factory-backed service plan will not only help you avoid the expense of a major transmission failure, but it will help you avoid the cost of any component failure, from bumper-to-bumper, and replace those parts with original equipment — straight from your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Why Vehicle Protection Plans Can Bring You Peace of Mind

What’s covered in a vehicle protection plan?

When you purchase a vehicle — whether it’s new, certified pre-owned or used — you’re making both an emotional and a rational decision. Your emotions are telling you how nice it’s going to be to slip behind the wheel of your newly purchased vehicle, and enjoy all of the features that your old car didn’t have. On the rational side, you’re making an investment, hoping to avoid costly maintenance that can add up to huge costs when the years and miles start to rack up the car.

Save money in the future

When you’re making an investment in a new car, why make an even further investment in a vehicle protection plan? Because that additional investment is likely to save you money in the future.

If you went back 25 years ago, cars were essentially similar to what they were in the 1960s and 1970s. They had on-board computers and electronic fuel injection and some had anti-lock brakes, but for the most part, they were relatively unsophisticated and fairly simple to maintain.

Sophisticated Computer Network

Today’s vehicles are an incredibly sophisticated computer network that just happens to have four wheels. Consider just one advance: Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go (ACC+) that’s available on several Chrysler vehicles including the Pacifica minivan: using a network of radar and sensors to monitor the Pacifica and traffic in front of the vehicle, the vehicle can be slowed automatically, maintaining a safe following distance. When traffic begins moving again, the system applies the throttle and follows safely until it reaches a preset speed.

This system requires advanced computing power, a radar system and sensors to operate. If any of it fails and your vehicle is out of its original three-year, 36,000 mile warranty, you’d be on the hook for the cost of replacement.

Peace of Mind

Vehicle protection plans — especially those backed by the manufacturer — extend that peace of mind well beyond the original warranty. With a nominal deductible, a plan like Chrysler Warranty Direct’s Added Care Plus plan can extend your warranty up to eight years and unlimited mileage, and covers more than 800 components. That provides a lot of peace of mind for the major systems at work getting your vehicle down the road.

A step up to a vehicle protection plan like Maximum Care means that you’ve got bumper-to-bumper care, stretching all the way out to eight years and 125,000 miles, covering over 5,000 components: not only the major systems that make the car go, stop and steer, but the sophisticated sensors and networks that made advanced safety features work, too.

When you’re making the decision to purchase a vehicle protection plan, it’s important to understand not only the parts and labor covered, but who is providing the coverage. A service plan backed by the original equipment manufacturer and usable at any one of its thousands of franchised dealers across the country is your ticket to years of reliable service.

Tips for Selecting an Extended Warranty for your Vehicle

6 things to look for in a vehicle service plan

There are a lot of options when choosing a vehicle service plan and it’s important to understand that price is only one consideration. When you invest in protecting your vehicle for the long run, there are specific things that place one service plan over another.

Covered components

The very first consideration when comparing one vehicle service plan over another should be “What does this plan actually cover?” Service plans — even from the same company — may offer different tiers of protection that cover fewer items at a lower price.

In general, a less expensive plan can either have a higher deductible, or can cover fewer items than a full bumper-to-bumper plan. Make sure you understand exactly what a plan covers before you pull the trigger.

Term flexibility

Service plans that offer flexibility in the term of protection can be especially beneficial. Imagine you only plan to keep your new car until it’s six years old. A plan that offers a flexible term, allowing you to protect your vehicle for an additional three years over the original warranty’s three years or 36,000 miles, could be a perfect solution.

Similarly, if you’re planning on keeping your next new car for eight years and you drive 18,000 mile per year, a service plan that adds those years of protection without regard to the amount of miles you pile on can be a significant cost savings over time.

Factory protection

The biggest consideration in a service plan should be whether it’s backed by the original equipment manufacturer. There are any number of third party service plans that may or may not be acceptable at retailers around the country. Service plans that are backed by the manufacturer are acceptable at any of that brand’s dealerships anywhere in the United States, and also use original manufacturer parts to perform any repairs. That’s a major advantage over other service plans.


What if you’ve purchased an eight-year, unlimited mileage service plan and you decide to buy a new car after five years? A plan that offers a transfer of ownership for a nominal paperwork fee is not only protection for the next buyer, but it’s also a selling point if you decide to sell the car privately.

Towing, roadside assistance and rental

Do you pay for a towing and roadside assistance plan with an auto club? If you select the right vehicle service plan, you can save that annual fee because towing and roadside assistance are part of the service plan. If you’ve locked your keys in your car, run out of gas or had a flat tire, the service plan will send help, and if your vehicle needs to be towed, they’ll tow it to the nearest authorized dealership, getting you safely off the road.

It’s also a good idea to select a plan that offers rental assistance. Look for a plan that covers the first day rental allowance, and then provides additional days of rental allowance should your vehicle need to be at the shop for an extended period.

Trip interruption protection

A breakdown on the way to work is bad enough. What if your vehicle breaks down on your vacation? Look for a vehicle service plan that offers trip interruption protection that can pay for up to $1,000 worth of lodging, meals and transportation expenses should your vehicle break down when you’re 100 miles or more from home.

All of these items should be a part of your overall service plan, and can pay for themselves in one mechanical breakdown.

Protecting Your Investment In A Used Vehicle With Extended Warranties

Extended service contracts provide warranty protection well beyond the time of the initial factory powertrain or basic limited warranties provided by the original vehicle manufacturer. Naturally, you have the opportunity to purchase additional protection at the time of vehicle purchase when you buy a new car. But what about protecting a used car?

The answer depends largely on the age and mileage of the vehicle.

Do you have to purchase an extended warranty the day you buy a new car?

Typically, you can purchase an extended service contract for a new car at any point during the original warranty period. If you have a 48-month, 48,000-mile warranty, you’re usually presented with offers for extended service contracts at any point during that time or mileage.

When is the original warranty start date?

The clock starts running on the warranty not when the vehicle is manufactured, or when it’s delivered to a dealer’s lot. The original warranty doesn’t start until the very first owner takes delivery of the car. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to with cars, but occasionally, motorcycles are still sold as “leftovers” a year, two, or even more from the time that the dealership first took them in as inventory. On those vehicles, the original warranty is still in effect, and starts when the first owner takes delivery.

What about certified preowned vehicles?

 Just about every new vehicle manufacturer also operates some kind of certified preowned program, which certifies that vehicles are in exceptional condition. Those vehicles come with a warranty in addition to that offered when the vehicle was sold to the first owner. Depending on the type of extended warranty, it may be purchased during the certified preowned warranty period.

Can used cars be covered?

Rules vary by company, but usually, you can purchase an extended service contract on used cars that are less than 10 years old with less than 125,000 miles. A participating dealer usually needs to complete a vehicle inspection to ensure that the vehicle is eligible for coverage.

Extended service contracts on used cars can be especially beneficial. Modern vehicles are easily capable of hitting 200,000 and even 300,000 mile-marks with basic care and maintenance, but major expenses can crop up at any time. An extended service contract provides a lot of protection for consumers with average mileage used cars, allowing them the confidence to keep those cars longer.

The Smartest Way to Buy an Extended Vehicle Warranty

With so many extended warranty agencies available, it’s easy for buyers to fall into the trap of choosing the wrong plan. And while your vehicle should deliver years of reliable service, it’s important to have protection against the unexpected that keeps you on the road and minimizes costs. You want to do your research and buy through a company that offers a hassle-free claims process, comprehensive coverage and mileage that’s worth it.

At Chrysler Warranty Direct, customers get all that and more. Here’s why an extended vehicle warranty plan through CWD just makes sense.

  1. You can get coverage for the whole family fleet. Chrysler Warranty Direct provides coverage for all Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles, from the family van to the off-road Jeep. But what if your spouse or teenager buys a car from a different brand? Does that mean you have to go through a second warranty agency? The answer is no. Most, but not all, competitive make vehicles are eligible for coverage through CWD.
  2. You’re paying for reputable, trustworthy coverage. Third-party warranty companies can be risky. CWD, however, is completely backed by Chrysler Group, LLC, so you can feel confident that your car is in good hands. Depending on the warranty plan you select, Chrysler will pay for the repairs to your vehicle with no need to deal with a middle man.
  3. There’s a plan available for everyone’s needs. Chrysler Warranty Direct offers several different plans, accommodating a range of budget and coverage needs. Drivers can opt for the basic coverage of the Powertrain Care Plan, or for the 5,000+-component coverage of the Maximum Care Plan to suit their own unique preferences and needs.
  4. Bonus perks help make it worth it. Every time they buckle up and head out for a drive, drivers with CWD coverage can enjoy peace of mind. A full complement of bonus features, including roadside assistance, rental car and interrupted trip coverage, makes recovering from unexpected events easier.

With Chrysler Direct Warranty on your side, you can enjoy peace of mind. When it comes to your family’s safety and the high cost of vehicle repairs, be smart about which extended warranty you buy. For questions about CWD, contact us at 888-352-6103.