Transmission rebuilds are probably one of the most expensive services you offer. Most rebuild shops charge a few thousand dollars for a full transmission rebuild, and for good reason: not only are the jobs labor-intensive and increasing in difficulty as technology evolves, but replacement parts aren't cheap either. But when you choose the rebuild kit you're going to order, do you know what you're really paying for?
Rebuild kits vary by provider as to what's included inside them, but there's one package you can be sure of: the overhaul kit containing all the soft parts needed for rebuild. While the overhaul kit might be one of the smaller components, its effect on the price of the kit as a whole actually makes a big difference to your business.
In this post, we'll discuss what a quality overhaul kit should cost and why asking for a good one is definitely worth the investment.
Rebuild and Overhaul Kit Cost Breakdown
Rebuild kits (which include the overhaul soft parts kit as well as hard parts like clutches, filters, and steels) can range in price depending on several factors including contents, brand, and quality. Typically, you can expect to pay between $50-$500 for the full rebuild kit. Some are even edging up to the $1000 mark when electric components are involved. So how does upgrading the overhaul kit factor into your total rebuild costs?
You can expect the price of a high quality overhaul kit to be approximately 10%-25% higher than the price of a cheaper overhaul kit. While that might sound like quite a jump, here's what you need to know: choosing a higher quality overhaul kit would also only increase the overall total cost of repairing a transmission by 3%-9%. Using a higher quality kit won't increase your labor costs, and having a better sealing package to start with is likely to save you the time it would have taken to locate missing or incorrect parts with a cheaper overhaul kit.
However, while choosing a rebuild kit with a higher quality overhaul package will increase your overall repair costs by a relatively small percentage, there's a critical reason why taking on that investment means a lot more to your business in the long run.
Why a Quality Overhaul Kit is Worth Your Investment
Choosing a rebuild kit that includes a complete, quality overhaul kit can increase the price you'll pay for the parts you need. Perhaps that also affects the price you'll need to charge your customer. However, a general rule rings true when it comes to auto parts: you tend to get what you pay for. A cheap overhaul kit that reduces the price of the overall rebuild kit will not provide the same results as a better, more dependable package.
A better quality overhaul kit equals huge benefits in every rebuild job you take on: more durable and dependable OE soft parts, accurate components that fit the specific application, better materials that have been tried and tested to succeed, and more. Cheaper kits likely contain aftermarket knockoffs that aren't up to par with true, quality replacements.
In the end, your investment in a rebuild kit that contains quality seals from a great manufacturer provides results that will support your business in the long term. When installed properly, better seals will lead to fewer comebacks that take up unpaid time in your shop, fewer warranty claims, and more satisfied customers back on the road. The risks of using an inferior overhaul kit can't stack up to the benefits of ensuring your rebuild kit is the best quality on the market.