How to Learn Basic Transmission Rebuilding

by Neal Litherland

The transmission is one of the most complicated mechanical systems in your car. Between the mechanical shifting, electrical systems, hydraulic systems and the variety of different components that have to work together, it's easy to see why the transmission is so complex. If you want to learn how to build or rebuild a transmission, manual or automatic, there are a few different things you should do.

Step 1

Read up on transmissions. You need to understand how they work, how the parts all interact and how the physics of these mechanisms create the shifting necessary for your vehicle. This is the book-learning half, and manuals on cars and transmissions along with explanations of how to repair them will be helpful in bringing you up to speed.

Step 2

Practice what you learn by working on transmissions and taking old ones apart. You need to understand not just the theory behind these machines but you need to handle them and be able to understand how they're assembled in order to rebuild one from the ground up.

Step 3

Go through an official training program. While you can learn a great deal by reading and doing, technical colleges offer degrees such as an associate's degree in automotive technology, and there may be other opportunities through vocational programs in your area. The benefit is that you'll have more experience and you'll have access to instruction from professionals who can point out things that might not be listed in books that would fall under the catch all category of "tricks of the trade." Once you've been trained by others who know how to repair and rebuild transmissions, you should be ready to do it on your own.

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