4 Symptoms of a Bad Transmission Valve Body and Replacement Cost

(Updated on November 4, 2019)

The transmission valve body is the top control area of the transmission. This valve body is responsible for directing hydraulic fluid (or transmission fluid) to various valves so the appropriate clutch can be activated.

After this happens, you are able to shift the gear to whatever one you need for your particular driving situation. The transmission valve body is made up of different types of valves which each serve their own unique purpose.

If something were to go wrong with the transmission valve body, then these valves wouldn’t be able to receive the hydraulic fluid that it needs to function.

Top 4 Bad Transmission Valve Body Symptoms

When you experience a symptom of a bad transmission valve body, it is very noticeable. Chances are that you won’t let it go for too long because it will greatly impact your driving ability and will likely frustrate you while trying to change gears. Below are four common symptoms of a bad transmission valve body.

1) Banging Noises

Do you notice any banging noises as you apply pressure to the brake pedal and slow down? Perhaps you also hear these noises when you put the car in reverse and drive backwards. You may even hear them simply from changing gears. If the answer is yes to any or all of these scenarios, then chances are you have a bad transmission valve body.

2) Gear Shifting Slippage

If you try to change gears with the shifting stick and you notice it slips regularly, then you likely have a problem with the transmission valve body. You should never have a shifting stick which slips if your transmission valve body is fully functional.

3) Cannot Downshift

If the transmission is not able to downshift, then hydraulic fluid must not be entering the transmission valve body properly. Once this happens, the gears cannot be pressurized properly which degrades the performance of the vehicle.

4) Shifting Delays

Do you have problems changing your gear to reverse or drive? Often times, when there’s a transmission valve body that is not working properly, the shifting for your transmission will be greatly delayed. This will cause you to be stuck in neutral.

Transmission Valve Body Replacement Cost

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The cost of replacing a bad transmission valve body will depend on the make and model of your vehicle. However, it is one of the more expensive car part replacements that you will need to make.

On average, a transmission valve body piece will cost you anywhere from $200 to $500. Then you must consider the labor costs which will be quite extensive.

Since replacing a transmission valve body can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to finish, you must figure the hourly rate of a mechanic is between $60 to $100. This means the least you will pay for labor is $120 and the most you will pay is $400.

Therefore, the total average cost of a transmission valve body replacement is between $320 and $900. If you’re just driving an economy car, then expect to shell out around $500 for this replacement job.

Once you realize that you have a bad transmission valve body, the only action that you can take is to replace it. It is recommended that you get a professional auto mechanic to replace the transmission valve body because one tiny mistake could cause more mechanical problems.

Don’t get tempted into doing the labor yourself just to avoid the costs of hiring a mechanic to do it. Their labor costs may seem like a lot but if you mess something up, you could risk messing up your entire transmission. Then it will cost you thousands of dollars to fix that.

15 thoughts on “4 Symptoms of a Bad Transmission Valve Body and Replacement Cost”

  1. My Ford edge 2008 model, if I engage my gear, it will engage but if I accelerate to drive it cannot move, but on R reverse it will go back smoothly, my mechanic have changed body valves and sensor still no way, I changed gear box still no way. What should I do pls.

  2. hello , I have a 2005 saab 9 5 with an automatic trans , and 2.3 turbo engine. had a trans shop in santa Barbara area test drive it for aprox.20 minutes . he came back and told me it needed a valve body , which I suspected, but it would cost $1700.00 OR MORE . I’m probably taking it to someone else because it doesn’t sound right ,especially now after reading your comments and quotes . PLEASE tell me if im getting ripped off , and any other advice I might follow . Thank you for your advice and knowledge!

    Also, it has about 101,500 miles, and does make a thud sound, once its warmed up and when is coming to a stop, or shifting from ,park to reverse or drive occasionally. Stop and go traffic is BRUTAL. Thank you.

  3. Hi
    I have a th400 With a mild shift kit in it. It’s in a 70 chevelle with a built 396 (around 500hp at the wheels) ok now to my problem.
    It up shifts fine but as soon as I lift off the throttle, then get back on it the car is in second gear this happens at different cruising speeds. I can’t feel it drop to second until I hit the gas then the rpm’s start to go up until it shifts back to 3rd and when I let off the throttle the same thing happens and the process starts all over.

    This it what I have done
    Relocate vacuum line from the base of the carb to manifold and replace the modulator. Could it be the valve body or the governor? I have the electronic kick down which is not hooked up.
    Thanks for the feed back.

  4. i have a chysler 300 it has 35000 miles on it ihavent drove the car all winter the car was would not start i got a boost then the car was stuck in neutral so i tow the car to chysler dodge they said it was a valve body and it cost 1800 dollar is that reasonal please let me know. do i need to get a second opinion

  5. I have a e350 Mercerdes Benz my EPS light came on saying inoperative and the check engine light..I can put the car in neutral but not drive or reverse…what could be the problem

    • You have problem with the valve body, if you car is 2007 up the valve body is integrated with the transmission computer and you have a problem ….Mercedes benz NO sell the valve body to individuals, only to shop with a looksmith license and a insurance. So you have to go to a mercedes shop and expect to pay between 1200 and 1500 .

  6. Our 2013 Subaru Legacy’s dashlights (check engine, oil, cruise control… are flashing) It did this last year and I lubricated the gas cap, removed the battery cable and re-attached and it correct the problem. Having same issue, no transmission symptoms but the dealer is telling us it the valve body for $1500. Car drives fine. Any thoughts?

  7. I have read about similar issues with dash lights flashing off and on with Chevy’s and the most common remedy was to clean the ground terminals that go from the negative terminal on the battery to the engine block and car frame.

    Remove the bolts where the ground leads connect to the battery, the engine and the frame and clean the metal area and the terminals thoroughly, then reattach them.

  8. I have a 2015 Tahoe with the 6l80 in it it seems to shift up and down just fine. My issue is when going from 4th to 5th it makes a weird hold and slips or like a hiccup then it goes just fine and shifts out to 6th just fine and rides out fine it only does it on the accelerate and up shift no problems coming back to 5th it does it every time… does this sound like a symptom of the valve body?

  9. I have a 2016 Ram 4×4 pick up and the following went out on the pu . The dash screen lit up , the key froze, the gear selector froze , the battery died, and I had it towed to the dealer who after checking it out found it to be a bad valve body relating to the transmission . To cut short, the cost $3561: And I still will stay with an USA made vehicle.


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