(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
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.