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Can you replace a manual transmission to an automatic transmission?

We have a 2003 Honda Civic EX with a manual transmission (5spd). Two of my daughters are close to getting their drivers license, however, they don't drive stick and are hesitant to learn how. My wife is asking me how difficult or expensive it would be to have an automatic transmission placed in the car so they can use it.
<br/> The car is in excellent shape. It only has 67,000 miles. Is this feasible? Why or why not? If it is feasible who could do it?


  • edited February 2011
    It would be cheaper to buy a new Honda with an automatic than to pay the price of parts and labor to make such a change.
  • edited February 2011
    I agree with Rod. It's cheaper to go with another Honda that's an automatic. This was a common swap many years ago but those days have long past.
  • edited February 2011
    No, you can't replace the transmission. If you want or need an automatic you'll have to trade the car for one with an automatic.

    Personally, I'd teach them to drive stick. It's a life skill worth learning, even if they never use it again.

    My daughter occasionally tells me how glad she is that she learned to drive stick because so many of her friends, both male and female, cannot. She loves showing up the guys.
  • edited February 2011

    It is not a simple matter of exchanging just the transmissions. You must also replace the car's driving computer and possibly some other accessories as well.

    Teach them how to drive a manual car. Once they get the hang of it, they will love it.

  • edited February 2011
    As others have said. Not cheap. However, I feel like being able to drive stick is an important skill, so I would encourage you to at least visit this skill in their driver training. It will allow them to drive any car in an emergency, and they may be able to get a great deal on a used car because all the other saps in the world don't drive stick. I dunno my father taught my 2 sisters and i on a stick shift and now all three of us own stick shift cars.
  • edited February 2011
    Doing a swap like this is sort of like performing a sex change operation. It is possible, but you need to find a professional who has done this before and will need another donor car for the necessary parts, like transmission, radiator, console, shifter, pedal brackets, etc. This procedure will also be extremely expensive, probably more than the car is worth.

    I think you should keep the car the way it is and teach your daughters to drive a manual. It's not hard to learn, or to teach, and will give them a leg up on life. They will have a skill few of their peers, or adults for that matter, have, and they will be able to drive most anything out there. My father insisted that I, as well as my younger siblings, all learn to drive stick before any of us got our driver's licenses. My father has done construction work and says it's pretty pathetic to see construction workers running around, needing a truck moved, trying to find someone who can drive a stick so this truck can be moved out of the way. Let's not continue this trend. Your daughters will thank you some day.
  • edited February 2011
    It's possible, if you had a "donor" car, a shop willing to do it, and the cost to replace the transaxle, cv shafts, mounts, possibly subframe, shifter and cables, interior console, electronics, and probably a few other things I can't think of right now would easily run several thousand dollars.

    Sounds like a good project for a TV show.
  • edited February 2011
    It'such cheaper and more feasible to have your daughters learn how th shift gears. If that is out of the question, there is always public trnasportation.

    A friend of mine lived in a large city, and his kids took the "BMW" ; Bus, Metro, Walk.
  • edited February 2011
    Unless this is just a theoretical question, I don't know why you are even considering this - teach them how to drive shift.
  • edited February 2011
    I have two female friends, both around 50 that grew up in homes where there was no vehicle. Both taught themselves how to drive manual shift cars and both still drive manual shift cars. One of the women had to buy a car when she did student teaching. She bought a Renault LeCar from her neighbor. She taught herself how to drive the car in less than a day. Her stories about the LeCar and its problems are hilarious. When she did land a job, she traded the LeCar for a Honda Civic with a manual transmission and she has had manual transmission Hondas since that time. She commutes about 40 minutes each way to work in heavy traffic, but gets along just fine. The other woman didn't start driving until she graduated from college. She taught herself to drive a standard shift and last I knew still drives a standard shift.

    My son had stayed away from manual shift cars. However, he married a woman who brought a 5speed manual Ford Mustang to the marriage. She then developed back problems and is uncomfortable driving the Mustang. My son figured out the manual right away and drives it as if he had been driving manual transmissions all his life. At one time, he bought a manual transmission pick up truck. Back in the late 1950's when I started driving, the cars that were owned by parents of some of my friends were automatics, so that is all some of my friends had ever driven. However, a couple of them bought Volkswagens for their first cars and had no trouble learning to shift. I haven't owned a manual transmission since 1975, since the used cars I found had automatics and the new minivans I have purchased were only available with automatic transmissions. Given a choice, I still prefer a manual transmission.

    The point is that your daughters can learn the manual transmission and may even prefer driving one.
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