CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Replace the transmission or trade?

My 2005 Lexus SUV has 150K miles and needs a new transmission. Almost all the miles were highway and I use synthetic oil and change it faithfully. Everything else about this car is great - today. Should I spend the $2500 or get rid of it?

It is going to cost you $2500 no mater what you do. No one is going to buy it with a bad transmission unless you reduce the selling price.

If you like the car, it is gong to be easier and cheaper to fix what you have.

My vote is for fixing it. A 150k miles is not really that much and if you buy something else you will not only take an interest hit on the payments but would be buying a pig in a poke if the next car is a used one.
Maybe a used one that the transmission is about to go South on.

Also, just to throw this out there, you stated you use synthetic oil. I assume that is for the engine. How often did you change the transmission fluid? Most transmission guys here recommend changing the fluid every 30,000 miles. Most manufacturers call for fluid changes every 60,000 to 100,000, depending on who makes them. A lot of dealers say the fluid is ‘lifetime’, which even the manufacturers call BS. Just something to think about for the next 150,000 miles.

Fix it whether you trade in or keep.

You will significantly more than $2500 in the trade in with a broken transmission and unless not readily apparent.

A 2005 Lexus despite 150k has a decent value still.

Yes, I am one of those dolts that takes my car to the DEALER every 30,000 miles so that is part of the major service