If a transmission seems to be failing, is that it for a car (I’m on a budget, the car was free)? Is it fixable in a somewhat cheap way? How much would a new (or used and still functioning) transmission cost for my 1997 Buick LeSabre Ltd? Also, would having the transmission fluid and filter changed help? It was last done at 60,000 miles, and it has 176,000 on it now.
Speaking from recent experience ('93 Ford Ranger, 5-speed manual, 162K miles), clutch had been slipping for awhile. Took it in to the shop, diagnosed needing a new clutch & transmission. $2,000.00! Hope it’s just your clutch, (nearer to $1,000).
This is an automatic tranny? 116,000 miles without any service on it? Oooh. It’s probably toast and you’re looking at a complete rebuild or a replacement rebuilt unit. I can’t give any definite cost, but my guess would be well over $1,000. Maybe twice that? It pays to do the required regular service!
Well changing transmission fluid is good. It is possible that bad fluid can cause problems in the way it works. However the big reason for changing fluid is to prevent problems. Yours has gone a long way without a change.
From the information you have provided it is not possible to say if it will help. Make model and year of car along with a good description of all the problems related with it. Then maybe someone (transman where are you?) can provide some insight on what might be needed.
Once you have the cost then you need to take into consideration the condition of the rest of the car and how much you like or hate it.
Its never the end, just a question of whether you want to spend the money. A rebuild will be upwards of $2000 depending on what parts are bad. Have it looked at by an ATRA member shop for sure. I had my Buick done at about 375,000 because I didn’t trust it and the fluid was dark. When the guys took it apart they said the clutches were actually still OK. 375K on the original trans so yours might not be toast but get it looked at if it slips.