Used Semi Truck Transmissions vs. Rebuilt Semi Truck Transmissions

Used Versus Rebuilt Transmission

Why do some drivers prefer a used transmission or a rebuilt one compared to a new one?  Your truck is your business —and your livelihood. When something goes awry, it’s costing you money from two different angles: making the repair and waiting for that repair to be finished.

It’s no wonder why so many drivers and trucking companies are looking for the most economical yet reliable ways to repair their trucks.  This is especially true when it comes to the notoriously pricey transmission. Cost is particularly critical.  An automatic could run you up to $5,000 more than a manual.


That’s why so many truckers prefer either a used or rebuilt transmission.  The question is, between those two economical options of used semi-truck transmissions vs. rebuilt, which one is better?

Choosing Between Used Semi Truck Transmissions vs. Rebuilt Semi Truck Transmissions

Before you take the lowest-cost tranny you can find, it’s important to know what you’re getting.  It’s important to understand how it will impact your truck in the short and long term. Start by comparing these benefits of used and rebuilt.

Pro for Used: Lower Cost

Compared to rebuilt, used transmissions will cost less upfront. This is generally because they don’t go through so much processing.  They also have few if any parts replaced compared to rebuilt transmissions.

Pro for Used: Accessibility

If you’re in a hurry to replace your unit, you might be better off with a used transmission. In most cases, you’re more likely to find a used transmission that’s available and ready to install compared to a rebuilt. This isn’t always the case, though, so check out all of your options first.

Pro for Rebuilt: Long-Term Savings

While used transmissions cost less upfront, rebuilt transmissions will typically last longer. If you can afford the initial cost, rebuilt models actually cost less in the long run because of that extended lifespan.  Many rebuilt also come with options for service agreements and a warranty.

Pro for Rebuilt: Overall Quality

While every transmission can vary, rebuilt will generally have higher overall quality.  This is because they’ve been more thoroughly inspected, repaired, and updated. This leads to more reliability for years ahead.

The Verdict: Is a Used or Rebuilt Transmission Better?

When it comes down to the comparison between used vs. rebuilt, the winner depends on your priorities. A used transmission is the quickest and lowest-cost way to get back on the road quickly. A rebuilt model, on the other hand, will be the stronger investment down the line.


Regardless of which route you take, quality should be your top concern. Both a used and a rebuilt tranny must be thoroughly inspected and restored by a knowledgeable and trusted professional.  To find the right fit for your semi truck, use our truck parts locator and explore your options.

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