We hope you find this information helpful!

If you need help with your personal injury case, click here.

Can Being Rear-Ended Damage the Transmission?

If you drive an all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive vehicle and were rear-ended in a collision, the impact can cause damage to the vehicle's transmission. Usually, a front-wheel drive vehicle will not suffer transmission damage.

In rear-wheel drive vehicles and all-wheel drive vehicles, the transmission is located toward the back of the vehicle where the impact took place. Following such a crash, you should have a mechanic examine your vehicle's transmission and make sure there are no leaks or signs of damage from the impact of the crash.

Signs of Transmission Damage After a Rear-End Collision

There are some tell-tale signs of transmission damage after a rear-end collision. If you notice any of these problems with your vehicle after it has been rear-ended, you have cause for concern and need to get it checked right away.

Can Being Rear-Ended Damage the Transmission?

Can Being Rear-Ended Cause Transmission Problems?

Unfortunately, rear-ended at a red light collisions have a high probability of causing transmission problems. While an auto body repair shop will fix the body damage, they might not notice the car transmission problems, so be sure you point out any problems that you notice or suspect.

Car transmission problems is even worse for rear or all wheel drive cars. BMW's, Audi's and other high-end luxury cars are especially prone to this problem. The transmission for rear-wheel drive cars is located in the back of the car, so it makes sense as to why it would take more damage than other vehicles.

  • Transmission Slipping - If the transmission starts slipping after an accident, there could be damage to your vehicle's transaxle and you need to get it checked by a mechanic right away. If your transmission starts slipping, your vehicle might have problems accelerating.

    As you push on the gas pedal, your vehicle might struggle to get in gear and gain the desired speed. When you are trying to get through an intersection, merge on the freeway, or make your way up an incline, this is a major problem. Your car might make it to the desired speed but take longer than you like for it to.

  • Difficulty Shifting - If your car is having problems shifting gears or it seems to shift to the wrong gear or if you hear loud, clunking sounds when you are trying to shift gears, you have a problem. The impact can knock parts loose in your transmission and cause them to rattle around inside.

    If you continue to drive your vehicle, the problem can worsen and more damage can result. Broken pieces of metal can fall into your coolant and get pushed through your cooling system, causing even worse problems.

  • Leaking Transmission Fluid - Your transmission might get cracked in the crash. If you notice an active leak from your transmission, get it checked right away. A leaking transmission will lead to worse problems and the longer you wait, the more expensive the repairs might end up costing.

Other signs of transmission damage might include:

  • A dragging clutch
  • Low transmission fluid levels
  • A burning smell
  • Shaking or grinding
  • Whining
  • Noise in neutral
  • A check engine light

If you notice these problems, get your vehicle checked by a mechanic.

How Much Does Transmission Damage Cost?

If your car has been rear ended in an accident there could be damage done to your vehicle’s transmission. This is the sort of damage you do not want to know about as it can be expensive to repair. In some cases a whole new transmission may be required.

One of the commonest problems that occur with a transmission is low fluid level. This is caused by a transmission leak and may be considered serious, because typically transmissions are sealed units.

Common reasons for leaks are breakage in the pan gasket, fluid seepage or a seal leak in the axle. To repair a leak in a transmission the cost could be anything from $150 to $200. Sometimes only the shift or pressure control solenoids need replacing. The cost for this can range from $300 to $850.

If you are experiencing problems with changing gears, you may need to replace the transmission fluid. This tends to cost about $100. If the transmission has been so badly damaged in the rear end accident a complete rebuild of the transmission may be the only option.

This starts to get expensive with costs ranging from $2,800 to $3,800. If a complete replacement is suggested this could reach a cost of from $4,000 to $8,000.

Factors That Affect Transmission Damage Cost

It depends on the model of car. Domestic U.S. cars like GM, Ford or Jeep usually cost less to repair than imported cars, like Mercedes and Audi. The extent of the damage must be factored into the repair cost. What the car has been through can also affect the price, as newer cars that have been well maintained will cost less than those that have been through tough times.

The age of the car factors into this too. The older the car is, the harder it is to find parts for it and the transmission replacement parts are often more expensive than newer model vehicles. If the car has a manual transmission it does not cost as much to repair or replace as a vehicle with an automatic transmission.

Factors That Determine That Your Transmission May Have Been Damaged In a Rear End Accident:

  • Transmission slipping from one gear to another or slipping into neutral;
  • Unusual clunking, grinding and humming noises commonly heard when in neutral;
  • Fluid smells as though it is burned
  • Clutch appears to be dragging and the clutch stays engaged and makes grinding noises when attempting to shift
  • Thumping or grinding in gear changes and not the expected smooth transitions
  • Lag between gear changes and RPMs are higher than normal for a certain gear change or speed

Choose your repairer carefully as some repair shops set their prices according to where they are located and their reputation. Once you have had your transmission repaired or replaced you should remember to keep any invoices you have paid as these can be included in your damages claim filed against the driver who rear ended your vehicle. These should be paid by the negligent driver’s insurer.

Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been in a rear-end collision, you have suffered damages. You should consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you file a claim to recoup compensation for the damages that you suffered from the crash. Schedule your free case evaluation with an auto accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources

Do You Need Help Getting Justice In Your State?

Find out more below.


  • Arkansas    
  • California    
  • Connecticut    
  • Florida    
  • Georgia    
  • Idaho    
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana    
  • Maryland    
  • Massachusetts   
  • Michigan   
  • Missouri    
  • Montana    
  • Nevada    
  • New Hampshire    
  • New Jersey    
  • New Mexico    
  • New York    
  • South Carolina    
  • Texas    
  • Utah    
  • Virginia    
  • West Virginia    
  • Wisconsin    
  • Wyoming