Can You Change a Car from Manual to Automatic?

Naomi O'Colman

Can You Change a Car from Manual to Automatic?

Can You Change a Car from Manual to Automatic?

Can you change a car from manual to automatic? Simply put, you certainly can. There will almost certainly be some cost associated with switching from manual to automatic transmission. Still, the rewards will last for a long time after the conversion – mainly the simplicity it provides drivers behind the wheel and the smoother performance it offers in certain driving conditions.

Converting from Manual to Automatic: Required Items

Converting your car’s transmission from manual to automatic should ideally be done in a workshop. However, if you have the necessary tools and know-how, you can do it yourself in your garage. The following are some of the essential items you may require:

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The following are some of the most essential components and elements you may require:

  • Body of the valve
  • Controller of transmission
  • Lock-up of the torque converter
  • Interior features include a custom center console, twin cup holders, and a smartphone pocket.

It’s vital to keep in mind that the parts needed to convert a manual to an automatic transmission can vary depending on the vehicle’s make and model and the driver’s specific needs.

How to turn a manual machine into an automatic one?

To effectively convert a manual vehicle to an automatic, you’ll need to do the following:

Reorganize the drivetrain

Given the apparent differences between a manual and an automatic transmission vehicle, all that is required is to rearrange the complete drivetrain to suit the functions of an automatic gearbox.

The gearbox must be replaced

In addition to redesigning the complete drivetrain, which includes the transmission, driveshaft, axles, and wheels, you’ll also need to dismantle the existing manual transmission to install the automatic.

This isn’t as simple as it sounds because you’ll have to make certain technical modifications and fixes before installing the new automatic gearbox. Meanwhile, keep in mind that the automatic gearbox must be compatible with your engine set up before you start with this stage.

Other modifications

Aside from powertrain reconfiguration and gearbox change, there are a few other items you’ll need to do before converting your manual transmission to an automatic. If the body and wire harness are not delivering the signal to the new transmission, you may need to replace them with a more compatible model.

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Additionally, you may need to cut a hole in the car’s floor or do anything similar for a column-mounted shift mechanism before installing it.

Before your newly installed automatic transmission can begin to function properly, components such as the pump and torque converter may need to be replaced due to compatibility issues.

Is it Difficult to Make the Transition from Manual to Automatic?

Some mechanics have completed this conversion in as little as 24 hours! However, that isn’t to say that the work is simple. It takes the correct expertise and a thorough understanding of the vehicle you wish to transform into an automobile.

You may take your time if you’re doing it yourself because there’s no rush or pressure until you specify differently. The “gearbox,” the metal casing that houses numerous automotive gears, is the most difficult aspect of changing a manual car to an automatic (car transmission).

The engine powers the gearbox, sending power to the wheels via the automobile transmission. This gearbox guarantees that the wheels receive the proper power to move or operate at the speed you specify. Each gear works at a specified ratio to guarantee that the engine and wheels do not spin at the same pace.

For example, when you accelerate from a stop, the car shifts into a lower gear ratio, resulting in less speed and greater power. On the other hand, the transmission demands a greater gear ratio at higher speeds.

Possible Issues that Need to Be Handled

Yes, there are many issues to overcome before you can successfully convert from manual to automatic transmission.

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Locating the most qualified technician for the task

Converting a manual transmission to an automatic transmission may not be a problem of feasibility but instead of finding an efficient technician, not one like yourself, who is both competent and experienced in the field.

However, even if you find someone who can execute the task, the enormous cost of the conversion process may leave you with no other choice but to sell the car and purchase an automatic vehicle.

If you want to conduct the reconfiguration experiment with an unlicensed mechanic, it is normally done “at the owner’s risk.”

Some automotive parts are non-replaceable

Aside from choosing the correct mechanic for the work, some parts of your car are irreplaceable and may not be readily available on the market if they are tampered with. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a good example of a component that can be tampered with.

Modern automobiles have smaller interiors

Compared to older models, most modern cars on the market have less room. The engine and transmission parts are even housed in a small location, making it nearly impossible to make significant repairs as you might need.

Cost to convert a manual transmission to an automatic one?

The time it takes to complete this change varies greatly based on the parts required and the level of experience required. However, a reasonable price estimate for labor and parts is $1000-$3000.


Manual gearboxes are less expensive to purchase and save you hundreds to thousands of dollars. On the other hand, automatics are more costly but may provide you with more than just a terrific driving experience, making them well worth the investment.