The 3 Easiest Ways To Ruin Your Truck’s Transmission
If you’ve ever worked at an auto-repair shop, you know that the guy that fixes transmissions is always busy. He’s got more work than just about anyone in the shop, with maybe the lube tech (the guy that changes oil) being the only exception. To us, this is a mystery. If you use common sense, follow your manufacturer’s suggested maintenance, and avoid scenarios that cause damage, your transmission should last as long as any part on your truck. But, like we said, the transmission guy is always busy…here’s why:
1) Towing Too Much or Towing Too Fast
This is really the same problem — by towing too much weight or driving too fast while you tow, your transmission starts to get hot. As we all know, when things get hot, they break. In fact, your transmission can get so hot it can actually blow out one of the many seals or gaskets and start leaking lubricant. Obviously, this is bad. Make sure you check your owner’s manual so you know how much you can safely tow and how fast you should be going while towing. Also, if you tow often, consider adding a transmission temperature gauge to your truck. FACT: Many manufacturer’s suggested towing speed limit is 55mph.
2) Never Changing Your Transmission Fluid
This one is so obvious that we shouldn’t have to mention it, but, like we said, the transmission guy is always busy. Having your transmission fluid flushed is a part of normal maintenance for most vehicles. It’s just as important as changing your engine oil. In fact, if you tow often, you should follow the manufacturer’s “severe duty” schedule and change your transmission fluid more often than normal. If you have one of those fancy sealed units, than you can go ahead and ignore this one, but technically even the fluid in those needs to be changed (just not for a long, long time).
BTW, we used to call the transmission guy the “tranny guy“, but that term has an unintended meaning we were recently made aware of.
3) Street Racing
Ever see “The Fast and The Furious”? When that movie came out, a mechanic friend of ours that worked on imports ordered a new swimming pool because he just knew he was going to be busy fixing broken engines, transmissions, etc. The fact is that racing your truck, whether from a stoplight or at the drag strip, is hard on all the components. Your transmission is made for smooth, easy gear shifts, not shifts made in the blink of an eye at full throttle. We know – we know, your truck is fast. It’s understandable that your foot sometimes gets the best of you, but if you really want the transmission to last, avoid temptation. Besides, isn’t that what your wife’s (or husband’s) car is for?
Filed Under: Maintenance Tips