Besides the engine, your truck's transmission is the most vital and costly component. It is what transfers the engine's power to the wheels, and it is pretty complicated. If your transmission needs repair, it can cost anywhere from $300 to $1400, depending on the extent of repairs, while outright replacement can run between $1500 to $3000. This makes it imperative to take every precaution to protect your gearbox & transmission if you want to keep your truck in working order for as long as feasible.
Do you want to know how to maintain your truck in top condition? Here are our top five suggestions for maintaining your gearbox.
1. Consistently Check Your Transmission Fluid
Like most of your truck’s components that use moving parts and therefore generate friction, your transmission relies on transmission fluid or gear oil (depending on the type of transmission your truck uses) to lubricate the component’s moving parts and help keep things cool. Though transmission fluid can typically lasts between 30 to 60,000 miles if using an automatic transmission or 60 to 100,000 miles if it’s a manual one, over time, it will begin to break down and lose its lubrication abilities, along with becoming contaminated by debris.
However, it’s pretty easy to check the condition and level of your transmission fluid or gear oil. Simply find the transmission fluid or gear oil receptacle beneath the hood; if you’re having trouble finding it, the truck’s owner’s manual will have the location. Once found, pull out and remove the dipstick while your truck is idle. The level of fluid coating on the dipstick will indicate the level within the receptacle, while your owner’s manual can tell you what level the coating should be on the dipstick if you’re unsure.
The fluid in question should be a crimson or light red color with a faintly pleasant odor.
Once done, the dipstick should be wiped down, reinserted, and pulled out after a short period. A clear, brilliant crimson liquid with a faintly pleasant odor should be seen. Replace any transmission fluid that appears cloudy or dark or smells "rotten." To replace your truck's fluid, see a transmission repair professional immediately.
2. Follow The "Severe Use" Replacement Schedule to Prevent Heat Damage
Most wear and tear on transmissions are caused by heat transfer from the used transmission fluid. You should check your transmission fluid more often if you drive in harsh circumstances. Standard definitions of extreme circumstances include:
- Driving aggressively in a crowded city
- Driving often in conditions of 33c or higher (50% or more of the time)
- Frequently pulling trucks and big trucks go
- Consider getting fluid and filter replacements every 30,000 kilometers if your driving style fits these criteria.
3. Maintain the Cooling System in Your Engine
Your cooling system and radiator probably already keep your engine from overheating. But did you know that your cooling system also cools the transmission fluid that circulates through your gearbox?
You must refrain from overheating your gearbox since it is sensitive. To protect your engine and gearbox, ensure you have adequate coolant and that your cooling system is functioning correctly.
4. Don’t Shift Gears Arbitrarily (And Use That Parking Brake)
Your truck's transmission is relatively fragile. If you make inappropriate gear changes, such as mistakenly shifting into reverse while driving or putting your truck in park before it has completely stopped, the gearbox might be harmed.
These sorts of actions over time may cause your transmission to experience more wear and tear, eventually resulting in a mechanical breakdown. Never put your truck in park or reverse while still moving; always wait until it has stopped.
Additionally, if you are parked on an elevation of any type, you must apply your parking brake. When parked on an inclined surface, most automatic transmission trucks include a "pawl" (a pin) to keep them from rolling backward. However, this pin is not very strong, and if you do not use your parking brake, it might get worn and fail. Therefore, always use the parking brake when the road is inclined. It will save a lot of wear and tear on your transmission!
5. Make a Yearly Inspection and Transmission Check Investment
A pound of cure is worth an ounce of prevention. Every year, you should take your truck to a trustworthy truck repair shop for a thorough checkup, including a gearbox check. Regular inspections enable you to identify any possible transmission issues early, saving you money and ensuring the health of your truck.
Follow these tips, and you can provide maximum protection to the transmission of your heavy-duty truck. This will eventually help you keep the truck on the road without giving you any issues.