And What You Can Do About It
The engine in your smaller truck isn't the only thing that can suffer from overheating. Your transmission can also run that risk. Just like with any other vehicle, it's important that you pay attention to the health of your truck's transmission. Otherwise, you risk a transmission failure.
What Can Cause Your Truck's Transmission to Overheat?
Many things can cause your transmission to overheat.
Failing to Keep Transmission Fluid at Proper Levels
Transmission fluid serves to keep your transmission at its optimal temperature. Your truck requires an adequate amount of transmission fluid at all times. If it's low or leaking, then your transmission components will start to grind and overheat.
Not Changing Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid doesn't remain effective forever. It will become contaminated and ineffective over time. Driving with old transmission fluid causes your transmission to overheat. That, in turn, will deteriorate components of your transmission.
Using the Wrong Transmission Fluid
Not all types of transmission fluids work for all vehicles. You should always make sure you have the right type of transmission fluid in your truck. You should never mix transmission fluids for automatics with transmission fluids for manuals.
Your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website can tell you what type of transmission fluid works best. A professional transmission service and repair rep can help you as well.
The wrong transmission fluid may have different temperature parameters. Your truck's transmission can start overheating because the wrong fluid may not adequately cool it.
Having Poor Driving Habits
Your transmission works in sequences. You shouldn't do any driving that causes the transmission to jump from one state to another by skipping over the intermediate states.
For example, overheating can occur from shifting into reverse before coming to a stop, or repeatedly speeding forward from a complete stop. Erratic driving behaviors will cause overheating and add premature wear to your transmission.
Ignoring the Transmission Temperature Light
The transmission dashboard light means your truck's transmission is operating beyond its optimal temperature. Driving with even a slightly overheating transmission will lower the life span of your truck's transmission. Driving with the transmission temperature light on will only cause your transmission to overheat even more.
Putting Too Much Strain on Your Truck
Many people like to add features and accessories to their smaller trucks to give them added utility. If you're adding kits, towing, snow shovels or anything else to your truck, you need to know if your transmission can handle it.
Adding weight to the truck will cause the truck's transmission to work harder to compensate. It will cause strain and wear on the transmission. All that extra effort will likely cause overheating.
What Can You Do to Prevent Transmission Overheating?
The best way to keep your truck's transmission from overheating is to pay attention to it.
Look Out for Signs of Overheating
Your transmission will let you know there's an issue. As stated, if the dashboard light comes on, don't ignore it. Here's a few other signs.
- Dark brown transmission fluid
- Burnt smell from transmission fluid
- Low levels of transmission fluid
- Transmission slippage
You can check for fluid issues just by looking at the transmission fluid dipstick. Normal driving will help you feel for transmission slippage.
Also, pay attention to your driving. Operating your truck as intended by the manufacturer will help to keep transmission and other problems to a minimum.
Add a Transmission Cooler
If you do plan to add anything extra to your truck, you should consider a transmission cooling system. You can add a transmission cooler to your radiator. It will help to keep the transmission cool even as you give it added duty.
Keep to a Transmission Fluid Change or Flush Schedule
Routinely changing your transmission fluid will keep the levels of contaminated fluid to a minimum. It's a regular part of any professional transmission service. Your truck's manual should tell you how often you should have the fluid changed.
At Huntington Beach Transmissions & Auto Repair, we have the tools and experts to help you with any transmission concern. Call us for your routine transmission maintenance or any transmission repairs. We can answer your transmission questions. Contact us today.