At S&S Tire, we always advocate that our customers adopt proactive tire, truck, and fleet maintenance and inspection programs. This is especially important given the wear and tear that heavy-duty trucks endure over their lifetime. Loading, unloading, and hauling freight in different terrains, environments, and weather conditions eventually takes its toll. Failure to adopt these preventative maintenance programs can lead to extended downtime and high repair costs.
Outside of engine issues, few problems are as concerning to our heavy-duty truck customers as transmission problems. The transmission converts the power from your truck’s engine through the drive shaft to the wheels. Transmission problems can sideline your truck for days, and sometimes weeks, while costing a significant amount of money to repair and refurbish.
So, what are the most common signs that something is amiss with your transmission? Read on.
1. Transmission Fluid Issues
Transmission fluid leaks can be relatively easy to spot. If you notice brown or red fluid under your parked truck, then a leak is more than likely. Most causes are relatively mundane. A ripped, torn, or pinched hose, transmission line, or damaged oil pan gasket can easily be rectified. However, a transmission fluid leak could point to a more severe problem.
Periodically inspecting your transmission fluid ensures everything is operating as it should. A noxious or burning smell would also indicate a potentially serious problem. This can occur if the transmission fluid is too low or the wrong fluid is used. In either scenario, have it inspected immediately before it becomes something more serious.
2. Gear Issues
If you notice a problem when trying to shift gears, repeatedly hear a grinding or whining noise when shifting, or feel extra tension and resistance, then it could point to a serious transmission problem. Shaking and excessive vibration when shifting gears are also signs that something could be wrong.
Slipping gears is also a concern. This occurs when you shift into gear, and it shifts out of that gear on its own. Potential causes can include a damaged or failed torque converter, worn-out clutch, damaged clutch plate, a broken or fractured transmission band, or old or low transmission fluid. Regardless of the potential cause, it’s vitally important to get this checked before it becomes a more serious and much more expensive problem.
3. Loud Noises
Under ideal circumstances, your truck’s operation should be relatively smooth and quiet. Granted, older trucks never sound as good as newer ones. However, loud clanking, banging, or other strange noises might indicate something wrong with your transmission.
Again, a damaged or failed torque converter may be the cause, but other more mundane reasons, like a clogged or obstructed transmission line, could be at fault. Anything that inhibits the proper lubrication of your transmission can cause serious issues. With proper lubrication, excessive friction can scratch, damage, and fracture mating parts and lead to a much larger problem.
4. Warning Lights on Dashboard
More often than not, the warning lights on your truck’s dashboard will often be the first – and only sign – you’ll need to know something is wrong. Today’s trucks and their systems are managed by state-of-the-art computers, which are commonly referred to as electronic control units (ECU). These ECUs have been optimized, trialed, and tested long before you purchase the truck.
ECUs manage all the truck’s electronic and diagnostic systems, and they provide early and immediate warning signs of potential issues. These warnings might include an oil pressure warning, traction control warning, a check engine light, battery warning, coolant warning, or tire pressure warning. If any of these warnings appear, it’s critical to schedule an inspection to ensure the problem is addressed immediately.
S&S Tire / Best One: A Full-Service Partner
S&S Tire has extensive experience dealing with time-critical truck and tire issues and repairs. Our 24/7 emergency roadside assistance is combined with other services like tire retreading, truck alignment, tire and wheel balancing, and commercial fleet management to ensure our customers get a full-service solution. These services are combined with TIA-certified trainers to give our customers the highest quality service.
If you want to learn more about S&S Tire and our services, contact us now.