1. Check transmission fluid regularly and properly. Automatic transmissions require various types of fluid, check owners’ manual for proper fluid types and filling procedures or consult your local transmission specialist.
2. Check transmission fluid after running hot. High heat situations can cause fluid levels to decrease due to burning scenarios. Any low fluid level situation will cause friction which is the main damaging factor in transmissions.
3. Install an external cooler in high stress conditions. If you are towing or plowing you are increasing strain on your transmission. The increased stress will cause higher temperature coefficients which then in turn can damage transmission components. Installing external coolers can aid in prolonging the life of your work vehicle.
4. Change transmission fluid more often in high stress conditions. The above mentioned conditions cause higher temperature coefficients. When these instances occur, the integrity of the fluid breaks down and it loses some of its lubricating qualities (viscosity). When this occurs the fluid heats up faster and lubricates less, leading to higher friction quantities and eventual breakdown of drive train components.
5. Check any malfunctions promptly. Your vehicle is much like yourself. They key to fighting off any ailment is early detection. If you notice something operating out of the norm have it checked out immediately by a service professional.
6. Have the transmission linkage and other adjustments checked periodically. These adjustments should be checked periodically to ensure proper operation. If linkages and other adjustments are out of spec, they can cause improper pneumatic operation and damage. This is especially crucial after any accident as drive line components can be extensively damaged through the shock of an impact.
7. Keep your engine properly tuned. Engines that are not properly cared for can often times display symptoms that may seem like transmission issues.
8. Have other drive train components that may affect transmission function checked regularly. Other elements of the drive line can affect the life span of any transmission. Excessive vibration from bad universal joints or mounting bushings can cause excessive movement that is damaging to the transmission. Other elements including engine management electronics can affect the performance of your transmission.
9. Have your vehicle's cooling system checked twice a year for leaks, proper coolant level and strength. Vehicles with non-external transmission coolers utilize the vehicles radiator for cooling functions. If the antifreeze has deteriorated to the point that its cooling capability has been compromised, not only can it damage engine components, but transmission components as well.
10. Take your vehicle for a complete physical check-up at least once a year. This tip could be key in early detection of less noticeable defects.
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