Automotive Column 37 Trans Failure
Syndicated Newspaper Column
When towing or hauling heavy loads it is important to keep an eye on the condition of your fluids. The extra heat will wear fluids faster than vehicle used in a lesser capacity.
CAR QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM
OUR WEEKLY TALK RADIO SHOW
Dear Motor Medics,
My transmission failed while on vacation. The failures not the end of the world, I understand things break but most of the vacation was spent dealing with the truck. I use it to pull my camper and boat together and when it stopped so did the vacation. This 2008 ¾ ton GMC truck has 90,000 miles and I never changed the transmission fluid because when I bought it they said it’s good to 100,000 miles. Is there anything I should’ve done to prevent the failure? They told me I needed a rebuild because it was burnt up.
Terry in Fargo, North Dakota
First, what is the recommended tow rating for the truck? Compare this to what you are towing and if you are exceeding it get a bigger truck or less of a load. Make sure you take into account your fully loaded setup with all fluids and your family included at the time you weigh it. Tow ratings should also not be at 100%, more like 80% to allow for headwinds and such. Over pulling is a number one failure cause but you can still have transmission failures even without towing. We recommend changing the fluid when towing every 30,000 miles or so and observing the condition of the fluid between changes. The fluid in this truck is meant for extended life but some circumstances will reduce that life. Also be sure the transmission cooler is the proper size.
Take care, the Motor Medics
©Nordstrom's® Automotive Inc. 2012 No content of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. You may link back to this site.
Do you have a car question to talk about?
Give the Under The Hood Show a call at
We have fun while we give great free automotive repair advice over the air weekly.
Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind