Automotive Column 53 Heavy Towing
Syndicated Newspaper Column
If you are towing make sure you know the recommended maximum weight for your vehicle and never exceed it. Your vehicle may have a strong enough engine to do the job but overloading will also tax many other parts you may not even be aware of and can lead to a dangerous failure.
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Dear Motor Medics,
I’ve been a longtime fan and have used your advice to keep my vehicles in top shape for many years. I try to follow all of the severe service intervals listed in my owner’s manual as you suggest but I feel I may be overworking the severe service times listed. I tow a heavy trailer every weekend in the summer and several times in the winter as well. My tow vehicle is a 2000 Chevy Silverado 4x4 half ton with 190,000 and I’m concerned about the differential fluids. How often should they be changed with the added towing load?
Devin in Wray Colorado
Following the severe service intervals is a great place to start if you are concerned about longevity of vehicle components. There are some cases such as yours where we would recommend even more frequent changing of some fluids or at least checking their condition more often. The rear differential is going to be immersed in the water every time you back the vehicle in and because of this reason you need to check it more often for water intrusion which can damage the rear end. Front differentials don’t get used as much under load when not in 4 wheel drive but can also be subject to moisture intrusion. When used in water such as your case we would recommend checking the condition of both the differentials at each oil change which should only take a couple minutes.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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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. In order to make an accurate diagnosis a qualified technician should make a hands-on diagnosis. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.