2 Indications That It's Time To Upgrade Your Truck's Transmission

When you're a truck driver, there's always a reluctance to engage in anything that might even slightly interrupt your ability to earn money. After all, the revenue stops coming in at the exact moment that your 18 wheels stop turning.

You can put up with a lot of quirks and minor frustrations with a truck transmission just so long as you're still able to earn with the truck. However, some transmission problems you just cannot ignore because they're indicative of potentially more serious troubles on the horizon:

  1. Grinding gears
  2. Puddles wherever you park

Whenever you notice these two symptoms, you need to have truck transmission inspected by a qualified mechanic ASAP. Continuing to drive after you've noticed these two conditions only ensures that you'll have costly downtime in the near future.

Grinding Gears 

Your truck's transmission is under a tremendous strain anytime it's in motion. Over time, the stress of pulling 40,000 lbs can cause the gears within the transmission to degrade, even crack. You may notice that it has become difficult or impossible to shift into a certain gear or that you hear that awful grinding sound anytime the truck is in that gear.

Alternatively, grinding gears can also be symptomatic of low transmission fluid levels. There isn't enough lubrication for all the moving parts inside the transmission, including the gears. Ideally, your truck's transmission is sealed to prevent leaks, so something is clearly wrong if you're losing transmission fluid.

Puddles Wherever You Park

It's a good idea to inspect underneath your truck every time prior to driving. Doing this gives you a clear indication of any leaks that you may have. If you notice a puddle underneath your truck, try to dab up a little bit of it with your finger.

Transmission fluid can be distinguished from diesel fuel and coolant by its red color. Even if you haven't noticed any other symptoms of low fluid level, the presence of transmission fluid outside of the transmission indicates that problems, like your truck popping suddenly out of gear or total transmission failure, are soon to follow.

A qualified technician needs to diagnose why your transmission is losing fluid and then make the necessary repairs, along with refilling the transmission.

Transmission repairs like this can be a major source of headaches for the independent trucker. Your truck may be down for days while repairs are being performed. Plus, troubleshooting can only solve one problem at a time. If your truck's transmission is old and has a boatload of miles on it, you could have several potential areas where it's leaking.

Transmission Upgrades

In the long term, the most cost-effective solution might be to schedule your diesel semi-truck for a transmission upgrade. Time is always the most important consideration for an independent trucker.

A high-quality rebuilt transmission can be installed very quickly to get you back up and running, which beats several potential trips to the garage to have the source of your transmission leak continually troubleshot. Plus, given the number of trucks on the nation's highways, there is always a continuous source of freshly rebuilt transmissions to fit your model of truck. 

You can swap your transmission for an expertly rebuilt upgrade. Your old transmission will be rebuilt for the next guy, and you'll be back to making money, clocking the miles in a truck that's safe and easy to drive.

Contact a company like AC Transmission Centers North to learn more.