If you manage a fleet of semi-trucks, then you know that repairs can be a major drain on your resources. One of the most expensive repairs that a truck can need is a transmission replacement.
A new transmission can cost upwards of $10,000, so catching problems early is important. In this blog post, we will be looking at some signs that your truck’s transmission is going out.
1. Difficulty shifting gears
If your truck is having trouble shifting gears, that is a sign that the transmission is going out. You may notice that the truck jerks when shifting gears or that it takes longer than usual to shift gears. Either way, this is a sign that you need to take the truck in for service.
One of the biggest dangers for drivers who experience difficulty shifting gears is that they may not be able to slow down or stop the truck in time if they need to. This can lead to potentially deadly accidents.
Another hazard for drivers who are experiencing these signs is that their trucks may overheat. If the truck’s transmission is going out, it may not be able to transfer power effectively, which causes that power to isolate rather than to be safely distributed.
2. Leaking fluid
Another sign that your truck’s transmission is going out is if you notice leaking fluid underneath the truck. Transmission fluid should be red or amber in color. If you see a puddle of red or amber fluid underneath the truck, then you know there is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
But catching this early requires vigilance on the part of the individuals closest to the truck: the drivers.
One of the best ways to encourage on-the-road vigilance from drivers is to have regular checks for leaks. Drivers should be encouraged to inspect the truck for any signs of leaking fluid and to report any issues immediately.
Another way to encourage vigilance is to have a system in place for reporting problems. There should be a number that drivers can call or a system that they can use to report problems online. This will help ensure that any potential transmission problems are addressed as quickly as possible. You might even create an incentive program or make it part of the driver’s evaluation.
3. Burning smell
If you notice a burning smell coming from the truck, that is another sign that the transmission is going out. The burning smell is due to the friction of the gears grinding against each other.
This excessive friction will cause damage to the gears and eventually lead to a complete failure of the transmission. That means the truck loses all power and comes to a stop on the side of the road if you’re lucky. If you’re not, then the truck could lose power while driving, disabling your driver’s ability to make quick and potentially life-saving decisions for himself and the motorists around him.
4. Check engine light cuts on
If the check engine light comes on, that is another sign that there could be a problem with the transmission. The check engine light can indicate a number of different problems, but if it’s accompanied by any of the other signs on this list, then it’s more likely that the issue is with the transmission.
Do Not Ignore These Signs
If you notice any of these signs, then it’s time to take your truck in for a service. Waiting too long to get the transmission repaired can result in even more expensive repairs down the line and increased liability to your company. By catching the problem early, you can save yourself time and money in the long run.
J&A Fleet Maintenance has many years of experience diagnosing and addressing problems with transmissions. Our expert mechanics and modern technologies allow us to pinpoint these issues quickly, so we can get you back on the road as fast as possible. And that’s vital because a truck in the shop is a truck that’s costing you money on both fronts.
There is the final repair bill and the days or even weeks when it isn’t creating revenue. Inquire today if you suspect this or any other issue with your fleet. We’re here to help.