Much like oil and other automotive fluids, transmission fluid deteriorates over time and when it comes to owning a 4×4, some unique driving situations could speed up the deterioration process. Trailer towing and frequent stop-and-go city driving come to mind. Both can strain your transmission and given the winter we’ve had here in Colorado, it’s no surprise that frequent breaking may have sped up the deterioration process of your 4×4’s transmission fluid. Increasing the engine temperature is inevitable when driving under those conditions month after month. High stress conditions require frequent transmission fluid checks.
Depending on your 4×4’s make and model, recommendations for a fluid flush does vary, but the general rule of thumb is to have this service performed every 30,000 to 50,000 miles depending on the type of driving you do regularly. If you are one to beat up your 4×4, more frequent checks are necessary. A transmission fluid flush includes the removal of old fluid, replacement of the fluid filter, and addition of new, clean transmission fluid. The five signs that it’s time for a transmission fluid flush are as follows:
- Surging – Unexplained surging of your 4×4 is an indicator that a transmission fluid flush is necessary. Buildup of dirt, rust, and other contaminants blocks fluid flow and this can cause intermittent access to the pressure given off by your transmission. Improper fluid flow makes smooth operation of gears impossible, the result being surging or falling back for reasons that are completely separate from how you are driving your 4×4.
- Slipping gears – Dirty or deteriorated fluid can cause a drop in hydraulic power. This is also caused by a low fluid level. Contaminants build up throughout the engine that block fluid flow. This build up needs to be flushed out to return your 4×4 to maximum performance.
- Stalling – Deteriorated transmission fluid can also cause your 4×4 to stall or exhibit a delayed reaction when shifting. A transmission fluid flush will remove the build up causing this reaction, making your 4×4 more reliable.
- Grinding – Contaminated transmission fluid often displays similar symptoms to lower fluid levels. If you notice grinding coming from the engine, stop and check your fluid level or have the experts at Advanced 4×4 check it for you. Grinding may be caused by sludge build up or dirt being circulated through your transmission fluid.
- Fluid Color – Clean transmission fluid is bright red, but after time and wear, it turns a shade of muddy brown or sometimes black. Grime and sludge change both the color and consistency of the fluid, making it less effective to your vehicle’s operation. Have our expert technicians check both the fluid level and fluid color during your next visit.
If any of the above occur regularly, contact us today to perform a free transmission diagnostic. We will work with you to determine if it’s time for a transmission fluid flush or if this service can wait. Let us remove the inconvenience of auto maintenance with careful, thorough inspections and care of your 4×4. Allow the experts at Advanced 4×4 guide and help along the way while keeping your 4×4 ready for it’s next adventure!