The Most Common Transmission Issues In Heavy Duty Trucks And How To Address Them

Greetings from Patriot Diesel and Automotive in Cheyenne, Wyoming! Today, we'll discuss common transmission issues in heavy-duty trucks and offer expert guidance on resolving them.
Truck transmission being repaired in the shop

Hello there, from all of us at Patriot Diesel and Automotive in Cheyenne, Wyoming! Today, we're tackling a topic critical to the smooth operation of your heavy-duty truck: the transmission. We'll delve into the most common issues that plague heavy-duty truck transmissions and provide you with expert guidance on how to address these problems.

1. Transmission Fluid Leaks

One of the most prevalent transmission issues is fluid leaks. Transmission fluid is vital for lubrication, cooling, and transmission of power. When a leak occurs, it reduces the efficiency of these processes, leading to overheating and poor shifting performance. As a side note, it’s also very important that you use the correct fluid. Keep in mind that automatic transmissions use transmission fluid, whereas manual transmissions use gear oil. 

Preventing leaks requires regular checks of the transmission seals and gaskets for wear and tear. In addition, proper fluid levels should be maintained at all times. Here at Patriot Diesel, we provide comprehensive transmission checks and fluid top-ups to keep your truck in optimal condition.

2. Slipping Transmission

A transmission that slips between gears while driving can be both frustrating and dangerous. This issue often arises from worn-out gears, a low fluid level, or a malfunctioning solenoid. Generally, slipping gears isn’t an issue that arises out of the blue, but rather, it typically happens when transmission maintenance is neglected, and symptoms aren’t addressed. 

Correcting a slipping transmission usually involves replacing the worn-out components, replenishing the transmission fluid, or fixing the solenoid. Our skilled technicians at Patriot Diesel are well-equipped to diagnose the precise cause and carry out necessary repairs swiftly and efficiently.

3. Difficulty Shifting Gears

If you're having trouble shifting gears, this may be due to issues with the clutch, gear oil, or transmission fluid. Clutch components wear out over time, especially in heavy-duty trucks operating in demanding conditions. Gearbox issues often stem from mechanical wear or damage, while low or dirty transmission fluid can impair gear shifting.

Regular service, clutch inspections, gearbox checks, and transmission fluid changes can help prevent this problem. At Patriot Diesel, we offer all these services to ensure your truck shifts gears smoothly, boosting your driving experience and safety.

4. Overheating Transmission

Overheating is a common transmission problem often caused by low or degraded transmission fluid, heavy towing, or continuous driving in hot weather. Overheating can cause severe damage to the transmission, affecting the overall performance of your truck.

Preventing transmission overheating involves routine transmission fluid checks and changes, using the correct transmission fluid, and avoiding truck overloading. Our team at Patriot Diesel can guide you on best practices for preventing transmission overheating and provide expert service when needed.

Transmission Coolers Explained

A transmission cooler is an integral part of your heavy-duty truck's cooling system. It functions by dissipating heat from the transmission fluid that circulates through it. This cooled fluid is then returned to the transmission, maintaining an optimal operating temperature and preventing overheating, particularly during heavy loads or demanding driving conditions.

However, if your transmission is still overheating despite the presence of a transmission cooler, there might be several underlying issues. One potential problem is that the transmission cooler may be clogged, restricting the fluid flow and limiting its ability to dissipate heat. Alternatively, the cooler might be undersized for your specific vehicle's needs, especially if you frequently tow heavy loads. Furthermore, leaks within the cooling system can cause a drop in fluid levels, inhibiting the cooler's ability to function effectively. Lastly, improper installation or a failure in the cooler lines could also compromise the efficiency of your transmission cooler.

At Patriot Diesel and Automotive, our technicians are well-versed in diagnosing and resolving issues with transmission coolers. We ensure the cooler is properly sized, installed, and free from blockages or leaks, offering your transmission the best protection against overheating.

5. Unusual Noises

If your transmission is making unusual noises like whining, humming, or clunking, it could indicate problems such as low transmission fluid, worn-out gears, or bearing problems. These issues need immediate attention to prevent severe transmission damage.

Regular checks for unusual noises and immediate troubleshooting when they are noticed can save your transmission from extensive damage. At Patriot Diesel, we provide thorough transmission inspections and carry out necessary repairs to eliminate those worrying sounds.

Schedule an Appointment 

Heavy-duty truck transmissions face a host of potential issues, but with the right preventive care and timely repairs, you can ensure your truck's transmission stays in top shape. Trust Patriot Diesel and Automotive with your transmission concerns, and you'll benefit from the knowledge and experience of a team that genuinely cares about keeping your truck operating smoothly. We look forward to helping you prevent and address common transmission problems, saving you time and money in the long run.

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Our Locations

Bring Your Vehicle to Patriot Diesel and Automotive

Patriot Diesel and Automotive

Located on 1811 Hinckley Drive in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Patriot Diesel and Automotive is a light-duty repair shop that offers a full range of services for light-duty diesel trucks. Whether you need large-scale engine repair or basic preventive maintenance, you can rest assured knowing Patriot Diesel and Automotive has your back. Please also keep in mind that this particular location can facilitate light-duty alignments with our industry partners, but we don’t do them ourselves.

If you drive a Dodge Ram 3500, Ford F350, or any other light-duty diesel truck, you can count on Patriot Diesel and Automotive to have your back. With decades of combined experience working on light-duty trucks, there’s no better place to call than Patriot Diesel and Automotive.
Monday - Friday: 8AM - 5PM
Saturday - Sunday: CLOSED

Patriot Diesel Heavy-Duty

Located on 2503 E Fox Farm Road in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Patriot Diesel Heavy-Duty is a brick-and-mortar diesel repair shop that focuses primarily on medium and heavy-duty truck repair. This location offers both mobile services and roadside assistance to heavy-duty trucks. Unlike our light-duty location, Patriot Diesel Heavy-Duty offers truck and trailer alignment services, heavy equipment repair, RV repair, and other similar services.

Looking to get your heavy-duty or medium-duty truck maintained? Give us a call today to find out more!
Monday - Friday: 8AM - 5PM
Saturday - Sunday: CLOSED
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