When To Service Your RV's Transmission
by Motorhomes of Texas
Motorhomes of Texas
This story was submitted on our
RVing Tips And Tricks Page.
If you are undecided about whether or not you should service your transmission or when to service it consider this: Transmission failure is mostly attributed to fluid failure. Mechanical parts failure is in the minority when blame is laid. The breakdown and failure of transmission fluid is precipitated by two elements...contaminants and heat with heat winning the race for worst/biggest contributor.
Transmission temperatures run generally in the same range as engine temperature until putting it under a strain. Heat in the trans will usually climb higher, faster than engine temperature with normal being in the 175F to 200F degree range and hill-climbing takes it up from there. At 175F, fluid will last about 120K TO 140k miles (discounting the contamination factor). It's life expectancy however decreases almost exponentially with increased heat! At 200F the breakdown occurs at around 60K - 70K miles. As you can see, an increase of only 25 degrees can cut the life almost in half. Now see below the increase versus the fluid life:
225 degrees = 35,000 miles
250 degrees = 20,000 miles
275 degrees = 10,000 miles
300 degrees = 1,500 miles
325 degrees = 500 miles
Short periods of time at higher temperatures takes a toll as well but trying to calculate exactly when you should change the fluid has to be done on an individual basis. If you pull a toad and drive in the hills or mountains you need to service more often. Most high-end motorhomes have transmission coolers and many have temperature gauges. If you don't have these two items it might be beneficial to have them installed. Let The Good Sam Extended Service Plan Pay Your RV Repair Bills
Servicing your transmission ideally would be done as often as every other oil change but that is just not practical. It would not be cheap and at some point, it ceases to be cost-effective. The point is: be aware of the health of your trans fluid. Monitor it's operating temperatures and service accordingly. Servicing too often won't hurt your wallet near as bad as overhauling the beast.
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