Can Towing Damage Your Transmission? What You Need to Know to Safely Tow
Owning a diesel truck gives the power to tow heavy loads, but with great power comes great responsibility. You need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when towing to avoid damaging crucial components of your vehicle, including the transmission. Drivers tend to focus their attention on torque and horsepower, but other factors, including load size, distance, and acceleration, can all play a role. Learn how towing affects your transmission and how to do with damaging the engine.
Does Towing Damage the Transmission?
The answer depends on the size of the load and how much weight the vehicle can support. Every truck comes with a towing capacity, which is the maximum amount of weight the vehicle can safely tow, including the weight of the vehicle itself and the passengers. But the towing capacity can be misleading. These rating assume the vehicle is in factory condition and the only person in the vehicle is the driver. If you have other passengers or have made additional modifications to your vehicle, they should be factored into the weight capacity.
Towing increases the amount of power required to move the vehicle. The engine will need to work harder than normal to generate the added force necessary to move the piston, which rotates the crankshaft. To generate the added power, the engine will consume more air and fuel, which increases the temperature of the engine.
Overheating can damage individual components and cause the engine to fail if the vehicle is carrying too much weight. Towing heavy loads for thousands of miles will also gradually wear down the vehicle, leading to more frequent repairs.
When the temperature of the transmission fluids increases, it puts additional pressure on the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooling system. The coolant will need to absorb more heat at a faster rate, which can lead to failure and coolant leaks. The EGR cooler is known to be faulty on the Powerstroke 6.0 Find replacement EGR coolers 6.0 to resolve the issue.
Virtually every component of the engine will need to work overtime when hauling even for short distances. The latest diesel engines rely on the electronic inputs when setting fuel injection timing and pressure. Towing requires more fuel pressure, which can reduce the accuracy of these sensors. Test the injection control pressure sensor and regulator to maintain constant fuel pressure, or you may suddenly lose power while towing. Find a replacement ICP sensor 7.3 to fix any issues with the Powerstroke 7.3.
Towing Safety Tips and Considerations
Safety should be top priority when attaching a trailer to the back of your truck. You should get in the habit of maintaining individual parts and components on a more frequent basis. Do a thorough check before and after each trip to avoid driving with a bad part.
Always be sure to calculate the total weight of your vehicle and the load before hitting the gas. Factor any additional cargo being stored in the truck as well as all passengers. Reference your vehicle’s towing capacity to see if the load is safe to tow. Avoid exceeding 80% of your total weight capacity to give yourself some breathing room.
Your vehicle is bound to burn through fluids faster than it would under normal driving conditions. We’re not just talking about your fuel capacity. Don’t forget to check your oil and coolant fluids regularly to make sure your engine has enough juice to get the job done. For example, experts recommend getting your oil changed every 5,000 miles or less when towing moderate loads regularly. But you may want to change it out even sooner if you are towing more than 50% of your capacity.
Keep an eye on the tire pressure when towing heavy loads. A deflated tire will only force your vehicle to work harder on the road. Under inflation causes more resistance and heat, which can also damage your tires. It’s best to add a little more air into your tires when towing a heavy load or driving on a hot day. Both activities will increase the surface temperature of the rubber, so increase pressure by two to six psi. Pay attention to the tire pressure sensor and give your tires a pump as soon as the pressure drops.
You can never be too careful when you’re driving with a large load on your back, especially if you tow regularly for a living. Avoid over accelerating and ease your foot onto the gas for a smoother ride. Remember that you are making the engine work harder than usual, so use a gentle touch and avoid going above the recommended speed limit. You’ll need to replace your diesel parts more often due to the added stress. Find a diesel parts supplier to stock up on the items you need before they break down.