TV Transmission Question

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Catwoman, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Catwoman

    Catwoman Member

    Jul 20, 2018
    Lynchburg, VA
    Hello Everyone!

    I am doing well with my new to me 2006 Fleetwood Bayside. Three trips so far! I am towing with a Ford Transit 250 that is rated at 5500lbs for towing. I want to protect my transmission as much as possible. What can I do to do that?
  2. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Change tranny fluid and filter after 60,000 miles.
  3. Overland

    Overland Active Member

    May 1, 2013
    Bristol, Pa
    Have a factory tow option? This should consist of a transmission cooler (heat kills a trans) with fluid and filter changes at or before recommended intervals as BikeNFish mentioned above.

    Also, check the owners manual.. some vehicles require the transmission to be kept out of Overdrive while towing.
    Arlyn Aronson likes this.
  4. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
    As far as the great maintenance tips above, you can also modify your driving behavior to be a little more transmission friendly.

    If you're in hilly terrain and the transmission is up and downshifting with the hills, consider taking command yourself and at least dropping out of overdrive or maybe just staying in a lower gear. If in hill country, especially if it is hot, avoid cruise control. Take your time climbing. Shifting creates heat, but so does coming out of lock-up climbing a hill.

    One thing you can do is keep an eye on trans temp. It is SO easy to do... just get a cheap OBDII scanner with bluetooth on Amazon. Download an app like Torque, and you can real-time monitor just about any parameter of your vehicle. Pull up transmission temp and also look at torque converter slip percentage (the ratio of engine speed versus input shaft speed). If the difference between the two is zero, your torque converter clutch (TCC) is engaged (in lock-up) and you're not producing as much transmission heat. If not, then you are using the torque converter as designed, but generating extra heat (this is COMPLETELY normal). By getting a feel for when you're in lock-up or not, and if you're pulling hard up hills and it's hot, you can get a feel if you can stand on it, or need to back off 10-15 mph and take it easy. Trans temp really rules. If you see it climb quickly, back off.

    One of those scanners should be less than $25. Plus, it will let you reset TPMS, check engine lights and other stuff, if you want to.

    But, if you don't have a transmission cooler already, get one. It's the best investment you can make for your transmission's life and happiness. My father used to have a display at his shop of what the stock transmission fluid cooler looks like in a radiator next to a simple aux cooler... it is eye opening.
    alabasterjar likes this.
  5. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Active Member

    Jun 11, 2014
    Houghton MI
    Lets not overthink this. Does the Ford Transit 250 have a history of failed transmissions?? (I'd guess no) Did you get the tranny cooler or towing package? (I'll guess yes) If you are staying near or below the recommended tow capacity for that ford, you'll be fine. As others have suggested, changing the transmissions oil and filter is cheap.
  6. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2018
    A transmission cooler can be picked up after market, btw.
    WVhillbilly and Arlyn Aronson like this.
  7. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    A tranny likes clean, cool fluid. Don't know what temps the Fords like. New GM's like temps 120-150.
  8. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Nova Scotia

    Read owners manual, it should say what's best to do. If you have a trans temp gauge you can watch that, if it stays about where it normally does, you are fine in "D"

    You may have to lock out higher gears if you find the trans shifts all the time when cruising. Having said that, I find my F150 runs ok in "D" and uses all 6 gears towing 6000lb. I run "M" since I prefer manual control on the highway, but the way the newer automatics are programmed they seem to programmed right compared to ones 20 years ago.
  9. Wild-Life

    Wild-Life Active Member

    Jun 22, 2012
    North Carolina
    [ just get a cheap OBDII scanner with bluetooth on Amazon. Download an app like Torque, and you can real-time monitor just about any parameter of your vehicle.
    x2 on the Torque app. I have been running it for several years primarily to monitor my transmission temp. Pay the $5 and get the full version.
  10. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    Starting to.

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