The modern 4WD, believe it or not, unfortunately does require a few up-grades to make it strong and reliable. We fit heavy bull bars, winches, draw systems, fuel tanks, wheel carriers, up-grade the suspension, fit roof racks, lights, bigger tyres, re-map the ECU and replace exhausts. In a nutshell, we make our 4WD’s heavier; make them go faster and some tow very heavy caravans or boats etc… BUT most people forget the TRANSMISSION. It is probably the biggest thing overlooked, yet when it fails, it will be one of the most expensive things to fix.
The transmissions biggest enemy is HEAT.
The most common things that create heat are:
Weight, your 4WD fully loaded, Towing your caravan, boat or trailer.
Hot days, Towing up hills, 4 wheel driving in sand or 4 wheel driving up steep hills.
So pretty much everything you have bought the 4WD for!
So, what’s the answer?
Having a quality transmission oil cooler fitted, and installing a transmission temperature gauge.
The oil cooler, will cool the transmission much more efficiently than the standard system, and if you have a temperature gauge installed, you can monitor the oil temperature and adjust your driving style if it is required.
Like almost everything, prevention is better than cure. It is cheaper to fit a transmission oil cooler than it is to repair/replace a transmission. Modern 4WD transmissions are very expensive. Rebuilding a transmission today will cost you THOUSANDS. A rebuild on a late model 4WD transmission could easily cost $5000 if not more.