Like any other kind of vehicle, off-highway vehicles require routine maintenance to keep running at their best. Routine maintenance can help prevent issues down the road. Unfortunately, sometimes malfunctions still arise and one of the most frustrating issues has to do with off-highway transmissions.

A vehicle’s transmission is a complex mechanical system responsible for controlling the energy running from the engine to the driveshaft. Due to the high amounts of heat and friction generated by a transmission’s many moving parts, this component tends to experience wear more than any other off-highway engine component. When an off-highway transmission experiences a problem, knowing how to identify the issue and find a solution quickly is critical.

Thankfully, Triad Diagnostic Solutions has the right diagnostic kits to help you keep your machines running. Still, when working with off-highway transmissions, knowing the most common types of problems is crucial so that you can easily diagnose them and get your equipment back up and running!

1. Leaking Fluid

One of the most noticeable signs of problems with an off-highway transmission is found in the observance of leaking fluid. Transmission fluid is responsible for keeping a transmission’s parts well-lubricated. However, unlike engine oil, transmission fluid isn’t burnt away. For this reason, when the level of transmission fluid becomes low, this is almost always indicative of a hole that needs to be repaired.

In order to troubleshoot, we highly recommend checking the level of transmission fluid first and foremost. If you find that you’ve sprung a leak, luckily these issues can be solved pretty easily by an experienced diesel mechanic. If you ignore these leaks, however, you could end up ruining the transmission entirely. Always act fast if you notice leaking transmission fluid in your off-highway equipment.

2. Slipping Gears

Sometimes, you might check your fluid level and find that everything looks absolutely fine. However, you still notice that your transmission continues to “slip” in and out of gear. Off-highway machines with manual transmissions, for example, should never slip in and out of gear unless a deliberate shift is performed.

Automatic transmissions, on the other hand, use a computer to change gears. This means that you would have to have diagnostics run on your equipment to identify the issue. In either case, troubleshooting this transmission issue is crucial for the successful operation of your equipment. With Jaltest’s Off-Highway Equipment Full Kit, you can perform the diagnostic routine, identify the error codes, make the repair, and recalibrate the transmission to get the machine back to work.

3. Whining or Clunking Noises

As you probably know, any type of foreign noise coming from a vehicle’s engine requires immediate attention. Because off-highway transmissions have a lot of complicated moving parts, however, sometimes finding the exact source of the noise can be difficult. If you drive an automatic off-highway vehicle, you’re more likely to hear a humming or whining noise if there is an issue with the transmission. Manual vehicles usually make clunking noises when there is a problem with the transmission, particularly when changing into first gear. If you’re experiencing any of these noises in your vehicle, it’s time for a diagnostic routine and more than likely, service.

4. A Burning Smell

When it comes to a vehicle’s engine, a burning smell is never a good sign. This is especially true when talking about the transmission, as there are so many moving parts and combustible fluids involved. In most cases, a burning smell indicates that transmission is overheating. Unless fixed early, this problem will ruin the transmission. So, be sure to have it serviced as soon as possible.

5. Noticeably Slower Acceleration Response

Finally, if you find that your machine shows some resistance when shifting between gears, the problem could be a worn clutch but there could also be something even more complicated going on. To figure out what is happening with the vehicle, you’ll need to get under the hood. Here are a few reasons that a throttle may be slow to engage in an off-highway machine:

    • Worn clutch springs
    • Worn clutch plates
    • Faulty clutch
    • Air in the fluid channel
    • Issues with the master cylinder

Diagnostic Equipment From Triad Diagnostic Solutions Can Help Prevent Problems With Off-Highway Transmissions

Now that you know some of the most common problems with off-highway transmissions, you’ll likely be able to identify issues sooner and work more quickly to fix them. When it comes to diagnostics, acting fast is critical and can sometimes make all of the difference between a quick fix and a vehicle that is beyond repair. When you entrust our team here at Triad Diagnostic Solutions, you can diagnose and fix problems with your off-highway, commercial, material handling, and agriculture equipment faster.

Jaltest covers over 85 brands of off-highway equipment including Bobcat, Caterpillar, Case, John Deere, Komatsu, New Holland, Volvo equipment; Gen-sets and engines, Cummins, Cat, Detroit Diesel-Mercedes, Deutz, Isuzu, Kubota, Liebherr, MAN, MTU and Perkins and more.

For more information, contact us today!

Photo by Jason Jarrach on Unsplash