Pulling a 5X8 trailer from Indiana to So Cal. Do I need to have a transmission flush?

gmc
terrain

#1

I’m pulling a 5X8 trailer 2200 miles, from Indiana to So Cal. Do I need to have my transmission flushed before I leave. I have no current issues with my 2013 with 60K miles; just want to be safe.


#2

Look at the service schedule in your manual. That way you can cover all the bases.


#3

I believe I read it should be like 60-100K miles. I just turned 60K, but didn’t know if flushing it would help with the towing? Ill check the manual…thanks.


#4

Do you have a towing package? If not a transmission cooler would be a recommended add on.l


#5

I’d have a ‘drain and fill’ done, not a flush. How much is your tow rating? What is the total weight of the trailer PLUS contents? You’d be surprised how much stuff weighs, easy to overdo it.


#6

The number one enemy of automatic transmission fluid is heat.

And towing with an automatic transmission creates a lot of heat.

Have a transmission fluid flushed to exchange 100% of the fluid before this trip.

A drain and fill only removes 30% of the total amount of tranny fluid.

This would be the same as only removing 30% of the engine oil and replacing it before the trip.

And who would do that?

Tester


#7

I agree with Tester and will only add that if the vehicle were mine I’d install a transmission fluid cooler if the vehicle is not equipped with a towing package.

July in the Southwest combined with mountainous terrain can be tough on the fluid due to heat.


#8

I’m not sure what the total weight of all will be. I only have one chair, a small drop leaf table & the rest is boxes. Not sure either about the tow rating, but I was going to rent a UHaul & was told my vehicle could tow a 6X12. I am going with a 5X8, which will be pretty full I’m sure, just so it wouldn’t be too hard on my vehicle. I have an appointment already; just wanted someone else’s input. Thanks so much!


#9

I do have a towing package. Plan on going the southern route to avoid most of the mountains.


#10

It’s leaner. Suggest to ask your shop tech to take a look at the fluid, and check the odor. If there’s any signs of it being burned or showing signs of that, change the fluid.


#11

Your owners manual will have the towing capacity. Find out what it is. Don’t trust UHaul to tell you the right amount.

Which engine do you have?


#12

With a towing package I think you will be fine. If it were me, I’d still flush the transmission fluid and give it a fresh start. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination, check the trans fluid, and discover that it is now a bit brown in color.

I don’t think you will have an issue with the Terrain pulling a 5 X 8 trailer. My GMC Sonoma with the 4.3 V-6 is rated to pull 5000 pounds and if the baby truck can yank that much around then so can your Terrain.


#13

I might guess it’s more important to flush the AT fluid AFTER the trip, to get the possibly damaged fluid out.

Any other opinions on this?


#14

A Terrain is a CUV a bit bigger than a Honda CRV. Not very big or powerful.


#15

Thank you so much!


#16

The fluid already has 60k miles no it and should have been changed already; assuming it has not. Towing may finish it off before the destination.

The OP has not stated which engine they have. The spec I looked at shows a 1500 pound rating for the 4 cylinder and a 3500 rating for the 6 cylinder. I’m assuming (again) that with a tow package the vehicle has the 6 cylinder.

Assuming this 5 x 8 is a U-Haul those are comparatively lightweight. Also assuming it’s not being loaded down with sash weights the 4 will pull it but will likely struggle in the mountains.
The 6 should pull it with no problem although it may also bog a bit on the uphills; and there will be uphills. Just less of them.


#17

I have the 2003 4.2 6 cyl engine and have never had a lack of power issue towing my boat, that I am sure must weigh more than the load the op is talking about.

I have not towed it in the mountains, but up some pretty good hills, and never once thought


#18

DO NOT FLUSH! I would install a transmission cooler and have the fluid drained and the pan dropped and the filter changed. Use an independent and capable transmission shop. not a chain.


#19

You’re showing your age @ok4450.

Yosemite


#20

Probably of more concern than the weight is the sail area of the trailer. Not only will this be an issue driving forward, it is a big factor in swaying when there is a cross wind. Be sure to have adequate tongue weight when you load your cargo.