How to Properly Care for Your Dodge B3500
Known for its one-welded-piece frame design, the Dodge B3500 is lighter and stronger than other vans. Its lower center of gravity has helped improve its handling, which is crucial for hauling cargo and people. However, the van's built-in design and handling is only half the equation. By maintaining it properly, you can keep your Dodge B3500 running for more years to come.
Even though the Dodge B3500 is known for its amazing hauling capabilities, it still has its limits, which many tend to go over. Its transmission may be robust, but in order to ensure that it doesn't cause any problems, you should not exceed the van's recommended towing capacity. The Dodge B3500 can tow up to 7,400 lbs. so be careful not to tow something heavier than that. You should also secure the load to prevent shifting of weight whenever you brake, accelerate, turn a corner, or drive over bumps. If your cargo shifts during dynamic conditions, load distribution could change and make your vehicle unstable. By heeding the towing guidelines for your van, you can ensure the safety of the driver, the cargo, the passengers, and any other people or vehicles on the road.
- Check and change the transmission fluid and filter regularly.
Like all the other vital fluids and filters your van has, the transmission fluid and filter deteriorate over time. According to the Dodge B3500's manual, the transmission fluid and filter must be changed every 64,000 miles, especially when you tow or plow snow frequently, which heat up the transmission and shorten fluid life. Check the transmission level often and have the repair shop check the transmission fluid's condition. The liquid is usually red but can come in other colors, but as it deteriorates and gets dirty it tends to turn darker. By changing the transmission fluid and filter on schedule, you can prevent any problems related to the transmission system. If you are worried about the life of your van's automatic transmission, install a temperature gauge that lets you know how hard the gearbox is being pushed.
The front and rear bands of your Dodge B3500 control the 2nd gear and 3rd gear clusters as well as the reverse. If the front band does not release the 2nd gear clutches before the 3rd gear clutches engage, the transmission binds, which shortens the clutches' lifespan. If the front band releases too early in the shift, the engine will over speed. To prevent this from happening you need to do adjustments every 24,000 miles. You can do this yourself. The owner's manual should have the guidelines for you to follow. The guidelines are crucial and should be followed to the letter, as each instructions on the adjustment is specific for the make and model year of the vehicle. If you do it wrong, the bands may either slip or destroy themselves, depending on how tight or loose the adjustment. Keeping the bands well-adjusted helps maintain the smooth shifting.