Four Tips for Transmission Maintenance

Follow our tips for keeping your marine transmission operating smoothly.

Yachting has some simple suggestions to keep your marine transmission delivering smooth power to your props, with some helpful suggestions from Martin Meissner, manager of marketing and communications for ZF Marine, LLC, in Miramar, Florida.

1. Read the owner's manual for your transmission. This is not the same as your engine's owner's manual. The transmission manual will give you all the information you need regarding the "care and feeding" of your transmission. If you have any questions not covered in the manual, check the transmission manufacturer's website.

2. Most pleasure boaters will not meet the operating-hour oil-change interval. In that case, the owner should plan on doing the oil-change once a year: "Clean oil is cheap insurance," says Meissner.

3. Does your transmission need work? Whether it's a major repair or routine maintenance, it is best to have a transmission technician do it. They are trained in the technology specific to your transmission and know what to look for and what to check over while they change the transmission oil. Again, it is cheap insurance to have the right person servicing your transmission.

4. Use genuine filters and recommended oils. While OE filters might be more expensive, the reason they are specified is that they have been tested by the factory to meet the specific needs of the transmission. "Utilizing nonoriginal parts or the wrong lubricants may reduce component life and could possibly cause harm to the transmission," says Meissner.