Can low tires break a transmission? 1997 Chevy Blazer, 4 wheel drive?


Bad_Brad
02-18-2011, 06:48 PM
If so, why? How long would it take to break the transmission if the tire is low.

Also, what constitutes a broken transmission?

Thank you very much for reading/answering my question.

jdmccright
02-19-2011, 12:35 AM
I would not expect a low tire to affect, much less ruin, a 4wd transmission at all. But it could affect a transfer case or the differential of the axle it is mounted onto. However, this can only happen when the truck is actually in 4HI or 4LO. Running around on pavement (in 2HI of course) even with a seriously low tire on the rear axle can cause added wear at the differential, but not tranny death. The locking rear diff in 4wd trucks doesn't actually lock up until one wheel is spinning at least 25 rpm faster than the opposite wheel.

If you are going around a corner and the low tire is on the inside, then there may be a CHANCE you could make the diff lock up momentarily. You would feel the truck binding up, the inside wheel sliding as the locked diff tried to turn both wheels the same rate.

It's hard to explain how a locking diff works, so I suggest looking it up on the Internet. It will show how the gears inside spin to accommodate the opposing wheel's difference in rotating speed and at what point it locks up.

The only time the transfer case would be affected is if both tires on one axle were low and the truck was in 4HI or 4LO. Then you'd have a difference in the rotataing speed of the front & rear axle shafts, causing binding in the TC itself.

But the transmission itself? I'd be hard pressed to find that this is true.

Good luck!

j cAT
02-20-2011, 11:51 AM
If so, why? How long would it take to break the transmission if the tire is low.

Also, what constitutes a broken transmission?

Thank you very much for reading/answering my question.

with four wheel drive all tires must be the same size and wear . tires must be rotated so that the wear is equal on all 4 .

tire pressure must be all correct. if one tire is low on air the rotation revs per mile will be different from the othe tires. this would cause the differentals to wear . with the front axle in 4wd they are locked . so if the tire where there it would damage the front diff.

the drive train does suffer from tires not rotating at the same rev's per mile.

what's broke ? don't move ?

Lukewarm256
03-26-2011, 09:17 PM
.... it's a long route...

the first reply was true, it would put the most stress on the transfer case. say, small tires in the rear, and large in the front. it would cause the back to need to rotate more often, and the front less. while in 4wd (or if you have an awd). this means that the back tires will push the front. making the transfer case, have a kind of torque in it. it will generate heat. BUT, on top of that... because the torque is there, the engine will have to work harder, to "push" the front tires (or rear, which ever) .. and because it's working harder, to push, or pull, the wrong sized tires, the transmission is going to be effected. it would be like hauling a load... not bad in the short term, but over miles, and months? cant be good. the extra load of pushing or pulling wrong sized tires.

all 4 tires have to match in size, to avoid the added stress. the transmission isnt directly effected (except in awd, or units where the 4wd comes from the transmission, without a transfer case). it's indirectly put under added stress--pushing the load through the transfer case.

j cAT
03-27-2011, 09:32 AM
.... it's a long route...

the first reply was true, it would put the most stress on the transfer case. say, small tires in the rear, and large in the front. it would cause the back to need to rotate more often, and the front less. while in 4wd (or if you have an awd). this means that the back tires will push the front. making the transfer case, have a kind of torque in it. it will generate heat. BUT, on top of that... because the torque is there, the engine will have to work harder, to "push" the front tires (or rear, which ever) .. and because it's working harder, to push, or pull, the wrong sized tires, the transmission is going to be effected. it would be like hauling a load... not bad in the short term, but over miles, and months? cant be good. the extra load of pushing or pulling wrong sized tires.

all 4 tires have to match in size, to avoid the added stress. the transmission isnt directly effected (except in awd, or units where the 4wd comes from the transmission, without a transfer case). it's indirectly put under added stress--pushing the load through the transfer case.

Bad Brad asked some questions that are not very easy to answer. how long would it take to damage a transmission with a low air pressure in a tire ????

as I stated earlier all tires need be the same size and correct pressure.. with your explaination the rear tires smaller this would cause the drivetrain to drag the smaller tires in the rear ...this if in 4wd/ or AWD would cause the drivetrain to suffer from needless excessive wear..

what you did not state , which is most important would be ,,,,MPG..this would increase especially with an AWD vehicle ...

reducing tire pressures on all tires is in some cases required. this is done when off roading on very soft surfaces like sand and mud. this will cause more work for the drivetrain , but it will, be equal ,as all tires will have the same lower pressures ,,,at least you can get to where you want to go and not get stuck.

Bad_Brad
03-27-2011, 10:10 AM
Thanks for all the help. This has been very informative. I'm thinking that I can give you guys a few more specifics that I know. The Blazer was my brother's vehicle. I drove it a total of four weeks during mid January and February. For the last two weeks two tires became low, the front left and the rear right. Admittedly I could have gone to an SA and buy some air, but I've never actually filled car tires with air and I know that overfilled tires are bad too (I don't know if they're worse than low tires.) In addition, I was only supposed to have the Blazer for 2 weeks not 4. It wasn't until after I returned the vehicle that I was told that something could be wrong. Also, I only used 4-hi twice to get out of a parking lot due to snowfall.

Has anything I've told you here changed anything that you've already taught me? How does offset low tires affect the vehicle? Thanks again for all the help.

j cAT
03-27-2011, 02:27 PM
Thanks for all the help. This has been very informative. I'm thinking that I can give you guys a few more specifics that I know. The Blazer was my brother's vehicle. I drove it a total of four weeks during mid January and February. For the last two weeks two tires became low, the front left and the rear right. Admittedly I could have gone to an SA and buy some air, but I've never actually filled car tires with air and I know that overfilled tires are bad too (I don't know if they're worse than low tires.) In addition, I was only supposed to have the Blazer for 2 weeks not 4. It wasn't until after I returned the vehicle that I was told that something could be wrong. Also, I only used 4-hi twice to get out of a parking lot due to snowfall.

Has anything I've told you here changed anything that you've already taught me? How does offset low tires affect the vehicle? Thanks again for all the help.

with your latest info, given the time , and use of the 4wd ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,, I would say the drivetrain failure was not because of this low tire issue....

I have a small air pump that can run with 110V or 12 volts.. I never get air at the stations. also buy a real air / pressure guage to adjust the air pressures ..check every few weeks ...fuel saved will be adding up very quickly................

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