Saturday, March 14, 2009

Transmission Oil Cooler

Transmission Oil Cooler: What the manufacturers are leaving out, what your transmission will get by cooler oil. Missing this makes your transmission look like it was designed to wear out faster.

The Transmission Oil Cooler and the manufacturer:

Many vehicles don’t have transmission oil coolers. When they do they are often under sized for the job for today’s design of vehicles. With how cramped everything is under the hood these days, most of us mechanics find it hard to work, but it is harder still for the heat from heavy equipment to escape. Many trucks, like mine, come with a fabulous transmission oil cooler, which is just enough to make the truck look better on the specs, giving you confidence in the machine. There are two mistakes that manufacturers make on coolers for the oil in the transmission. First, the transmission oil cooler should be larger, allowing for more heat to escape, and second the placement can be less than ideal.

Your Transmission Oil Cooler and the best placement:

We can knock both of the problems out right in a row. Be sure that the transmission oil cooler you’ll be installing goes where the air circulation from the vehicle is best; ideally you will be placing the transmission oil cooler in front of and not behind the radiator. When the air passes through the transmission oil cooler first, you’ll be allowing your engine be hotter than the trans axle. That’s okay; engines actually need enough heat to run efficiently, while extra heat in a tranny just helps the metal get that much softer and closer to breaking down over time. The more of those metal filings are moving around, the more of a chance of causing further degradation of all the moving parts.


If you set up your new transmission oil cooler right, you’ll be able to turn off the extra flow from the transmission to the oil cooler during the winter months if your engine actually needs the extra heat to be efficient. Remember how it was mentioned above that too much heat will make the moving parts break down faster? Well, during the winter months you might say to yourself, "I don’t need the extra fuel efficiency of heating up my engine faster" then you may be right. If you have truck and a heavy and long haul in front of you may need it in the winter too. Most of us are just commuting with our cars and trucks and should shut the valve to the transmission oil cooler during the winter. You see there are metal parts that can be so cold they’ll be brittle enough to outright snap. It's not a bad idea to warm your car up in the winter.

A side note: As much in my time in European countries has taught me to not run an engine for more than thirty seconds unless the car is moving during the winter there is an important exception. You heard it right; AutoBravado turns off the engine even at intersections. When you know the light will take a minute, it saves gas, despite popular myths to the contrary. Starters don’t wear out like people think they do.

See another article about: Transmission Coolers Return to Home: Car or Truck Miles Per Gallon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My transmission lasted 40 maybe 50 thousand miles longer than then it should have. My truck runs better than most with 100 thousand less miles. THAT's why I run a transmission cooler.