Tips and Tricks to Cool a Transmission

by Rebekah Worsham
new car engine with red trim image by Raxxillion from Fotolia.com

An overheated transmission can wreak havoc on your car. Overheating a car's transmission not only temporarily impacts the car's ability to run but can lead to serious damage to the transmission, which may require a total replacement. Knowing how to reduce the temperature to your transmission can help to protect your ride and save you some money in the long run.

Use an Additive

One of the simplest things you can do to keep your transmission cool and extend its life is to use a transmission fluid additive on a regular basis. Transmission fluid additives contain special coolants designed to reduce the temperature of your transmission, particularly when it is under strain from stop and go traffic, driving on hilly terrain or carrying extra weight. Transmission fluid additives can be purchased at most auto supply stores. For best performance, have your vehicle's cooling system checked twice a year by a licensed mechanic who is familiar with the repair and maintenance of transmissions.

Go Neutral

Whenever you find yourself at a place where you will be sitting for a moment or two, shift the transmission into neutral and allow the car to idle. Allowing the car to idle in neutral, while sitting at red lights, in congested traffic or at rail road tracks, reduces the strain on the transmission, allowing the transmission to cool. Not only does this add length to the life of your transmission, allowing the car to idle in neutral, when not immediately in use, cuts down on the amount of gas consumed by the engine, saving you money in the long run.

External Coolers

Transmissions that are used to haul other cars, auto parts, wood or tools are often prone to overheating due to the increased stress that is applied to the vehicle as a result of excess weight, particularly when traveling up and down hilly terrain. Installing an external cooler can prove greatly effective in cooling your transmission and keeping it at a regulated temperature, which helps to prevent damage. External coolers also help to reduce friction to the transmission, which is another common cause of damage. External transmission coolers are available for purchase at most auto supply stores and typically do not require the services of a professional mechanic to install.

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