Transmission Coolers: How They Work & Who Should Get One

If you are experiencing an overheating transmission or think you're at risk for one, then you may want to invest in a transmission cooler. Overheating can severely damage your transmission and shorten its lifespan. Coolers are designed to keep your transmission cool during unusual conditions that put them under extreme strain and at risk for overheating. While some vehicles, especially those designed for towing, come with a transmission cooler as standard equipment, they can also be installed for just about any vehicle. Here is more about transmission coolers, how they work and what kinds of problems they have.

How Do Transmission Coolers Work?

Transmission coolers work in a similar way as car radiator. In fact, it looks like a small radiator and is often placed either in the front of the standard coolant radiator or just behind it in front of the fan. Oil from the transmission is routed through the cooler where it is cooled and returned back to the transmission. There are various styles available and each style cools more or less effectively than the others.

Who Should Get a Transmission Cooler?

Anyone who is at risk for overheating their transmission should hook up a transmission cooler. They a must if you are towing and you should never tow without one. However, if you live in a warm climate and do a lot of mountainous driving, then you can also benefit from a cooler even if you don't do any towing. There are various sizes available for all types of cars and installing one is usually not complicated. The general rule for most people is to get the largest cooler you can find for your vehicle.

What Kinds of Problems Affect Transmission Coolers?

Transmission coolers are mostly trouble-free, but there are some unique issues with them. One thing that can cause a problem is that when you change the transmission fluid, you must make sure you drain the cooler as well. If a mechanic works on your car, let them know that you also have a transmission cooler so they know it needs draining. Kinks in hoses and clogged fins can also cause problems as well as broken or loose parts which leak. If these aren't addressed quickly, you can damage your transmission.

Transmission coolers are a great way to preserve your transmission if you are driving in unusual conditions or are towing. They are generally low maintenance, but do need some care and attention just like any other part. If you think you might need a transmission cooler and you want to have it professionally installed, then talk to services like Automotive Transmission Engineering Corp to see what would work best for you.