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Transmission overheating risks

The Dangers of Transmission Overheating

If your car had a heart, it would be the transmission. 

Just like the blood-pumping organ in your chest, the transmission is the mechanism that’s primarily responsible for keeping your vehicle up and running.  And the fluid it circulates is what keeps your transmission cool enough to do its job.  Without the proper level of clean fluid, your transmission will overheat, and that can lead to a serious—even catastrophic—outcome.

Dirty Transmission Fluid

An automatic transmission is a collection of several moving parts.  Its function is to “translate” the power generated by the engine into motion by using different gears that adapt to driving conditions. 

Shop Automatic Transmissions Coolers

But that can’t happen if the transmission fluid—the lifeblood of the transmission—is unable to lubricate those moving parts.  When the residue in dirty, burned, or low transmission fluid builds up and thickens, it can’t control friction within the system overheating occurs. Fluid leaks, lack of regular maintenance, or a malfunctioning solenoid, which regulates fluid levels, can cause your transmission to overheat. 

Overheating is Serious Business

Ideally, the running temperature of transmission fluid is around 180-200 (F) degrees, which is the optimal range for it to flow freely through the system.  When the fluid thickens and doesn’t circulate normally, the resulting friction leads to mechanical failure. The seals can dry out and leak, or the clutch plates can harden and burn up.  Your gearbox will start seizing and your gears will slip, get stuck, or not shift at all.

These may be the least of your problems.  Unattended overheating can ultimately lead to a complete transmission burnout and the need for a system replacement—a pricey situation you definitely want to avoid.

Keeping your transmission fluid clean is the best way to avoid overheating and should be a top priority of your auto maintenance program.  Watch for leaks, keep your eyes on your car’s message board, and take care of any abnormalities at the first sign of trouble; driving with a hot transmission is a recipe for disaster. 

Protect Your Transmission’s Health 

When you need parts or accessories for your automatic transmission, the go-to source is just a click away.  Sun Transmissions, as a transmission parts supplier, has what you need, from the smallest components to re-build kits, universal transmission cooler, filters, additives and more.  We’re also ready to supply any power steering equipment you may need, like a power steering pump rebuild kit, and we’ll be happy to ship it to you anywhere in the United States.  Give us a shout if you need help protecting your car’s most important parts.

Previous article The Importance of Friction Discs in Automatic Transmission Maintenance
Next article The Impact of Rough and Fast Driving on Your Automatic Transmission

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