Left Arrow Swipe for more categories Right Arrow

Know Your Transmission: How Hot is Too Hot?

on March 11, 2021
car 5606668 960 720 - Know Your Transmission: How Hot is Too Hot?

Know Your Transmission: How Hot is Too Hot?

on March 11, 2021

One of the biggest questions when it comes to transmission is “what transmission temperature is too hot?” They tend to run on the hotter side when the car is running, which can make it a little difficult to gauge if it is overheating or not.

Your car may tell you when your transmission is overheating when the check engine light starts to light up. However, what if this doesn’t happen? How will you be able to tell when it is too hot?

Why Should You Check Your Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid serves a few different purposes in a car. It helps to cool down the transmission, facilitate the gear shifts, and lubricate the moving parts in your car. 

Checking it is one of the most important things you can do to keep your transmission healthy. Transmission fluid can be one of the biggest telltale signs that there may be some transmission problems

The color of the transmission fluid will generally tell you when your transmissions should be serviced, but you should always check the owner’s guide for the recommended time and type of fluid.

How Hot is Overheating?

Since automatic transmissions are located closer to the middle of the car, how do you know when your gears are running a little too hot? What if you don’t catch it in time?

A transmission operating temperature normally tends to be anywhere from 175 to 200 degrees, with the fluid inside ranging between 185-194 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If your car transmission is running 20 degrees higher than normal, your transmission life is cut in half. If it is at 240 degrees, it is quartered, and so on. High heat in a car is never a good sign, especially when it already runs as a 

Signs of Transmission Overheating

There are a few signs that you should be wary of when checking on your transmission, or even when driving. 

When the transmission fluid is checked, take note of the fluid’s shade. A normal color for transmission fluid tends to be red. If the fluid is a dark brown or black color, this means that the fluid has either begun burning or has already burned due to overheating.

An overheating transmission will tend to give off the smell of burning fluid. This is due to the transmission fluid burning inside of your overheating transmission. 

Other signs of an overheating transmission are the check engine light being on, and the transmission fluid leaking. 

Reasons for Temp Fluctuation

Transmissions don’t just overheat on their own, there is usually a cause to it. Here are a few reasons why the transmission temp could be higher than normal.

Low transmission fluid can cause wear and tear, which can cause it to run hot. The pressure is critical in the effectiveness of the fluid. If there isn’t enough pressure, the fluid can’t run properly through the transmission, and in turn, won’t function properly.

Once a transmission gets old enough or goes through enough damage, it will start to give and could cause it to overheat.

A defective solenoid could also be an issue. A solenoid is supposed to regulate how much fluid can move through the transmission at a time. If this is defective, it could either cause too much or not enough, fluid to pass through. Not enough fluid can cause overheating.

The heavier a load that a car is pulling or carrying, the harder a transmission works in order to get the load where it needs to go. If heavy loads are something that is regular for your car, you should check your fluids more often.

Prevention

Continuous upkeep on your car’s transmission is one of the best things that you could do to keep your transmission health up to date. This is as easy as dropping off your car at your local mechanic, or it could be a nice project for you at home.

Checking the color and the levels of the transmission fluid is a quick step to do on your own to make sure that your vehicle remains healthy and drives safely.

Changing your fluid as often as the manufacturer recommends is also a good way of keeping your transmission going for longer. Every car is different, so checking the owner’s guide for information on changes would be beneficial.

While this option is a little more expensive, putting a transmission cooler in your car would make things a lot easier in preventing it from overheating. This would especially be beneficial if you have a tendency to drive with big loads. 

Drive Safe with DriveSmart

When the time comes that your transmission does need to be replaced or needs some work done, it is going to cost an arm and a leg. The transmission is one of the most expensive parts to fix, and you would be stuck footing the bill.

DriveSmart Auto Warranty will help you in the event that your transmission goes, and help you to get back on the road safely. Get a warranty now and protect yourself from spending a pretty penny later on.

By Brooke Lazar

Related Vehicle Care Articles
on November 7, 2018
Power steering systems are something that most of us take for granted.  Many of us usually give our vehicle’s power steering no thought at all,...
Read More
on July 3, 2019
When we drive our cars, most of us aren’t really thinking about the complex mechanics of its inner workings. If it starts, accelerates, and stops...
Read More
Or Call 888-980-7459
By submitting this form I am giving DriveSmart consent to contact me by email or telephone at the telephone number(s) provided above even if I am on a corporate, state or national Do Not Call Registry. Note that this may include the use of an automated dialing system. I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. The DriveSmart privacy policy governs our data collection policy.
×
Please correct all errors before submitting.
By submitting this form I am giving DriveSmart consent to contact me by email or telephone at the telephone number(s) provided above even if I am on a corporate, state or national Do Not Call Registry. Note that this may include the use of an automated dialing system. I understand that consent is not a condition of purchase. The DriveSmart privacy policy governs our data collection policy.
Thank you! An agent will be contacting you shortly.
© 2021 DriveSmart. All rights reserved.
Disclosure: DriveSmart offers Protection Plans or Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC) may be referred as “extended car warranty”, or “auto warranty”. A VSC is not a warranty but provides repair coverage for your vehicle after your manufacturer’s vehicle warranty has expired. The VSC contract is with you and the vehicles owner and the VSC provider or administrator that will state what is covered in each plan.