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The transmission cooler is responsible for lowering the temperature of the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid is a coolant, tasked with keeping the transmission at a safe temperature.
The fluid circulates around the transmission, and absorbs heat, which allows the transmission to operate at a relatively low temperature, where the car is safe. The fluid then flows to the cooler, which is usually located inside the car’s radiator. Heat is transferred from the transmission fluid to the coolant inside the radiator. With a lessened temperature, the fluid flows back to the transmission to absorb more heat, and everyone is happy.
So, it’s pretty simple. The transmission cooler is literally responsible for cooling the transmission, though it uses the transmission fluid as a middle man. If the cooler fails, the transmission fluid won’t drop in temperature, and it won’t be able to absorb heat from the transmission. You can probably guess what happens next.
In general, only cars with automatic transmissions have transmission coolers.
On most vehicles, the cooler is located inside the radiator. If the cooler ruptures, coolant and transmission fluid will mix. The problem can cause major damage to both the cooling system and transmission.
You know when your friend is having a bad day and just needs to talk? And it’s kind of annoying, but what are you gonna do, they’re your friend? Well, treat your transmission like a friend, and listen to it. When it has a bad day, it might need to talk. If the transmission cooler is acting up, then you’re likely to hear some funky grinding noises, especially when your car is changing gears.
If you notice a patch of fluid in your driveway, first check and see if it was your dog. Nope? Probably your car then. If your car is leaking fluid, it could be a number of things. If the fluid is a reddish color, then it’s likely an issue with the transmission. This can be the result of a leak in an external transmission cooler, which, it goes without saying, isn’t great.
If your car smells like your kitchen after you tried to make a steak last Friday night, then you’ve got problems. A busted external transmission cooler will often leak transmission fluid onto the engine or transmission, where it will burn and leave a nasty acrid smell in the air. Here’s a general rule of thumb: when your car is making gross smells, something is probably wrong.
A broken external cooler can result in a low transmission fluid level. Meanwhile, a ruptured internal cooler results in overfull transmission fluid and low engine coolant, or visa versa.
If your transmission cooler isn’t working, your transmission will overheat. And if your transmission overheats, it will begin to experience performance issues, such as slippage. And if there’s super hot fluid flowing through the cooler, the coolant in the radiator may start to get hot, causing your engine to overheat.Get a Quote 12-Month | 12,000-Mile Warranty
Hmm, let’s see. Your transmission cooler keeps your transmission from overheating, which in turn keeps your transmission functioning properly, and your engine doing the same.
You want to take a guess at what happens if you don’t take care of your transmission? I’ll give you a hint: an even more expensive repair.
Get your transmission cooler replaced, and soon.
12-Month | 12,000-Mile Warranty