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Signs of Transmission Overheating: What To Do

Are you worried about transmission overheating? While your vehicle is made to sustain high temperatures, if the heat gets too intense it can cause major damage. There are a few things that you can do to help prevent costly repairs and keep your car running smoothly.

“I’ve noticed the wrench dash light turning on twice in the last week. The corresponding code is P1783, indicating a fluid over-temperature condition. Given my extensive commuting for work, covering a few hundred miles each week, I observed the code appearing towards the end of the drive. Yesterday, during my commute, I used FORScan to monitor the temperature. I noticed the fluid temperature gradually increase, reaching around 225 and occasionally peaking at 230.

My concern is whether this issue is related to the transmission oil cooler, heat exchanger, or bypass valve, or if it indicates a more serious problem. I regularly drain and refill the fluid every 15-20k miles, so it should be in good condition. My car is a 2015 2.0 SE with the 6f35 transmission. Thankfully, the car itself shifts and drives smoothly without any noticeable issues. The transmission has approximately 100k miles, while the car has accumulated 200k miles. Any insights or assistance would be greatly appreciated!

By the way, I was wondering if the fluid cooler bypass valve tends to fail or if it’s a common issue. I’m hoping for a simple and inexpensive solution!”

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what might be causing transmission overheating in cars and how you can go about fixing it. Keep reading for all the information you need to know and keep your vehicles safe from deterioration!

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Signs of an Overheating Transmission on a car

Here are some helpful indicators to recognize an overheating transmission in your vehicle:

  • Burning odor inside and outside the vehicle
  • Gears start “slipping” while accelerating or decelerating
  • Hesitation or delayed gear shifts when driving
  • Grinding or shaking sensations during acceleration or idle
  • Erratic shifting of gears
  • Warning lights or messages on the dashboard
  • Hard, jerky or shaky shift changes in automatic transmissions

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5 Possible Causes of Transmission Overheating in Your Car

Here are the top five reasons why your transmission may be overheating:

1.Low or Bad Transmission Fluid:

Maintaining optimal transmission temperature requires adequate and quality transmission fluid. Insufficient or degraded fluid can cause your transmission to overheat quickly.

2.Radiator & Cooling System Problems:

The radiator and cooling system are crucial for keeping your vehicle’s components cool, regardless of time, distance, or speed. If these systems encounter issues, your transmission (and other parts of your car) may overheat rapidly.

3.Hot Weather:

In arid and harsh climates, even a powerful cooling system may struggle to keep the transmission cool. It is important to allow your vehicle sufficient time to cool down and park in shaded areas to prevent overheating of essential parts.

4.Solenoid Issues:

A faulty or failed solenoid can contribute to transmission overheating. The solenoid controls the flow of fluid into and out of the automatic transmission. When the solenoid malfunctions, it disrupts the proper transmission fluid flow, leading to overheating and potential failure.

5.Failing Transmission Sensors:

Your transmission relies on various electric sensors to regulate its operations. If any of these sensors fail, the transmission may not function properly. Keep an eye out for warning lights like “Check Engine Light” or “Check Transmission Light,” as they indicate sensor issues that should be addressed promptly to save time and money in the long run.

The Consequences of an Overheated Transmission

Frequent overheating of the transmission poses a risk of catastrophic failure to your vehicle. As a vital element of your vehicle, any transmission failure can abruptly end your driving and result in costly repairs. Overheating is one of the most common and expensive problems associated with transmission failure in vehicles.

What to Do if Your Transmission Overheats

To maintain a cool transmission and prevent potential issues, it’s important to understand possible causes and take proactive measures.

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Follow these top tips for ensuring optimal transmission health and staying cool on the road:

1. Stay on top of maintenance

Even though your vehicle is designed to handle wear and tear, every part, no matter how strong, will eventually require maintenance. Ensuring the health of your transmission requires keeping track of routine maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

You can find instructions and a maintenance schedule in your user manual, which will guide you on when and what transmission maintenance you should seek based on age and mileage.

2. Understand the warning signs of trouble

If you start noticing any of the warning signs or reasons for overheating mentioned earlier, it’s time to take action. Make a beeline for your nearest mechanic or dealership to get a thorough diagnostic check. Addressing issues promptly can save you precious time, money, and unnecessary stress.

3. Make sure your mechanic knows their stuff

A Transmission requires skilled expertise and a steady hand for repair and maintenance. Don’t entrust your transmission to just any mechanic.

Before handing over your keys, ensure your chosen mechanic is experienced in working with transmissions and familiar with the symptoms your vehicle is exhibiting.

4. Treat your transmission with kindness

Practicing responsible driving can prevent many common vehicle issues. Here are a few quick and easy tips to keep in mind:

  • Come to a complete stop before shifting gears.
  • Avoid idling for long periods of time.
  • Accelerate and decelerate at a reasonable speed.

Remember, if you treat your car with kindness, it will return the favor for years to come!

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Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

1 thought on “Signs of Transmission Overheating: What To Do”

  1. Automatic transmissions can overheat for various reasons, such as poor engineering, maintenance, or driving habits. To address this issue, there are several remedies to consider.

    First, it is advisable to have your car and transmission inspected by a professional mechanic. This will help identify any potential problems or leaks, such as low transmission fluid or debris in the auxiliary transmission cooler.

    If you frequently tow heavy loads, it may be necessary to install an auxiliary cooler to prevent overheating. Many vehicles come with a “tow package” that includes this feature, so it is important not to overlook its importance.

    Additionally, regular maintenance of the transmission, including fluid changes and filter replacements, can greatly improve its performance. Checking the transmission temperature sensor is also recommended, as it may affect the overall function of the transmission.

    Keep in mind that if your vehicle is no longer under warranty, addressing transmission issues may require some financial investment on your part. However, neglecting these problems could lead to further damage and costlier repairs in the long run.

    Lastly, if you own a vehicle with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), it may be prone to premature failure due to the way it has been engineered by most manufacturers.

    In summary, automatic transmissions can overheat for various reasons, but with proper maintenance, regular inspections, and necessary modifications, you can minimize the risk and potential expenses associated with this issue.


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