While most of us love summer, it can be tough on our cars. A lot of us spend more time on the road, taking day trips or just enjoying a long drive. The weather alone shouldn’t harm your vehicle, but hot temperatures can contribute to your transmission overheating. Learn more about why your transmission may overheat, and what you can do to prevent it.
What Temperature can a Transmission Handle?
The transmission is designed to operate at high temperatures, usually around 195-220 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that theoretically, warm temperatures alone should not be a cause for overheating transmissions. However, if combined with other factors that lead to an overheating transmission, weather may play a part.
Cooling System Problems
The transmission cooling system is vital to keeping your transmission at a normal operating temperature. If there’s a problem with the cooling system, it can cause the transmission to overheat. This could be due to a failure in the radiator, leaks in the hoses or lines, or an issue with the transmission cooler itself. If the cooling system isn’t working properly, hot weather will have a bigger impact on the temperature of your transmission.
Old Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid helps to cool and lubricate the transmission. Over time, transmission fluid can break down and become less effective. This is especially true in hot weather. If the transmission fluid is old, it may not be able to properly do its job, leading to an overheated transmission. It is recommended to replace transmission fluid every 60,000 to 100,000 miles with an automatic transmission.
How you drive can also affect transmission temperature. If you are in frequent stop-and-go traffic, your transmission will have to work harder and may overheat as a result. Driving at high speeds for a long period of time can also lead to overheating, as the transmission fluid may not have enough time to properly circulate.
How to Know if Your Transmission Overheats
If your transmission overheats, you may notice leaking or burning. Your vehicle may also slip out of gear or have a delayed response when shifting gears. Other symptoms you may experience could be a burning smell inside and outside of the car, or a grinding sensation when accelerating.
What You Can Do to Prevent Transmission Overheating
There are a few things you can do to prevent transmission overheating:
- Make sure that your transmission fluid is clean and at the correct level.
- Have your transmission serviced regularly to ensure that it’s in good working order.
- If you frequently drive in hot weather or in stop-and-go traffic, try to take breaks when possible to give your transmission a well deserved rest.
If your transmission does overheat, it’s important to have it serviced as soon as possible. Overheating can damage the transmission and lead to serious problems down the road. By being proactive, you can help to prevent transmission overheating and keep your car running smoothly all summer long. Contact us to get your transmission checked by a mechanic and keep it running smoothly year round.