3 Reasons Your Transmission Is Overheating

Automotive Blog

Replacing or rebuilding your automatic transmission can be a significant expense. Transmission replacement costs can often even exceed the value of the car! Because replacing a transmission is not something to take lightly, it's essential to recognize problems early and address them before they become critical failures.

Overheating is one of the more common symptoms of failure that you may experience before your transmission gives out entirely. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may notice a burning odor, problems shifting, or your car may illuminate a warning light and enter limp mode. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it may be due to one of these three issues.

1. Stress

Your car's transmission is durable, but it's not invincible. Normal usage should not cause your transmission to overheat, but a few situations can potentially cause excessive amounts of stress. Towing a load beyond your vehicle's towing capacity can often push your transmission to the limit, for example. Sustained towing up steep grades, especially on hot days, can also be challenging.

If you receive a transmission warning light under these circumstances, pull over immediately and allow your transmission time to cool. Note that you shouldn't turn your vehicle off, but instead put the transmission in neutral and allow your engine to idle. You may want to consider checking and replacing your transmission fluid if the transmission overheats.

2. Dirty, Burnt, or Old Transmission Fluid

Your engine uses several fluids for several purposes, but your transmission uses only one: gear oil. Transmission oil acts as a coolant, lubricant, and hydraulic fluid all in one. Problems with your transmission fluid can cause several symptoms, ranging from relatively minor to severe. Fluid problems (including old or burnt fluid) can cause the transmission to overheat.

If your car has a transmission dipstick, then a good rule of thumb is to check your transmission fluid anytime your transmission overheats. Replace your fluid if it looks dark, smells burnt, or has obvious signs of contamination. You should also avoid driving your car if the transmission fluid falls below the minimum level on the dipstick.

3. Failing Transmission Solenoid

The solenoids in your transmission are a critical part of its hydraulic control system. When one or more solenoids fail, you may experience problems shifting between gears or even getting your car moving. Since a failed solenoid interrupts the normal flow of transmission fluid through your transmission, it can also cause your transmission to overheat.

The cost and difficulty of replacing a solenoid can vary from model to model, although in many cases, a failed solenoid will not require a full rebuild or replacement. If a failing solenoid is to blame for your overheating problems, you will need to correct the underlying issue to prevent additional damage to your transmission.

Visit a local transmission shop if you are having trouble with your transmission.


18 September 2020

Maintaining Your Vehicle

After dealing with car repair after car repair, I started thinking about ways that I could prevent future problems. I started taking my car in for regular tune-ups, focusing on things like tire rotations and never forgetting an oil change. I also kept careful records that helped me to track my vehicle's performance. This blog is all about maintaining your vehicle as efficiently as possible, so that you might be able to save money and prevent issues in the future. After all, who has time and money to get their car fixed constantly? Thanks for reading our blog and have an awesome day!