How to Know When You Need a Transmission Cooler

Written by Godfrey on . Posted in Uncategorized

Many people seek to increase towing operations for various reasons. Typically, that increase in operation often comes with an increase in strain on your truck’s towing capacity. The additional strain translates to increased wear and tear on your transmission. In such cases, a transmission cooler can make a huge difference.

What is the Purpose of Transmission Coolers?

Using your truck to tow or haul doesn’t usually come with any issues if you’re careful to stay within your truck’s weight and towing capacity. However, if you start to move heavier loads more frequently, your transmission will start to suffer.

As the transmission works harder, the transmission fluid builds up more pressure, which creates more heat. If the heat increases beyond the ability for your transmission case to dissipate it, the transmission will start to slip. This creates dangerous driving conditions as well as increases the wear and tear on your transmission.

You can think of a transmission cooler as a second radiator for your truck. The cooler takes the hot transmission fluid and cool it down. Some trucks already have small transmission coolers. If you pick up a full towing package with or for your truck, you almost certainly have a transmission cooler.

When Does a New or Upgraded Transmission Cooler Become Necessary?

Not all trucks need a new or upgraded transmission cooler. Some trucks don’t have the space to install a transmission cooler without some additional work to fit one in. Generally, you should consider a transmission cooler as a necessity if you plan to increase the towing or hauling operations of your truck.

If you already have a transmission cooler, upgrading to a larger one can become necessary to maintain the integrity of your transmission. Some scenarios that make a case for adding a transmission cooler can include:

  • You already experience transmission overheating.
  • You plan to haul heavier loads at least semi-frequently.
  • You plan to tow something large and heavy, like a camper or other trailer.
  • You tow or haul in hot climates or places with lots of stop-and-go traffic.

Another way to look at adding a transmission cooler is to remember cooler transmissions are always better no matter what. In that light, consider a transmission cooler for peace of mind, or as a way to increase the performance and longevity of your transmission.

What Other Considerations Come With Adding a Transmission Cooler?

Transmission coolers can help any truck, but they’re not built to scale. Different types of transmission coolers exist, and different types of mounting schemes for them are out there as well. Some of the common types of coolers include:

  • Tube and fin coolers
  • Plate and fin coolers
  • Stacked plane coolers

In addition, you should know your truck’s towing and weight capacities inside and out. A transmission cooler keeps your transmission cool and healthy, but it won’t save you from overloading your truck or operating it incorrectly. Some transmission cooler manufacturers give their coolers classifications to help you figure out which will match your vehicle’s capacity.

First check the manufacturer’s hauling and towing recommendations. You can also check to see if the manufacturer offers an official transmission cooler kit or towing package that includes one.

Before installing or upgrading a transmission cooler, you must make sure your transmission is in good condition. For business purposes, you may even want to repair or replace your transmission before you install the cooler and put the truck to work.

At Godfrey Brake Service & Supply, our specialties include transmission repair, replacement, and servicing. If you want to install a transmission cooler or have concerns about your transmission in general, contact us today.


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Godfrey Brake Service & Supply

Address: 110 Poplar Avenue | Rapid City, SD 57701

Phone: (605) 343-5030

Email: [email protected]

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