Trans Oil Coolers
by Pat Goss
Every time you come in, you bring us some interesting parts and show us the insides of things. You got a radiator, what are we talking about?
TOM TAYLOR: I brought a radiator, but I’d like to talk about the transmission oil cooler. Often when you have transmission work done, the shop will recommend to replace the radiator and the reason is the transmission cooler is part of the radiator and this one we broke open you can see the transmission fluid goes in one pipe… comes out another… and is inside here and the engine coolant cools it down and warms it up so the transmission fluids up to the right operating temperature.
PAT GOSS: Yeah, and a lot of people don’t realize the business of warming it up which is almost as important as cooling it.
TOM TAYLOR: That’s right so you have the proper shifts, and especially on today’s newer cars it’s really important to have the transmission warm up as soon as possible.
PAT GOSS: OK, now you have a cooler here.
TOM TAYLOR: Yeah, this cooler is what’s inside this particular radiator and you look at it and it looks pretty substantial and you think hey there’s a big tank, lots of transmission fluid in there, maybe to clean it we could flush it out, but looks are deceiving when you open this up it’s actually a couple of hollow tubes and the transmission fluid only flows between the inner and outer tubes and there’s some corrugated metal in there to facilitate cooling and heating. Doesn’t leave much room if there’s any debris or oil transmission fluid will clog this up pretty quick.
PAT GOSS: You know the interesting thing, especially when transmissions fail, clutch material and stuff like that, we’ve cut a lot of these apart in my shop and they are just hopelessly clogged.
TOM TAYLOR: Right you don’t want to wash old debris into the new transmission and you want that clean transmission fluid flowing so you get the cooling and the heating.
PAT GOSS: Yeah, some of the manufacturers that we sell their transmissions they insist that we replace the cooler or the radiator however it comes, or there’s no warranty.
TOM TAYLOR: Yeah, that’s really a good idea. The transmission cooler even coupled with a radiator is much less expensive than most transmission work.
PAT GOSS: Yeah, for sure. Tom thank you. And if you have a question, or a comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.