When I got my first car twenty years ago, I was clueless when it came to maintaining it and keeping it in a roadworthy condition. As a result, I had to pay for costly repairs that could have been avoided if the car had been looked after better. I learned my lesson and started reading everything I could about basic car maintenance. I started this blog to share what I've learned in the hopes it will save other new drivers making costly mistakes. I blog about a variety of topics, such as troubleshooting uneven tyre wear, the benefits of regular servicing and maintaining your car during the winter months. I hope you find my blog useful.
Many mechanics attribute gearbox failure in automatic transmission cars to overheating. As a result, many motorists install an auxiliary oil cooler in order to keep the transmission fluid within the optimal temperature range. This article discusses some specific driving conditions that would warrant the installation of an auxiliary cooler in your car in order to prolong the useful life of the gearbox.
When you regularly tow loads like caravans or trailers, your vehicle's gearbox undergoes a lot of stress, since it has to operate in low gear for a long time so that it can tow the load. This makes the transmission fluid heat up since the engine will be hotter during towing operations.
Driving in Mountainous Areas
If you own an SUV or any other vehicle that you use to drive over rugged terrain, then your vehicle's gearbox is at risk of overheating. Rugged terrain is very taxing on the engine of the car. As a result, the viscosity of the engine oil and transmission fluid will reduce as engine temperature goes up. This reduces the effectiveness of the lubricants, so the gearbox is likely to wear out quickly.
Long Hours in Heavy Traffic
Heavy traffic makes you slow down and you move only short distances before coming to a standstill. In such driving conditions, the radiator fan is not very effective in cooling the engine. This is because it lacks the power of the moving car to force cool air through the radiator fins. Consequently, the engine will be prone to heating up. That heat will reach the gearbox, and the transmission fluid will have an elevated temperature.
Driving Fast on Hot Days
Another reason why engines and gearboxes heat up is driving at high speeds when the weather is very hot. When it is hot, the air entering the radiator will be hot, so the cooling effect that the engine needs will be minimal. That could explain why most engine or gearbox failures due to overheating occur during the hotter months of the year.
The onus is on you to take a critical look at your normal driving conditions. If they mirror any of the situations described above, then your vehicle may be a prime candidate for having an auxiliary oil cooler installed. Talk to a vehicle mechanic at a shop like Gearbox Express, and he or she will confirm whether this is what you need to prolong the life of the gearbox.