Vehicle Overheating

By Mister Transmission

Contaminated or burnt fluid that contains particles can indicate overheating problems in the transmission.

An overheated vehicle is a common cause of mechanical breakdown and can be the cause of significant engine and transmission damage, therefore establishing the problem associated with the overheating is important for maintaining a well-running vehicle.

What’s that smell?

If a driver while running a vehicle smells something burning while driving, it could be a sign of a transmission that is overheating or leaking transmission fluid onto the exhaust. The transmission fluid is what keeps the moving parts in the transmission lubricated, as well as providing a cooling system for the transmission to prevent it from burning out.

Transmission fluid should be a translucent reddish brown color. Contaminated or burnt fluid that has particles in it can indicate problems in the transmission from overheating. If the fluid has a varnished look it is an indication of repeated overheating of the transmission.

Use the dipstick test

Drivers can check their fluid color by taking out the dipstick, cleaning it with a cloth and then re-inserting it into the fluid chamber. If the transmission fluid has any particles in it, than the driver should have a transmission expert check the vehicle and change the fluid. Driving with particles in transmission fluid can cause the transmission filter to become clogged, so draining and replacing the transmission fluid can sometimes solve overheating problems. However, other times the fluid color is an indication of bigger transmission problems. Make sure your transmission expert knows of your problems to ensure your vehicle continues to run optimally.

Clutch problems can cause transmission problems, which lead to overheating. The clutch, which is located within the torque converter, can become jammed. If the clutch is jammed, the solenoid can also become locked which means that the amount of transmission fluid needed could be incorrectly calculated and problems similar to low fluid levels can occur. Violent shaking of the car as well as producing high heat and a lower power output can result if this jam occurs.

What to know when towing

When a vehicle is towing anything or has been running at high speeds in warmer temperatures the transmission fluid should be checked regularly as anything that adds extra stress to the engine can cause transmission fluid to overheat. Rocking a car after it has become stuck in sand or snow can also cause high levels of heat in the transmission and engine in a short period of time. Digging out a vehicle or towing is the best option for your transmission. Warming up a vehicle so that the fluid is at optimal operating temperature is also recommended.

If a vehicle is towed, ensure that it is correctly done! Rear wheel vehicles must be towed with the rear wheels off of the ground, and front wheel vehicles with the front wheels off of the ground. Four-wheel drive vehicles should have no wheels on the ground. Improper towing can cause serious damage to the transmission, so make sure to check the owner’s manual before hooking up the vehicle.

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Customer Reviews
My rear diff had been...
Rachel Gavin
My rear diff had been whining and sounding terrible for a while... but since I've only had this truck for ~5 months I wasn't sure if it was normal or not. A different transmission shop said it sounded like normal gear noise, and perhaps sounded loud because of a lack of insulation/soundproofing. Well I took their word for it for a while but I still had a feeling something wasn't right - the sound (and my gas mileage) was getting worse, so I gave Mister Transmission in North Van a call. I brought it in the next day, and they were quickly able to diagnose the issue (diff was a mess, basically). They were able to source parts for this somewhat uncommon diff, rebuild it and get it back to me within about 4 business days which is pretty good in my opinion! Communication was great from start to finish. Obviously it wasn't fun having to pay a bunch of money to fix my truck, but I feel the price was fair (thousands of dollars less than it would have cost to bring it to the dealership for a whole new diff) and the price they quoted me once they knew what needed replacing was the price I paid. Best part is, my truck drives so smooth and quiet now! No more terrible whine! I'd definitely recommend Mister Transmission - thanks Bob and Ken and the rest of the gang!
Date: December 2, 2020
Website: Google
rich is a good guy
Matt Adam
rich is a good guy
Date: December 1, 2020
Website: Google
Although it was a minor...
Mario Iacobucci
Although it was a minor repair that some unnamed business botched horribly, this shop was very fair in price and took me in immediately. Thanks
Date: December 1, 2020
Website: Google
I really love this shop....
Clayton Leonard
I really love this shop. I've worked with Nav a few times now and their super professional and well priced. Like I said, love this shop and would highly recommend them!
Date: December 1, 2020
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I have been dealing with...
Dan Macinnis
I have been dealing with Frank and Paul at this Mister Transmission storefor over 25 years now and I would have to say one of the most professional, courtious and accomadating automotive business's Ive had the pleasure to deal with ......period.
Date: December 1, 2020
Website: Google
My Caravan transmission was giving...
Aaron Dias
My Caravan transmission was giving a lot of problems and took it to Mr. Transmission, and got it fixed. Thanks to Denise and Sean for their amazing customer service.
Date: November 30, 2020
Website: Google
Very good customer service.
Irfan Sheikh
Very good customer service.
Date: November 30, 2020
Website: Google
I was happy with the...
Evan Gobeil
I was happy with the help I received when my car broke down on the side of the road. They were able to get me in right away and provided me with an explanation of what happened and what was done. I would recommend to anyone needing work done on their vehicle.
Date: November 30, 2020
Website: Google
Steve and his team are...
Anne Marie
Steve and his team are great.As a woman, I have been taken to the cleaners before by a garage.What a refreshing change 🙂 These guys are honest, respectful, knowledgeable and treat customers with respect. You can go there knowing you will not get ripped off. They do what is necessary.Recommend these guys 💯%.
Date: November 30, 2020
Website: Google
Very friendly and professional.
RodzillaRoar
Very friendly and professional.
Date: November 28, 2020
Website: Google
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