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
Really perfect diagnosis
Ashwani Pranami
Really perfect diagnosis
Date: February 7, 2024
Website: Google
Hooray for Mister Transmission! The...
Jessica M.
Hooray for Mister Transmission! The service was excellent and they had the job done much faster than expected. Treated my vehicle extremely well (that thing is my baby) and got me back on the road with great prices and speedy (well done) work. I will be returning in the future if I have any issues with my car.
Date: February 7, 2024
Website: Google
The best place to get...
Alberto Manrrique
The best place to get your transmission looked at. Great people work there thay have your best interests at heart. Highly recommend.
Date: February 6, 2024
Website: Google
Had my clutch replaced here...
Tyler Foster
Had my clutch replaced here about 6 months ago in my wrx, was quoted 1500 less then the dealer wanted & less time, highly recommend checking these guys out, only complaint I had is my exhaust shield is a bit loose after the installation.
Date: February 6, 2024
Website: Google
Service was performed promptly and...
JP Electrical
Service was performed promptly and reflected the estimate that was provided. Communication was clear throughout. Mister Transmission was referred to me by my local mechanic and I will definitely let him and other people know that they did not disappoint. Will return for future work.
Date: February 6, 2024
Website: Google
Fast friendly and efficient
Pauline Parent
Fast friendly and efficient
Date: February 3, 2024
Website: Google
Great staff especially Mike.....
Winfred Khan
Great staff especially Mike.....
Date: February 3, 2024
Website: Google
Very helpful and great service...
Justin Joy
Very helpful and great service highly recommended
Date: February 2, 2024
Website: Google
Brian was so professional got...
Just Jeff
Brian was so professional got me in that day for an in depth diagnosis complimentary. They got my buissness when my tranny gives up for good
Date: February 2, 2024
Website: Google
Really nice people, gave great...
Tyler Pais
Really nice people, gave great service definitely bringing future business here.
Date: February 2, 2024
Website: Google
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