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 car had been sitting...
Craig H.
My car had been sitting outside all winter and when I tried to get it going in April I found the manual transmission had seized and I could only engage 1st & 2nd gears, no reverse 3, 4 or 5!! My dealer recommended a new transmission for $9K?!?! They couldn't even tell me when it would be in??!? (supply chain you know).   Mr Transmission looked at it and said "I think we can fix it" and they did. They took it apart and fixed it good as new for $1K.  $1K instead of $9K - for a savings of $8K for me!!!!  THANK YOU MR T!!!
Date: June 30, 2022
Website: Yelp
We recently took our 2018...
Debbie Cormier
We recently took our 2018 Lincoln in for a transmission check. They did a transmission diagnostic as well as an engine diagnostic and found no issues. They had the vehicle for a couple of hours, test drive and and all of that was “no charge”. We couldn’t believe it! The staff is so courteous and accommodating. We would drive the hour again to use this location!Services: Auto engine diagnostic, Transmission
Date: June 30, 2022
Website: Google
They did a good job,...
Lisa Overland
They did a good job, pretty fast so far so good. Shifts good.They did break an exhaust sensor, did not mention it to me after l showed the warning light to em. Cost me anouther $200 at Midas while getti g an oil change.
Date: June 29, 2022
Website: Google
We dealt with Mark at...
Tim Ford
We dealt with Mark at Mister Transmission St Thomas for a transmission rebuild on a 16 Dodge Journey. The repairs went smoothly and in a timely manner. The client was very happy they were able to get their vehicle back the same week before the long weekend. Thank you for everything. Tim Ford, Claims Manager, Nationwide Auto Warranty.
Date: June 29, 2022
Website: Google
My go to shop for...
D. S.
My go to shop for transmission work, excellent and honest workmanship, as well as pricing. This is the only place where you get all three: 1. Best quality 2. Fast service 3. Unbeatable price. Highly recommend!!
Date: June 29, 2022
Website: Google
Very nice staff and service...
Rehman Sherazi
Very nice staff and service with enough satisfaction to your questions and concerns.
Date: June 28, 2022
Website: Google
Great people and service!!Service: Transmission
Robert Vieth
Great people and service!!Service: Transmission
Date: June 28, 2022
Website: Google
Zaff was really good.Services: Body &...
Ze Ad
Zaff was really good.Services: Body & Trim, Oil change
Date: June 27, 2022
Website: Google
I have used this location...
D Anderson
I have used this location (Centennial Pkwy.) for transmission repair and preventative maintenance work on several occasions, with more than one vehicle over the years. Owner Steve is both courteous and knowledgeable. The work done here is honest and reliable. They are not in the business of overcharging for work that isn't required! I would highly recommend this location to anyone in need of transmission repair or service.Service: Transmission
Date: June 27, 2022
Website: Google
Great service and honest !Fixed...
NatyBe Creator
Great service and honest !Fixed my problem with very little headaches!
Date: June 26, 2022
Website: Google
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