Transmission Failure

As a follow-up note to Dave's very pertinent article in the latest Scots n' Water regarding transmission failure, the failure as Dave noted is almost always due to overheating the ATF fluid and then the resulting slippage and hard part damage. An external ATF oil cooler from the factory (often part of a 'tow package') is the best option and second would be an aftermarket ATF cooler. Today's vehicles are not very conducive to the installation of an aftermarket ATF cooler, so an excellent third option is to change your AFT fluid to synthetic ATF fluid that meets your particular vehicle's specs. Two well known and trusted brands are Mobil 1 and AmsOil and do not use any additive unless specifically called for by your Owner's Guide. The fluid typically retails for around $11 a quart and will darken after installation, which is normal. Avoid any blended synthetic ATF. The synthetic fluid has a higher boiling point and offers a far greater measure of protection against heat and hard part failure. Even with an external cooler, synthetic fluid is an excellent investment in longevity of your transmission.

Comments

Another thing I noted when reading the article: the author was

Another thing I noted when reading the article: the author was towing a trailer+boat package weighing at least 1200 lbs., with a vehicle rated to tow 2000 lbs. I tow my Scot with a vehicle rated to tow 9000 lbs and which is equipped with the factory Towing Package which includes a heavy duty transmission cooler. Vehicle makers tend to overstate tow capacity, for marketing reasons. I would not want to tow any trailer which weighs more than one-third to one-half of the rated vehicle tow capacity, except for very short distances. This is in part because of engine and transmission issues, but also because a vehicle rated for less than twice the tow weight will tend to be smaller and lighter, and therefore susceptible to being "pushed around" by the tow, and could have stopping issues (few Flying Scot trailers are equipped with brakes). J. Lott FS 5698

Another thing to note is that Chrysler products have tended to u

Another thing to note is that Chrysler products have tended to use very special oil in their transmission cases in the past. Be careful with the mini vans. Our old Dodge van was a dog compared to our Honda that replaced it. We have a Honda Odyssey (3500 pnd capacity) and we got the hitch from the dealership. It was pricey but personally I like the way that the OEM trailer hitch looks over an aftermarket. The Honda dealership said that they recommend the trans cooler if you are towing anything more than a bike rack. They could have been jacking me but the cooler is good insurance.