TRANSMISSION OIL COOLERS: ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY?

Davies Craig investigates

Automatic transmission fluid (ATF) is subjected to tremendous heat and pressure from the action of the torque converter in transmitting power from the engine to the drive components and never more so than in four wheel drive vehicles.
ATF must lubricate, clean, prevent rust and corrosion, and cool. It is the lifeblood of the transmission. Ideal oil temperatures for transmissions should fall below 95°c for maximum component life.
Surveys report that an average rear-wheel drive automatic transmission fails in about 80,000 kms. Front wheel drive trans-axles report lower average life and far higher repair costs and some 90 percent of transmission failures are caused by overheating of the transmission oil.
With modern SUV ‘soft roader’ vehicles using lighter and smaller transmissions, the use of an auxiliary transmission cooler has become more significant in reducing operating temperatures.
SUVs have overtaken passenger vehicles to be the predominant segment of the Australian automotive market. SUV numbers will continue to grow with the SUV being the ‘work horse’ of choice for the trade industries. In many cases these vehicles will tow trailers full of equipment for on-site duties during most of their working life, thus placing an increased load on the drive train.

Some of the driving conditions that induce additional stress on an automatic transmission are stop, start driving – heavy traffic; outback/sand/off road/hilly driving; towing up to the maximum of the vehicle’s GVM and beyond; and operating in extreme weather conditions.
Davies Craig says a simple yet effective way to manage transmission stress and the overheating of transmission oil while alleviating possible failures is to install a suitable model Davies, Craig Transmission Oil Cooler.
Davies Craig specifically supplies two types of transmission coolers: tube and fin (“ULTRACOOL”) and the plate and fin (“HYDRACOOL”) designs.
It says the HYDRACOOL units are 33 percent more efficient than comparable tube and fin designs and are the transmission oil coolers of choice for many SUV and 4WD applications.
Davies Craig states Automatic Transmission Fluid cannot be cooled efficiently by an OEM style cooler, either through the bottom of the radiator or a box on the side of the transmission. It says an auxiliary transmission oil cooler is the best answer and a Davies Craig transmission oil cooler can reduce the ATF’s temperature by as much as 30°c (54°f). Reductions of 10°c (18°f) can double the life of automatic transmission fluid and components, it says.
A Davies, Craig transmission oil cooler is a low cost insurance policy to ensure vehicle and transmission longevity, says the company.

For more information, visit www.daviescraig.com.au