How to Avoid Transmission Overheating

How to Avoid Transmission Overheating

When your transmission overheats, it can damage the sensitive and complex parts that make up the transmission component. While regular transmission servicing should always be left to professionals, there are steps you can take to prevent transmission overheating. Below is everything you need to know about transmission overheating problems and diagnosis, and how we at Automatic Transmissions R Us can help.

What is transmission overheating?

Your transmission is a crucial part of the car. It converts the engine’s power into something manageable. It’s the powertrain keeping your vehicle moving. Put simply, it’s one of the most important parts of your vehicle, and without it, the car simply doesn’t run.
When the transmission gets too hot, which can happen for a few reasons, it overheats and causes damage to various components. Overheating is the leading cause of transmission failure.

What causes transmission overheating?

Transmission overheating is generally caused by:

Fluid problems

Low fluid levels or old transmission fluid causes friction between the parts and causes overheating. Fluid problems are the most common reason for transmissions overheating.

Hot climates

When the fluid temperature rises and stays elevated for prolonged periods, there’s a greater risk of overheating.


The extra weight makes your transmission work harder, and the extra stress generates more heat.

Heavy traffic

Stop-start traffic conditions, such as busy town driving during rush hour, also forces the transmission to work harder, which increases the risk.

Diagnosing an overheated transmission

When your transmission overheats, there are a few tell-tale signs — although a transmission specialist or mechanic will spot these signs at a service before the damage takes hold.


This is especially a problem in automatic cars. Look out for high RPM, acceleration delays, unusual gear noises, and difficulty shifting gears.

Low fluid levels

Your transmission needs sufficient fluid levels to operate, or else it’s susceptible to overheating. Low fluid levels indicate you may be at risk of transmission overheating.

Burnt fluid

If the transmission fluid seems ineffective or burnt out, it might give out a burning smell. You should change the fluid immediately if you experience this scent, in order to avoid further damage.

Solenoid malfunction

The solenoid determines how much fluid passes into the transmission. If ih4t’s defective or misfiring, it can damage the transmission and cause overheating.

How to avoid your transmission overheating

The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent your transmission overheating, whatever the weather.

Maintain the cooling system

The radiator, or cooling system, reduces the temperature of your transmission, so it’s vital that you look after it. If you tow heavy loads, consider adding an extra cooler.

Check the fluid levels

Check transmission fluid levels every few weeks to keep the transmission parts properly lubricated. This is also an opportunity to check for cracks, leaks, and other problems. If you do identify any issues with your transmission, always have it serviced by a professional.

Change the transmission fluid regularly

We recommend that you change the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, and more often if you drive long-haul routes, operate your vehicle in hot climates, or tow heavy loads. This reduces transmission wear, which in turn reduces the risks of overheating.

Transmission problems and diagnosis: the best solution

Ultimately, the best way to avoid transmissions overheating is to service your car regularly. Take your car to a licensed professional who can check the transmission components and minimise any risks of overheating.
The bottom line is that you can avoid many common transmission problems by servicing your vehicle regularly. It’s especially important to ensure your transmission’s working properly before you set off on a summer adventure or tow a caravan. At Automatic Transmissions R Us, we can service, repair, and rebuild transmissions for all vehicles, including European vehicles and imports. To schedule your checkup appointment, call us today.