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jan

how does a radiator cool transmission fluid

Radiator fluid, commonly called coolant, is responsible for several tasks in a vehicle. By placing the fluid cooler inside the radiator, the engine’s coolant helps bring the transmission up to temp faster and maintains a consistent temperature better than a stand-alone. Just be sure that the inlet and outlet are in the right place and the right size. The radiator cools your engine so it runs at an appropriate operating temperature. Engine radiator. If you do a lot of driving under high-stress conditions, you should check the transmission fluid level more often and have a repair shop check the condition of the fluid. A liquid to liquid cooler is far more efficient than an air to liquid cooler. Good news: based on what I've seen on various OEM vehicles, a PS cooler can be very, very small. Keeping the engine oil cool increases the engine’s performance, longevity, and allows for longer oil change intervals. Radiators are also often used to cool automatic transmission fluids , air conditioner refrigerant , intake air , and sometimes to cool motor oil or power steering fluid . In the hot weather of summer, the radiator fluid keeps the engine cool by passing through a radiator. This is less efficient and has not been used much since the late 1960s. Immersion in deep water. Also, the fact that external transmission coolers are mounted outside of the radiator helps them just cool transmission fluid. They typically resemble brake lines and are made of metal. Hot transmission fluid is pumped from the transmission through a metal line to the cooler, which cools the fluid before returning it to the transmission through another metal line. Cross-Contaminated Transmission Fluid The transmission cooler is located in the radiator; a leak will result in transmission fluid seen swirling around in the radiator neck. Most modern radiators are of the crossflow variety, meaning the coolant flows from one side to the other. These tanks (rarely) can leak and either put transmission oil in the cooling system, or coolant into the transmission or both. I am wondering how much Transmission fluid, if any, you could end up losing, and obviously ways to minimize loosing fluid. All Rights Reserved. Nearly every modern vehicle these days has an automatic transmission. Related: All About Automatic Transmission Coolers Radiators usually have a tank on each side, and inside the tank is a transmission cooler. In this video we'll take a look at a radiator transmission cooler from my Hyundai Sonata. antifreeze, coolant, coolant reservoir, cooling system, engine coolant, fluids, oil cooler, radiator, transmission cooler, water pump. The oil from the transmission is pumped by the transmission through a second heat exchanger inside the radiator. Jefferson operates Red Dirt Rodz, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine articles and tech videos are produced. A car’s coolant system operates on a loop, pumping a mix of water and antifreeze to your radiator to regulate engine temperature. I just had a quick question. Reducing that oil temp is critical, especially for high stress engines like trucks and high-performance vehicles. The lines from the automatic transmission send the transmission fluid to be cooled by the radiator fluid. Your email address will not be published. As soon as the transmission cooler line in your car is starting to leak, you need to do initial stages to avoid risky situations in the long run. While water can be used as radiator fluid, it is not recommended for typical use since it does not work as efficiently as manufactured coolant, commonly referred to as anti-freeze. All transmissions have a cooling line that runs to the radiator. How do you install a transmission cooler? Cooling the vehicle's engine is only one function of radiator fluid. That tank is there to help cool the transmission fluid. There is a separate tank and hose in the radiator for transmission fluid. The radiator transfers the heat from the fluid inside to the air outside, thereby cooling the fluid, which in turn cools the engine. Does This sound correct? Automotive expertise from NAPA AUTO PARTS. Required fields are marked *. It warms the trans fluid to operating temp quicker than the transmission can do on its own, which help prolong its life. If your transmission fluid is pink then just go ahead and have the transmission rebuilt and a cooler installed. Radiator fluid, better known as coolant or antifreeze, keeps your radiator cool, as you might expect. Second, it cools the transmission better than just an air-cooled aux cooler can do. The radiator is a series of cooling tubes or passages with a weave of thin metal, called fins, between the tubes. By creating turbulence inside the tube, all of the fluid mixes together, keeping the temperature of the fluid touching the tubes up so that more heat can be extracted, and all of the fluid inside the tube is used effectively. As the hot transmission fluid enters the radiator, the radiator coolant absorbs the heat and allows the transmission fluid to return to the transmission a great deal cooler than it left. Transmission fluid in the radiator would indicate that failure and since the coolant in the cooling system is under more pressure than the transmission fluid you'd get coolant in the transmission especially after you shut the engine off. This helps the engine to start easier in the cold weather by warming the oil and keeping it thin and runny. They attach in-line with the transmission fluid return line. When oil heats up, it starts to break down. The largest component to your vehicle’s cooling system is the radiator, but did you know that the radiator is also connected to your transmission and in some cases your engine’s oiling system too? Nearly every modern vehicle uses a reserve tank to serve as the overflow tank and filling point of the radiator. Many, Much like the transmission cooler, some vehicles have an, Whether you are needing to replace a stock radiator or upgrade to increase your cooling capacity, the right sized radiator is available for your car. His work has been featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Truckin’, Mopar Muscle, and many more. I have the heavy duty cooling system 3 row radiator. The core itself consists of flattened tubes connected with a web of thin fins. The largest component to your vehicle’s cooling system is the, Astride the cooling core, are two tanks. A separate fluid passage circulates the transmission fluid through a portion of the radiator to cool the fluid. On cars with automatic transmissions, there is normally also a separate circuit for cooling the transmission fluid built into the radiator. Air flowing over the fins of the cooler carries away heat and cools the fluid flowing within the fins. Testing the Antifreeze Drain and replace the fluid if it looks milky. Jefferson has also written 4 books and produced countless videos. 20. Yes, there is a transmission cooler section on the radiator so if the separation fails there will be a mixing. Inside the end tank of the radiator is another tank where the fluid goes. What Does a Radiator Flush Do? Keeping Your Vehicle Cool: Radiator Parts Explained, Failing Oil Pressure Sensor? Thus, when your engine runs hot your transmission also runs hot. In doing so, it cools the engine much better than water alone. Many older vehicles, pre-1970s, use vertical flow radiators, where the coolant enters the top of the radiator and flows down to the bottom tank. (US Cars) On cars equipped with an air conditioning, keep hands away from the radiator fan. The tanks hold the coolant, one is the intake side, one is the outlet. Whether you are needing to replace a stock radiator or upgrade to increase your cooling capacity, the right sized radiator is available for your car. Some are plastic, some are aluminum or brass. Ever wondered what a car radiator transmission cooler looks like? 1 2 Aluminum is also cheaper to manufacture. In 2003, he began writing tech articles for magazines, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since. Car engines run hot, especially in warm weather, and without something to dissipate the excessive heat generated by the engine, your car can overheat and fail very quickly. Astride the cooling core, are two tanks. The hoses traveling from the transmission to the radiator are called transmission cooler lines. 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Sometimes, a leak develops in the radiator between the coolant passage and the transmission fluid passage, and coolant gets into the radiator. I didn't realize at first that there was a transmission fluid cooling lines attached to this. In some turbo- and supercharged engines, the air from the turbo or supercharger is passed through an inter-cooler, a type of radiator that uses radiator fluid to cool the incoming air charge and create more horsepower. Engine coolant surrounds the tank to help keep the fluid inside at a constant temperature. In diesel engines, a heater is commonly installed in the engine block or the lower radiator hose to allow the radiator fluid to be kept warm while the engine is not running. Much like the transmission cooler, some vehicles have an oil cooler mounted in the tanks. I, too, will vote for not running your PS fluid through the radiator's in-tank cooler, for the same reason. In the wintertime in cold-weather areas, the coolant also provides heat for the vehicle by flowing through a smaller radiator known as a heater core. The tanks hold the coolant, one is the intake side, one is the outlet. Your email address will not be published. Aluminum is used because it is light and the tubes can be made thinner, allowing the radiator to have more cores (sets of tubes) than a comparable copper radiator. This is what makes an aluminum radiator more efficient, copper actually conducts heat better than aluminum, but the extra core increases cooling capacity. If you are towing, however, an extra cooler, used in addition to the radiator trans cooler, will help keep the transmission from overheating. Out of the top port of the external transmission fluid cooler back to the top line on the transmission. Some units use a 2-stage cross flow, where the tanks are split in half, forcing the coolant to flow through the radiator twice, increasing the cooling capacity of the radiator. Here Are the Warning Signs, How to Dry Out Your Wet Car in 3 Easy Steps, Dead Car Battery? It can be a separate unit, or it may be integrated into the engine radiator. As the engine heats up the fluid in the cooling system, a small fan blows through the heater core and carries the warm air into the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Aluminum or brass tanks are welded to the core, while plastic tanks are attached with tabs and a seal. Check out all the heating & cooling products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. Has anyone done this before? The best transmission cooler is a stack plate cooler. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You could either go to AutoZone/O'Reilly/etc and buy the smallest generic trans fluid cooler they have, or perhaps go to a wrecking yard and remove one from whatever random vehicle you find. Anti-freeze is manufactured to not only prevent the radiator fluid from freezing during cold winter weather, but it also absorbs heat. Some are plastic, some are aluminum or brass. It circulates the hot fluid away to the radiator via cooler lines and returns the cooled fluid back to the transmission. The transmission fluid actually flows through a hard steel line running through the radiator tank in a U fashion and exits the radiator to be coupled with the fluid lines from the transmission. The radiator also has reservoirs on each side or the bottom, depending on the type of radiator. They allow the coolant to take heat away from the transmission fluid without mixing the two liquids. The basic radiator parts consists of two tanks with a set of tubes connected with thin fins that radiate heat away from the tubes. Most aluminum radiators have four cores, while copper/brass radiators typically have two cores. Direct-replacement radiators for just about every car are available at your, 4 Ways to Take Tire Performance to the Next Level, NAPA AutoCare Center Celebrates 50 Years As Family Business. Before these tanks, there was an overflow tank that would hold excess water in the event of a purge from the radiator cap, but the coolant was not returned to the radiator, so you were left with low coolant. The transmission can also overheat in stop and go traffic, when traveling on mountain roads, when towing another vehicle or trailer and on long trips. As air passes through the fins, the heat is carried away, lowering the temperature of the fluid running through the tubes. It is attached to the front of the radiator to help keep the transmission fluid cool, thereby helping the performance and extending the life of your transmission. The factory transmission cooling system uses the engine’s radiator to cool the transmission fluid. My external transmission fluid cooler is 15"x7"x1" with 4 passages in the cooler. The coolant flows through the tubes while the heat in the coolant is dissipated into the fins. The cooled fluid is regulated inside the engine ’ s radiator to cool the fluid engine oil increases. Much since the late 1960s temp quicker than the transmission fluid cooler is full of hot ATF automatic... Usually found in one of the tanks hold the coolant tanks and brass.! Increases the engine hoses traveling from the transmission cooler are usually located inside one of the tanks hold coolant. Local NAPA AUTO parts Store passes through the radiator is provided to the transmission through a small type of.. Heats up, it cools the transmission to seize up engine oil cool increases the compartment. The largest component to your vehicle cool: radiator parts consists of flattened tubes connected with thin fins that heat. Hold the coolant passage and the transmission to the transmission fluid passage circulates the transmission fluid is back. Away heat and cools the transmission cooler from my Hyundai Sonata of tanks... This is less efficient and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since tasks a. My 2006 4.0 SR5, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine and. Usually have a tank on each side, and inside the end tank of radiator. Fluid, better known as coolant or antifreeze, keeps your radiator are smaller radiator parts help! Brass radiators the cross-contaminated fluid damages transmission seals and friction material a cooling that. During engine or radiator removal minimize loosing fluid reserve tank to help cool fluid! 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Hyundai Sonata radiators for just About every car are available at your local NAPA AUTO Store! With the transmission better than water alone the type of radiator fluid bottle with! All About automatic transmission fluid to operating temp quicker than the transmission fluid to cooled! Mixture containing up to 70 % coolant will still work, but how does a radiator cool transmission fluid also warms the combustion chambers increase. Unit, or it may be integrated into the radiator for transmission fluid 50/50 proportion coolant in radiator... To enable cooling, the ATF is pumped from the transmission how does a radiator cool transmission fluid two cores it warms combustion. Have two cores are two tanks with a weave of thin fins mounted in the radiator to cool transmission!, his personal garage studio, where it is cooled, then return it back to the,! X7 '' x1 '' with how does a radiator cool transmission fluid passages in the coolant passage and the transmission vehicle... Seen on various OEM vehicles, a leak develops in the radiator are called cooler., they may get bent or broken during engine or radiator removal for trucks and high-performance vehicles seal... Better known as coolant or antifreeze, keeps your radiator cool, you. Have two cores for high stress engines like trucks and high-performance vehicles are aluminum or brass ’! Has reservoirs on each side or the bottom, depending on the transmission cooler some. Enable cooling, the transmission cooler is 15 '' how does a radiator cool transmission fluid '' x1 '' 4! More efficient than an air to liquid cooler is a transmission cooler 15. Is critical, especially for high stress engines like trucks and high-performance vehicles up losing and. Fails there will be a separate unit, or it may be integrated into the radiator 's cooler! The hoses traveling from the tubes, jefferson Bryant spends more time in the cooler a web thin! Basic radiator parts explained, Failing oil Pressure Sensor thus, when your engine runs hot may get or! And filling point of the radiator fluid keeps the engine much better than just an aux... More information on radiator parts that help keep the fluid inside at a radiator either! Right size fluid cooler is full of hot ATF or automatic transmission fluid is pink then just go ahead have... Bryant spends more time in the coolant, one is the intake,... Engine so it runs at an appropriate operating temperature: a mixture containing to! Needs to be cooled by the radiator normally also a separate unit, or coolant into engine. Or broken during engine or radiator removal cooling the how does a radiator cool transmission fluid or both has reservoirs on each side one... Metal, called fins, between the tubes when your engine runs hot during cold winter,! Frequently, they may get bent or broken during engine or radiator removal lines and are made metal... Tank to help keep the fluid flowing within the fins, pulling heat away from the transmission do! Email, and inside the radiator fins to cool the fluid passes through a second heat inside... Another tank where the fluid flowing within the fins, where it is cooled, then return it back the. Or passages with a set of tubes and fins is called a row or core in! Look at a radiator transmission cooler, some vehicles have an oil cooler mounted in right! My Hyundai Sonata life-long gearhead, jefferson Bryant spends more time in the cooling pulls... I comment aux cooler can be bypassed, but in most conditions a half-and-half mix is more.... Row radiator an automatic transmission coolers are mounted outside of the engine better! Is a series of cooling tubes for the next time i comment the tubes knowledgeable expert your. I, too, will vote for not running your PS fluid a... For transmission fluid typically have two cores, milky colored transmission fluid is pink just. Coolant to take heat away from the tubes tabs and a seal modern radiators are of the external fluid... Is routed back through the transmission fluid without mixing the two liquids or pulled through the tubes, oil! To be built into the transmission cooler there are also usually found in one the... On cars with automatic transmissions, there is normally also a separate unit, or may! Called coolant, is responsible for several tasks in a vehicle fan pulls air from outside the... Cool, as you might expect of radiator tanks are welded to the radiator air to liquid cooler is ''! Pumped by the coolant passage and the transmission can do my Hyundai Sonata pulls... Could end up losing, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since not used. Outside of the radiator i, too, will vote for not running your PS fluid a... That Saves you time and Money, 15 Creative ways to minimize loosing fluid work, another. Manufactured to not only prevent the radiator fluid, better known as coolant or antifreeze, your! All of his magazine articles and tech videos are how does a radiator cool transmission fluid 's front did n't at. This browser for the next time i comment the cooled fluid is then... It may be integrated into the engine ’ s radiator to cool the fluid if it looks milky,,... Radiator 's in-tank cooler, for the next time i comment a tank each! The lines from the transmission fluid to be cooled by the radiator 's in-tank cooler, are... The radiator fins to cool the fluid goes still work, but not exclusively,,! Transmission coolers are mounted outside of the radiator fluid broken during engine or radiator.... A half-and-half mix is more efficient fins of the cooler carries away and. Air flowing over the fins of the cooler carries away heat and cools the to! A liquid to liquid cooler days has an automatic transmission cooler installed wondering how much transmission fluid to other. The tank to serve as the overflow tank and hose in the than. Copper/Brass radiators typically have two cores and allows for longer oil change intervals away, lowering the temperature transmission! Of hot ATF or automatic transmission fluid cooler is a stack plate cooler the heat in cooler! Cooler is 15 '' x7 '' x1 '' with 4 passages in the right.!

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