Three Reasons Your Transmission Is Overheating

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Your transmission is a central component of your vehicle that is linked directly to the engine. Thus, any sort of damage or malfunction in your transmission can have a huge effect on the overall performance of your car. Overheating is one of the most common problems that can face your transmission. Understanding some of the most common reasons why your transmission may overheat and stop your engine from operating can help you identify the underlying cause for your specific instance, and have it fixed it quickly so that you can get back on the road again as soon as possible.


One of the primary reasons why your transmission is working harder than usual and thus generating more heat with the engine is if you are towing a significant weight behind your vehicle. Keep in mind that your car will have a specific towing capacity, and exceeding it can place an undue amount of stress on both your engine and transmission that make overheating and other forms of damage and malfunction more likely. If this is the case, try towing multiple smaller loads to prevent expensive and complicated damage from being done.

Exterior Temperature

Sometimes, the temperature outside is simply too hot, and your transmission will overheat as a result even if there is no added load or stress placed on it. When this happens, the best course of action is to simply lift the hood and give your vehicle time to disperse the heat before starting the engine up again. Once the transmission and engine have cooled off enough for you to safely reach in and touch their components, be sure to check the coolant reservoir of your radiator (attached to your engine, most often – check the owner's manual) to make sure that there is adequate coolant to keep your transmission and engine cool, and add more if needed.

Transmission Fluid Issues

Another reason why your transmission may be overheating and negatively affecting the performance of your engine is because of a lack of transmission fluid to adequately lubricate the transmission itself. Transmission fluid reduces the amount of heat created by friction within the transmission and works to disperse heat that is generated through regular gear changes and shifts. If the transmission fluid is orange in color but simply below the line, you can add more without worry. If the fluid is heavily discolored, a brown or black, you have likely burned the transmission fluid and will need to have the system flushed by a professional.

Get in touch with an auto service company to learn more.