The automatic transmission cooler fitted to your vehicle should be reliable and last for years. However, if it fails, you may need to spend up to $4000 for a complete replacement, which could leave a big hole in your budget. Is there anything you can do that may help to protect this crucial part and avoid any nasty surprises in the future?
Dealing with Heat Issues
One of the biggest enemies of any mechanical device is excessive heat, and it may not help that you live in one of the warmest countries on earth. To lower those temperatures within an automatic transmission system, you may want to add a special external cooler. If you already have one fitted, it may not be heavy-duty, and some extra protection is an even better idea if you do a lot of towing or hauling as well.
Consider fitting an automatic transmission cooler if you tend to drive in rush-hour traffic for long periods of time or are constantly in "stop-start" mode. Certainly, your transmission will cope with those conditions, but they will inevitably increase the internal temperature.
Fitting the Cooler
An external cooler will typically sit at the front of the car, right next to the main radiator. It will be connected to the transmission system through a feeder and return pipe, and this will move warm fluid from within the casing up to and through the fins of the radiator. When it is properly fitted, the oil cooler will operate whenever the engine is running.
There are many different types of oil coolers available, but the larger the capacity, the better it will be at managing fluid temperature. The size will typically be determined by the surface area and the number of individual plates and fins that make up the cooler configuration.
The most popular type of cooler has parallel plates that spread from one side to the other horizontally. It'll have the largest surface area so more fluid can come into contact with the cooling mechanism. Some have "turbulators" that can create a wavelike effect as the fluid is channelled, leading to greater efficiency.
Talk with your automotive parts supplier and see what options are available for your make and model. If you fit a transmission oil cooler, you will help protect the all-important fluid and should elongate the life of the component.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for spare parts, such as Toyota spare parts.