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GM Turbo 350 Transmission Fluid Types to Consider

GM Turbo 350 Transmission Fluid Types to Consider - Gearstar

If you need to service your transmission, you must beware of the type of transmission fluid to use, especially for GM Turbo 350. This can be somewhat challenging since many brands have flooded the industry over the last few years. However, you can avoid the information overload you will encounter when searching for the best ATF by sticking to these GM Turbo 35o transmission fluid types:

  1. Royal Purple 06320–6PK Max ATF
  2. Castrol 03520C Transmax DEX/MERC ATF
  3. Valvoline ATF +4 Full Synthetic

Let’s take a more in-depth look.

Royal Purple 06320–6PK Max ATF High Performance

Most of the failures that plague automatic transmissions are due to overheating. It is essential to know that automatic transmissions generate lots of heat due to excessive demands, and the only for them to cool off is via dependable transmission fluids. This is where the Royal Purple ATF comes in. This synthetic transmission fluid is orchestrated to reduce the considerable wear and heat on your transmission, which helps extend its life. Royal Purple ATF is highly compatible with a wide variety of transmission fluids. This implies that you don’t have to drain your vehicle’s current automatic transmission fluid.

But if you want to enjoy the overall and optimal benefits of the Royal Purple Max ATF, experts highly recommend draining the existing transmission fluid in your transmission. You will enjoy premium protection and excellent performance. The Royal Purple Max ATF offers more resistance to increases in viscosity and oxidation, unlike many other automatic transmission fluids. This gives you extended drain intervals and liquid life. Since this automatic transmission fluid is long-lasting, you will enjoy increased performance, improved fuel economy, and better gear shifting.

Experts highly recommend the Royal Purple Max ATF for multiple passenger vehicles as it has zero issues working in freezing and high temperatures. When temperatures are exceedingly high, you won’t experience any problems shifting gears or any form of disintegration. Royal Purple Max ATF also comes with several additives that include cleaning agents. These cleaning agents remove deposits that collect in areas or components susceptible to friction. This ensures your vehicle transmission remains clean, resulting in better performance and an extended life span. Some of the benefits and drawbacks of using Royal Purple Max ATF Synthetic fluid are as follows:

Benefits

  • This synthetic transmission fluid helps in cooling your automatic transmissions.
  • It is a high-quality compatible fluid that mixes remarkably well with other transmission fluids.
  • It helps minimize wear and extreme heat.

Drawbacks

  • Pouring this transmission fluid into your vehicle transmission can be cumbersome.
  • Another issue some vehicle owners have with the Royal Purple Max ATF is not noticing any significant difference in overall performance.

Castrol 03520C Transmax DEX/MERC ATF

Castrol Transmax is what you need if you want to boost the overall performance of your transmission. This fluid promotes improved friction durability as you change gears, giving users a better experience. Moreover, Castrol Transmax is versatile as it can be utilized across multiple car models. It performs much better than other products within the same category, making it one of the best transmission fluids on the market today.

Some transmission fluids give problems when performing under extreme temperatures. But you will never have such issues with Castrol Transmax as it provides the most desirable protection in high temperatures. This makes the transmission fluid the perfect option for those who go on long-distance trips. Here are the pros and cons of Castro Transmax:

Benefits

  • It is highly suitable for power steering and transmission for General Motors and other vehicles.
  • It works remarkably well under high temperatures.
  • Improves the overall smoothness of transmission in your car, thanks to improved friction durability.
  • It is available at a pocket-friendly price.
  • This transmission fluid offers resistance oxidation while preventing significant viscosity increase.

Drawbacks

  • The only drawback is that you can’t see the transmission fluid level inside its container.

Valvoline ATF +4 Full Synthetic

Valvoline ATF is a fully synthetic transmission fluid loaded with improved additives. The advanced additives and formulation help prevent leaks and minimize wear and tear. This transmission fluid guarantees 100 percent a considerable shift of gears. By decreasing significant wear and tear and other causes of severe transmission breakdown, Valvoline ATF helps extend your transmission’s life. It also efficiently optimizes the overall performance of your vehicle’s transmission.

Valvoline ATF also comes with several cleaning additives. The additives ensure your transmission remains as clean as possible and offers optimal performance. When the transmission fluids start circulating, it efficiently collects and does away with every foreign deposit from components susceptible to friction. You will notice significant differences when you compare synthetic and conventional fluids.

As mentioned earlier, Valvoline ATF is a synthetic transmission fluid that never disintegrates even when it performs optimally in extreme weather conditions. This is due to the thermal properties that enable the transmission fluid to serve exceptionally well in high temperatures. You will end up getting additional extended drain intervals. Valvoline is highly compatible with several European models like Saab, Audi, Mercedes Benz, and BMW. Here are the pros and cons of the Valvoline ATF synthetic transmission fluid:

Benefits

  • This synthetic transmission fluid offers exceptional oil flow in freezing temperatures and enhanced protection of the entire system at incredibly high temperatures.
  • It contains several cleaning additives that help ensure your transmission remains as clean as a whistle, devoid of contaminants.
  • It has anti-wear technology that helps to boost the durability of the transmission significantly.
  • It is suitable for a wide variety of European vehicle models
  • The synthetic fluid has anti-shudder protection attributes that enable smooth gear shifting and maximum power transfer.

Drawbacks

  • It is costlier than conventional transmission fluids of the same caliber.

The Bottom Line

The GM Turbo 350 transmission fluid type you use in your vehicle will significantly determine the longevity of your transmission. Fortunately, the ATFs discussed above come with several properties that help ensure your transmission has an extended lifespan. But as you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all GM Turbo 350 transmission fluid; each has its pros and cons that you need to consider before making your final purchase decision. Therefore, take note of the drawbacks associated with each transmission fluid, and make your choice depending on your budget and your love for your vehicle transmission.

5 Causes of a Transmission Fluid Leak

5 causes of a transmission fluid leak

Have you ever wondered why a puddle of red fluid always seems to appear under your vehicle magically? There’s a big problem if you have noticed similar stains on your garage floor or driveway or keep refilling your transmission fluid. You have a transmission fluid leak that needs urgent attention. Ignore it, and you may be headed for a complete transmission failure!

The Importance of Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid, also referred to as ‘transmission oil,’ is the lifeblood of your vehicle transmission. Its reddish color makes it relatively easy to identify. The primary job of the transmission fluid is to lubricate and protect transmission components efficiently. 

If you have low transmission fluid levels or a leak, it may significantly affect the transmission’s overall performance. If ignored for a long time, it could cause crucial damage to those components. You will spend lots of money fixing the leak and then replacing the transmission oil.

What Causes a Transmission Fluid Leak?

A leaky transmission may be caused by a critical or minor issue you can tackle, either on your own or with the help of a professional auto mechanic. Whichever one it is, joking around with a problematic transmission is a mistake you should never make.

Here are the top common causes of leaky vehicle transmission:

1. Broken Seals

Automatic transmissions efficiently sustain hydraulic pressure via several different transmission seals. But over time, these seals get worn out and crack. This often occurs when the seals are constantly exposed to heat or high temperatures. It could also occur when too much transmission fluid floats within the system.

Therefore, if a transmission leak occurs due to broken seals, you may need to have several areas checked by an auto specialist. However, in most cases, mechanics find leaky seals in the output shaft or input shaft.

The mechanic may need to also examine the following transmission-reliant components:

  • The sensors
  • The transmission pan
  • The driveshaft
  • The shifter housing seal
  • The speedometer input seal
  • The plug seals
  • The tail housing seal
  • The valve body

2. Drain Plug/Transmission Pan

The drain plug or transmission pan is a durable component that will experience wear and tear over time. It is highly vulnerable to damage as it takes several daily hits from debris and loose rocks on the road while driving.

A transmission leak occurs when the transmission pan becomes punctured. It may also occur due to loose bolts or drain plugs. A leak will occur quickly if you drive on rough terrain and a big rock – or some other hard object – hits the transmission pan. You will usually notice this almost immediately, and your transmission starts losing fluid quickly.

It may take a while to notice smaller punctures or holes in your transmission pan. Leakage may occur if the bolt or drain plug is over-tightened until it strips or if they are not tightened enough. 

This problem usually occurs almost as soon as you change the transmission fluid. So, ensure the mechanic that will work on your vehicle is a professional. They will know the exact force to apply or use when tightening bolts, etc.

3. Transmission Pan Gasket Fails

The transmission pan gasket is a vital component of the transmission system. The gasket may get damaged due to a wrong alignment during a previous installation. It could also be damaged if exposed to high temperatures constantly or as a result of poor construction/manufacturing. Whatever the case, the outcome is a transmission that leaks its lifeblood.

The transmission pan gasket is affordable and easy to replace. Get a professional auto mechanic to replace the pan gasket as soon as possible. If you delay a little longer, more severe issues will crop up, requiring you to spend more resources to fix them.

4. Cracked Fluid Line

Most fluid lines of vehicle transmission are made from durable aluminum or steel. However, they’re prone to damage due to heat exposure or road debris. These could cause the fluid line to crack or even break completely, resulting in transmission fluid leakages.

5. Leakage of Torque Converter

The transmission fluid finds its way into the whole system via the torque converter. However, transmission fluid will leak if there is a crack anywhere on the body of the torque pump or the needle bearings are severely damaged.

This is a big problem and a complicated fix. Therefore, take your vehicle to the local mechanic. The only option, in this case, is to replace the torque converter.

How to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Transmission

Transmission issues are usually bothersome and expensive compared to other types of vehicle repairs. This is why knowing how best to take care of your vehicle’s transmission is vital.

Check Transmission Fluid Levels

Every now and then, check the levels of your transmission fluid as well as its overall condition. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s procedures in the owner’s manual before inspecting the dipstick. In some instances, you can only make these checks when a vehicle’s engine is running while some other vehicles’ engines must be off.

A Sweet Smell with Reddish Color is Good

Good transmission fluid should have a sweet smell and a reddish or vibrant shade of pink. However, it is not uncommon for the transmission fluids in some vehicles from specific manufacturers to be of a different color.

Get a Transmission Flush Every 30,000 Miles

If you need to top up the transmission fluid level, ensure you use the right and perfect kind, as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Create time for regular transmission flushes. Experts suggest performing transmission flushes every 30,000 miles.

Don’t Forget to Service the Coolant System

Make sure to service your coolant system from time to time. This ensures the proper functioning of your entire cooling system, which helps to cool the transmission fluid.

Opt for Certified Transmission Repair Annually

Another excellent maintenance habit you should learn is having a certified transmission repair expert look over your transmission. You can have this inspection performed at least once per annum. This is the easiest way to discover any hidden or unnoticeable transmission issues that can be nipped in the bud before it becomes serious and will cost you lots of money to fix.

Fixing a Transmission Fluid Leak to Prevent Failure

There you have it: the most common causes of transmission fluid leaks. Fooling around with a problematic transmission is a big mistake. It could result in complete transmission failure, which would cost you a lot of money to fix.

When you notice a transmission leak, find your way to the nearest auto mechanic shop to have your vehicle checked and fixed immediately.

Shop Gearstar

For more information on transmissions, parts, and how-to’s, visit Gearstar every week to see what’s new. Whether you’re flexin’ a GM, Ford, or Mopar, Gearstar has what you need! Contact us today or give us a call.

Fixing a Transmission: 6 Benefits of Hiring an Expert

Fixing a transmission: 6 benefits of hiring an expert

As a vehicle owner, the ability to do small maintenance tasks can save you a few dollars here and there. Installing a new car battery, adding oil, or screwing on an air filter are small tasks most car owners can do. However, it is another ball game when it comes to fixing a transmission and any parts associated with it. You’ll need the professional assistance of an expert.

Many car owners make the mistake of visiting standard auto mechanics or service centers. Although the average mechanic can easily handle simple transmission repairs, they don’t have the requisite tools for high-tech diagnosis of transmission problems.

If your transmission has a more serious issue, a standard auto repair mechanic may not be capable of handling it. You will still need to find a transmission specialist who knows the ins and outs of vehicle transmissions and can expertly and accurately diagnose its problems.

This will cost you 2x more money and precious time, which you should not trade for anything. In order to avoid these, you should always opt for a specialist anytime you have transmission problems.

The Advantages of Hiring an Expert for Fixing a Transmission

If you are still not too convinced about the importance of having a specialist work on your faulty transmission, these benefits would:

1. Repair Complexity

Transmission is one of the most integral and complex pieces of a vehicle’s system. Unlike the punctured car tire you can easily change or a small hose you can patch without breaking a sweat, transmission issues are usually complicated.

Transmissions are made up of multiple components and pieces, and each of these parts can easily experience problems. Moreover, transmission designs vary by model and make. 

Only a well-trained and experienced professional can swiftly give an accurate diagnosis of any transmission problem. Experts use industry-specific computer programs to tap into the computer system of a modern vehicle in search of accurate diagnoses of car issues.

Professional mechanics know how to run these computer programs efficiently. They also possess the necessary tools – which often reflect the complexity of transmission repairs – required to fix faulty transmissions.

2. Warranty Protection

At least two iron-clad warranties become functional here. First, having an expert perform transmission repairs helps protect your vehicle’s warranty. Secondly, most highly trained and experienced specialists offer their own warranties on transmission repairs.

This implies that in the rare or uncommon case the expert misses something during transmission repairs, you will be protected from paying out of your pocket for additional repairs.

Ensure you make inquiries, read, and fully understand whatever extended manufacturer warranty the mechanic offers before they start working on your vehicle.

3. Cost-Efficient

Fixing your transmission can be expensive, especially if you don’t have the ideal tools. You should not engage in such activity without the necessary repair components and tools.

Hiring an expert is the most affordable choice since they have all the right tools and repair components.

4. Eliminate the Stress of Repairs

It doesn’t even matter if you are an experienced Do-It-Yourself mechanic. The pressure of getting your vehicle running again in top-notch condition will subject you to a lot of stress.

For instance, you will spend lots of money – and time – tracking down the appropriate tools for fixing the defective transmission. Taking down, repairing, and re-installing a transmission is not a one-man job, i.e., you will require at least another pair of hands. You will need to call up a couple of your friends who also have time to kill and are willing to assist you in your repair quest.

As you can already see, the stress of doing it yourself is not worth it. The best way is to get an expert to check the transmission, give accurate diagnoses, and take steps to fix the issues for good.

5. Peace of Mind

Having an expert work on your vehicle’s transmission gives profound peace of mind. Maintaining a healthy transmission or repairing a faulty one will get you through adverse conditions such as off-road terrains, bad weather, etc.

A professional mechanic can easily detect the daily wear-and-tear issues transmissions undergo. They can fix these issues before they escalate into something significant and expensive.

6. Specialization

A car transmission expert is not the usual Jack-of-all-trades mechanic in many cases. An expert has undergone the proper training and is certified and knowledgeable at efficiently diagnosing high-tech transmission issues, especially in heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and vans.

They also have a better experience as understanding particular causes of transmission issues in specific vehicles is their forte. This is what you need if you value your time and money.

Quick Tips to Keep Your Vehicle Transmission Healthy

Keeping your vehicle transmission in tip-top shape on a daily basis is highly essential. Follow these quick tips that will help ensure your transmission remains healthy at all times:

Transmission Flushes

It is vital to change your fluids from to time. Having low fluids and not doing anything about it is a recipe for future transmission issues or difficulties.

Always address low transmission fluid as soon and as soon as possible. Avoid driving your vehicle when its transmission fluid is low or below the recommended level.

Replacing a seal is less expensive, can easily fix the problem, and save you lots of your hard-earned cash on repairs down the road.

Do Not Ride the Brake

You force your transmission to work even harder whenever you drive with your foot heavy on the brake pedal. Avoid doing this as much as possible in order to prevent transmission problems.

Use the emergency brake each time you park your vehicle on an incline. This helps to minimize stress on the parking lineage.

Always Stop Your Vehicle Completely Before Shifting from Reverse to Drive

Anytime you are in reverse, such as backing out of a particular parking spot, etc., ensure you stop your vehicle completely before shifting into Drive.

You must have experienced the dreaded ‘engine drop’ when you don’t stop before shifting gears. When you stop completely before shifting gears, it helps prevent the transmission from unwarranted strain.

Leave it to the Professionals

The benefits of hiring an expert for fixing a transmission cannot be overstated. You may be able to do minor fixes like changing your car tires, installing a vehicle battery, or even screwing on an air filter.

But when it comes to repairing a faulty transmission, leave it to the professionals. You will have profound peace of mind, protect your warranty, and have a specialist handle every complex issue on your behalf.

For more tidbits on transmissions, converters, controllers, and more, visit Gearstar each week. For any questions or inquiries, contact one of our professionals today. We would be glad to assist you, whether it be for a GM, Mopar, or Ford transmission. You may also visit our support page for resources and how-tos for installation tips, tricks, and more.

5 Tips to Prevent Transmission Overheating

5 tips to prevent transmission overheating

Heat and transmissions are archenemies and will never go hand-in-hand. When transmission overheating occurs, it can cause multiple problems in your vehicle. This makes heat the principal cause of most premature transmission failures that car owners experience from time to time. 

Overheating transmissions account for about 90 percent of every automatic transmission failure recorded. It is so severe that you may need a total replacement, which will cost you a substantial amount of your hard-earned money. 

This is because it is primarily responsible for the following transmission issues:

  • Failed bearings
  • Cracked gears
  • Inoperable solenoids
  • Ruptured seals
  • Slipping transmission bands
  • Delayed clutch engagement

Whatever component is within the area where the transmission is located can suffer a breakage due to too much heat.

Causes of Transmission Overheating

Heat is a silent killer that has surreptitiously claimed the very active life of an innumerable number of transmissions. In many cases, excessive transmission heat goes unnoticed until something breaks, and it becomes too late to fix it. It may even be quietly damaging your vehicle each time you put it in gear.

The primary causes of excessive transmission heat include:

  • Low fluid levels
  • Solenoid problems
  • Fluid leaks
  • Old/burnt fluid

Other factors that contribute to the overheating of transmissions include:

  • Living in an area with a hot climate
  • Towing heavy loads/caravan with your vehicle
  • Always driving stop-and-go in heavy traffic, etc.

This is why it is essential to know what to do in order to reduce transmission temperature. This will protect your vehicle and save you lots of money in the end.

The Automatic Transmission Fluid

The automatic transmission fluid works efficiently to take away heat from the transmission. However, it also provides lubrication as well as the pressure required when changing gears. Expanding springs, spinning gears, and whirring turbines generate a lot of friction as they function.

This friction generates excessive heat, which, if left unattended, can cause varnishing, stress fractures, etc. The damage to the transmission’s internal components can be so severe that you will have to replace them.

This is why the automatic transmission fluid, which contains chemical additives, is formulated to absorb heat efficiently and flow through every moving component. 

The hot fluid transmits the heat from the transmission to the radiator, forcing it through a specialized cooling chamber. This chamber makes use of aluminum fins that efficiently remove the heat from the automatic transmission fluid.

How to Prevent Excessive Transmission Heat from Destroying Your Transmission

If your vehicle undergoes heavy use every day, you should be worried about your transmission overheating.

However, don’t fret: these tips will show you how you can prevent transmission overheating:

1. Install External Transmission Coolers

If your vehicle consistently hauls auto parts, other automobiles, wood, or heavy tools, you risk overheating your transmission. Your transmission will overheat due to the increased stress applied to your vehicle due to excess weight. This is more evident if your vehicle travels to and from hilly terrains.

Consider installing an external transmission cooler in your vehicle. External coolers are highly effective in keeping your transmission cool or at a regulated temperature, irrespective of the increased stress. External coolers will also work to minimize friction to the transmission, another cause of severe damage.

Visit the local transmission workshop to request or buy an external transmission cooler suitable for your vehicle. You can install the device on your own or get assistance from a professional mechanic.

2. Go Neutral from Time to Time

If you find yourself – in your vehicle, of course – sitting idly for a brief moment in traffic, shift your transmission into neutral and relax. Allow your vehicle to idle until the next moment when you have to move when traffic moves accordingly.

Allowing your vehicle to idle in neutral in heavy traffic, on railroad tracks, or while sitting at a red light significantly minimizes the strain on your vehicle’s transmission. This is your transmission’s chance to lose intensity by cooling down.

This action will prolong the lifespan of your transmission. Allowing your vehicle to idle in neutral when it is not in use will also reduce the amount of fuel your engine consumes. This means more money in your pocket as you save a lot of money as time goes on.

3. Check The Transmission Fluid Regularly

Make time to check your vehicle’s transmission fluid at least once a month. This makes it easier to identify burnt or worn-out dirty fluid or low-level fluid issues. These warning signs are easy to spot before they cause severe transmission issues that can utterly destroy your transmission.

4. Add A Deep Pan

Consider adding a deep pan if you experience excessive transmission heat. Deep pans allow users to add more fluid to vehicles. This, in turn, spreads out the heat, dissipating it and removing it completely from the transmission within a short period. 

Ensure you use only aluminum pans as they dissipate excessive transmission heat much faster than steel-constructed deep pans.

5. Change The Transmission Fluid On Time

Ensure you change your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. You can do this easily on your own. But if you are not a DIY enthusiast, get your vehicle to the nearest transmission workshop in order to flush the fluid out of your vehicle.

However, if you live and drive your vehicle in a hot climate or find yourself hauling heavy loads from time to time or engaging in lots of stop-and-go traffic, it is advisable to change your transmission fluid every 15,000 to 20,000 miles.

This ensures your transmission fluid remains fresh at all times so that it can work efficiently by cooling the transmission.

Keepin’ it Cool

Overheating is one of the #1 causes of transmission failure. Research shows that excessive transmission heat accounts for up to 90 percent of automatic transmission failures. It is often undetectable until it is too late.

This is why it is crucial to do everything within your power to cool your transmission or prevent it from overheating. The tips shared in this post, if adhered to strictly, will prevent the occurrence of excessive transmission heat.

For more information, news, and tidbits on all things transmission and converters, check our news section weekly. Gearstar specializes in building quality automatic transmissions from the ground up. Contact us today and see the difference.

Keep Your Engine Purring with a Transmission Flush

Keep your engine purring with a transmission flush

Most vehicle owners usually focus on inspections, oil changes, battery replacements, tire care, brake service, and air filter checks. Indeed, every vehicle requires family care routines for optimal performance. However, one vital service consideration often overlooked by most car owners is transmission maintenance–specifically a transmission flush.

Most transmission issues often end in replacement, costing thousands of dollars. But you can perform preventative services such as transmission flushes to keep your transmission in top-notch condition.

Here’s what you should know about keeping your engine purring with a transmission flush.

But before then, let’s check out what a transmission does in your vehicle.

The Transmission

The transmission is one of the hardest-working and complex components in a vehicle’s engine. It is responsible for shifting gears within the motor and serves as the powerhouse of any vehicle.

Transmissions generally require proper maintenance, which includes constant lubrication via a transmission fluid. The latter protects the transmission from oxidative reactions as well as from the wear and tear that occurs due to the constant shifting and driving.

Why is a Transmission Flush Necessary?

The transmission fluid helps regulate temperature while keeping every component within the gear mechanism working seamlessly with zero friction.

However, since transmission fluids absorb heat when regulating the temperature within the gear system, the fluids start breaking down and burn over time. Waiting too long for a transmission flush may cause your transmission to deteriorate.

Transmission fluid flushes are necessary since they help prevent transmission issues. They work to ensure your vehicle is in peak condition at all times.

A transmission flush involves cleaning out old, dirty, and lackluster fluid from your transmission system and replacing it with fresh and clean transmission fluid. This process keeps your automobile healthy for a long time.

An ideal transmission flush should generally involve a transmission servicing such as:

  • Installing a brand-new air transmission filter
  • Installing a brand-new pan gasket
  • Fluid drain and removal from within the system, etc.

A transmission flush eliminates the need for costly transmission repair. It boosts overall engine performance while allowing your vehicle to shift gears smoothly and easily.

When is the Perfect Time for A Transmission Flush?

“But when exactly do I need a transmission fluid flush?” you may be asking. There is no one-fits-all answer for this because the measure of this service depends significantly on your driving patterns as well as your automobile.

Check the Owner’s Manual

However, you can get an insight by checking your owner’s manual. The manual should indicate the number of miles you need to cover in-between performing maintenance transmission flushes.

But if you can’t find any transmission flush guidelines in your owner’s manual, don’t fret. Your car engine could be one of the few that comes with a ‘lifetime’ transmission fluid, especially if the transmission is sealed.

Nevertheless, even sealed transmissions can permit contaminants into the workings of your vehicle and cause an issue or two, albeit at a much slower rate than traditional car engines.

Therefore, you may still require a transmission flush every few years. Your local mechanic or the official site of your vehicle manufacturer may share some insight.

Transmission Fluid Checks

You can also perform transmission fluid checks which is another accurate and incredibly easy way to determine if you need a transmission flush. 

Get a professional mechanic to look under your hood and check your transmission fluid’s overall status. You need to verify that the transmission fluid levels are not overly full but full enough.

You need to also confirm that the transmission fluid is not dirty or discolored by checking the fluid color. It must also be doing its job, including maintaining proper temperatures within the system.

However, you may not be capable of performing this examination or evaluation unless you are a certified engineer or mechanic. If you aren’t, experts highly recommend that you take your vehicle to the nearest local workshop.

Get the mechanic to help you check your vehicle’s transmission fluid. You can also make this request every time you change your oil. This helps you stay far ahead of necessary transmission flushes while ensuring your vehicle receives proper care.

The Benefits of a Transmission flush

The benefits of transmission fluid flushes cannot be overstated. In many cases, a vehicle’s transmission starts showing signs of wear and tear after every 30,000 miles.

Performing a transmission flush eliminates dirty fluid from the system and replaces it with clean fluids. The new, clean fluid re-lubricates the entire transmission system and keeps your engine purring. In other words, your vehicle runs much better as a result of this transmission service.

Here are the unique benefits of a transmission flush:

Prevents Overheating

Metal shavings and other particles from within the transmission eventually accumulate in your vehicle’s transmission fluid. If nothing is done, the transmission and fluid start heating up, causing the particles to burn and overheat every internal component within the transmission system.

This can cause system failures, resulting in costly repairs. A transmission flush prevents these issues.

Boosts Fuel Efficiency

An optimally-functioning transmission places less strain on the other mechanical components in the vehicle. Reducing the amount of friction that rotating and moving parts produce results in an increase in the amount of energy that is transferred to the wheels.

This significantly improves fuel economy and saves you money on gas down the road.

Enhances Gear Operation

An overheating transmission turns the transmission fluid into a gooey, thick sludge. This development of clogged gears makes it difficult to shift between speeds.

A timely transmission flush eliminates or prevents this condition and improves gear operation.

Take Care of Your Transmission

Transmissions are an incredibly large part of the movement of any vehicle. If your transmission fails to function, your vehicle goes nowhere.

You can ensure the continuous functioning of your transmission by performing a transmission flush from time to time. A transmission flush helps prevent overheating, improves fuel efficiency, and enhances gear operation, among several other benefits.

Get a professional mechanic to check your transmission today to determine if you need a transmission flush. It could save you the thousands of dollars required to repair or replace a broken-down transmission.

Visit our news section every week for more insights, tips, and advice on transmissions. Gearstar specializes in building automatic high performance transmissions, built with phenomenal quality by expert builders. Contact us today for questions or inquiries about our transmissions, converters and controllers.

Transmission Fluid Color: What Do They Mean?

Transmission fluid color: What do they mean?

Do you know how revealing transmission fluid color is? It can help diagnose transmission issues while showing the overall health of your vehicle’s transmission.

The color of your car’s clean and fresh transmission fluid is usually bright red for a reason. But over time, the bright red color changes to maroon and brown. Should you be very concerned when this happens? This article will reveal the answer you need.

The Importance of Transmission Fluid

The transmission of your vehicle is highly essential in getting it into motion. Although the engine is primarily responsible for creating power, the transmission’s job is to transmit that power to the wheels. 

The transmission requires adequate fluid to reduce the friction between gear sets, create pressure, clean internal components, and prevent overheating. The fluid helps protect every component within a transmission system and keeps it free from dirt.

Checking the Transmission Fluid Color

You can determine the color of your vehicle’s transmission fluid in your transaxle or transmission by following these steps:

  1. Open your car’s hood and locate the transmission dipstick
  2. Pull out the dipstick from the filler tube
  3. Determine the color of the fluid

Check the fluid at the end of the dipstick and try to determine its color. You can place some drops of the transmission fluid on a clean white sheet of paper to obtain a more accurate reading.

There is an automatic transmission fluid color chart that you can utilize. Match the color of the transmission fluid to the fluid color chart. This will give you an accurate explanation and what you need to do.

But first, let’s check out the various colors of transmission fluid that you may likely come across.

Transmission Fluid Color and What It Means

Red

Most brand-new transmission fluids have this color. It shows the fluid is not contaminated or dirty. The see-through, viscous transmission fluid has not oxidized and can efficiently protect the transmission and facilitate shifting gears.

This implies that no action is required whatsoever when the transmission fluid still shows this color.

Pink

Your transmission fluid should never be pink. Transmission fluid with this color implies the presence of engine coolant or water. This diluted transmission fluid can easily damage your transmission.

Therefore, when you notice that the transmission fluid color is pink, take your vehicle to your local mechanic’s workshop. Get the fluid drained from your transmission with the assistance of a professional technician.

Orange

If the transmission fluid looks orange, it is still in good working condition. However, it is an indication that the fluid is getting older.

You don’t need to change it yet as long as you can see through the transmission fluid with its orange hue. You can still drive your vehicle around for some time – i.e., a few more days or weeks – before flushing out the transmission fluid and refilling the gear mechanism.

Light Brown

When your transmission fluid has a light brown hue, it also shows that it is getting older. The fluid may still be translucent and pose no danger to your transmission, meaning you don’t have to change it yet.

Light brown transmission fluid is not really a sign of problems. You can still drive your car a bit longer before changing the fluid.

Brown/Dark Brown

However, as soon as the hue of the transmission fluid in your vehicle turns brown or dark brown, you have to change it. This usually occurs after your vehicle must have done up to 30,000 miles.

Brown or dark brown transmission fluid is no longer translucent but opaque. You can no longer see through the transmission fluid anymore. It is oxidizing – i.e., the fluid is getting filled with air bubbles which prevent the transmission fluid from doing its job effectively – and is no longer viscous.

So, change it right away as soon as you notice that your transmission fluid has taken on this color.

Other Ways to Check the Condition of Your Transmission Fluid

There are other ways to determine the overall condition of your transmission fluid.

The Smell of the Transmission Fluid

You can smell the transmission fluid. If it has a burnt odor, it simply means that the fluid is completely oxidized and overheated

The outcome is that the fluid offers poor lubrication, increased heat, and friction. This may result in excessive wear and severe damage to seals and internal components.

In fact, in many instances, burnt and smelling transmission fluid already implies that the gear mechanism itself has suffered some internal damage. You need to change that transmission fluid as soon as possible and have the technician check out the overall condition of the transmission itself.

The Blotter Test

Place a few drops of the transmission fluid on a paper towel. Wait for about 30 seconds. If the fluid is light brown or red or spreads out across the paper towel, no further action is required. The transmission fluid is in excellent condition.

But if the transmission fluid does not spread across the paper towel or looks dark, it implies that it has completely oxidized. You will need a filter and fluid change or have to flush out the transmission fluid from your vehicle.

Consistency is Key

Your vehicle’s transmission fluid color is one of the best ways to determine the overall health of your vehicle. You may also consider its smell and consistency in order to buttress what you suspect.

Most transmission fluids are red, though it is also not uncommon to get some in yellow or even blue. As the transmission fluid ages, the color changes gradually.

Therefore, consider changing the transmission fluid when its color has become dark brown. By protecting your vehicle’s transmission via maintenance, you prolong the transmission’s life span. You also prevent expensive rebuilds or replacements.

Make sure you don’t settle for less than the best transmission fluid for your car for optimum performance. For questions or inquiries, and all things transmission or converter, visit our resources and support page for tips, tricks, and how-tos. You may also contact Gearstar using our online form or give us a call. We will be glad to assist you!

Yes, A Transmission Fluid Change is Needed (And Here’s Why)

Yes, a transmission fluid change is needed

If you notice your transmission slipping or have difficulty shifting gears, it may be time for a transmission fluid change. Over time, the fluid can become dirty or low, causing problems with your car’s transmission. A transmission fluid change is a relatively simple and inexpensive maintenance task that can help keep your car in good working order.

What is a Transmission?

A transmission is a gearbox that connects the engine to the drive wheels of a vehicle. The purpose of the transmission is to transfer power from the engine to the drive wheels while also providing a means to change gears, depending on the speed and load. Transmission fluid helps to lubricate and cool the transmission while preventing overheating and other serious problems.

When performing maintenance on your transmission, one of the things you should do is a transmission fluid change in order to ensure that your vehicle’s transmission is not only adequately lubricated and cooled but to keep it running at its optimal performance. Additionally, here are some other reasons:

  • Keeps components lubricated
  • Provides cooling
  • Prevents oxidation
  • & much more!

How Often Should You Change Transmission Fluid?

Most carmakers recommend that you change your car’s transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. However, this interval may be shorter or longer depending on the make and model of your vehicle as well as your driving habits.

For example, a person who uses their vehicle for light driving may only need to get a transmission fluid change much later. In contrast, a person who is constantly on the road traveling (e.g., heavy city driving) would likely need one sooner.

Additionally, deciding when to get your vehicle’s transmission fluid changed can be dependent on if it’s automatic or manual. Different transmissions may fall on different schedules for maintenance.

How to Check a Car’s Transmission Fluid Levels

To check your car’s transmission fluid levels, start by finding the dipstick. Typically, it will be located near the front of the engine on the driver’s side. Once you’ve found it, pull it out and wipe it off with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Then, place the dipstick all the way back into the transmission and pull it out again. Look closely to see where the fluid level is on the dipstick. If it’s below the “full” line, add more transmission fluid until it reaches that point. Finally, replace the dipstick and screw the cap back on.

When observing the transmission fluid, make sure to look at the color. Your transmission fluid should be bright red, while a darker color indicates that it’s time for a transmission fluid change. Sometimes you might find the fluid to be dirty or contain debris particles. This is another sign that your car needs new fluid.

When finished, take your car for a spin around the block to see if the gears are shifting correctly and to make sure the vehicle is running as intended.

Warning: Always check to ensure the engine and other components have cooled down before working on your car!

It’s advised to check transmission fluid levels while the emergency brake is set and the vehicle is parked on an even surface at operating temperature for best results. Also, place a jack under the car to raise it up, which will allow you to work under the vehicle.

Which is Better? Flush or Drain?

A transmission flush is when all the fluid in the transmission is flushed out and replaced with new fluid. This is generally considered to be a more thorough way of changing the transmission fluid, as all the old fluid and any debris that may have collected in the system is completely removed.

A transmission drain is simply draining the fluid out of the transmission pan and then replacing it with new fluid. This will generally remove most of the old fluid, but there may still be some debris left in the system.

If unsure, it’s best to speak with a professional mechanic or read the owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer suggests for your vehicle type and model.

Types of Transmission Fluid

There are many different types of transmission fluid on the market, including automatic transmission fluid (ATF), continuously variable fluid (CVT), and manual transmission fluid (MTF). ATF is the most common type of transmission fluid, while MTF is typically used in manual transmissions. CVT fluid can often be found in modern vehicles with advanced technologies equipped.

Likewise, there are different blends available, such as synthetic. Although it costs more, synthetic transmission fluid has quickly become a popular choice amongst car enthusiasts due to it providing better performance.

The Benefits of a Transmission Fluid Change

By changing the fluid in your transmission, you’ll get a host of benefits. Not only will your car be overall healthier, but it will also gain a ton of other perks:

1. Improved transmission performance

2. Reduced wear and tear on transmission components

3. Extended transmission life

4. Improved fuel economy

5. Smoother shifting operation

6. Better fuel economy

Additives, Age, and Quality

Additives are chemicals that are added to transmission fluid to improve its performance. Age can affect the quality of transmission fluid, as it can break down over time and become less effective. Using high-quality transmission fluid can help extend the life of your transmission and improve its performance.

When choosing transmission fluid, always consider these factors. For example, with older vehicles, it might be best to use a mineral-based oil fluid.

Risking your transmission by putting the wrong type in can put a dent not just in your car but in your wallet too!

Fresh Fluid for Smooth Ridin’

There are many reasons to change your transmission fluid, especially if you haven’t done so in a while. Transmission fluid breaks down over time and can start to cause problems. Fresh transmission fluid can help prevent these problems and keep your car running smoothly. As mentioned earlier, when in doubt, always speak to a professional mechanic and read the owner’s manual.

For more tips and insights on all things transmission, check out Gearstar’s news section each week! If you’re looking to upgrade or rebuild your car’s transmission, we are your one-stop shop for Ford, GM, and Mopar automatic high-performance transmissions and torque converters. You can find installation resources and other how-to materials on our support page.

8 Basic Automatic Transmission Maintenance Tips

8 basic automatic transmission maintenance tips

Transmission maintenance is important because it can help prevent future car problems, extend the life of your transmission, and improve your vehicle’s overall performance.

But wait, that’s not all! Transmission maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs, and you’ll be saving a lot of money long-term! Now, who doesn’t love saving money? We sure do!

Transmission Maintenance Tips You Need to Know

To keep your car happy and your wallet full, here are eight basic transmission maintenance tips.

1. Allow Your Engine to Warm Up

First, always let your engine warm-up for a few minutes before driving off.

If you don’t, your car will be running on cold transmission fluid, and the transmission itself will have to work harder to do its job. It’s not good for your transmission to be placed under this type of stress, especially during the winter months when it’s freezing outside.

You should also avoid accelerating too fast or too hard until the transmission has had a chance to properly warm itself up. The time it takes a transmission to warm up can be anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes. However, if you have a newer car, your engine may only need a mere 30 seconds.

2. Be Wary of Driving on Spares or Mismatched Tires

Avoid driving on a spare, small, or mismatched tire for a long period of time. Driving under these conditions can cause premature wear on the transmission and jeopardize the safety of yourself and other passengers sharing the road.

If you have a flat tire, it’s crucial to replace it as soon as possible. However, sometimes this isn’t always possible right away for many reasons (e.g., cannot afford to or the local tire shop is closed). If you can’t replace the flat tire right away, allow your car to sit in a safe place until you can get a permanent tire.

3. Annual Transmission Inspections

As part of your transmission maintenance, it’s wise to have your transmission inspected by a professional mechanic for leaks, creaks, and other potential ongoing issues on an annual basis (one year). This will help to ensure that your transmission lasts for as long as possible.

Additionally, be sure to regularly check your transmission fluid level and top it off if necessary!

Remember: If you notice any strange noises or behaviors, don’t hesitate to get it checked out – it’ll save you a lot of money, worry, and stress down the road (no pun intended)!

4. Perform a Transmission Flush

As one of the most critical parts of a car, your transmission needs to be taken care of in order to keep your vehicle running smoothly. One way to take care of your transmission is to get it flushed regularly, which would be approximately once every year. More than likely, this type of transmission maintenance will be included as a part of a transmission inspection service.

A transmission flush is performed by flushing out the old fluid and replacing it with new fluid. This helps to keep the transmission clean and running smoothly. It also helps to prevent transmission problems later on.

If you’re not sure whether or not your transmission needs to be flushed, it’s always best to consult with a professional mechanic. A mechanic will be able to take a look at your car and let you know if a flush is required.

Furthermore, you can also read through your owner’s manual to know the recommended time for a transmission flush specific to your vehicle.

5. Picking the Right Transmission Fluid

Be sure to choose the correct transmission fluid for your vehicle. Placing the wrong type of fluid in your car can cause significant damage to the transmission, such as overheating, which can cause transmission failure. Again, it’s always best to read your owner’s manual or talk to a professional mechanic to ensure you’re using the right type.

There are several different types of transmission fluids, each designed for specific types of transmissions. For example, there are fluids specifically for automatic transmissions, as well as fluids for manual transmissions.

Once you’ve chosen the correct type of transmission fluid, it’s important to also select the right brand. Not all brands are the same, and some may be better suited for your car than others.

6. Regular Transmission Fluid Checks

A car transmission is a complex system made up of many different parts, and transmission fluid is essential to its proper function. Over time, transmission fluid eventually breaks down and becomes contaminated, which can lead to problems. That’s why it’s always important to regularly check your transmission fluid and change it as needed.

When checking the transmission fluid, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Low Fluid: Indicates a possible leak.
  • Dark Fluid: Not normal; transmission fluid should be bright red.

7. Change the Transmission Filter

If your car has a transmission filter, get in the habit of changing it on a regular basis because it will help keep your transmission healthy. A lot of people forget about this filter, but it’s actually an essential part of your car’s transmission maintenance.

The process of changing your transmission filter may vary depending on your car. Generally, it’s recommended that a filter be changed out every 30,000 miles or 30 months.

8. Service the Cooling System

If your engine’s cooling system isn’t functioning correctly, it could create other issues for your transmission in time.

For example, if the coolant level gets too low, it can cause the engine to overheat. This can cause serious damage, including warping the cylinder head and damaging the transmission itself. In extreme cases or a worst-case scenario, it can even lead to a fire.

Practice Routine Transmission Maintenance Today

Transmission maintenance, such as getting the cooling system serviced or getting routine checks to identify potential leaks, is essential because it helps to ensure that your car’s transmission is working correctly and as intended. By keeping the transmission in good condition, you can avoid costly repairs and extend the life of your vehicle.

While typically performed by a qualified mechanic, you can also do some simple maintenance tasks at home to help keep your transmission in top condition for many years!

For more information, check out our news section for weekly posts on transmissions, converters and controllers, tips, and more.

Gearstar takes pride in building custom automatic transmissions from start to finish by a single builder. If you want more resources, visit our support page for a list of FAQs to get you started for installations, instructions, and all things transmission. Still have questions? Reach out to us anytime, and we will be glad to assist you.

10 Signs of a Bad Transmission (And what to do)

10 signs of a bad transmission

One of the most disheartening things any car owner can hear is that you need a brand-new transmission. This is why detecting the signs of a bad transmission early on or at an early stage can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It can also help avert more severe damage to your automobile, which will ultimately cost you a lot more of your hard-earned money.

This is why it is highly crucial to learn how to recognize the telltale or warning signs of a bad transmission. You also need to know precisely what to do as soon as you experience any of the top 10 signs of transmission trouble.

But before, what will happen if your transmission goes bad? Find out below.

What Happens When Your Vehicle’s Transmission Goes Bad?

When your vehicle’s transmission goes bad – or ‘goes out,’ as they say – you start experiencing some terrible or adverse effects on how your vehicle operates.

For instance, you start experiencing different shift patterns or vibrations that weren’t there before the transmission issue came up. These could be the overall effects of breaking down one or more gears within the transmission system. This may – or may not – be associated with fluid pump issues.

You can only confirm the extent of damage or if your transmission has gone bad by having it checked by a certified mechanic.

Top 10 Signs of a Bad Transmission

1. Burning Smell

When you notice or perceive burning smells from your vehicle, it may imply that your transmission is overheating. It could also indicate that the transmission fluid is burnt or old.

What to Do: Visit the nearest auto repair shop as soon as possible.

2. Slipping Gears

Driving with a slipping transmission is dangerous and never recommended, no matter how skillful you think you are with your car. Gears that impulsively slip in and out of place while driving can be alarming and scary.

The telltale sign that your transmission has slipped is when your car’s engine revs during a gear change. This can be compared to that feeling you experience when driving over ice with zero traction on the road.

Other symptoms that inform you your transmission may have slipped include strange noises, delays in acceleration, or a harsh response anytime you attempt to shift gears.

What to Do: Check the transmission fluid level and then top it off as required. Use only the recommended type of transmission fluid for your specific transmission design.

3. Strange Noises When in Neutral

When weird noises emanate from your car when it is in neutral, it is a sure sign that your transmission has issues. The noise may only indicate that your vehicle needs nothing but a new transmission fluid. A professional can help you flush and replace the old transmission fluid with a new one.

But the noise could indicate something much more severe than getting a new transmission fluid.

What to Do: Get your vehicle to your local auto mechanic for a proper diagnosis to confirm what exactly is wrong with it.

4. Refusal to Smoothly Switch Gears

Have you noticed your car struggling or refusing to change gears? The problem may be from your transmission system.

At times, incorrect types or low transmission fluids may be the culprit behind your vehicle’s refusal to switch gears smoothly.

What to Do: Get a professional mechanic to look over your transmission and restore it to its former glory.

5. Leaking Fluid

One of the most uncomplicated transmission issues to notice or identify is leaking transmission fluid.

If you suddenly notice the appearance of a sweet-smelling red fluid beneath your vehicle in a parking lot or garage, there is trouble.

What to Do: Get a certified mechanic to check the transmission fluid level. Let the professional inspect the transmission for possible leaks.

6. Dragging Clutch

When a clutch drags, it fails to disengage the clutch disk from your vehicle’s flywheel whenever you press your clutch pedal.

This problem causes the clashing of gears while the vehicle moves when shifting gears. The misplacement of the clutch or mechanical failure causes dragging clutches.

What to Do: Get a specialist to adjust the clutch or correct the mechanical failure as soon as possible.

7. Unusual Sounds

Whining, humming, or clunking noises are unusual sounds no one wants to hear in their vehicles. Your car may be emitting those strange noises for several reasons. The only way to confirm this is by getting a certified professional to check your vehicle’s transmission.

What to Do: Get a certified technician to check and diagnose your transmission, tracing the noises to what is generating them.

8. No Longer Responding

If your vehicle suddenly refuses to respond whenever you try to change gears, especially from ‘Park’ to ‘Drive’ – there’s an issue with your transmission.

What to Do: Get your vehicle to the local auto repair shop for transmission service.

9. Shaking or Grinding

Shaking or grinding is a symptom more commonly experienced in vehicles with automatic transmissions. There is shaking or grinding whenever the gears change. This shows that your transmission has a severe problem that must be attended to as soon as possible.

What to Do: Get your vehicle to the nearest auto repair shop and get the transmission carefully inspected right away.

10. Check Engine Light

When the check engine light on your dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree, it indicates several car problems, which could be severe or minor.

But do not take any chances whenever the check engine light on your car’s dashboard lights up the entire place.

What to Do: Get your vehicle to the nearest auto repair shop as soon as possible. Let the certified technician find the root cause behind the lighting up of the check engine light.

Conclusion

No one enjoys having car issues, especially if it has to do with its transmission. Diagnosing car problems on your own can be tricky if you do not have the correct information or know what to do with it.

But luckily for you, you just went through the top 10 signs of a bad transmission and the vital steps to take if you experience any of them at any particular time. Hopefully, this information will come in handy someday, and you will be glad you knew the exact steps to take to prevent a total breakdown of your transmission.

If you found this information useful or helpful, kindly share it with your colleagues and friends who own cars. Additionally, contact Gearstar for high-performance automatic transmissions, built by trusted professionals you can count on for the quality you deserve! We offer a range of transmissions, including Ford, GM, and Mopar.

Good luck and safe driving!

5 Symptoms of a Bad Coolant Temperature Sensor

Coolant Temperature Sensor - Gearstar

A coolant temperature sensor remains one of the most vital engine management sensors. Learn why and symptoms of a bad sensor.

The coolant temperature switch – otherwise known as the coolant temperature sensor – is primarily responsible for monitoring the engine coolant’s temperature. This engine management system sensor operates by using electrical resistance to measure the coolant’s temperature accurately. 

The signal generated is automatically transmitted to the computer so that necessary changes can be made. This includes changing the engine’s timing as well as the fuel calculations for premium performance. Most automobile engines require more fuel when they are cold but require less when fully warmed up.

If the computer detects that the engine’s temperature is too high, it will automatically scale back engine performance settings. This occurs to prevent overheating, which can damage the engine severely.

As you can see, temperature plays such a crucial role in the performance calculations of your engine. And this implies that if the coolant temperature sensor malfunctions, it may translate very quickly to engine performance hiccups.

This post discusses some of the common symptoms of a bad coolant temperature sensor. These symptoms should alert you of potential problems with your automobile and push you to have it checked out thoroughly.

Symptoms of a Bad Coolant Temperature Sensor

Overheating Engine 

If you notice that your engine overheats, the coolant temperature sensor could be the problem. At times, the coolant temperature switch may fail such that it starts transmitting hot signals permanently. 

This causes the computer to erroneously counterbalance the signal, thereby causing the engine to misfire or overheat. 

Poor Fuel Economy

Poor fuel economy is another symptom that indicates your coolant temperature sensor is malfunctioning. 

If the coolant temperature sensor malfunctions, it can transmit a false signal to the computer. And the response of the computer may unbalance the timing and fuel calculations. 

It is also common for a coolant temperature sensor to fail without warning and send permanently cold signals to the computer. The computer mistakenly assumes the engine is cold, even when it is not. 

This will cause the automobile to use up more fuel than is necessary, thereby reducing fuel economy. And this will ultimately hamper engine performance.

‘Check Engine Lights Turns On

If the ‘Check Engine’ light suddenly comes on, this could imply a hitch with the coolant temperature sensor. If the computer detects an unsavory development with the sensor’s circuit or signal, it may set off the ‘Check Engine’ light. And the light will not go off until a specialist readily addresses the issue. 

Black Smoke Emitted from the Engine

Few drivers hardly notice this crucial coolant temperature sensor symptom. But if your vehicle’s exhaust starts emitting black smoke, the coolant temperature sensor could be the culprit.

The coolant temperature sensor can fail and transmit cold signals to the computer. This action confuses the computer and stimulates it to enrich the fuel mixture unnecessarily. This can cause the fuel mixture to be vibrant such that during combustion, the fuel can’t be adequately consumed within the chamber.

This leads to the burning up of your vehicle’s exhaust pipe, thereby causing black smoke. This can be so severe that driving the vehicle in such a condition may result in environmental or excessive air pollution.

Poor Idling

A faulty sensor can cause the fuel mixture to adjust. This causes the engine to shake or vibrate when the vehicle is at low speed and can even bring about strange behaviors, power losses, etc.

Engines are highly sensitive, especially to inappropriate air-fuel mixtures at idle. This is a pointer that something is wrong with your coolant temperature sensor and must be checked out by a certified professional.

Defective Electrical Cooling Fans

Some vehicles’ coolant temperature sensors control the electric cooling fans. Most automobiles come with two different temperature sensors for the fans, engine management and dashboard gauge.

However, if your vehicle only has a single coolant temperature sensor and it becomes faulty, your electrical fans may not function at all.

Where is the Coolant Temperature Sensor Located?

Different car manufacturers and brands have distinct ways of installing the coolant temperature sensor. Its exact location also depends on its overall design.

However, the coolant temperature sensor is often located right on the cylinder head or engine block. You will find it installed conveniently on a plastic hose on the coolant’s inlet.

Some automobiles come with more than one coolant temperature sensor. This is because sometimes, these different switches can be used to send signals to the cooling fan control, dashboard, and control unit of the engine system.

If your vehicle comes with two sensors, the one that transmits signals to the control unit is often known as the coolant temperature sensor.

Diagnosing a Malfunctioning Coolant Temperature Sensor

Diagnosing should be the job of a certified technician. However, this shouldn’t stop you from examining the engine component if you suspect it is malfunctioning.

You may have to get your hands on a repair manual for the model of your vehicle. This will enable you to find the measurement values that a functioning coolant temperature switch should exhibit.

Check the service manual of your vehicle to locate your coolant temperature sensor. When you set eyes on it, disconnect the connector plugs.

If your sensor has two pins, determine the ohm measure between the pins. Then compare the value with the correct ohm-value – at a given temperature – in your repair manual. If the value does not tally, it means you need to replace the coolant temperature sensor.

If the values add up or tally, consider checking the connectors and wirings between the sensor and the engine’s control module.

You can also make use of an OBD2 Scanner to look for related trouble codes. Check the live data to see the temperature of the sensor. If the temperature is off the range, check the wirings of the sensor or replace the engine component.

Conclusion

The coolant temperature switch remains one of the most vital engine management sensors. This is because it plays a crucial role in numerous calculations that ultimately affect your engine’s performance.

This is why you shouldn’t waste any time if you suspect that the coolant temperature sensor is malfunctioning. Get a professional or experienced technician to inspect your vehicle as soon as possible.

The technician should be able to analyze or diagnose your automobile and determine if there will be a need for the replacement of the coolant temperature sensor or not.