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One of the biggest problems that shorten the lifespan of a transmission unit is overheating. According to automotive experts, overheating alone causes up to 90 percent of automatic transmission failures. 

The primary reason why transmissions overheat is due to their overworked transmission fluid. The fluid that is pressured to work in extremely high heat or is no longer useful is inefficient. Such transmission fluid will be unable to provide the several functions it is responsible for. 

This includes cooling, lubrication, and fluid pressure. All these are essential to the smooth operation of the transmission. Age and heat are the major causes of fluid degradation, which can easily result in more overheating.

Therefore, it is now up to you to ensure there is no overheating. But is there a way to tell precisely how hot a transmission is? The ideal range for fluid temperature is from 175 degrees Fahrenheit to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each 20-degree Fahrenheit drop in fluid temperature helps to multiply the life of your transmission. To answer the question in the previous paragraph, there is a way to measure how hot a transmission is, and that is via the installation of a transmission temperature gauge.

What is a Transmission Temperature Gauge?

A transmission temperature gauge is a mechanical device designed to help you keep track of the operating temperature of your transmission. The device does this by measuring the overall temperature of the transmission fluid.

When you oversee these temperatures, it helps to ensure that your transmission doesn’t overheat. This simply means that there will be zero risk or possibility of major damage occurring.

Why Do You Need a Transmission Temperature Gauge?

As mentioned briefly in the previous section, installing a transmission temperature gauge is the best way to prevent overheating within your transmission unit.

This gauge enables you to carefully monitor the temperature of the transmission without interfering in the latter’s major functions. If the transmission fluid temperature exceeds 225 degrees Fahrenheit, it could lead to severe or major mechanical damage.

But the transmission temperature gauge warns you immediately it senses that the fluid temperature is in excess. Heeding this warning can easily prevent the transmission from getting ruined or damaged.

The transmission temperature gauge is an incredibly helpful tool for most vehicles that come with automatic transmissions. This includes diesel trucks that tow freight or heavy loads over very long distances.

How Does a Transmission Temperature Gauge Work?

Every transmission temperature gauge on the market is electronically driven. They employ the 1/8-27 NPT electronic temperature sensor in order to read and then display your automobile’s transmission temperature. This is only possible when you install this tool directly in your transmission’s test port.

Installing the transmission temperature gauge allows you to see the precise temperatures your truck or car’s transmission temperatures are. This is appropriate for individuals with heavy-duty or more performance-oriented vehicles. 

However, this does not imply that you cannot install a transmission temperature gauge in your regular daily driver.

The transmission temperature gauge shows you how warm your temperatures are. This vital information should make you pull over before they get too high. This will save your transmission as well as provide additional insurance since you understand where your transmission temperatures are.

How to Install a Transmission Temperature Gauge

When you get your hands on an aftermarket transmission temperature gauge kit, you will notice that it comes with the following:

  • The gauge itself
  • The transmission temperature sensor
  • The sending unit
  • Terminals 
  • Typical wiring, depending on the exact type of temperature gauge you purchased
  • The mounting hardware
  • Installation instructions

Some transmission temperature gauge kits do not provide wire. Therefore, ensure you check beforehand.

During installation, it is expedient to mount the transmission temperature gauge on the gauge pod specific to your automobile or a universal mount.

As soon as you figure out the mounting location, you will have to run the wires in order to power the gauge – i.e. if it is a digital gauge – as well as its lighting.

You can do this in several ways, though the most common method is to splice into an existing 12-volt power source and then ground.

Installing The Transmission Temperature Sensor

Installing the transmission temperature gauge is pretty straightforward. However, installing the temperature sensor will require the assistance of a specialist. This is because the installation is a complicated process, though it depends primarily on your application.

Most transmission temperature sensors are usually installed by screwing them into a bung of some sort. You can do this in several ways.

Each installation procedure varies in complexity. This depends significantly on how skillful you are, so you should leave this aspect to the professionals.

In most cases, the transmission temperature sensor kit is usually installed in the transmission’s port, the pan itself, or within the actual transmission line with a T fitting.

Some of the Best Transmission Temperature Gauge

The size of a typical transmission temperature gauge is 2 1/16 inches. It perfectly fits right into most vehicle gauge or universal pods.

The following are some of the top-notch aftermarket transmission temperature gauges on the market today:

  • Autometer Cobalt 6157 – Analog Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • Elite 10 Color Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • Glow Shift 10 Color Digital – 300 Degree Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • Tinted 7 Color Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • Intellitronix MS9107G LED Digital Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • 10 Color Digital Celsius Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • Autometer Sport Comp 2257 – 100-250 F
  • GlowShft Digital LED Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • MaxTow Double Vision 260 F Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • Derale 3009 Oil Temperature Gauge Kit

It doesn’t matter if you go off-roading, use a truck for towing other vehicles, or want only to monitor the transmission temperatures in your daily driver. The transmission temperature gauges highlighted are some of the best-rated, high-quality products on the market today.


Knowing the overall condition of your automobile’s high-performance transmission is crucial. It helps in ensuring that your vehicle delivers incredibly high performances at all times or when required.

There is no better device or indicator of the status of your automatic transmission than the overall temperature of the fluid. The latter ensures consistent performance as well as component durability.

The transmission temperature gauge allows you to effectively and safely track the temperature of the fluid in the transmission.

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