A close up of a shifter on a manual vehicle.Everyone knows that their vehicle’s engine can overheat. Did you know it can happen to your transmission, as well? In fact, an overheating transmission is a major concern. If it happens, you will want to get your transmission system inspected as soon as possible. It can be very dangerous to drive with a transmission that is running too hot, or it may not let you drive at all.

Transmission Temperature Warnings

Most vehicles have a transmission temperature sensor that monitors the temperature of the transmission fluid. It is designed to warn you if the fluid is unusually hot. If this warning light or computer notification comes on, you should play it extra safe. Pull over and let the vehicle completely cool down. Pay special attention to any strange noises or take note of anything you did differently while driving that may have caused the issue. After the vehicle has cooled down, you can try to drive again (carefully). If problems persist, you may want to call for roadside assistance.

What Causes a Transmission to Overheat?

An overheating transmission usually means there is already some sort of internal damage or a transmission fluid issue, such as a leak, low fluid level or just old/dirty fluid running through the system. It can also happen with too much transmission fluid, which causes excess pressure within the transmission. It is smart to not push your vehicle any further by continuing to drive. This will likely only lead to bigger transmission issues and potentially major internal damage that will be costly to repair, rebuild or replace.

Signs of an Overheating Transmission

A number of different things could be causing your transmission to overheat:

• Your Driving Habits (accelerating too fast, carrying too heavy of a load, etc.)
• External Factors (high heat/humidity, extreme uphill grades, stop-and-go traffic, etc.)
• Low Transmission Fluid
• Excess Transmission Fluid
• Old/Dirty/Burnt Transmission Fluid
• Engine Overheating (which puts more strain on transmission)
• Internal Transmission Damage

What to Do if Your Transmission Overheats

At the first sign of your transmission overheating or any other symptoms of transmission problems, you should take your vehicle to a local transmission specialist for a thorough inspection. If you are in the Central Valley, you can count on Ralph’s Transmission to offer a free initial transmission inspection. We’ll run diagnostics, perform a road test and inspect the transmission system to determine the specific problems. Then, we’ll present you with a detailed inspection report and accurate price estimates for any recommended repairs or maintenance services.

We also offer free towing within 30 miles of our Modesto shop. So, if you are in the area and concerned about driving with an overheating transmission, call Ralph’s Transmission at 209.526.1909 and we’ll send someone to help. You can also book an appointment online if you want to schedule your inspection and/or maintenance in advance.