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  Excessive Heat is the #1 KILLER
of Automatic Transmissions

According to The Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), an International trade association for the professional automatic transmission repair industry, approximately 90% of all automatic transmission failures are due to fluid (ATF) breakdown caused by excessive heat.  As ATF heats up it becomes oxidized and loses its ability to lubricate and cool the transmission.  Poor lubrication causes friction, which produces more heat.

For these reasons, it is highly recommended that you routinely check your transmission fluid level and condition.  Once a couple of months is sufficient for most vehicles.  But, for older vehicles and vehicles with more than 150,000 miles, the fluid level and condition should be checked monthly.

Spending 5 to 10 minutes once a month checking your vehicle's transmission fluid level and condition could save you thousands of dollars in repair bills.  

Is it Hype or Real?

The chart below provides a graphic illustration of just how devastating excessive heat is to the life expectancy of an automatic transmission.  It's an eye opener for most vehicle owners!

The general rule of thumb is that for each 20 to 25 degree increase in temperature above the normal transmission operating temperature the transmission's life expectancy is cut in half.  Keeping your transmission cool is key to longevity.

Transmission and Transaxle Heat Temperature Failure Chart

  175 to 195 Degrees: 100,000+ miles (Normal temp. range)
200 Degrees: 90,000 miles
225 Degrees: 55,000 miles (Pressure Drops)
250 Degrees: 25,000 miles (Valves Stick)
275 Degrees: 17,000 miles (Varnish Forms)
300 Degrees: 4,000 miles (Seals & Clutches Burn)
325 Degrees: TRANSMISSION FAILURE measured in tens of miles

transmission heat failure chart

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