What to Do if Your Transmission Temperature Warning Light Comes On

What should trans temp be while driving?

The optimal temperature range for transmission fluid is 175 to 220 degrees. Above that, for every 20 degrees bad things happen, starting with formation of varnish at 240 degrees, followed by seals hardening, plates slipping, seals and clutches burn out, carbon is formed, and, ultimately, failure.

What causes trans temp to go up?

Reasons for overheating include low fluid levels, leaks, burned, old or dirty fluid, or problems with the solenoid. You can ensure the long life and efficient performance of your transmission – and your car – by doing some things to make sure it does not run too hot.

Is it safe to drive with the transmission temperature down?

You need to let your transmission cool down. Checking your transmission fluid can help you to determine if your transmission is overheating. Transmission fluid isn’t like engine oil – it doesn’t burn up under normal circumstances. If the fluid level is down, then there is a very good chance that something is wrong.

When does the transmission temp light come on?

Transmission Temperature light only comes on when the transmission has reached the operating limits and tells the temp sender to send a warning. The OD light is the Over Drive light. There may be several reasons causing the Trans. Temp light to come on. The first would be if the transmission is low on transmission fluid.

What’s the transmission temp of a 2015 truck?

I drive a 2015 1/2 ton and every time I have checked the trans temp it is on the 190’s. My 2011 and 2012 were always up there as well, and in summer would routinely be over 200. Re: Transmission Temp. to high? Badmunky wrote: My truck runs right around 100-120 in normal driving. Highway is the same.

What happens if your transmission temperature is 260?

At 240 degrees, your transmission will last about 1/4 the time that it should. And if you get up to 260 degrees, you are down to 1/8 the normal life. Hot transmissions give off an odor. Ideally, if your transmission overheats, your Transmission Temperature Light will come on.

You need to let your transmission cool down. Checking your transmission fluid can help you to determine if your transmission is overheating. Transmission fluid isn’t like engine oil – it doesn’t burn up under normal circumstances. If the fluid level is down, then there is a very good chance that something is wrong.


Can a bad thermostat cause transmission problems?

if the thermostat is stuck open

you might see these issues as a result: temperature gauge reads lower than normal. heater doesn’t work. automatic transmission has trouble shifting into higher gears.

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.


Continuous upkeep on your car’s transmission is one of the best things that you could do to keep your transmission health up to date. This is as easy as dropping off your car at your local mechanic, or it could be a nice project for you at home.

Checking the color and the levels of the transmission fluid is a quick step to do on your own to make sure that your vehicle remains healthy and drives safely.

Changing your fluid as often as the manufacturer recommends is also a good way of keeping your transmission going for longer. Every car is different, so checking the owner’s guide for information on changes would be beneficial.

While this option is a little more expensive, putting a transmission cooler in your car would make things a lot easier in preventing it from overheating. This would especially be beneficial if you have a tendency to drive with big loads. 

What to Do Now

If your luck didn’t hold until you could install a gauge and your transmission is having major issues, don’t wait until it fails completely. Bring it in right away, explain what is happening, and ask what the problem is and for an estimate.

Other things that are a concern, besides the obvious clunking, shuddering, slipping, and not moving, includes any dark red or brown fluid staining your driveway. Often, brown fluid is thought to be motor oil, and most of the time it is, but sometimes it can be burnt transmission fluid, so you’ll want to get that checked out right away.

Having your transmission serviced can save you a great deal of time, money, and frustration. On those days when you need expert help for an emergency, then you will already have a relationship built and you won’t have to scramble to decide where to go.

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In Need of Expert Transmission Repair? Get in touch with our team to schedule an appointment! Contact Advanced Transmission Center

What Does Low Transmission Temperature Mean?

If your transmission fluid temperature is running too low, it will not eliminate the condensation inside of the transmission. And the car may not operate as well as it should.

Causes of Low Transmission Temperature

The most common cause of cold transmission fluid is cold weather, but overheating is the cause of the majority of transmission failures. Overheating can cause several critical problems with the transmission.

How to Fix the Anomaly

You should warm your car up for more than a few minutes on cold days. This will give the vehicle and the fluid in it a chance to heat up.

Why Does the Transmission Fluid Heat up?

The parts of the gearbox rub against each other and the subsequent friction creates a great amount of internal heat. The fluid churns inside the torque converter, gears, bearings, clutch plates, and other parts and its temperature increases with the car in motion.

If all the components are functional and you are driving at a normal speed, the ideal transmission temperature is 175°F or less. The fluid will last forever or up to 160,000 km to be precise if you can always drive at that temperature.

Pure, clean fluid looks red or dark red in color.
Pure, clean fluid looks red or dark red in color. (photo source: cartreatments.com)

However, dirt in the fuel or components, lack of regular maintenance, and damaged or broken parts, fluid leakage, driving at a high speed for a long time, and a couple of other reasons cause the transmission fluid to heat up. The problem is the fluid quality and life starts plummeting once heat starts to build up and crosses the safe limit.

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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.

What your transmission service indicator means (specifically):

A normal “healthy” lubricated transmission operates at or below 175 degrees; anything higher than this breaks down your transmission fluid. Now, when the light comes on indicating that your transmission is overheating, it means that your vehicle is functioning at 250 degrees, which is considered “extremely high” temperature.

At 270 degrees and above, you have a catastrophic situation on your hands so your car’s manufacturers installed a warning to let you know that you can’t wait any more. At 270 degrees your transmission fluid completely breaks down and your transmission can seize up. This can be disastrous for you physically and financially so the goal is to never get there.

This can be a $50 repair (cost of a professional evaluation) or a $6,000 repair depending on whether you take action now or later. A transmission repair shop will check the codes, check the fluid and determine what needs to be done.

Sometimes when it’s super hot outside, weather conditions will deteriorate the effectiveness of your lubricant. Your issue could simply be hot weather. Either way, when you fail to take action on your blinking transmission service indicator it’s like having $3000 sitting on the roulette table. The odds are stacked against you so, I inquire — when it comes to the transmission of your vehicle are you a betting man/woman? Let’s hope not.

What happens if coolant gets in transmission?

What happens if coolant gets in transmission?

Lubrication failure can occur while underway, and the friction and resultant heat ruin vital transmission parts. Consequences can be less severe for the engine cooling system. Coolant function is compromised by the contamination, but overall effects are usually mild.


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