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Pros and Cons of Transmission Coolers : Agree or Disagree?

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by ChevyFan, Jun 12, 2013.

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  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 1000 Posts

    I've been thinking of hooking up a transmission cooler to my Traverse and I just got off the phone with a manager at one of the local transmission shops and he said that it was my truck and my money and he'll put in whatever I want, but he wanted to steer people away from a transmission cooler for several reasons.


    • First, they tend to leak and if a line blows from the extra pressure created from towing, then you're in a whole new world of hurt on the side of the road.
    • Second, it's a cheap substitute for proper cooling like getting the factory towing package and cooling systems.
    • Third, most of the stuff that is made for these types of transmission coolers are junk and they have cheap aluminum fins that break and/or bend easily.
    • Last, they just don't work all that well. Waste of money compared to the risk of being stranded and/or frying your transmission.

    Thoughts? Discussion points? Argee or Disagree?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  2. RayVoy

    RayVoy Active Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Well, he is probably right, they are no substitute for factory cooling; but, imo, a whole lot better than not having any cooling. A 3rd party cooler can save a transmission.
  3. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    I off-road a ton and my transmission was exceeding 225+ degrees on a regular basis. My favorite trails are very aggressive, long and/or steep inclines, with many obstacles, and I have yet to damage or spring a leak in my after market cooler. Now, my tranny temp rarely breaks 170 degrees when off-roading, even on the hottest days. My personal opinion is that my transmission is taking a lot less abuse (thus will last much longer) and if my tranny cooler does fail, I'd rather replace that than my transmission.

    Side note though, and that is I replaced my stock tranny cooler with a much larger after-market one....I did not just add a cooler.

    - - - Updated - - -

    One thing I forgot to ask, at what temp does your tranny run under a load? It sounds like you are considering this for towing purposes?
  4. 99'HEARTBEAT

    99'HEARTBEAT Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Steve, I installed a True Cool 40K "Aftermarket"Transmission Cooler, to replace.....The Factory(Small)Transmission Cooler, which is part of the Z82 Factory Tow Package.

    ....When Towing my Transmission Temps with the Factory Transmission Cooler were around 180, 190 and at times just over 200 degrees, and
    I was Not Comfortable having my Transmission running at these Temps.......even tho these Temp's are with-in the range expressed in the Owner's Manual.

    ....As I and Most of guys Know, the Biggest Killer of Auto Transmission's is.....HEAT!!!.
    ....and Now when Towing with the 40K Cooler.....My Transmission Temps have Never Gone over 150 Degree's.

    ....Next month will be 2-Years since I Installed this 40K Cooler, and over this time, I have Not 1 Problem and/or Issue with this Aftermarket Transmission Cooler or the Trans. lines........it has been Without Question, The Best Mod/Swap I've Done to help with Keeping my Transmission Temps Down when Towing my Boat.

    ....I'm guessing that are thousand's of Guys, who have Installed this 40K Transmission Cooler, and I Don't Know of and/or have Heard of anyone having Problems or Issue's with this Aftermarket "True Cool 40K Transmission Cooler"......for My Truck, this Transmission Cooler has been Worth Every Penny I payed for it.



    Edit:.....I should Mention, that the Aftermarket 40K Transmission Cooler, is 2-1/2 Times Larger than the Factory Transmission Cooler.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  5. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    I installed the True Cool 40k as well....
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  6. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 1000 Posts

    Ok, good feedback. Let's keep the conversations coming in here.
  7. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    I am planning to add the Tru-cool cooler, but as @mfleetwood and [MENTION=25593]99'HEARTBEAT[/MENTION] stated the cooler is/was replacing an already factory installed transmission cooler. Maybe that has something to do with it? You could pose that question to him.
  8. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 1000 Posts

    I would love to hear more from people who have had good experiences and those who have had bad experiences. Also, if you have an aftermarket unit, what did you get and how many trouble-free miles do you have on it? Also, what did it cost to get installed?
  9. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Tru Cool 40k; Trouble free; I installed myself; about 5,000 miles
  10. nonnieselman

    nonnieselman New Member

    All my vehicles have a Trucook 40K trans cooler.

    I route the lines to the cooler and not the factory radiator.. see way too many factory radiator coolers leak and fill the trans with coolant and fills the engine with ATF haha its a bad mess to clean up.


    I have ~135,000 miles on my transmission cooler on my turbo silverado. Trans temps stay under 140* even in this 100* weather in Mississippi.
    My Z71 Tahoe would sit ~190-200* on our Loops around the farm hog hunting. Trucook 40 drops them down to 150* which helps a ton.

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