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Old 07-12-2016, 04:27 PM   #1
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Trans Temp

Going to be towing accross the Nevada desert in two weeks in the heat of the day. My 2013 GMC Sierra has a transmission temp gauge on the read outs. At what temp should I start getting concerned?

Thanks for any advice on this. I know a trans cooler is a great idea but just don't have time or $ right now to put one on.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
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Automatic transmissions do not last long being run consistently over 195F. No matter the oil that's put in or when it's changed. Aftermarket trans coolers are not expensive, easy to install. They not only give significantly more cooling capacity, they also increase fluid capacity which is good. Personally if your concerned about it and your towing above 7000 lbs, then would go for the purchase. Also if you haven't changed the trans fluid and filter in the last 30k miles, would do that at the same time. Don't let anyone talk you out of the trans cooler or talk you into a trans flush. Good luck
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:19 PM   #3
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Do you have a DURAMAX with an ALLISON? If so here is info from DIESEL PLACE:

The transmission is restricted to 330F (converter out); but, it will take 350F for a long time. It can run all day long at 250F but most folks run around 180F-220F typically.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:14 AM   #4
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When the needle starts to approach the red zone pull over and let it idle for 20 min. After the trip pull the dipstick and if the fluid is not red or smells burnt replace it immediately. Is it possible to make the trip at night?
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:27 AM   #5
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Hmmm, beginning to sound like what I heard when I asked the question. Anywhere from 195 to 350, which is quite a range! In my case, I only have a digital readout. There is no needle, which the OP may or may not have. Even the dealer had no idea what was an acceptable range. So all I know is that hotter over time is not good! Will be interested to see if this thread can give a bit more solid information.....
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:27 AM   #6
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I know that GMC and RAM pickups are different animals, but I've found that if I manually shift down to 4th gear and set the transmission to tow-haul mode, my transmission runs relatively cool. In a higher gear, the torque converter disengages and engages on minor elevation changes, and with my truck, that's what seems to cause the transmission to run at a higher temp. 4th gear in tow-haul mode in my RAM puts the gearing in a 1-1 ratio. Fuel mileage suffers a bit from the higher RPMs (around 2200@60mph), but I believe it's easier on the drive train to run it that way.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:03 AM   #7
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Was told by GM service tech that 230 - 250 range on a V8 with auto trans was not a problem and of no concern. My 08 pulling about 9000 lbs during hot weather would rise to around 230 which is why I ask the tech. With out tow the temp in the same circumstance was around 195. When towing temp [in tow mode] reached 230 I would make a rest stop for 30 minutes and would let the engine run for about 10 minutes at idle before turning it off.

I had zero problems with my 08 gasser but upgraded to a duramax which was in my plan when we upgraded to the heaver TT. We are retired and make several longer tows per year and wanted the extra tow capacities that the 3/4 ton offered.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flapper View Post
Will be interested to see if this thread can give a bit more solid information.....
The ALLISON info on DIESEL PLACE is from a retired ALLISON engineer.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:10 AM   #9
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jerdog, does your GMC have a factory tow package? Are you towing within the trucks capacity? How many miles on the truck?

Change your tranny fluid and like firefighter78 said, don't do a tranny flush. Replace the fluid and change the filter if it's replaceable.

Go with at least a semi synthetic fluid or full synthetic though it's more costly.

The Allison's are bullet proof if that's what you have. I had 1 in my class A I owned for 13 years. Changed the fluid & filter every 15000 miles. Never an issue with it.

I had a scan gauge I monitored the tranny temp with and if I can remember right the temp never exceeded 225 degrees in the mountains and the heat, and that's a #22,000 MH towing a car.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone. The truck is a '13 GMC Sierra (Gas Engine) with the factory tow package. I was just wanting to establish a baseline as to what temperature I should be concerned with. ie: how hot is too hot.
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