Transmission and radiator problems

Old 06-08-05, 09:33 PM
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Transmission and radiator problems

[FONT=Impact]FONT] I am asking IF the radiator is clogged can it cause the tranmission to go out? My husband has a 1989 Plymouth Acclaim, V-6 , 3.2 or 3 Liter engine, 4 speed OD . In January the transmission went out and refused to go into any other gears. Brought it to the shop, they did a minor repair ($65) and it broke down that evening. In the middle of March, after getting taxes back, we brought it back to the shop and they replaced the transmission with a used one. After getting it back at the end March it broke down again within 3 days. It has been in the shop for over 2 months and now the shop said they replaced the transmission and now they want us to pay $100 for a tranmission cooler that goes outside the radiator and want to have it towed to replace the radiator hose by the engine. They are telling us that the the radiator clogged and that is what caused the transmission to fail. Before the transmission went out there were not any warning lights that went off- nothing. He was driving on the freeway, heard a whining noise and within 10-15 seconds he heard a loud "pop". Luckily he was right next to a rest stop entrance and glided into the rest stop, parked, shut the car off, and opened the hood. He tried to put the car back into gear and it wouldn't- it started to smoke by the buckets and then a loud pop and radiator fluid was pouring out. Just say the radiator was clogged- could this really cause the transmission to go out? - without warning? Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate your time in this. Blessings
Old 06-09-05, 05:37 AM
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Radiator woes

Hi Justwondering,

I'm not a mechanic, just someone that tinkered with cars in High School. Yes, your radiator can clog causing you to have an over heated transmission, causing it to fail. Your radiator actually has a built in trans cooler. This is what I suspect clogged. And because there is no heat sensor on the transmission, or that part of your radiator, you would get no warning. Sorry for such bad news so early in the morning, but it can happen.

Old 06-09-05, 07:50 AM
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I would not second guess a recommendation from a local mechanic to add a tranny cooler. I would feel compelled to comply, regardless of my own thoughts. His suggestion does not sound unreasonable to me.
Old 06-09-05, 05:50 PM
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I say yes

I say there is a big chance he is correct the radiatior is nothing but a big heat exchanger using air to cool the fluids.The transmission fluid is also cooled by the same system.The part that puzzles me it why the car did not overheat first.
I find it very important to keep the front of your radiatior clean also besides normal fluid changes.You do not want a bunch of bugs and leaves bloking airflow.
I use a water hose and a stiff brush and gloves.Nothing hurts more then a cut from the fins .
If the grill comes off easy it is much more easy to clean.
Old 06-09-05, 10:58 PM
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Yes, like the others have already said the radiator and coolant is used to cool the transmission by means of the trans oil cooler. If the radiator or engine cooling system is not working correctly the trans could overheat and be damaged. It would be interesting to know exactly what they replaced the first time this happened.

The trans oil cooler is a small radiator type object which is encased inside the main radiator. Trans fluid (normally coming out of the torque converter which is where the most waste engery is dissipated from the engine drive force) is pumped through this. It is not uncommon for the oil cooler itself to become clogged with friction material from the clutches and bands. If this happens the trans will overheat but the engine cooling will work fine.

I'm surprised that the trans shop has not performed an oil cooler flush. An external inline oil cooler can be installed but if the car is not operated in exterme conditions (high heat or lots of towing) then the trans should work fine without overheating. If it overheats then there is an underlying problem that needs to be fixed. For exmaple if the oil cooler is clogged by friction meterial connecting the additional cooler in series will not help. Connected in parallel it should improve matters.
Old 06-10-05, 07:30 AM
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Smile thanks

Thank you so much for your time in this matter. This site is great. It is so nice to have this source for unbiased opinions in different areas. This is the first time that I have ever used something like this and it is great. Thanks again for your time. We are going to have the car fixed today.

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