You may not be aware of it but even fluids have their limits. These are not magical liquids that can perform at any temperature. You have to watch how hot they get or you could damage a vital part like a transmission.
With the Silverado, things may have changed. Back in 2011, the maximum temperature level was 270 degrees F. Today, it seems that the range has been lowered by 70 degrees and the maximum is 200 degrees F. Transmission temperature is something you need to take seriously.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can take the right steps to keep your transmission cooler on those hot days when you are towing.
From our research, we have found that different model years have different temperature levels. According to one mechanic, the 2007 Silverado’s transmission cannot exceed 300 degrees F.
The 2011 models and maybe 10 and 12 as well, should not go above 270 degrees F and definitely not above 285 degrees F. That was taken from a direct GM quote. Some dealers put the mark at 212 degrees F to be on the very safe side of things.
Then more modern Siverados have an even lower temperature range. The listed temperature level is between 180 and 190 degrees F. If you go above the 190 mark, then you may start experiencing trouble with your transmission.
We will put the caveat that your truck may have a different temperature range than what has been mentioned here. Check your owner’s manual first, then call your dealer, and as a last resort, check with GM to make sure where your specific range is.
With the many different trims and model years made, your Silverado could have a different range than your friend’s Silverado.
The 2019 Silverado 2500HD Work Truck Double Cab 4WD seems to have a transmission temperature range of 180 and 225 degrees F. But it will depend on who you talk to as to the figure you are given.
According to one mechanic, GM and Chevy truck transmissions seem to run hotter than other truck brands, and seeing figures like 225 is not out of the question nor abnormal.
Knowing the heat of your transmission is important. The reason you need to know this information is that your transmission will either have a long life, a short one, or a mid-range lifespan depending on how hot the fluid gets.
For example, if your keep your fluid temperature around 175 or less, then you can expect your transmission to last 100,000+ miles. At 200 degrees F, the transmission may last only 90,000 miles.
At 225 degrees F, you may be lucky to get 55,000 out of your transmission. At 250, you may see only 29,000 miles of life in that vital part. There is still more to come.
At 275, the transmission may only last 14,000 miles, at 300, don’t expect it to go beyond 2000 miles and at 325 you will be lucky to see 400 miles. The temperature greatly affects your transmissions performance and lifespan.
But since GM and Chevy transmissions are designed to run hotter, those figures may not apply to many of their trucks.
The normal range for today’s models and some recent model years is supposed to be between 195 and 225 degrees F. If you are driving in cool weather and you are seeing temperatures in the 200s on your temperature gauge then you may need to change the fluid and filter.
As the fluid gets older it loses its ability to do its keep the transmission cool. Thus you may be experiencing higher temperatures than normal when you have to keep the fluid inside the transmission for too long.
One way to avoid those higher temperatures is to install a transmission cooler. These devices are an external part designed to make sure your transmission runs at optimum temperature levels.
To know if you need one or not, change the fluid and filter first and see what your temperature levels are. If they are still high, then talk to your mechanic about installing a cooler.
The cooler you keep your fluid, the longer the transmission will last.
There are different things you can do to maintain your transmission so it does not overwork when you are towing. Here are some tips to guide you:
1. Check your fluid- this is just like checking your oil except you leave your engine running on idle to do this. If the fluid is low, you could have a leak.
2. Use the right transmission fluid- check your manual for this information for your specific model of Silverado or other truck.
3. Check your cooling system- this system helps cool your transmission fluid. Make sure it is in top working order
4. Change the fluid regularly- keeping new fluid inside is important to keep the temperatures down. The older fluid does not work as well as new fluid will
5. Make sure to stop before changing gears- that is from drive to reverse and vice versa.
6. Change the transmission filter regularly- these get clogged up with debris just like the oil filter does. Make sure to change the filter when changing your fluid
Protecting your vehicle and keeping repairs to a minimum means protecting your transmission as well. Keep it in good shape and its operating temperature below 200 and you should not have to worry about the transmission for as long as you own your vehicle.
Double-check with your mechanic to make sure you are keeping the transmission temperature at the proper level. You can damage that vital part by letting it overheat too much and for too long.
Factory temperature gauges are not always accurate.