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Maximum tranny temp

When shoud I be getting concerned while towing

Maximum tranny temp

Postby tcfulmer [OP] » Jan 27 2011, 1:54am

2009 Silverado 1500 crew cab 4x4 LT1
LC9 - Engine: 5.3L, V-8, Flex Fuel, SFI
MYC - Transmission, 6 Speed Auto
GU6: Rear Axle, 3.42 Ratio
Z82: Trailering Package
K5L: Heavy-Duty Cooling Equipment
KNP: Transmission Cooling System.

Was towing my trailer over Steven's Pass in Washington State which is pretty steep. The tranny temp was getting into the 250F range which made me ask a question. Just how hot can it get before I should start getting concerned? Called my dealer and they said 300F which is the temperature sensor limit. Does that sound right? Looking for opinions.
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby lzn197 » Jan 27 2011, 3:02pm

I personally have not experienced what you are going through but my memory tells me that when you achieve transmission temperatures of 235F or above, you SHOULD be concerned. If it is at all possible when you are driving and that occurs, you should slow the vehicle down for a mile or so then pull over and put the vehicle in park and let it idle and cool down. This may take several minutes. Here is why you should be concerned. The transmission fluid starts to break down at 235 and above. If you continue to use the vehicle with fluid that was subjected to such temperatures, you are putting your transmission in jeopardy. Get a complete fluid change as soon as possible and in the future, try to monitor the temp and do as stated above for cooling.
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby HartskiHartski is online! » Jan 27 2011, 3:13pm

Might want to get some different gears if you're going to be towing in the mountains much.
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby LBZDMAX » Jan 27 2011, 5:24pm

Might want to get a truck that can handle what you're towing. Especially over those passes.

If you start seeing anything over 220 for an extended period of time you should slow it down and let it cool off for the exact reasons Izn already stated above. Change your fluid and watch that temp from here on.
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby GMman » Jan 28 2011, 1:46am

Wondering how much you were towing versus what you truck is rated for ?
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby katjar503 » Jan 29 2011, 4:18pm

If your didnt over load it you have a trans problem have it checked out.
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby gmctruckguy » Jan 30 2011, 6:13am

“General Motors’ in-house towing team expert provided RV Clinic with this statement: The maximum allowable automatic transmission fluid temperature is dictated by the transmission oil itself. The oil begins to degrade significantly above 270 degrees Fahrenheit, so we design vehicles so that in all but the most extreme conditions, the fluid temperature in the transmission sump stays below 270 degrees F.

We allow for up to 285 degrees F in extreme conditions (i.e. towing a trailer with combination loaded at GCWR in Death Valley). But for customer usage anywhere else in the country, even at GCWR, transmission sump temperature should stay well below 270 degrees F. Above this point, certain internal components, such as seals, begin to disintegrate rather quickly. Although newer synthetic fluids can withstand higher temperatures we still recommend this (270F) as a maximum temperature. "
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby aksierra11 » Jan 30 2011, 6:16am

250 is way high. Heck I get concerned if it even gets close to 200
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby EKinMN » Jan 30 2011, 2:22pm

There seems to be a consensus here, somewhere in the 220-270 range. I had also read 235, mentioned earlier.
I think the real question to the OP is, what the heck are you towing? You have basically the same specs on your truck as I do, which are pretty robust for towing. Please share what you are towing, and what the conditions were that caused the tranny to heat up so much. Thanks!
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Re: Maximum tranny temp

Postby tcfulmer [OP] » Jan 31 2011, 8:47pm

I was towing a 2008 Outback 21RS which has a shipping weight of 4565 lbs, gross weight of 6500 lbs and tongue weight of 375 lbs. I know I was no where near the gross weight since all the water, grey and black tanks were empty. It did have full propane tanks and was lightly packed for the outing. The truck wasn't loaded very heavily either.

I think the problem was the operator. It was the first time I had towed this trailer with this truck and I was still getting used to the way the tranny would shift on hills. I towed the same trailer with my 1999 Silverado LS extended cab 4x4 with 5.3L, 4 speed and 3.73 gears without a problem. The old truck had a 6500 lb towing capacity where the new one is 9500 lbs. I was towing up Steven's Pass on the West side and it took me a while to figure it out. Was just asking the question for future reference.
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