Transmission Temperature GaugeHow to monitor your ATF's health
Much of automotive technology deals with heat-dissipation-high temperatures are one of the most common causes of parts failures. In automatic transmissions, excessive heat often foreshadows an expensive rebuild. Vehicles prone to boiling their automatic transmission fluid (ATF) include those that carry heavy loads, tow trailers (particularly uphill in warm weather) or compete in weekend motorsports.
Few vehicles emerge from the assembly line with a trans-temp gauge-everyday driving doesn't normally overheat the ATF. However, it only takes one heat-related transmission incident to make most people firm believers in adding a gauge.
Most automotive-instrument companies make trans-temp gauges; many auto parts stores stock at least one brand. Gauge sizes, colors and features vary among manufacturers, but the basic installation procedure is the same. Typically, the gauge kit will include a T-fitting that plumbs into one of the transmission lines and mounts the temperature-sending unit. The gauge itself is wired and mounted somewhere in a driver's line of sight, either with the kit's mounting hardware or by drilling a hole in the instrument panel. Highlights of an installation are shown here.
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