When you own a high-performance car, you may need to pay extra attention to its maintenance if you want to enjoy uninterrupted motoring and keep your overall costs down. The engine and gearbox on these vehicles will often work a lot harder, which can lead to a significant buildup of heat that will need to be removed by the various internal processes. Vehicles like this are often fitted with a transmission oil cooler, designed to extend the life of the equipment and reduce the chance of any heat-related failure. So what do you need to do to keep this component working as efficiently as it should?
Looking after Your Transmission
There are several different transmission coolers, but they are all heat exchangers that are typically mounted next to the forward-facing radiator. Transmission fluid is siphoned out of the main casing and diverted through this exchange mechanism to help dissipate the heat before the liquid goes back into the case.
Understanding How the Cooler Works
Most high-performance vehicles have what is known as a "stacked plate" cooler. This is designed for high airflow, where the fluid is forced through a row of small plates, one stacked on top of the other. Within these plates are special tubes and fins designed to agitate the fluid (also known as turbulators), which help remove even more heat. These devices can handle large volumes of fluid when the system is working at maximum capacity.
Servicing the Transmission Cooler
As you know, you should service your vehicle according to the manufacturer's recommendation. This will involve changing the engine and transmission oil, but you need to ensure that this job is comprehensive. In other words, it's not simply a case of unscrewing a bolt and allowing the fluid to drain out. Instead, the mechanic may need to attach a special machine to the transmission system in order to "suck" all of the old fluid from those inner recesses.
Often, a mechanic will pump a special cleaning fluid through the system, which should loosen and eliminate any contamination that may have built up. This may help clear the transmission cooler and ensure no blockages, so there is less danger of overheating and associated trouble.
Performing the Work
If it's been some time since you took your vehicle to a mechanic for a comprehensive service visit, ensure that they flush and clean the transmission cooler while you are there.
To learn more, reach out to an auto shop that provides a variety of repairs, including BMW servicing.