Jump to content

Fried Automatic Gearboxes!!


matt
 Share

Recommended Posts

I overheard a conversation at work today regarding automatic gearboxes and towing. According to the guy that was talking, he used to do alot of breakdown work and frequently got calls to caravanners towing with cars with autoboxes. Apparently, the fluid overheats and blows the front seals or something thus depositing the oil on the road :blink: Solution? fit an oil cooler apparently.

 

I've heard this sort of thing said before but never with so much emphasis.

 

We're on the lookout for a new tow car, I wanted an auto, think I'll stick to gear crunching B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Matt,

Just hold on one moment. It is nowhere near as serious as the conversation you were overhearing. I have towed with auto's and manual's for a long time. I would say in the early days of my towing - auto boxes did benefit from an additonal oil cooler. However, I think you will find in later years they did not need them. In fact some manufacturers will not give you warranty on an auto box if you do fit an additional oil cooler. Personally have towed many miles with auto boxes without coolers. The safe bet is ask the individual manufacturers if they need one and I think you will find the answer is uaually no.

Regards

Pete

Volvo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Matt,

Just hold on one moment. It is nowhere near as serious as the conversation you were overhearing. I have towed with auto's and manual's for a long time. I would say in the early days of my towing - auto boxes did benefit from an additonal oil cooler. However, I think you will find in later years they did not need them. In fact some manufacturers will not give you warranty on an auto box if you do fit an additional oil cooler. Personally have towed many miles with auto boxes without coolers. The safe bet is ask the individual manufacturers if they need one and I think you will find the answer is uaually no.

Regards

Pete

10814[/snapback]

Hi pete. b,

Like you have towed many thousands of miles with auto boxes and I have to say I would not go back to gear crunching. I think you will find that most if not all modern autos have built in coolers and they are a lot more efficient than the old Ford idea of taking a pipe from the gearbox and passing it through the bottom of the radiator and back to the box. This tended to heat the oil rather than cool it down. So I would echo your comments to friend Matt. Matt if you fancy an auto- go for it, it's a nice relaxed way of driving with many benefits. I would only add one word of caution, some manufacturers(on some Citroens)will downrate the maximum towing weight. So always check their specifications.

Regards

John. 'ampshire 'og.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had no problems towing with an Auto Freelander Td4, and I gave it probably the sternest test possible:

 

550 miles at 70mph with 1500kgs in 105 degree heat, roughly 11 hours almost non stop. (August 2003 heatwave coming up through France, when it was too damn hot to get out of the air conditioned car, so we just kept driving !!)

 

If the Auto box can cope with that, then it will cope with ANYTHING you could possibly throw its way !!

 

 

PS, Still cant understand why people say Freelanders are unreliable - in 80,000 miles I have had NO warrenty / repair work AT ALL (fingers crossed!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Hobbybod

As others have intimated, modern auto boxes may not require any additional cooling for towing, but some older types certainly do, so check.

 

A word of caution however; the Max. Permissible Towed Mass (MPTM) of the auto version of some cars is markedly down-rated, compared to the manual version and you may not realise this unless you look carefully at the specs. This is presumably to reduce the risk of over-heating without the provision of extra gearbox cooling.

 

A friend has a Vauxhall Signum Auto, 2. 7l Diesel, and it should make an admirable towcar, but the MPTM is down-rated to ~1000kgs, I think.

He has had a Kenlowe oil cooler fitted and is awaiting (over long!!) a response from GM HQ about a revised MPTM with the cooler fitted.

Citroen also down-rate the MPTM of their autos and there may well be others.

 

The new VAG DSG (dual clutch) auto box (without a torque converter, the thing that heats up!) would seem to be the ideal auto for towing. It's what I'm saving up for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My new car that coming in the next few weeks is going to be automatic and I don't envisage any problem at all.

 

Arthritis in my left knee is the reason for the change but would have been happy having one years ago.

 

Just don't buy and old DAF belt drive :rolleyes: (joke Matt)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a new generation of auto boxes from VAG, known as DSG 'direct shift gearbox'. In fact you can use them as a manual through to full auto. There are two clutches automatically operating a normal (ish) gearbox; rather than the 'epicyclic' gear trains and 'brake bands' associated with a normal auto 'box.

 

These boxes are receiving praise from most sections of the motoring press. It'll be intersting to see how they perfom towing. Matt doesn't say what price point he's looking at, but if aiming high, then maybe VAG could be worth a look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Matt,

 

We have towed our 1345kg van through Spain and France at MPH when it was 38C without any bother at all from the auto box. The towing limit is still rated at 1800kg with the auto box. Hope this helps quell your fears.

 

Yossa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think my auto has a warning light that comes on if the box gets too hot but as I've never seen it. .....  I echo the comment about some autos having a lower MPTM, the C5 estate is 200 - 300 Kg lower.

Phil

10905[/snapback]

 

What I will add to the warning light on the auto box is if it does come on for any reason it says in the manual on the frontera not to stop to put it into sports mode and lock it in 3rd gear and keep driving normal until the light goes out under no circumstances stop until the oil has cooled or it will damage the box so read the manual for your car before driving as this will help stop expensive repairs.

In traffic you can not beet a auto box.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt doesn't say what price point he's looking at,

10916[/snapback]

 

oops, sorry, I keep doing this. Low low price, nothing anywhere near newish. Probally something like 1998 2. 5 Omega, early mid 90's Merc 300TE, 1998 Volvo V70, BMW 5 series (E34) These are about the heaviest cars I can find without going older or 4x4, so these are the sort of vehicles I was aiming the thread at.

 

To digress, I had a drive in a 1999 LWB Shogun 2. 8TD 70k on the clock this afternoon and I hated it. If this is a good example of what a 4x4 of this era is like, no way do I want one, I think I'd feel safer in a boat. :blink: Awful, awful awful. If this is what mums are buying to take their kids to school, they must want their heads seeing to. (but I do vigorously defend peoples right to drive ANY vehicle of their own choice!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To digress, I had a drive in a 1999 LWB Shogun 2. 8TD 70k on the clock this afternoon and I hated it. If this is a good example of what a 4x4 of this era is like, no way do I want one, I think I'd feel safer in a boat.   Awful, awful awful. If this is what mums are buying to take their kids to school, they must want their heads seeing to. (but I do vigorously defend peoples right to drive ANY vehicle of their own choice!)

 

 

Surely not Matt as your a white van man :D:D:D

 

oops, sorry, I keep doing this. Low low price, nothing anywhere near newish. Probally something like 1998 2. 5 Omega, early mid 90's Merc 300TE, 1998 Volvo V70, BMW 5 series (E34) These are about the heaviest cars I can find without going older or 4x4, so these are the sort of vehicles I was aiming the thread at.

 

 

 

But good luck with the car search as you have identified the real heavyweights for towing purposes ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oops, sorry, I keep doing this. Low low price, nothing anywhere near newish. Probally something like 1998 2. 5 Omega, early mid 90's Merc 300TE, 1998 Volvo V70, BMW 5 series (E34) These are about the heaviest  cars I can find without going older or 4x4, so these are the sort of vehicles I was aiming the thread at.

 

To digress, I had a drive in a 1999 LWB Shogun 2. 8TD 70k on the clock this afternoon and I hated it. If this is a good example of what a 4x4 of this era is like, no way do I want one, I think I'd feel safer in a boat. :blink:  Awful, awful awful. If this is what mums are buying to take their kids to school, they must want their heads seeing to. (but I do vigorously defend peoples right to drive ANY vehicle of their own choice!)

10960[/snapback]

 

Matt I too tried and rejected the Shogun along with Discovery, Jeep Cherokee, Hyundai Terracan, Nisson Patrol, Kia Sorento etc. Then I tried a 1997 Toyota Landcruiser Colorado Diesel Auto with 70k+. Much better ride, quiet, well screwed together - we were sold. I actually bought a later model and we love it, brilliant.

Worth trying a Colorado Matt before you settle for second best, but they are hard to find.

I expect there are others like us who are quite happy with their choice of vehicle.

Good luck

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm the one Hobbybod referred to with the Vauxhall Signum but it is the 3. 0 V6 CDTi Auto not a 2. 7L.

 

The manual version has a towing limit of 1700kg but mine is downrated to 1300kg. I queried this with Vauxhall and was told that if they let me tow over 1300kg the gearbox oil gets too hot because of the torque output of this engine. The oil cooler fitted as standard is the simple pipe (15mm) through the bottom of the radiator which only slightly cools the oil in contact with the inside of the pipe. I have fitted a Kenlowe proper oil cooler. It is a small radiator where the oil flows through many tubes just like a normal radiator. Kenlowe say that it has 50 times the cooling effect of the standard fitting! I am still waiting for GM Europe to come back with a new towing limit. They did tell me that they would not be developing a Kenlowe type as there would not be sufficient demand! This car with a big turbo diesel and minimum overhang with a good kerb weight is just built for towing. The Vectra with the same engine gearbox combination has a limit of 1450kg which would be enough for me. The 2. 2CDTi auto can tow 1500kg! It is all down to kerb weight with Vauxhall.

 

I did not have any need for an extra oil cooler on the Subaru Legacy, Citroen CX Safari or Citroen XM cars previously owned. You just can't beat an auto for towing especially if the car has a stupid foot operated parking brake like the XM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I overheard a conversation at work today regarding automatic gearboxes and towing. According to the guy that was talking, he used to do alot of breakdown work and frequently got calls to caravanners towing with cars with autoboxes. Apparently, the fluid overheats and blows the front seals or something thus depositing the oil on the road  :blink: Solution? fit an oil cooler apparently.

 

I've heard this sort of thing said before but never with so much emphasis.

 

We're on the lookout for a new tow car, I wanted an auto, think I'll stick to gear crunching B)

10810[/snapback]

 

I tow with a volvo 2. 5 auto and they do not need any additional coolers, mine has a switchable sport auto box so will change down a little earlier when going up hills and hold the gear longer, All i have to do is relax, ,,,,, no clutch no manual gear stick

 

My auto is heaven especially for towing and in traffic jams Ill never have a manual again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...