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Old 10-14-2007, 03:58 PM   #1
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Towing problems with 2007 Escalade

I was bringing my brand new 27 FB Classic home with low milage 2007 Escalade ESV. Rig was empty and well within 14,000 lb. total weight rating of Escalade. When pulling long uphill at 91 degree temp., transmission temp passed 200 deg F. I pulled over for cooldown. Is this normal and any suggestions on how to acieve better transmission cooling? There is a factory installed trans cooler but does not look very robust. Thanks for any help. evsjr
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:02 PM   #2
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Im no expert (but why ruin the fun?) but were you towing in overdrive?
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:12 PM   #3
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I think I would go for a larger trans cooler. The OEM unit is obviously not doing the job. And while you're at it....add an oil cooler also!
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Old 10-14-2007, 04:23 PM   #4
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Hi evsjr -- Welcome to the Forums! Sorry to hear that this happened to you. I had it happen in 30-degree weather with a sub-4000# 24' Argosy and my old Nissan Titan! And you've seen the big hongry Titan ads -- sadly, tow capacity & GCWR have as much input from the advertising department as they do from engineering. Leave the engine running so tranny fluid circulates when you are needing to cool down.

I wouldn't think the specs are much different between the '07 and the current '08 specs. Your manual's towing section and your vehicle's actual specs should be your gold standard. The link shows GVWR and curb weights; the difference between those numbers is your payload or load capacity. Therefore the payload is 1489# for a 2WD and 1392# for an AWD. Airstream lists 790# for the tongue weight of your Classic. Dealers usually fill the propane tanks on delivery; that, a hitch bar and weight distribution gear add something above 150# all up front (ie, increasing tongue weight). You could have been at about 950# tongue weight.

Next ... Did you have to have a Class III/IV hitch (~ 200#) installed? That or any other options on your Escalade must subtract from the payload capacity. Fuel onboard the Escalade, driver, passengers, pets or luggage in the SUV all must count against the payload. The vehicle's durability & emergency handling are going to be better if not at 100% of load capacity (80-85% of max are most often mentioned) but that's not why your tranny heated up.

Ditto on Rodney's asking about the overdrive (slow down to 55-60 if in 3rd gear) and Lew's suggestions. Otherwise I'd wonder if you are not pushing the margin of what is engineered into your passenger-work vehicle hybrid.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:00 PM   #5
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I avoid towing when it is too hot.

Many of my friends have done damage to their transmission going
up a steep hill on a hot day. Some of them were going too fast and
had the AC on. I minimize this recipe for disaster by traveling early in the morning or after sundown whenever possible.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:56 PM   #6
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Going a bit over 200F for a short time should not be a problem especially if you are running synthetic tranny fluid.

Quote: How hot is too hot? The ideal operating temperature for automatic transmission fluid is between 175 and 225° F. At approximately 240° F, important additives in the ATF begin to cook. The result is the formation of varnish inside the transmission. At approximately 260° F, internal transmission seals (which are typically manufactured from a polyacrylate material) begin to harden. The end results are leaks, both internal and external, simply because the seals lose their elasticity. At approximately 295° F, transmission clutch plates begin to slip because the oil is breaking down further. At approximately 315° F, seals and clutches effectively burn out. Carbon forms in the oil and for all intents and purposes, the transmission is junk. Just for your information, a typical transmission will die within 2000 miles if subjected to 300° F+ heat. Quote:

Here is more info...TCI - TECHNICAL INFORMATION: Transmission Life Expectancy
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:31 PM   #7
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Yes, 200F is to be expected towing that amount of weight at high ambient air temps. I've installed a one ton GM trans cooler on the Denali, fits right up. Consider not running the trans oil into the basic heat exchanger built in with the radiator. With the radiator running 210F nominally, it will influence the trans oil temp.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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We tow our 25' FB with a 3/4 suburban. Our rig sometimes goes over 200 degrees on a long upgrade pull in middle of siummer in the deep south. It's not a big deal. When the road levels off, the temp eases back down.

You might want to recheck your TV's towing capacity. I don't see how a half ton Escalade could possibly have 2000 pounds more towing capacity than a 3/4 ton Suburban.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:00 PM   #9
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manually shifting into lower gear and keeping RPM higher should help also
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:58 PM   #10
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More info on 2007 Escalade transmission heating

Quote:
Originally Posted by evsjr
I was bringing my brand new 27 FB Classic home with low milage 2007 Escalade ESV. Rig was empty and well within 14,000 lb. total weight rating of Escalade. When pulling long uphill at 91 degree temp., transmission temp passed 200 deg F. I pulled over for cooldown. Is this normal and any suggestions on how to achieve better transmission cooling? There is a factory installed trans cooler but does not look very robust. Thanks for any help. evsjr
Visited the Cadillac dealership. Talked to transmission "specialist." Asked how hot is too hot and after 15 minutes we determined that he did not know. He called the "factory" (I wish I knew that phone number.) and the answer they gave was within 20 degrees of the radiator temperature with an alarm set at 265 deg F. I said fine, I have no problems with the radiator overheating, it stays nailed at top center. Now what temperature is that indicating since there are no numbers, just the dial gauge. He didn't know so I drove around town, went back and with his computer determined that "normal" radiator temp was 200 deg. F. So we have concluded that 220 deg F is generally OK, but I would not want to run all day there. The factory ATF is a combo synthetic, so nothing to gain by going to a different ATF.

My pulling over at 200 deg. F was not necessary and I could have safely topped the grade.

For belts and suspenders, I still plan to install a larger trans cooler. I have good room in front of radiator. Any brand/size recommendations out there?
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evsjr

For belts and suspenders, I still plan to install a larger trans cooler. I have good room in front of radiator. Any brand/size recommendations out there?
TRY THIS LINK....GO WITH THE BEST!!
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:49 PM   #12
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If you are considering some modes to protect your trans first find out if the factory cooler is plumbed in before or after the radiator. I supect it is before and designed to clip excess heat as you saw while pulling that hill. If this is the case installing a larger cooler should limit the trans temperature but keep in mind the radiatortemperature will be the final determining factor.

The manufacture has the trans oil flow throught he radiator last to keep the trans temperature up in the winter.

For years I have driven with the trans cooling system plumbed so the oil flowed to an after market thermostaticly controlled fan cooled cooler set at 165 degrees and then through the factory cooler. The radiator trans cooler has been bypassed. This keeps the trans temperature at the temperature flowing off the engine, 155 degrees in summer.

Not sure you want to go that far but consider a larger cooler and good guage as factory guages are not the best.

You might look at my site noted below to see just what can get into your radiator and a step to keep it clean.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:51 PM   #13
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I second the B&M - it has a cool bypass feature... during the winter or cold months, it won't "cool" your tranny fluid as you drive. Too cold is almost as bad as too hot. FWIW - I too don't think 220 is bad in high heat, high use situations.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evsjr
The factory ATF is a combo synthetic, so nothing to gain by going to a different ATF.
Redline synthetic ATF is far superior to factory fluid. And, there is a significantly more transmission life and reliability to be gained by moving up to their High Temp ATF. Far superior to commonly available synthetics in every respect.

Red Line Oil: Gear Lubricants

It costs over twice as much as Mobil-1 but well worth the investment. Your new Caddy will love you for it.
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