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Old 02-06-2006, 05:57 PM   #1
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1991 25' Excella
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Question transmission heating

Hi! We have a 2004 Suburban 3/4 ton with 3.73 axle, towing a 25' Excella. While we were towing it up to a ski resort at about 7000ft, a warning flashed on the dash about the transmission getting too hot. The manual says this warning should only show at over 265 degress and the gauge showed only 200 degrees. Does anyone know if this is a known problem? Should we only tow in 3rd, not in overdrive? If so, then why or when do we use the "tow" button to change how the transmission shifts while towing? Any ideas?
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:04 PM   #2
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I have the same truck, same year, only w/ 4.10s and I have not seen the "limp mode" warning you describe that I've read about in the book. Not sure if it had anything to do with the altitude, but I'd contact a Chevy dealer.

If you're towing up big hills, I'd be towing in 3rd or second depending on the grade hill/mountain and with tow/haul engaged.....
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:40 AM   #3
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We have the same 3/4 ton Burb, We tow a 27' Overlander 6060# fully loaded. I have never seen our trans temp go over 250 even in summer on long hills. I would let your dealer have a look. Sounds like a bad sensor...

What happened after the light came on??
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:58 AM   #4
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If you were towing up a steep grade in overdrive that would explaine why TA Temp warning light came on, and if the gauge temp was at differant temp than what the warning light temp is suppose to be I would bring to dealer and have gauge replaced and complete check of system. Not all gauges are correct they can be off with there callibration's, was a heavy truck mechanic for 15 years found lots of bad gauges.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:40 PM   #5
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Just for reference, our trans has never exceeded 200 degrees....yet.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I have the same truck, same year, only w/ 4.10s and I have not seen the "limp mode" warning you describe that I've read about in the book. Not sure if it had anything to do with the altitude, but I'd contact a Chevy dealer.

If you're towing up big hills, I'd be towing in 3rd or second depending on the grade hill/mountain and with tow/haul engaged.....
ditto on twinks suggestion.

hit the tow haul button whenever you have the trailer on.

since yours is a 3/4 ton you have the 4l80E tranny. you can tow in overdrive, if you were pulling a long grade it probably wasn't in O.D. if you were in rolling hills the advice to leave it in 3rd can have benefit, instead of shifting to 4 the trans will spin faster in 3rd pumping more oil and cooling faster on the down hills. you also get the added benefit of engine braking.

bottom line, take it to a dealer and have them check for software updates for the tranny and to check for any stored codes. i would bet if the trans hot light came on however briefly it would have left a code stored in the tranny ecm.

let us know what you find, i have the same tranny in my silverado and have had 60K trouble free miles. i have had my tranny over 200, but that was towing in 100+ heat at 75 mph. no warning lights.

john
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Old 02-09-2006, 12:34 PM   #7
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thanks for the suggestions - we'll get it checked out at the dealer...and use 3rd

btw...we slowed down after getting the warning, and the warning "left"
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:11 PM   #8
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Use a synthetic transmission fluid if your dealer drains the pan and converter. Synthetic fluid can take more heat before breaking down.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:41 PM   #9
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I agree, the synthetic fluid will take far more than the trans can take. Problem is, if he really did hit 265 degrees, the trans fluid, if synthetic, would have taken the beating, but the bands, and clutches would have most likley started to warp, if he did in fact hit 265.
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeriqua
thanks for the suggestions - we'll get it checked out at the dealer...and use 3rd

btw...we slowed down after getting the warning, and the warning "left"
Just wanted to check in. What did the dealer find??
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:26 PM   #11
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Cool no news yet

thanks for asking - we haven't taken the 'Burb in yet, and have had no symptoms with regular driving, no towing. Will report in as soon as we check it out. Thanks for all the suggestions
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:08 PM   #12
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7000+ miles and no more warnings

just to let you all know - we went all across the US to NY and back with no transmission warnings, even over the Sierras, Rockys, Bighorn Mtns. So we'll save some $$ for now, and hold off on the Dealer visit....
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:20 PM   #13
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Just returned from 1150 mile trip to Colorado Rockies and across Nebr in 110 degree heat. Trans temp never exceeded 200 and engine 210 degrees. D/A. Loved the Allison in the mountains especially going down the mountains.
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Old 08-02-2006, 09:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeriqua
just to let you all know - we went all across the US to NY and back with no transmission warnings, even over the Sierras, Rockys, Bighorn Mtns. So we'll save some $$ for now, and hold off on the Dealer visit....
hi aeriqua...

thanks for the update...people should do this more often.
are you out of warranty? isn't this visit covered?

while i agree it may have been a false positive code...
i'd still want it checked. they can run the diagnostics
and find all the alarm codes...errors or otherwise.

the overall tranny fluid temps may not rise much...
while the 'local' temps are very high...
so going by factory gauge temps isn't wise...
because by the time they read high....
it's really really high.

also how are the gauges calibrated?
on the ford...they are very imprecise...
stock gauges often have 'temp ranges'...before the needle moves much.
my oil temp gauge goes immediately to the mid point with ignition...
that's how it's calibrated...so from cold to warm it does not move...

i'd still want to know the codes thrown...

cheers
2air'
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