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Old 03-20-2015, 06:13 AM   #15
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Since 2007, they started putting the trans temp as a digital only readout within the same DIC that displays your odometer and whatnot. So no red arc unfortunately, just the number... and mass confusion.

"Steam" is the term we use in aviation to describe any gauge that has a mechanical needle. Those have all but been replaced now by computer screens which merely simulate them. When there are dozens of them to display, it's cheaper to maintain this way. In theory! Not so much in practice.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:14 AM   #16
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* I do think the 2500 series does still have the "steam" readout.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:59 AM   #17
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"steam"?


Been away from the Chevy store for awhile now, but I believe any GM with a tow/haul mode had a T-gauge, or was it just the 2500's ummmm......

Bob
No Bob, our '08 1/2 ton GMC also had the trans temp gage in the DIC. It also had Tow/Haul mode.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:08 AM   #18
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No Bob, our '08 1/2 ton GMC also had the trans temp gage in the DIC. It also had Tow/Haul mode.
2006 and older 1/2 tons didn't have the temp gauge I think.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:12 AM   #19
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No Bob, our '08 1/2 ton GMC also had the trans temp gage in the DIC. It also had Tow/Haul mode.
I thought it was dependent on the T/H mode not GVWR. Our 95 2500 had the DIC warning light but no gauge.

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Old 03-20-2015, 08:56 AM   #20
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Just a note here, for those who are super-tech minded, or as in my case, have gasoline flowing in her bloodstream..... There are some interesting electronic monitoring systems which plug into the vehicles computer and can read everything the computer can, and one can also read the codes when this occurs.

Transmission temperature is one item which can be monitored. And for those who have big control needs (LOL) like me, I am having one installed on my Dodge/Cummins so as to monitor what is going on.

My guess is that this can also lead to better performance (fuel mileage) by learning how much the engine works in different situations.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:39 AM   #21
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I believe one has to have the DIC for a trans temp gauge.....generally. There were some work truck trims that had it as a function of a push stick in the dash (think odometer, trip button). The data is available at the ALDL for everything, but the upscale DIC is required for a digital readout. Gauges are in some vehicles, depending on model.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:47 PM   #22
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So I called GM today. Not surprisingly, they had a mildly difficult time understanding what I was even asking for. The rep did not have the answer and admitted that but was helpful enough to call my local dealer for me. After about a 15 long phone call, the answer I received was:

According to the Parts Department Manager, the transmission temp warning light will come on at 270-280 degrees depending on a number of factors. (I could probably put quotes around that but truly I'm paraphrasing.)

I replied, "so that temperature would be considered the temperature at which I would start doing damage to my transmission."

The answer, "yes, that's what I interpret that to mean."

So there we have it folks!
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:38 PM   #23
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Once a transmission hits 270 pulling a trailer up a mountain damage is already done and thousands of miles are deducted from the usable life of said transmission.
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Old 03-20-2015, 09:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaseav View Post
Since 2007, they started putting the trans temp as a digital only readout within the same DIC that displays your odometer and whatnot. So no red arc unfortunately, just the number... and mass confusion.

"Steam" is the term we use in aviation to describe any gauge that has a mechanical needle. Those have all but been replaced now by computer screens which merely simulate them. When there are dozens of them to display, it's cheaper to maintain this way. In theory! Not so much in practice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaseav View Post
So I called GM today. Not surprisingly, they had a mildly difficult time understanding what I was even asking for. The rep did not have the answer and admitted that but was helpful enough to call my local dealer for me. After about a 15 long phone call, the answer I received was:

According to the Parts Department Manager, the transmission temp warning light will come on at 270-280 degrees depending on a number of factors. (I could probably put quotes around that but truly I'm paraphrasing.)

I replied, "so that temperature would be considered the temperature at which I would start doing damage to my transmission."

The answer, "yes, that's what I interpret that to mean."

So there we have it folks!
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:03 PM   #25
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Once a transmission hits 270 pulling a trailer up a mountain damage is already done and thousands of miles are deducted from the usable life of said transmission.

I appreciate you weighing in RareStream; do you have any source for that info?
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:45 AM   #26
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I appreciate you weighing in RareStream; do you have any source for that info?
Well, besides personal experience, its all over the internet. Here's a sample:

"Most automatic transmissions are designed to operate at a maximum temperature of 200 degrees. For every 20 degrees you go above this limit, you risk cutting the expected lifespan of the transmission by a factor of two. To put that in a better perspective, by the time your transmission reaches 300 degrees its life span will be reduced to 1/32nd of what is considered normal. You should also note that at temperature as low as 240 degrees your organic oil based transmission fluid can turn to varnish, leaving it unable to properly lubricate the moving parts inside your transmission."

The Best Ways to Destroy Your Transmission | Mister Transmission

My personal experience was when I had an overheated engine condition due to the plastic stopcock on my radiator breaking, expelling all the coolant for the engine. There was no warning as on this vehicle because the coolant temperature sensor measured just that; the coolant, NOT the cylinder head temperature. So, with NO coolant, there was literally nothing to measure the temperature of, and the dash temperature gauge didn't bulge. By the time I heard pinging and pulled over, the head was toast. The engine got SEVERELY molten hot. Well, the transmission, which had NEVER had a problem previously, is of course bolted right to that molten hot engine, so of COURSE the transmission got hot. Well, about 3 weeks later going up a hill in Hurricane, Utah (not pulling anything) the transmission failed. The diagnoses was failure due to excessive heat...and the only time that transmission EVER got hot was when the engine overheated. It should be noted that about a month earlier I had the tranny's normal service done at a reputable Chrysler dealer including a complete replacement of all ATF+4 with an absolutely clean "like new" bill of health. The transmission failed for absolutely no other reason beside the fact that it got SEVERELY hot...and the heat was due to thermal transfer from the engine. That was a several thousand dollar lesson...and it was a normally bulletproof non-electronic Chrysler Torqueflight 3 speed. I can't imagine if it was a modern multiple speed electronically controlled tranny...there's no way it would have lasted the 3 weeks the old Torqueflight did...

Or, you can go ahead and believe that 270 degrees is safe for a modern electronic automatic transmission...once that point is hit, damage is DONE.
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Old 03-21-2015, 03:15 AM   #27
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There is some very good information in the Duramax forum thread that cwf linked to just above. Thanks, cwf. The writer there was the chief fluid engineer for Allison, before and after GM's involvement. He was involved with Dexron fluids, and the newer synthetic fluids. He talks about safe transmission temperatures from a design engineer perspective, and as author of several transmission fluid specs.

One quote he had (in reference to an Allison 1000, which is used in the GMC 2500 diesel, and is a modern electronically controlled automatic) is that it will run all day long at 250F without any concerns to transmission or fluid degradation. At 325F fluid temperature on a 600 hour continuous test they didn't see much change. The internal transmission parts were designed to run up to 350C.

Just another data point, referencing modern transmissions and fluids, from someone who seems to know his stuff.

My own vehicle when equipped with a ZF automatic used a 270F alarm point before they turned on the additional cooling fan. They weren't worried about damage before that point, but they are using modern synthetic fluids. Very different than what the old three speeds used. The electronics actually help, as well, since they provide additional monitoring and protection.

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Old 03-21-2015, 06:44 AM   #28
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...."Or, you can go ahead and believe that 270 degrees is safe for a modern electronic automatic transmission...once that point is hit, damage is DONE."

Thank you, I will.
As stated, 270 is a safe LIMIT.

FWIW...if your transmission is empty, don't depend on the gauge, the reading is not accurate under those circumstances and it's very difficult to toe.


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