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Old 07-22-2019, 03:43 PM   #1
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Transmission Oil Temperature Too High! - What to do when towing 5er?

Hi Everyone,

I have a 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel and it's been a GREAT truck. The only issue I have with it is when I tow my 10,000lb 5th wheel up substantial grades, it tends to pop on the Transmission Oil Termperature warning light. You can definitely tell it's a probelm because the engine begins to make this "whirring" noise and power decreases. When this happens, I pull over for about 30 minutes, rev the engine for a bit, then open the hood and shut the baby down until it cools off - just as it says in the manual. I'm typically back up and running just fine after that. The manual says:

"This light indicates that there is excessive transmission fluid temperature that might occur with severe usage such as trailer towing...if this light comes on, stop the vehicle and run the engine at idle or faster, with the transmission in Neutral until the light goes off."

I'm running the heater full blast when taking grades so I don't overheat, much to my wife's dismay, but I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do to stop this from happening in the first place?
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:56 PM   #2
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Sure. Consider installing an aftermarket supplementary transmission cooler and a real transmission temperature gauge. Several companies offer these products and, if you are a "Checkbook Mechanic" it shouldn't cost too much for installation.


Others with towing experience may question if you have sufficient truck to haul 10,000 (!) lbs. What is it's towing specification?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlnarik View Post
Hi Everyone,

I have a 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel and it's been a GREAT truck. The only issue I have with it is when I tow my 10,000lb 5th wheel up substantial grades, it tends to pop on the Transmission Oil Termperature warning light. You can definitely tell it's a probelm because the engine begins to make this "whirring" noise and power decreases. When this happens, I pull over for about 30 minutes, rev the engine for a bit, then open the hood and shut the baby down until it cools off - just as it says in the manual. I'm typically back up and running just fine after that. The manual says:

"This light indicates that there is excessive transmission fluid temperature that might occur with severe usage such as trailer towing...if this light comes on, stop the vehicle and run the engine at idle or faster, with the transmission in Neutral until the light goes off."

I'm running the heater full blast when taking grades so I don't overheat, much to my wife's dismay, but I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do to stop this from happening in the first place?
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlnarik View Post
Hi Everyone,

I have a 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel and it's been a GREAT truck. The only issue I have with it is when I tow my 10,000lb 5th wheel up substantial grades, it tends to pop on the Transmission Oil Termperature warning light. You can definitely tell it's a probelm because the engine begins to make this "whirring" noise and power decreases. When this happens, I pull over for about 30 minutes, rev the engine for a bit, then open the hood and shut the baby down until it cools off - just as it says in the manual. I'm typically back up and running just fine after that. The manual says:

"This light indicates that there is excessive transmission fluid temperature that might occur with severe usage such as trailer towing...if this light comes on, stop the vehicle and run the engine at idle or faster, with the transmission in Neutral until the light goes off."
..... but I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do to stop this from happening in the first place?
Sounds like It is doing what it programmed to do. High trans temp will for sure lock you out of OD. Are you using the tow/haul mode?
Have you checked or had the trans fluid level checked? High trans temp is a Killer of trans missions.

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Old 07-22-2019, 09:42 PM   #4
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i would look for a deeper pan to circulate more fluid. Derale makes a cooling tube pan that helps a ton. ive used one and it dropped fluid temps 20 degrees alone. automatics hate heat. just my opinion.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:05 PM   #5
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I put a TruCool tranny cooler on my 3/4 ton truck. Best $150 insurance I could ever buy for my tranny. Only took 1/2 hour to install myself.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:10 PM   #6
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You're having to run the dash heater to keep the engine temp down and the trans is heating up too , we're back to my questions from your first post about cooling system service , possible air flow restrictions through the rad and the electronic rad fan operation ,
All things being equal and knowing that the electronic rad fan has been an issue in class A diesel pusher chassis. I'd say the rad fan could easily be your problem.

I'll look on line to see if this is an issue with P/Us as well as the DP chassis.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:28 PM   #7
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A google search of " 2008 Dodge diesel overheating " turned up a ton of posts, a lot question the rad fan operation , then there's this one.

www.dieselram.com/showthread.php?t=201287

Just goes to show ... Murphy is everywhere , with that { self edit } law of his.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:17 PM   #8
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Maybe try speeding up to the point that you are sure the torque converter is locked up. TC slippage generates heat plus you will get more air movement through the radiator. I can go over Mt. Hood at speed and the tranny (48RE) does fine. Once during construction, I had to crawl up the grade. Transmission got pretty hot.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:22 PM   #9
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And switch to synthetic fluid
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
You're having to run the dash heater to keep the engine temp down and the trans is heating up too , we're back to my questions from your first post about cooling system service , possible air flow restrictions through the rad and the electronic rad fan operation ,
All things being equal and knowing that the electronic rad fan has been an issue in class A diesel pusher chassis. I'd say the rad fan could easily be your problem.

I'll look on line to see if this is an issue with P/Us as well as the DP chassis.

Across the front of truck are a 'stack' of coolers
The transmission cooler is sandwiched between the radiator and intercooler, limiting airflow.
All of the coolers need to be CLEAN and the FAN has to work
When the FAN comes ON you should HEAR IT ROAR


Sounds like your FAN isn't......
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:49 AM   #11
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OldBiscuit is on point with his assessment (as usual). Your other post asked about improving power-this post drives home the real issue you definitely have some cooling issues that need to be addressed. Sounds like something is not working correctly or you need to consider making some changes such as switching fluids or adding cooling capacity. Adding any power to your truck would worsen the transmission issue exponentially.

To be clear-are you running the heat to lower engine coolant temp or to try to lower transmission temp?
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:38 AM   #12
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The whirring noise is your radiator fan, which has a computer controlled fan clutch locking it up to try to cool down the over heating issue. I had to replace my fan clutch twice in my last 03 Ram 2500.
You should hear the fan whirring before any over heating occurs, and sometimes the fan clutch will start acting up months before it goes out completely, like mine did.
What is your water temp showing when this happens?
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:21 AM   #13
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More posts on the electric controlled viscous fan clutch .

Ebay has them starting at $99.

http://www.turbodieselregister.com/t...orking.248379/

I'm thinking that the whirring noise you hear is the engine cooling fan coming up to full song WAY TOO LATE to keep the engine and trans temps under control.

Unfortunately testing the fan clutch operation without the proper shop tool , seems like the big issue.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:55 AM   #14
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Thanks for the input everyone. Here are some answers to everyone's questions:

- Truck is rated to tow up to 15,600 lbs (6.7L, Turbo Diesel Auto)
- Always in tow haul mode and on top of my fluids
- Running the heater to take away heat from the engine when I know I may start running hot
- Water temp runs a little high when warning light comes on, but nothing drastic. The oil pressure gauge is the one that starts to climb pretty high (which is why I referenced that in the previous post)

So, on to what I should do now Cleaning the coolers and double checking the fan operation is going to be the first thing to do. I can hear the rad fan (whirring sound) before any warning lights come on and I hear it running while I'm driving so I believe it's fine. The whirring noise is just especially loud right before the light comes on.

I've heard about cooling pans and I'm thinking that may help as well, but do want to make sure all stock parts are working as they should first. Checked out out the TruCool - that looks pretty helpful, cheap, and easy to install, so that may help! Also, I'm running synthetic oil. May have the shop take a closer look since I'm about due for an oil change. Thanks for the comments so far everyone!
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