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Old 01-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #15
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The trans cooler will help alot. Get the one that will have a lot of capacity. You did not say how far you will tow. If distances are short you might not kill the mini van. But those mountains will sure test the little Kia.

You will have to post and let us know how long the Kia lasts.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:18 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by KD4UPL View Post
Why do you state in all caps that you don't engine brake when towing? I assume you mean you don't downshift to a lower gear to help control speed. Why not? It's a very effective means of using the engine's compression to help brake the vehicle. Especially when descending a steep grade. I don't know how many times I've followed vehicles down a mountain where they're brake lights are on the whole time. You can smell the hot brake smell from 100 feet back. I downshift a few gears and barely touch the brakes on the way down. My truck is at 161,000 miles and still on the original brake pads. The dealer just looked it over and said they were fine.
From what I have read, engine braking puts more strain on the transmission. And being the weak part of the van, I want to put as little strain on it as possible.

On the hill down from Tahoe, I was able to be pretty light on the brakes while keeping a good speed. Braking is not something I'm too worried about.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
The trans cooler will help alot. Get the one that will have a lot of capacity. You did not say how far you will tow. If distances are short you might not kill the mini van. But those mountains will sure test the little Kia.

You will have to post and let us know how long the Kia lasts.
Trans cooler should be pretty soon. I'll look for a large core. Any suggestions on trans fluid? OEM? Sythetic?

Most of our trips are going to be close (25 miles) and on pretty flat roads. We'll be doing some trips over the southern end of the Coastal Ranges here in CA, but not much more.

We're at 80k miles with the van. We plan on a new vehicle by 100k...hoping she'll hold on 'till then.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #18
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Towing on flat roads and for short distances will make a big difference. Still you want to keep the transmission as cool as possible. I would use both sythetic motor oil and synthetic tranny fluid for last transmission fluid change you will probably do.

Now I think the Kia will last.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:49 AM   #19
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Heat will be your biggest enemy so no one can tell you what it will be. Keep RPM up and get a scangauge to observe all the heat numbers. The dash gauges if not digėtal will not indicate trouble fast enough.
I towed over the rate many times and it is your driving that will save the day. Use you engine braking but make sure there is enough weight on the rear wheels to prevent jackknifing. The front wheel drive vehicles are very light on the tear and springs are also weak so squatting is good.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:20 AM   #20
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I tow with a 2008 sedona. My trailer is a 6501 vcross vibe around 3300 loaded. It tows the trailer very well. The sedona already has a trans cooler, if you look at the front of the radiator you will see it near the top it about 4 inches wide and the length of the rad. I am useing a fastway e2 wdh. I don' t get any sway with this setup, I have towed in 40 mph gusts and it is stable. You will have to watch your weight, it is only the two of use in the van and I remove the middle seats to get rid of 110 lbs. If you have specific questions let me know.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:16 AM   #21
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From what I have read, engine braking puts more strain on the transmission. And being the weak part of the van, I want to put as little strain on it as possible.

On the hill down from Tahoe, I was able to be pretty light on the brakes while keeping a good speed. Braking is not something I'm too worried about.
Downshifting an automatic puts little if any stress on it. You would be wise to start doing it. The stress occurs when your climbing a steep hill, that puts a tremendous amount of heat in the trans. I will always downshift before the trans does automatically when climbing a steep hill, keeps the trans temps down. I always downshift when descending steep hills. Most of the time I manual shift my trans when towing, keeps temps down in trans and motor.
See if you can install a trans temp gage somewhere. You'll be surprised what you'll see. Sitting still in drive, or even stop and go traffic will send trans temps soaring.
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