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Discussion Starter #1
i have a '12 camry 4cyl with about 70k on it. i recently installed a pioneer headunit along with idatalink maestro, this gives me gauges for things like RPM, coolant temp, trans fluid temp, and more. now i sometimes question the accuracy of the gauges because it says 63% throttle when my foot is to the floor but i think it is generally accurate for most gauges

the ECM was reflashed at 15k miles for the torque converter shutter and i have had the dealer do a drain/refill of the trans fluid at 43k and 68k. i have had zero issues with shutter although i do sometimes have hard shifting at certain speeds/situations like stop and go traffic ect.

my headunit has a transmission fluid temp gauge and during most drives it reads in the 180s-190s but i have seen it spike to 205 after rough traffic conditions and warm weather. when it is this hot you can feel the transmission is not too happy and is more likely to shift a bit harder or have a slight kick when i go on/off the throttle

i live in NJ near philadelphia and we get all 4 seasons from hot/humid summers to cold winters. roads i travel can be anything from stop/go traffic up to cruising at 80 on the highway. from the factory it has a stand alone transmission cooler where it pumps the coolant to/from the radiator and the transmission fluid is warmed up and supposedly cooled.

i am wondering if adding a aftermarket transmission cooler is a good idea to keep the temps down, the only thing i am hesitant about is how long will the fluid take to get up to temp in the winter months. i generally like to keep critical components like that as stock but its only april and the temps going that high do concern me
 

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08 Toyota Camry 2AZ-FE R9K Tuned
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You choice. I see little use of an external transmission cooler unless you were towing or racing. If anything, just focus on drain & fills and transmission filters.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You choice. I see little use of an external transmission cooler unless you were towing or racing. If anything, just focus on drain & fills and transmission filters.
yea i don't tow haha but i do have a lead foot; i am not stupid though and know to go easy on it when it's cooking. as many other people i wish there was a dipstick to be able to do drain/refills easier, i have had the dealer do it so i know they get the fluid level correct.
 

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I have done something else that keeps the temp lower. - a bit. I replaced the hose from the radiator cooler back to the transmission with a longer hose that also has a spin on filter sitting in front of the radiator. The result is an extra litre of fluid circulating and hose and metal filter in front of the radiator. I cant measure temp but extra fluid and a little bit of cooling as fluid goes though the hose and filter must have some impact.
 

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205F isnt really spiking when using newer ATFs

The old ATF temp/failure mileage charts mean nothing with newer transmssions and fluids.

So, add a cooler but it isnt needed. Or use a synth atf like Amsoil Redline Torco...
 

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The 6 speeds die early from a) lack of periodic fluid changes 2) too high or too low fluid levels 3) boy-racer driving styles

They don't die from 180-205 transmission oil temperatures. So I'd suggest learning how to check the fluid level precisely.
 

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2012 Camry SE, 4 cyl
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It has been a while but my recollection is there is a thermostat device in the cooling line which only allows fluid flow through the cooler when the fluid exceeds a certain temperature.
Adding an external cooler may help if extreme temperatures are involved but might not for ordinary operation.

As noted above change the fluid and make sure it is filled properly. Unfortunately many dealers do not do this correctly so if you have the fluid changed, I suggest you learn how to check it yourself after you get it back.

Do a final fluid check the following morning so if there is trapped air in the fluid it settles out. The way I check mine is run the car in park for one minute after the cold start, then shift through each gear while the car is stationary, then check fluid whle the engine is still running. Be prepared to add fluid BEFORE you check it so the fluid does not get too warm while you hunt down your equipment.


You should have a light but steady stream coming out. If not, add until you do. If you add more than half a quart, I would check again the following morning or after it sits for at least 4 hours.


PS- Low fluid is most damaging and can result in soft shifts or momentarily going into neutral while stopped and in drive. If you are stopped in gear and feel a clunk as you take off, it is starving for fluid which causes it to act as if in neutral.Starved for fluid means no lubrication while running.
 

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it's connected to a heat exchanger already. were you going to disconnect that if you add an oil cooler? because if you connect it before or after it may cool down or heat up the atf.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for the replies, i have decided for now that i will just leave it alone and stick with the factory cooler. it seems that the fluid only gets HOT rarely under certain conditions, i just have to learn to baby it when it does happen

for now i will stick with annual trans drain/refills at the dealer, i drive 22-25k a year and am hard on my cars. i am mechanicly inclined and may learn to do it myself, but i know these transmissions are very picky about their fluid level
 

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I had the Toyota Dealership do a fluid "flush" which is a full exchange of all the fluid.
It cost $200 vs $100 for the drain & fill.
A drain & fill gets at most 1/2 of the fluid as it does not get the fluid that is in the torque converter or the cooling lines, etc.
 
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