Average Transmission Temperature (Explained in Detail!)

The transmission temperature plays a vital role in every vehicle’s performance. Thus, you can notice that an overheating transmission isn’t a good thing, as you will be forced to stop your engine and let it rest. Now, it may make you wonder what the average transmission temperature is. Thus, you may ask:

What is the average transmission temperature? The average transmission temperature should be around 160 to 175 degrees. This range should be your guide whenever you’re doing your check before driving. The temperature can go higher for around 200 to 220. However, it should be the limit, and it’s only applicable to hot driving conditions.

The transmission temperature is relatively easy to understand. You’ll only need to maintain the average temperature and avoid driving in too high or low temperatures. If you have a low temperature, you’ll need to warm your engine first before driving. On the other hand, you’ll need to rest your car if it reaches a higher temperature than average.

In this article, we’ll walk you through detailed information about the transmission temperature. This way, you’ll understand how important it is to maintain an average temperature and not drive when you have a low or high temperature.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Average Transmission Temperature

What Is the Average Transmission Temperature?

As I mentioned earlier, the average transmission temperature ranges from 160 to 175 degrees. So if you go over 200 or 220 degrees, it can already be the start of overheating.

The transmission’s lifespan is halved at 220 degrees. So, it barely lasts a quarter of the time, and it should be at 240 degrees, and only 1/8 of the time, it should be at 260 degrees. Thus, for something as expensive as a transmission, avoiding excessive heat is critical.

Temperatures around 200 degrees are optimum for maximum transmission. It is crucial to know since every 20 degrees above 200 degrees, your transmission’s life lifetime is slashed in half.

The transmission is a crucial part of driving your engine. It’s the thing that helps you shift gears from one to the other. Thus, if it fails due to a high or low temperature than average, it can be expensive damage to repair for you.

What Temperature Is Too High for Transmission?

Overheating is the usual problem car owners have in their cars. Thus, you may wonder about how high a temperature is to mean your car is overheating.

Since the average temperature varies from 160 to 175 degrees, please take it as a rule of thumb to be cautious when your temperature gets higher.

Of course, some demanding conditions such as scorching weather and desert roads can warm up your transmission.

Your transmission can likely take higher temperatures from around 175 to 220 degrees. If you see your temperature around 250 degrees, then it may cause hardening to your rubber seals.

Such an instance will result in fluid leaks and pressure dropping. In addition, if your temperature went even higher, it might cause the transmission to slide, which will only result in an even higher temperature.

If you prolong this drive, you may end up burning your clutch and breaking down your transmission. Thus, it’s essential to let your car rest when you see the temperature rising higher than the average.

What Temperature Is Too Low for Transmission?

While a high temperature is something to prevent, you should also do the same with lower temperatures than average.

The lowest temperature in the range of average for transmission is 160 degrees. So you can still drive with a temperature as low as 150 degrees. However, if it goes lower than that, then you should warm your car first.

If your transmission’s temperature goes below zero, it will get too thick. As a result, the transmission fluid will fail to lubricate the parts of your transmission. It will then eventually break down and cause significant damage to your car.

For this reason, you shouldn’t drive your car first thing without warming it up, especially during the cold season.

Temperature in Transmission

What to Do When the Transmission Is Overheating?

A transmission can overheat due to many conditions, and so you’ll need to know what to do when it does. Unfortunately, since any instances can happen, you can’t prevent these things from overheating your transmission.

Let’s take a look first at the possible instances where your transmission can overheat.

  • Scorching weather
  • Overloading or heavy towing
  • Long hours under heavy traffic
  • Negligence to have the car checked
  • Transmission leaks and breakage

All these instances can take a toll on your car and cause its transmission to overheat. Thus, you’ll need to know what to do if ever your car’s transmission starts to overheat.

Here are some things you have to do when your transmission overheats:

Turn off the engine and let your transmission cool down.

Once you notice your transmission temperature increases in temperature, park your car and turn off the engine. Let it rest until the temperature drops.

Take note of the possible causes of overheating.

While you let your car rest, take note of what caused the overheating. It can be the temperature of the area, your car’s load, or even breakage in the engine. 

It’s important to note all these things so you can better grasp the situation, and you’ll know how to respond to it.

Restart your engine after cooling down.

Once your transmission cooled down, you can then restart your engine and drive again. Do so only if you think your car is alright and won’t need any fixes.

Lighten your load if overheating happens again.

Now, if your car starts to reheat again, try to lessen your load. In most cases, overloading can take a toll on your transmission and cause it to overheat. 

Get your car towed if it continues to overheat.

Now, if you have no extra load, you may want to stop driving any further and call a towing service for your car. This way, you can have it checked and prevent any more issues from arising.

Can a Transmission Be Too Cold?

Yes, a transmission can get too cold, but it usually happens only during the cold seasons. If you don’t have a heating system in your garage, the transmission in your car can get too cold, and it’s not ideal for driving.

If your transmission got too cold, you might get forced to deal with the following problems on your car:

Change in viscosity of your transmission fluid

Throughout the winter, the viscosity of transmission fluid changes and thickens. As a result, its optimum temperature is 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus if it gets 25 degrees lower or higher, it can be a bad thing already. 

Another thing to note is that the liquid becomes excessively thick when the temperature drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, when the fluid is freezing, it may fail to lubricate components, causing them to wear down prematurely.

Contraction of the transmission parts

When parts of your transmission experience cold weather, they contract or shrink. As a result, most of the parts loosen and wear out quicker. These parts also become prone to leaks as seals compress and tighten.

Weak and failing shifting

If the transmission is cold, the shifting becomes more challenging, and its points might get displaced, resulting in even harder shifting. These abrupt adjustments can put more strain on various components, increasing the likelihood of failure in the future.

Water issues

It’s never a good thing if there’s water in the transmission. In general, it’s a disaster that might result in a colossal repair cost. It will solidify at 32 degrees if there is water in it while it is chilly. When it hardens, it swells, producing fractures in the transmission case and valve body, causing damage. You cannot repair the transmission if a rupture occurs.


In a nutshell, the average transmission temperature is a necessary thing to maintain for a good drive. This average temperature ranges from 160 to 175 degrees. If it goes 25 degrees lower or higher, it can already lead to specific issues.

A transmission temperature can get too cold, and it can also overheat. Both issues can create devastating effects on your transmission. Thus, please take it as a rule of thumb to maintain a suitable temperature on your car’s transmission during your driving hours.

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Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more