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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 06:12 AM
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kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

Hey all,

It been pretty cold here in the last week or so. In the 30's. I have a 1995 3500 GMC diesel.

The other day at Pontiac58's place when we went to leave his shop my tranny wouldn't shift. I was a bit low on oil so I added oil to the motor. Tranny fluid was fine.

Yesterday my truck sat all day since the morning and when I went to go home I jumped in the truck, took off down the road. Again the tranny wasn't shifting.

I turned around, headed back to work and parked in the parking lot under a light. I checked the fluids and they were fine. Got back in the truck, took off to go home and it was fine.

This morning I let the truck run for about 10 min before I left for work I always warm it up in the morning) and it was fine today.

I am planning on getting the tranny serviced but am way to busy this week. Could it be the cold weather?

This is the first winter that I have owned this truck. It might be playing games with me cause of the cold weather. I don't know.

Any help would be great. Thanks.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 06:24 AM
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

1. Cold weather does affect an Automatic Transmission.
2. I've sat in the 3M parking lot in St. Paul for about 10 minutes warming up the Jeep before it'd move.
3. Mind you, this was at about -15*F and below.
4. The ATF was so darned cold that until the engine would wam up the fluid...
5. It would not build up hydraulic pressure...
6. And would not move.
7. In you case.... 30*F should have NO affect on the transmission.
8. Talk it over with your servicer... I'd be bettin' on a sensor...
9. But then I don't know your transmission.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 06:34 AM
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

I am no auto tranny experet, but I have heard that the cold does affect autos. And it is a good Idea to let it warm before driving... But that has already been said.
One tip that someone gave me for warming autos is to let it warm up in "N" not in park. Because in park the trannie is not pumping, but in "N" it is.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 06:40 AM
 
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

We ued to have a Chevy van, wit a 700 R4, and on cold mornings in Mississippi ( year right) it didnt want to shift either.
I think its the nature of the beast.

Tf727 and its variants dont circulate fluid in P, only in the other positions, so it wont warm up really in P, thats why they often lag going into R after they have been sitting.

I have no idea on the Gm trannys, I figure its a 480le?

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 09:52 AM
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

I am finding it interesting that problems are listed at such "high" temps. 30 Deg isn't really all that cold as far as a truck is concerned, and I can't beleive that it gets too cold in Mississippi.
Maybe the problem you are having is being caused by condinsation and/or moisture.
If that is the case, I would think that having the fluid flushed out, and replaced with brand new fluid may help a lot.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 03:20 PM
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

I always warm up my auto in the morning when it's cold, and it never has a problem. It also has 179,000 miles on it (4L30E) and I have changed the fluid 3 times. Most newer autos have a thermal interlock on the overdrive, so it won't shift into it until the temperature has come up. It should shift a little sluggish until properly warmed up, so the shift points will be higher. It's nothing to fret about, it's normal.

Up here it gets VERY cold, I have seen cars not start due to the oil being too thick to move, they had to be dragged inside and warmed up before they'd turn over fast enough. I have also seen people just jump in and run the vehicles, without warming them up, and blowing the motor. I have also seen it so cold that off-road lights crack their lenses when they're turned on. But, never a problem with an auto tranny, the fluid seems well adapted for use in the cold. In fact, I use it instead of grease in my hubs because the ATF won't solidify, even at extreme temperatures, so the hubs are always easy to turn.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 04:49 PM
 
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotra

Umm...I'm assuming you mean 30 ABOVE zero F? That's not nearly cold enough to cause problems with an auto...unless there is water in the fluid, which should have caused problems already.

Here in Alaska it gets really cold. (I spent New Years in Fairbanks and it was -35 F). I've owned several autos and had virtually no problems with them. The biggest thing is, give them a few minutes to warm up in really cold temps. When I lived in Fairbanks I had an oil pan heater, a lower radiator hose heater, trickle charger on the battery (it keeps it at peak performance and warms it up a bit, giving you more starting power) and a 1000w Excell heater in the cab. Though I could go out and the engine would pop off easily at -40F (providing I'd had it plugged in for a couple of hours--standard procedure when the temp drops that low, usually we'd just plug our rigs in before going to bed) the rig wouldn't move right away if I just tried to drive it. Give it 10 minutes for the ATF to warm up and away we go!

My buddy that currently lives in Fairbanks likes to put on the emergency brake on his Dakota and shift the tranny to neutral to help it warm up faster. Never tried that myself. Though I have put a manual tranny in low with the transfercase in neutral with the ebrake on to warm the oil up in the tranny and transfercase before. I didn't do it often, only when the temps dipped below -40F. That was also with an older 4x4 that had 80w-90 for lube. Most newer rigs use ATF instead, and it's not as thick.

My guess is something else is happening in there, but I'm not enough of a guru to guess what it might be!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 08:24 PM
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotra

In my gmc 1/2 ton the tranny likes to stay in 1st gear for a long time when cold. I try to be easy on it for a few miles, if you ease off the gas a bit it will shift easier. We had an 88' Bronco 2 with the pos auto, blew up twice trying to shift from 1st to 2nd when cold but that tranny should have been left in go-karts. The 727 in my jeep doesen't care about temp other than having a bit of lag from park to a drive gear, as mentioned b4.
post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 08:02 AM
 
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

IT being so cold that the oil is to thick for a car to turn over, I've seen that before. On our farm we have a 1950 something Oliver Massey straight six tractor that we use to push the yard with. And when it gets -40 or below the only way to start it is with a tiger torch. We have to fire the torch up and "cook" the engine block for about 15 min. When the temp is cold outside always warm up the tranny in neutral, I always do it for about 10 to 15 minuits depending on the temperature and have never had a problem with an auto in the winter.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2003, 08:48 AM
 
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Re: kinda O/T How does cold weather affect autotrannys

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
In fact, I use it instead of grease in my hubs because the ATF won't solidify, even at extreme temperatures, so the hubs are always easy to turn.

[/ QUOTE ]

So you use no grease in the whole hub bearings and all?
Like a oil bath type setup used on the big rigs (18 wheelers)

did you just tap plugs in the hubs to fill them or what?
I've thought about trying this sure would make changing the grease easy after the water crossings but I didn't think the cheapy seals/seal surfaces would hold in the grease.
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