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Old 07-09-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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over heating transmission

I just bought a 2011 unlimited with a auto trans. Took it into the mountains for a 4h test drive. While climbing a moderately steep dirt road with OD off,in 4h, in drive, for about an hour, the hotoil light comes on . My previous jeep was a manual trans. so I don't know anything about off road with an auto trans. Do I need to run to the dealer or I'm I doing it wrong?

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Old 07-09-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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Take it to the dealer something's not right

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Old 07-09-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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JKs with automatic transmissions are notorious for overheating. I have a manual so I can't really help you out besides telling you that it might be somewhat normal.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:14 PM   #4
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Ok well... I shouldn't say notorious, but they have been know to overheat, especially while driving on sand or loose sediment. You may want to take it in to get looked at and wait to see if other automatic jk owners chime in on this topic.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:25 PM   #5
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Get an after market trans cooler and that should stop the problem
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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What he said above. I've got to put one on my new 4 door I bought. Atleast they are very cheap $50 and easy to install.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:39 PM   #7
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your problem came from 4 hi, you were working the motor and trans to hard, you should have been in 4lo.. ......... 4 hi is for snow and sand,,
also as mentioned above get a trans cooler.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREEN-MACHINE
your problem came from 4 hi, you were working the motor and trans to hard, you should have been in 4lo.. ......... 4 hi is for snow and sand,,
also as mentioned above get a trans cooler.
I thought you weren't supposed to go over five mph or so while in 4L. I haven't done much off roading where I put it in 4L because I'm usually going over 10 mph. Just curious.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #9
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A. All auto TJs/JKs need a larger trans cooler. Not should have, but need. It's your choice on whether to retain the reservoir in the radiator or not, and there are lots of conflicting opinions on this point. I plumbed mine out of the system and rely on a 26,000 GVWR stacked plate cooler, and my trans and I have been very happy with that setup for a number of years.

B. You should have a seat-of-the-pants sense of when the vehicle is struggling with 4-Hi, and should bump it over to 4-Low to keep the engine in a proper rev range and to keep the trans from being permanently in super-slip mode (that's where the excessive heat is being generated). With appropriate tires, good driving technique, and a locker (or tight LSD), I think one could get by just fine with only 2-Hi and 4-Low, even on snowy roads.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:29 PM   #10
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All auto JKs need an aux tranny cooler. Plumb it in after the factory cooler (part of the A/C condensor in JKs). Jeep was nice enough to include a tranny fluid boiling system in the form of an exhaust crossover pipe within 1/4 inch of the tranny pan.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:05 AM   #11
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You can leave it in 4hi but next time if it’s a long grade on a dirt road put it in 2nd or even first so it’s not constantly shifting back and forth. Just take it easy while climbing and it should be fine. Same thing happened to me once.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:03 AM   #12
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One of my first mods was a B&M Transmission cooler I got off E-bay. I heard that this was possible and took no risks and just did it.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvl181 View Post
I just bought a 2011 unlimited with a auto trans. Took it into the mountains for a 4h test drive. While climbing a moderately steep dirt road with OD off,in 4h, in drive, for about an hour, the hotoil light comes on . My previous jeep was a manual trans. so I don't know anything about off road with an auto trans. Do I need to run to the dealer or I'm I doing it wrong?
How fast were you traveling? Did it stay in 3rd the whole time or was it shifting down to 2nd and 1st? With it locked up in 3rd you should be good, but if it was shifting and/or you were driving too slow then you weren’t locked up but were generating heat. Maybe the hill was steeper near the top and it shifted out of 3rd and was running in 2nd for a while?

Four Low runs at higher RPM which moves the transmission fluid through the stock cooler more often. Also you’ll have more torque and HP so the transmission won’t have to shift as much. With stock gearing you can easily run in the teens in 4 Low.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:37 AM   #14
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great responses

Thanks everyone for the fast response, this is a valuable site.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:26 AM   #15
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I had the same thing with my 2011, got the hot oil light with less than 200 miles on it, total BS. I called the dealership and he recommended that I put a trans cooler on also... I told the guy to blow me, he would be putting it on at his cost... things go real quite... then he said that he could not do that, I would have to do it on my own. I just asked him if there was a failure of an aftermarket oil cooler and I fried my transmission would the warranty cover it, without pause he said NO!!

Needless to say, I called the corporate customer service and started a complaint ticket... lets see if I can get a free Jeep trans cooler that will not void my warranty if it fails
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:30 AM   #16
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I don't have a "hotoil" light, but before my regearing I always off-roaded in 4lo, unless it was a long fairly level road (rare)-4lo keeps the juices flowing and the tranny cool-

I have aux coolers installed and my temp never goes over 200° F even towing my trailer up long hills--the optimum op temp for the 42rle is 180° F-

Now I can use 4hi for most off-road, except for rocky climbs, or very steep 30/40° hills-

Your only recourse is to install the aux cooler-cheap/ long lasting/ beneficial-and your dealer won't doit free, unless you fry your tranny-then good luck !

Can'tbeatem-

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Old 07-14-2011, 01:55 AM   #17
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went to the dealer

So I take to the dealer, only 160 miles round trip, and the service rep says all fixed ,software problem. I'll take it up a mountain in the next couple of days and see what happens. Will change from using drive to using first and second.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #18
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On the hiwy, you can drop outta O/D, to 3rd gear for most of the hills and don't worry about cruising at 3500/4500 rpm--


Quote:
Originally Posted by dvl181 View Post
So I take to the dealer, only 160 miles round trip, and the service rep says all fixed ,software problem. I'll take it up a mountain in the next couple of days and see what happens. Will change from using drive to using first and second.
The only thing it'll hurt is your gas mileage--the 3.8L enjoys that rpm range and you'll never need 1st--on-road, well almost never-

Good luck

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Old 07-14-2011, 08:58 AM   #19
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Just a suggestion for people with autos( like me), Google "what's the optimal transmission fluid temperature?" Some very interesting stuff in there
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:28 AM   #20
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Thats a good suggestion-


Quote:
Originally Posted by kfdjason7620 View Post
Just a suggestion for people with autos( like me), Google "what's the optimal transmission fluid temperature?" Some very interesting stuff in there
Long ago I researched the 42rle auto and the op temp for it's ATF-4, is 180° F and the fluids flash point is 374° F --thats where it'll squirt outta the dipstick and possible fire-

The stock cooloint() system allows the ambient temp of the auto to reach well over 250° F--OFTEN-so getta aux cooler-don't depend on the "Hotoil" warning !!

Ciao

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Old 07-14-2011, 10:23 AM   #21
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88,000 JKs were recalled last year.

88,000 JKs were recalled last year for potential automatic transmission overheating. The fix on those wasn't an honest mechanical fix, just added an idiot light to the display. July 2011 issue of JP magazine has an article where they added a Flex-a-lite transmission cooler to a JK. You might be able to look up the article online. FYI
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:29 AM   #22
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YUP, good article, but


Quote:
Originally Posted by Osage Orange View Post
88,000 JKs were recalled last year for potential automatic transmission overheating. The fix on those wasn't an honest mechanical fix, just added an idiot light to the display. July 2011 issue of JP magazine has an article where they added a Flex-a-lite transmission cooler to a JK. You might be able to look up the article online. FYI
Just google "JK/JKU aux cooling systems" and you'll get pages of info-install/pt #s/history/techniques-etc

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