The 6 Best Transmission Coolers
This wiki has been updated 8 times since it was first published in March of 2020. Transmissions can seem like one of the most enigmatic parts of a vehicle, and are one of the most costly components to fix when they fail. They are relatively easy to maintain, however, with a transmission cooler that will minimize internal wear. These are not just for performance or towing applications; using one is a great preventative step, and we've selected models for all types of cars. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 04, 2020:
Transmissions sound intimidating and expensive, but they are sealed and relatively low maintenance as long as they don't overheat. Excessive heat can break down the transmission fluid inside, which is what keeps the transmission clean. If this fluid can't lubricate or dissipate heat properly, the clutch material can come apart and make the fluid dirty and less effective, leading to slipping or gear loss. Adding a cooler is an inexpensive way to protect the transmission's internal components and extend the lifespan of the unit.
Overall cooling ability was the primary factor used to evaluate each model, with the Tru-Cool Max and the Derale Series 8000 dropping temperatures 20 to 30 degrees on average. But other elements are important, too, which is why the Hayden Automotive Rapid-Cool was included — it offers compatibility with many vehicles, including motorhomes and travel trailers. There's also skill level to consider. The Derale Electra-Cool requires more advanced knowledge to install than does the B&M SuperCooler, but the former is by far the most compatible over all fluid and vehicle performance types.
One final note: tube-and-fin coolers leave a lot to be desired in the way they perform, since air doesn't flow through the tubes the way it does through larger plate coolers. However, the Mishimoto MMTC-U is from a well-known name in the automotive aftermarket industry and is able to outperform many plate designs, so we've added it, as well.
Do not attempt to repair or modify automotive components without professional technical instruction or experience.