Towing with a Grand Caravan - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-21-2016, 08:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
(Toyota told me that a added cooler on the Sienna would actually over cool the fluid and cause it to not work properly.
BS IMO.

My Highlander has the exact same drivetrain as the Sienna, has the OEM aux tranny cooler (comes standard on ALL Canadian AWD Highlanders et Siennas) and I never noticed any cold-related issues with the transmission.
If cold was to cause issues, you'd have transmission failures by the thousands in Canada and northern USA every winter.

I would NOT tow without an aux cooler. The fluid line that runs in the radiator of all cars with automatic transmission can hardly be called a "cooler". This line is "cooled" by engine coolant, which is typically around 175degF...
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:40 AM   #16
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BS IMO.
I don't know enough to say but I would not be surprised. It would not be the first time that people at Toyota, who should know better, provided me with ample fertilizer.

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...

I would NOT tow without an aux cooler. The fluid line that runs in the radiator of all cars with automatic transmission can hardly be called a "cooler". This line is "cooled" by engine coolant, which is typically around 175degF...
Well, I monitor the tranny temp both towing and not towing, without an aux cooler, and there is practically no difference unless towing in overdrive (which Toyota says not to do anyway). As long as my tranny temp is about the same, why would I need or want an aux cooler? No reason at all.

However if conditions change and warrant it, I would add one. At least with the temp gauge, I'm not just guessing.

Not to mention that Toyota also said that adding the cooler would void my warranty. More BS perhaps but I don't think so, esp. if the aux cooler fails to preform right.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:00 PM   #17
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Well Gordon, I have to give the guys at the Chrysler dealership credit. While they told me there was no need for an accessory cooler they assured me that if I added an accessory cooler it would not affect my warranty at all, so I was welcome to do it.
I can't really see a downside to installing a high quality accessory cooler that is separate from the engine rad. I'll be stopping in at a couple of local places this week to look into getting one to install. First stop will be my usual garage. The owner has the same model of van and he tows a trailer too, I'll see what he says on the matter.
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:41 AM   #18
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I think the best are the "stacked plate" models like this Derale.

http://www.amazon.com/Derale-13502-P.../dp/B000CIY6TQ
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:41 AM   #19
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Well Gordon, I have to give the guys at the Chrysler dealership credit. While they told me there was no need for an accessory cooler they assured me that if I added an accessory cooler it would not affect my warranty at all, so I was welcome to do it.
I can't really see a downside to installing a high quality accessory cooler that is separate from the engine rad. I'll be stopping in at a couple of local places this week to look into getting one to install. First stop will be my usual garage. The owner has the same model of van and he tows a trailer too, I'll see what he says on the matter.
I hope you have it in writing.. I lost count of the number of times I have received inaccurate verbal information from auto dealers, auto dealer parts managers, and even Toyota tech support.

Many people look at the aux cooler as insurance, and it could very well could be good insurance depending on many variables. If your tug is new and has a 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty (that includes the transmission) and the car maker says it has plenty of cooling as in for towing your trailer, then thats one case where I for one would not worry about it (unless my gauge tells me the temps go up too much).

But if in doubt then, yes, the least risk is from adding the cooler. If it were me, I would still make sure I had a good temp gauge just for the peace of mind and in case there was a problem with the cooling that otherwise might not be detected until too late to avoid damage.

One thing that has not been mentioned is changing the fluid more often. As we know, running the tranny at very high temps for short periods will wear it out fast, and running at higher (but not extreme) temps will wear it out slower, but it all adds up over the miles. When I was towing a pop-up with a Highlander that did NOT have the tow package with aux tranny cooler, I did see a couple of times where the temps got up too 210-215 for short times (hot days in stop-n-go traffic). Although the temps were good almost all the time (max 175-185), I was concerned about the occasional rise and so I replaced the fluid and avoided any damage. This is another reason why I like have the tranny temp gauge, so if I do occasionally run at higher than recommended temp for a short time I will know, and can elect to change the fluid.

BTW, if I were still towing with that Highlander it would have an auxiliary transmission cooler.
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