Transmission Cooler? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-02-2014, 06:48 PM   #1
Seth and Desiree's Avatar
Name: Seth & Desiree
Trailer: 1987 Scamp 13'
Posts: 54
Transmission Cooler?

Do any of you have a transmission cooler installed on your vehicles? I'm more interested to hear from those of you who are towing with a smaller vehicle.....we pull with a 2011 Subaru Outback 4-cyl. It's been great so far pulling our 1100 pound scamp but wanted to get some feedback to see if it's necessary. I have an appt for tomorrow afternoon to have one installed but can cancel if it's pointless. Thanks for the feedback!


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Old 07-02-2014, 07:04 PM   #2
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,729
For whats its worth here is what I learned when I was faced with the same decision back when I first started towing with my then brand new 2007 Outback. Subaru does not sell or offer an additional transmission cooler because they believe the one they have in the car is more than good to go if one stays within their towing specifications. They *may* also void your warranty if your car is still under it should you have a problem with the transmission and you have added a 3rd party cooler to the car. I did a little research by reading up on various Car magazines etc and most seem to agree the transmission cooler Subaru uses is of a decent size - better than some other makes of cars and one should not have any issues on that front. Again that was the 07 model..... can't comment on the 11 model as to whether or not that changed. Ask your service manager - I was fortunate to actually have one that towed with his Outback which helped.

I pulled a 2650/2700lb trailer behind the Outback for 6 years over thousands of miles and lots of mountain passes and never had any transmission issues. I did have the transmission fuel changed a few of times - although the cars total milage over 6 years was only 55,000 miles but a fairly high % of that milage was towing. Each time the fuel was changed I was told it looked just fine & no signs of trouble .... if you really want to know if its fine you need to send it off to an independent lab to be tested... I never bothered.


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Old 07-03-2014, 07:12 AM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 19
Posts: 170
If you do add an additional cooler make sure that they don't run the oil just through the new cooler. They did that on my truck and the transmission failed after 400 miles. Now that the shop is again rebuilding the transmission, I want the oil to go throught the new cooler first then into the radiator cooler before returning to the transmission. That will cool the fluid some before it cools further in the normal part of the system.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #4
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 5,389
Steve, what dopey mechanic did such a thing? They should have known better, for sure! I hope they are standing behind it so you don't have to foot the entire bill. This is their screwup.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 19
Posts: 170
This was AAMCO in New Bruandfels, TX. Yes I got the life time warranty. The first problem showed up in Big Spring, TX., and for those of you who haven't been there it is an oil town with not much. After paying to tow the truck to Odessa, TX. to the AAMCO deal there, he kept the truck for 15 days, and didn't do anything for the transmission, I was on the road again. The next problem raised its head about 20 mile east of Lubbock, TX. so we turned around to again go to the AAMCO dealer here. They have had the truck since last Friday and told me that the "new" oil pump that I had paid for was in fact the old one. They also found the cooling problem, and fixed that. The AAMCO dealer here in Lubbock seem to know what they are doing, but I not happy with the orginial job that was done, nor the dealer in Odessa. Please people be warned
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:39 AM   #6
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Name: Wendy Lee
Trailer: Scamp 13' Standard
New York
Posts: 1,068
What are the Subaru specs? If the vehicle is designed with a tow capacity of say 1500 pounds, as it came from the factory, and you're not exceeding that, I wouldn't worry about it.

Particularly if you are taking it to your own mechanic, as opposed to the Subaru dealer, I would check with Subaru factory recommendations first, before dropping that cash.

I have a Chevy S10, 2002, so am not concerned about that now. But I may, like you, get a smaller vehicle when my truck finally crumps. Gas mileage is a killer for me with this 4.3 Vortech!

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Old 07-04-2014, 06:58 AM   #7
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 858
Seth, I have a 2011 Subaru Forester. We will pick up our Scamp 13 in one month, so I've been doing some research myself on this topic. My information mirrors what Carol told you. Two separate dealers told me they would NOT recommend getting an aftermarket xmsn cooler, and they don't offer one. Your Outback is capable of towing 2,700 lbs (with brakes) if I remember correctly. The 2011 Forester is approved for 2,400. Check your manual to be sure. I don't think you'll have any problem towing with your rig as is.

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Old 07-04-2014, 07:32 AM   #8
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 564
Best investment would be to put a temperature gauge on it and monitor performance.

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