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Why so hot? F-150 transmission oil temperature explained

F-150 transmission oil temperature

Not only is the auxiliary cooler gone, but the analog temperature gauge has been replaced with a digital gauge. (Photo by Tim Esterdahl)

Some people have noticed the new Ford F-150 transmission oil temperature is running hotter than their older Ford trucks, and there has been some concern. Is this something truck owners should be worried about? Publisher Tim Esterdahl is here to explain just what is happening and why.

Do the new F-150s have auxiliary transmission oil coolers?

Yes. And no. According to Esterdahl’s contact at Ford, the Raptor and Police Pursuit Pickup do still have auxiliary transmission oil coolers because these trucks are designed to run fast and hard and more than just the standard transmission cooler is needed. But the rest of the F-150s, starting sometime around the 2018 model year, do not have the auxiliary coolers.

Why not?

Thanks to new synthetic fluid and better transmissions, the truck’s transmissions can now run at higher temperatures. In the old days, 200 degrees was considered dangerously hot, but not anymore. Ford’s engineers feel the additional cooler is no longer needed thanks to the new technology.

It is interesting to note Toyota also dropped its auxiliary coolers on the Tundra and Sequoia, though Chevy trucks still seem to include them.

How hot is hot?

Some of the new F-150’s have digital gauges on the driver’s display. These new gauges don’t even show temperatures — just a needle to point somewhere between cold and hot. For most people this is fine. Esterdahl actually likes the simplicity of the indicator, but he also understands that some people like to see real numbers, especially when towing.  He suggests if you really want to know more info about your truck and actual temperatures, there are apps and ways to plug into the truck’s computer to get some of those numbers.

Is your F-150 transmission oil temperature running hot?

Tell us about your experience with your truck. And watch the video because Esterdahl shares an e-mail from Ford that shows what models use which kind of transmission oil cooler and where each one is mounted.

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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