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If you tow a lot, you know that transmission temperature is something you really have to watch because having it hot for extended periods of time can be detrimental to your transmission. Your truck comes with a transmission cooler, and for a lot of folks, that’s plenty. But some companies like PPE sell larger ones that can give you peace of mind if you’re hauling a lot — especially in high-heat areas. In this video, Publisher Tim Esterdahl installs and tests out the PPE transmission cooler to see if it is worth the money on his 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 3.0-liter Duramax Diesel.

This PPE transmission cooler install video also shows how to remove and replace the front grille, upper bumper and stock transmission cooler on a Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country.

Can you swap a transmission cooler yourself?

Absolutely. Esterdahl did his own swap in his home garage, and as you can see, he used some pretty standard tools. The hardest part seems to be taking everything apart and remembering how to put it back, but Esterdahl helps with that by pointing out the bolt sizes, where there are clips to line up and things to watch for as you’re re-assembling the grille and bumper.

And to answer a viewer’s question, no he did not add more transmission coolant as the truck’s transmission is sealed and only a dealer can add more.

Esterdahl’s installation took one afternoon, and he claims it was actually kind of fun.

ALSO OF INTEREST: 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 3.0L LZ0 Duramax Diesel Towing: MPG, DEF and Oil Use

Tow test with aftermarket transmission cooler

Now that all that hard work has been done, it’s time to test the Pacific Performance Engineering transmission cooler to see if it was worth the time and money put into the swap. To do this, Esterdahl hooks up his camper and takes it for a winding, climbing drive up a mountain near his home. This is the same test he ran just a few days before with the stock cooler, and we think you’ll be interested to see the results.

PPE transmission cooler install video

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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