On the road, it's all about smoothness and maintaining the balance of your car. The smoothest drivers are always the fastest. There's a catch, though. Lightning-quick shifts and clutch kicking can damage the transmission oil line. This line is responsible for carrying lubricating fluid to different parts of the transmission.The sudden surges of fluid causes unnecessary strain on the transmission lines. A worn-out line can break and leak under the pressure. Once it does, you might want to consider a replacement.You have to be especially aware of fluid leaking from the transmission because excess loss can lead to transmission burn-out. Yes, the gears and shafts can and will overheat due to lack of transmission fluid.Warning signs include incidents where the transmission jumps out of or refuses to shift into gear. Luckily, a replacement transmission oil line is readily available here at Carparts.
• Ensures smooth, unrestricted flow of transmission fluid
• Helps keep gears and shafts fully lubricated
• Designed to fit most stock transmission systems
Transmission Oil Line Buyer’s Guide
- The transmission oil line is responsible for transporting the hot transmission fluid from the transmission to the radiator to cool it down.
- The transmission oil line is designed to last the life of your vehicle, but it may fail early due to extreme heat and daily wear.
- To determine if it needs to be replaced, look for signs like fluid leaks, transmission overheating or poor performance, and grinding noise coming from the vehicle’s transmission system.
- The four types of a transmission oil line are metal, rubber, nylon braided, and steel braided.
- An aftermarket transmission oil line replacement usually costs around $10 up to $120.
Manual and automatic transmission have their own pros and cons. Manual transmission is easier to maintain since it is less complex than automatic transmission; offers more control to the driver; and is generally more affordable compared to its automatic counterpart. On the other hand, an automatic transmission system can provide driving comfort and better fuel efficiency as you gain more gears.
However, whichever type of transmission your vehicle has, the constant shifting of gears can inflict damage to crucial transmission components in the long run. One of these parts is the transmission oil line.
What is a Transmission Oil Line?
The role of the transmission oil line is to deliver hot fluid from your transmission to the radiator to cool it off. Once the transmission fluid is cooled, it is pumped back to your transmission system to help lower the temperature.
The transmission oil line is usually composed of a system of rubber hoses and metal or composite aluminum tubes that can handle the high temperatures of the transmission fluid. It helps ensure that the transmission and its components won’t break down because of excessive heat.
Types of Transmission Oil Lines
To get a better understanding of transmission oil lines, make sure to learn more about its four types:
Metal transmission oil line
This type of transmission oil line is pre-bent with fittings held on by a flare at each end of the line. Since it is made from metal, it typically has superior durability than other types. However, it may rust or corrode over time if constantly exposed to harmful contaminants. Metal transmission oil lines may be easy to install depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
Rubber transmission oil line
This is the most affordable and readily available transmission oil line. It is also suitable for adding in an external cooler or for a temporary solution to your faulty metal transmission line.
Nylon braided transmission oil line
This type of transmission oil line is a rubber line encased in a protective nylon cover. It is more durable than a rubber transmission line, but it’s also more expensive. The nylon covering helps prevent rips and tearing, which is a normal occurrence in daily driving.
Steel braided transmission oil line
Similar to nylon braided transmission oil lines, a steel braided transmission oil line is just a rubber hose covered by a protective steel cover. It is more durable than nylon and tends to cost more. This type of transmission line is more suitable for high-performance applications because of their superb durability.
How Long Does a Transmission Oil Cooler Line Last?
The transmission oil line is designed to last the life of the vehicle. However, due to its exposure to extreme heat, the rubber or composite aluminum lines in the transmission system can wear out over time.
Harmful contaminants can also enter your transmission and cause deterioration. If you don’t want this problem to result in the premature failure of your transmission parts, make sure you replace it when you notice signs of damage.
Signs that You Need to Replace Your Transmission Cooler Lines
Failure to fix a damaged transmission oil line is a slippery slope. It can cause bigger transmission problems for you in the future, which will likely occur sooner rather than later. If you don’t want to deal with such issues, be sure to replace your transmission oil line once you notice the following problems:
Trouble shifting gears
If you are having difficulty shifting gears or your gears are slipping and responding very slowly, the transmission might be affected by high temperatures. This may happen due to a damaged transmission oil line. Since transmission fluid is not properly delivered from the transmission system to the radiator, lowering the heat becomes impossible. This then affects the performance of your vehicle’s transmission components.
Transmission is overheating
Without a proper supply of cool transmission fluid, the transmission system can overheat. The high temperatures can also burn the remaining fluid, which produces an unpleasant burning smell. As a result, some of the transmission components may wear out and can break down anytime. To avoid this, it’s best to have your faulty transmission lines replaced.
Grinding noise from the transmission
If you have faulty transmission oil lines, you may also hear a grinding or crunching noise from your vehicle’s transmission whenever you shift your gears. It’s another sign that your transmission fluid level is low and that there is probably a leak in your transmission system.
Transmission fluid leaks
The transmission fluid that flows through your transmission oil lines may leak if the hoses are damaged. If you notice red fluid on the hoses and gaskets under your hood, it’s likely that your transmission fluid is leaking.
You may check the connection from the transmission lines to the radiator since this is where most leaks happen. Looking for any signs of fluid under your vehicle is also a good idea. However, remember that if the coolant has been burned or contaminated, it won’t be red anymore. Pay attention to where the leak is coming from as well.
Visible physical damage
A visual inspection will allow you to see if there is any damage to your transmission oil line. The presence of bulges, cracks, and holes are the most obvious signs that you need to replace your cooler lines. If you continue driving with such faulty components instead of changing them as soon as possible, your transmission system will perform poorly and overheat.
How Much is an Aftermarket Transmission Oil Line?
The price of an aftermarket transmission oil line replacement is usually around $10 to $120. You can purchase this transmission component as a single part or in sets of two. It usually comes with a product warranty to ensure consumer protection.
How to Install Transmission Oil Lines on Your Vehicle
The primary function of a transmission oil line is to carry hot transmission oil away from the transmission to the external cooler. The oil is cooled, then cycled back to the transmission through an outlet hose. Here are some steps on how you can install transmission oil lines on your vehicle.
Required skill level: Novice
Needed tools and materials
- Electrical drill
- Drip pan
- New cooler line
- Transmission fluid
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Flare-nut wrench
Preparing for the task
You will need at least two hours for the transmission if the vehicle has recently been operated. Once the transmission cooled, lift the car with a floor jack and place jack stands under the vehicle's frame. After that, place a drip pan under the transmission.
Removing the cooler lines from the transmission
The cooler lines are on the passenger side of the transmission on most vehicles; both lines are made of brass. Pull these lines out of the transmission underneath the vehicle and allow any fluid to drain into the drip pan, capturing any fluid that escapes from the lines. After that, loosen the integral nut on the end of each line with a flare-nut wrench and pull the lines away from the radiator.
Reconnecting the cooler lines
Place the tip of the oil cooler lines and their opposite ends against their fittings on the side of the transmission, then tighten the lines' integral nut with a flare-nut wrench. After these are done, you can now raise the vehicle with a jack, remove the jack stands from underneath the vehicle's frame, and lower the vehicle to the ground.
Final touch-up steps
Add transmission fluid to the cooler lines to complete the replacement. Turn the engine on, depress the brake pedal, and shift through gears. After that, turn the engine off, and then withdraw the transmission's dipstick tube. Finally, pour transmission fluid into the dipstick tube, and check the fluid level with the dipstick until the "Full" mark is reached.
Checking the installation
Start your engine, with the transmission selector lever in Park, letting it run at fast idle for one or two minutes. Stop the engine and check all connections for leaks; you might want to also check the transmission fluid level according to the manufacturer's instructions and add fluid if necessary.
Choosing the Right Transmission Oil Line
A transmission oil line is there to connect your car's transmission to its radiator. Without it, your engine compartment would be a hot cooking pot of disaster. It is a fairly simple looking part. But choosing the right transmission oil line is not as easy. Here are still a few things you have to know when buying a new one for your car.
- Make sure that your transmission oil line is approved for use with transmission/hydraulic fluids. Hoses or lines that are of substandard quality will not be able to work effectively. In some extreme cases, your transmission fluid can even break down or melt your oil lines if they are not durable enough.
- Purchase transmission oil lines from trusted brands. Although there is no real preference when it comes to branded oil lines, it is still best to get one from a supplier that you know and trust. Generic types might be cheaper, but branded transmission oil lines ensure that it matches the form, fit, and function of your original part.
- Install rubber transmission oil lines instead of metal ones. Although some metal type lines, especially zinc-coated steel, are more corrosion resistant, they are actually harder to install. In order to efficiently use metal transmission lines, mechanics put small flairs at the end of the lines and sandpapers the surface to give it a good seal. But with a rubber-type transmission oil lines, you don't have to do all of those. You simply need to clamp them in place to ensure a good fit.
- Check the warranty of your transmission oil line. The standard term of warranty is 12-month or 12,000-mile. Don't settle for anything less than that. Also look at the other conditions of your warranty to make sure you get the most value out of what you paid for.
- Don't purchase aftermarket transmission oil lines. It is always recommended that you replace your damaged transmission lines with a new, complete assembly. This part is very sensitive and requires a perfect fit to ensure it functions well. So by purchasing lines that follows the OE design you know that there is no room for gaps and leaks.
- Don't shortcut replacing your damaged transmission oil lines by reinstalling old parts or installing hose clamps to cover the leaks. This can greatly reduce the part's life and could compromise the transmission.
- Don't install new transmission oil lines without replacing fittings as well. It is not enough to get a good working transmission line. You should also ensure that connection to the engine and transmission is of the best quality. This will help you get the most efficient results when it comes to your transmission system.
What to Do with a Damaged Transmission Oil Line: Installation and Replacement
Transmission fluid is your car's cooling summer drink. But this fluid needs to stay cool at all times to get your transmission going. This is where your transmission oil lines come in. Unfortunately, these transmission lines are not susceptible to wear and tear. So when your transmission starts to slip in and out of gear or has a delayed reaction to your shifting, it might be a sign of a transmission oil line gone bad.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Tools you'll need:
- Car jack and jack stand
- Pan or dry paper towels
- Wrench set
- Flare-nut wrench
- Transmission oil line replacement
- Transmission fluid
- Locate your transmission oil line by looking under your car. It should be attached to your radiator from either its lower right or lower left corner. Place a pan or layers of dry paper towels underneath the oil lines to catch the fluids that will come out during its removal.
- Open your hood to locate your transmission oil lines. Using an appropriately-sized wrench, remove the fittings that attach it to your radiator.
- Begin removing your oil line using a flare-nut wrench. Start with the open end of your wrench and slide over the cooler line until it reaches the nut that secures it in place. Loosen the nut at the end of the line and gently pull the oil line away from the transmission. Completely remove the lines from underneath your car.
- Attach your new oil line to your transmission. From the front of your vehicle, slowly insert its tip to the bottom of your radiator and secure the nu.
- Once everything is secured and all the fittings are reassembled, lower your vehicle for the finishing touches.
- Add transmission fluid and test your oil lines. With your car's engine on, get your foot on the brake pedal and shift through gears. Turn the engine off after a few minutes and check your transmission fluid level with a dipstick. Your fluid level should be at or just below "FULL" before you can take your new transmission oil lines out for a spin.