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Subject vehicle 2013 CRV EX , 22k miles. Used for relatively frequent towing up to approx 1500 lbs (vehicle limit) around town. I have an upcoming (towing) trip of 1600 miles mostly highway. Considering adding a Tranny fluid cooler similar (I think) to the Hayden® - Rapid-Cool™ Transmission Oil Cooler Kit , or other make/model if people have better recommendations.
I have no way of quantifying IF the cooler will reduce tranny temps, all write ups and assuming properly installed -indicate that it will. Many (other) vehicle towing upgrades include the addition of a cooler above and beyond the radiator integrated one its already equipped with. Circulating the tranny fluid through a 200 degree or so 'cooler' (the rad) doesn't seem like much cooling, to me.......
I've watched the DIY video on the etrailer web site and am not real keen on pulling the whole front end off of my wife's CRV. I have done extensive DIY work on older Civics, etc- just not sure I will have time to tackle this prior to our trip.
I don't see the option through Honda for one, and also try to avoid using the stealer for anything I absolutely don't have to.....
Anyone done one ? Suggestions on if there is an alternate location, installation technique not requiring pulling the whole front end apart ? Other tips, trick, pitfalls ? Experience with the coolers themselves, did it work, and lacking tranny temp monitoring, how would one know short of burnt fluid they needed one (and then its kinda late...) ?
Thanks !
Greg
 

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You said that you tow frequently....then you need it. It can't hurt. Heat is what kills transmissions.

If I remember right, you want to run you lines thru your oil filter (hot oil flows thru better), then the after-market cooler, and then the radiator's cooler.

I'm not sure if your CRV has an external filter, but if it doesn't put one on it. They look like a fuel filter. Napa has generic ones. If you can't find one, then look for one for a 2006 Crown Victoria, the police versions had one.

Then, every-time you change your ATF (like 25K if you tow a bunch), change your external filter, and you'll only have to drop your pan like every 100K or so....BTW, everybody should be dropping the pan on their auto trans and changing the filter regularly....check your manual and see what it says about it. DO NOT EVER get your trans flushed, I've heard to many bad stories.

If your tranny does not have a drain plug, put one on. Napa has after-market B&M (I think) plugs where you drill a hole, and you bolt it to the pan, from both sides (inside and outside). Autozone may have it, but you'll have to lead them by the hand to find it in their catalog...a part-number would help. Mine have a nut brazed on and then I use a bolt w/a copper washer.

On all Auto-transmissions, the fluid should be changed every 50K or so. I've heard that w/regular fluid changes and a cooler, that an AT will last almost forever. My wife's '99 has a door on it that came from a '99 that had a blown trans...it was in better shape than ours....it looked like it had just been detailed...it only had about 175K on it. It made me wonder if they took as much care for the trans as they did for the outside.

My daughter just towed, 2x from Savannah to CO. We just changed her ATF. It does not smell burnt, but it looked like motor oil (brown or black, and not a maroon). So, far, we are on the 2nd flush (dump, fill, drive, dump). Subaru has a drain plug...which makes it easy, and w/a long funnel you can fill the trans.
 

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I re-watched the etrailer DIY on a similar model of my CRV. The units suggested are all in this case, universal type fitments. They do suggest installing the cooler line at the (external) Tranny fluid filter, on the return line if I am 'reading' that video properly. Reason being there is much greater cooling efficiency to be had from this external heat exchanger than the dinky radiator integrated cooler it's factory equipped with. They do actually install it tucked right snug against the AC condenser - a 'no-no' I see from other sites which say there must be a space between this added heat exchanger and the factory AC condenser (picture some simple, custom brackets to get it about 1" off that condenser...) or you will lose some efficiency in both of these heat exchangers. And top the system off with more ATF as you've added additional volume to the overall system...
I believe the Tranny does have a drain plug for servicing ATF fluid- its still too new for me to have serviced it though (I do my own fluids). -Oh and if I recall filling it (when I had a Honda ODY Van) is via the dang tiny Dipstick tube if I recall, a very slow process. Also I know for Honda's, ONLY use Honda ATF, no other brands. And due to fluid still residing inside various spots inside the tranny and probably the Torque converter as well, you do not ever get a full ATF fluid drain/fill change , its like a 75% fluid change.....
 

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If you don't get around to installing an atf cooler, make sure you do at least one drain and fill of the atf BEFORE your trip. Use your atf dipstick to make sure the level is proper.
Each drain and fill requires aprox 2.6 qts of fluid.
If you have a 4WD, your tranny holds 7.4qts: one drain and fill replaces aprox 35% of the fluid. (2.6/7.4=35%)
If you have a 2WD, your tranny holds 6.71 qts: one drain and fill replaces aprox 38.7% of the fluid.(2.6/6.71=38.7%)
Most use either Honda DW-1 or Valvoline Max\Life Dex\Merc ($18/gal jug at Walmart) or another compatible synthetic atf, such as Mobil 1, Amsoil, etc.
Do NOT use Honda Z-1 atf, even if you have some or get it free, as it is not up to the task. :)
It's not a difficult job to remove the grille, bumper cover etc to get the space to install an aux atf cooler. Extra plastic pins are advisable. :D
Many let the atf go through the radiator bottom atf cooler and then into the aux cooler, IIRC.
Quite a few of the posters on the odyclub forum use a Tru-Cool atf aux cooler.
Do a search in this CRV forum for more info about atf coolers on your generation of CRV.
No pan to drop on the CRV, IIRC.

Drain and fill is very easy and does not even required jacking up the CRV, just make sure you know where to add the ATF and that the bolt is able to be loosened and if you have the correct funnel, etc.
Buffalo4
 

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Thanks Buffalo.....
I have heard pretty much only ever use the Honda DW-1 ATF in Honda AT's. Its pricey but for me, not worth the gamble. I do recall a large square plug in the top of my ODY Van tranny, and man I could NOT get that bugger to break loose. So in its DIY fluid changes, I rigged a hanging funnel and hose adapters down to the diameter of the dipstick tube, and filled there. It 'only' took about a hour to fill. Of course with the hanging funnel, it was a hands free operation and I cold do other things....
 

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In vids, sometimes people use a long 1/2" extension with a long breaker bar for the first time to break it loose.
If you can find tubing to fit snugly over the dipstick tube, the adding of the fluid is much quicker.
On my '03 Ody, I found a long stemmed black funnel at WalMart that fit snugly over the dipstick tube with no extra tubing.
Just perhaps less than 5 minutes to pour in 3 1/2 qts
Honda DW-1 is an excellent ATF, very superior to their old recommended Honda Z-1.

Buffalo4
 

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I just helped my daughter change the ATF on here Subaru. We are on the 3rd flush, and we aren't to a maroon color yet. She towed, in OD, w/no external cooler.

Don't do that w/your CRV. Change your ATF once a year.

It has been about 60K since the last change.
 

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I just helped my daughter change the ATF on here Subaru. We are on the 3rd flush, and we aren't to a maroon color yet. She towed, in OD, w/no external cooler.

Don't do that w/your CRV. Change your ATF once a year.

It has been about 60K since the last change.
For the $36.00 cost, I change mine every year. It takes about 15 min. to do after you have done it once.
Cheap insurance.
 

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Subject vehicle 2013 CRV EX , 22k miles. Used for relatively frequent towing up to approx 1500 lbs (vehicle limit) around town. I have an upcoming (towing) trip of 1600 miles mostly highway. Considering adding a Tranny fluid cooler similar (I think) to the Hayden® - Rapid-Cool™ Transmission Oil Cooler Kit , or other make/model if people have better recommendations.
I have no way of quantifying IF the cooler will reduce tranny temps, all write ups and assuming properly installed -indicate that it will. Many (other) vehicle towing upgrades include the addition of a cooler above and beyond the radiator integrated one its already equipped with. Circulating the tranny fluid through a 200 degree or so 'cooler' (the rad) doesn't seem like much cooling, to me.......
I've watched the DIY video on the etrailer web site and am not real keen on pulling the whole front end off of my wife's CRV. I have done extensive DIY work on older Civics, etc- just not sure I will have time to tackle this prior to our trip.
I don't see the option through Honda for one, and also try to avoid using the stealer for anything I absolutely don't have to.....
Anyone done one ? Suggestions on if there is an alternate location, installation technique not requiring pulling the whole front end apart ? Other tips, trick, pitfalls ? Experience with the coolers themselves, did it work, and lacking tranny temp monitoring, how would one know short of burnt fluid they needed one (and then its kinda late...) ?
Thanks !
Greg
OK, I just tried ti install an aux transmission cooler in my 2014 CR-V EX with 5 speed A/T. The e-trailer video is for a 2009 and does not relate to the 2012-14 CR-V. This video on u tube is much better
the good news is you only have to remove the grill and engine under cover. The bad news is it may be a moot issue. Th transmission on mt 2014 CR-v has no cooling lines going to the radiator. There is nothing to connect the aux cooler to. This is also true if your CR-V has a CVT. So before you spend the money on the tranny cooler remove the under cover and check to see if there are transmission cooling lines going to the radiator. Customer service at e-trailer insists they are supposed to be there (ha ha) they are sending me a return shipping lable so I can return the one I purchased. Hope this helps.
 

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Look a little closer at your tranny.....I believe the external tranny fluid lines of your ‘14 CRV connect to what Honda calls a fluid “warmer”. The tranny fluid line exiting the “warmer” is where you add in the auxiliary/aftermarket cooler.

To the OP.......the entire radiator will not be 200 degrees. Coolant exiting the motor may be 200 degrees but the cold tank of the radiator can easily be 50-70 degrees cooler than the hot tank. If there is a OE auto tranny in the radiator, the OE cooler is always located in the cold radiator tank.

I don’t know tranny fluid temp for a 2014 “traditional” auto tranny.....I’ll just guess 160F-180F. That’s what I have observed monitoring fluid temp in other “traditional” auto trannies. I’m seeing fluid temps well north of 200F in the Gen 5 CVT (ScanGauge II). There are no external tranny fluid lines on the USA CVT like there are on the 2014 5 speed auto tranny.
 
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