Is a Transmission Cooler Needed to Tow Trailers with 2007 Honda Pilot


Hi there. Is it absolutely necessary to install a transmission cooler if I plan on towing trailers that are within the manufacturers spec for the vehicle? Is it nice to have but not vital? Does the distance you are towing have any influence over the decision to add? Thanks!


Helpful Expert Reply:

An aftermarket transmission cooler is not required for you to tow a trailer with your Honda Pilot. However, it may be a good idea and it will certainly help to extend the life of your transmission, especially if you plan on towing often with your Pilot. The majority of transmission failures are a direct result of overheating and most factory cooling systems are at best adequate, and not necessarily designed to keep fluid at the appropriate temperature during towing conditions.

While there isn't a specific guideline as to the distance of travel as related to the need for a transmission cooler, the more you tow or put the vehicle in more taxing driving situations, the more difficult it can be for the factory cooling system to maintain the ideal fluid temperature range of 160 to 200 degrees.

If you decide to add a transmission cooler, a general rule of thumb is to simply choose the largest cooler that will fit between the vehicle's grille and AC condenser core, as this location provides the greatest efficiency with maximum airflow.

I recommend looking at the Derale Transmission Cooler # D13503. This cooler is 11 inches wide x 8-3/4 inches tall x 7/8 inches deep. This model is specifically designed for Honda Pilots with late-model, electronic overdrive transmissions. I have attached an installation video on a 2006 Honda Pilot for you to check out.

I have also included an article on transmission coolers that you may find helpful.

helpful expert reply by:
Chris R

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