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GMC ATF flowing out of radiator resevoir ? Nice design eh?

I have ATF fluid flowing hard out of the overflow tube on my 2005 GMC Sierra 2500 with only 41000 miles on it. I NEED A BAILOUT!!!

I have an external Heavy Duty trans cooler but maybe the trans cooler flows through the Engine rad? Which seems like a stupid way to ruin a transmission ($$$$$) if you rad has a leak.

Any body else have a solution? Class action law suit?

Most automotive radiators ( at least for the thirty years I’ve been a parts man ) cool the automatic transmission fluid too. A great design that has stood the test of time for a good 50 years. Class action law suit ? For what ?? I don’t think so ! You have a bad radiator. They’re heat exchangers and are not connected , except after rust through.
To remove your transmission completely from the radiator is do-able by disconnecting the lines from the radiator tank and run them to an independent external cooler mounted in front of the radiator and condenser. The kind of cooler that used to be regular business in the 70s & 80s when upgrading for trailer towing.

As noted this design has been around for a long time. You can stuff your lawsuit.

Replace the radiator and drive on! This stuff happens to Lexus owners too…Take a CLOSE look at your tranny fluid. If there is any sign contamination, have the tranny flushed…and the filter changed…

The law suit idea is disturbing,for me it is a immense “turn off” dont mention law suit,JMHO.

But Ken, he says he has a heavy duty trans cooler. wouldn’t that by-pass the radiator??

Check the trans fluid carefully, if there is any sign of coolant in the ATF, the trans has had it. Engine coolant will attack the friction material inside the trans (Clutches and bands) and cause the material to break off of the band and plates. This is not good and flushing wont save it. With that kind of mileage and being out of warranty, you might just get GM to help you with the repairs. Its worth a try.


But Caddyman, he says he has a heavy duty trans cooler. Wouldn’t this bypass the radiator?

There’s 2 ways of plumbing an external trans cooler.
One is to bypass the radiator completely and the other is to plumb the external cooler in series with the one in the radiator.
Can’t you visually follow the cooler lines?

If you’re going to sue GM over this “faulty design” then you better add most of the rest of the civilized world to the suit also because this design has been in place forever.

Being curious of course, and not expecting answers either, did you buy the truck new, any history of overheating, radiator flushing, history of front end collisions, etc, etc.?

Not normally. The “cooler” in the engine radiator is actually a temperature regulator for the trans fluid. It heats the trans fluid when it’s colder than the engine coolant, bring the trans up to temp faster, and it cools the trans fluid when it gets hotter than the engine coolant. This is especially important in the colder climates where the trans can be bone cold for many miles when first started.

Yet another example of the unreasonable bias that people have toward domestic vehicles. Good grief. Flat tire? Damn those big 3 engineers! They made the tires of rubber!

Where is the bias?? I saw nothing in the OP’s statement that bashed the American auto industry or said anything about how much better the Foreign vehicles are. All he said is that his 3yo vehicle is having UNREASONABLE failure. Now maybe you consider that reasonable…I sure don’t think his radiator should go bad in just 3 years and only 41k miles.

The truck and the radiator is not 3 years old; it’s more likely going on 4.5 years depending on the production date of the truck.

As to whether it’s reasonable or unreasonable to suffer a failure at a young age depends on a few things;
Buy the truck new or used?
Any history of flushing?
Any history of a front end collision?
Any history of overheating?

The OP could clarify these things if he’s not too busy at the lawyer’s office; along with clarifying something else.
Why in the world is ATF flowing out of the overflow tube in the first place? Excessive pressure in the cooling system due to overheating? (Overheating diesel?) Overheating due to towing something REAL heavy or an engine fault caused by overheating?

Before blindly condemning GM yet again, how about wait until a few additional facts are known; and I’m not holding my breath on the latter either.

"I NEED A BAILOUT!!! " Says it all.

With all due respect Mr. Josh, I think you’re reading something into the statement that isn’t there.

The bailout line for handouts started with the financial industry, has now moved to the auto industry, and has lining up behind it the auto dealers (through the ADA), the housing industry, the construction industry, and I was even reading an article today about discussions pursuant to providing a "lifeline (euphamism for bailout) for the retail industry.

I think the comment was a tung-in-cheek request for some of the bailout money. It’s more of a comment on the feds handing our money out as if we had money trees in our back yards.