Amarok gearbox overheating





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  1. #1
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    Default Amarok gearbox overheating

    I think I have a gearbox problem.

    A few months ago I noticed that there was a slight knocking /gerking after coming to a complete stop and when releasing the brake.
    A few weeks ago I took it to ZF Cape Town and had the oil changed.
    There was no change with the clunk/knocking.

    Today while driving on the highway at about 120 I noticed that the engine seemed to be revving high and maybe the gearbox was slipping. Then I got the "transmission too hot" message and stopped for a few minutes. It was ok for the rest of the trip but now wondering what could be the problem.

    Could the clutch in the gearbox be slipping and causing the overheating?
    Anybody had the same experience?

    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
    2013 Amarok Auto

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddo View Post
    I think I have a gearbox problem.

    A few months ago I noticed that there was a slight knocking /gerking after coming to a complete stop and when releasing the brake.
    A few weeks ago I took it to ZF Cape Town and had the oil changed.
    There was no change with the clunk/knocking.

    Today while driving on the highway at about 120 I noticed that the engine seemed to be revving high and maybe the gearbox was slipping. Then I got the "transmission too hot" message and stopped for a few minutes. It was ok for the rest of the trip but now wondering what could be the problem.

    Could the clutch in the gearbox be slipping and causing the overheating?
    Anybody had the same experience?
    Put in 5% Uniglide.

    If that is not enough, then add a bigger cooler.
    LC 78 Troopie 1HD-FTE
    Uniglide
    +27 zero eight 2 four 95 9252

  3. #3
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    Default Amarok gearbox overheating

    Hi Paddo

    This could be completely unrelated but it takes me back about a year ago when I experienced similar issues on my Trailblazer.

    The end result was, believe it or not, a dying battery. It gave me all sorts of electronic misbehaving messages from failed PDC, Check car security and wrong electronic speed indicator readings. With that I experienced a type of gear slipping feeling which was not normal on my car. This carried on for a good few weeks until the battery finally died. Got it replaced with a new battery and all the issues disappeared. Software issues can drive you up the walls.

    Have a look at the thread I started back then:

    Torque converter or gear slipping?
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...d.php?t=308665
    Last edited by globaljaco; 2019/12/13 at 06:26 PM.
    2014 Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8 Auto 4x4
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by Henris View Post
    Put in 5% Uniglide.

    If that is not enough, then add a bigger cooler.
    Thanks, what does Uniglide do?

    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
    2013 Amarok Auto

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by globaljaco View Post
    Hi Paddo

    This could be completely unrelated but it takes me back about a year ago when I experienced similar issues on my Trailblazer.

    The end result was, believe it or not, a dying battery. It gave me all sorts of electronic misbehaving messages from failed PDC, Check car security and wrong electronic speed indicator readings. With that I experienced a type of gear slipping feeling which was not normal on my car. This carried on for a good few weeks until the battery finally died. Got it replaced with a new battery and all the issues disappeared. Software issues can drive you up the walls.

    Have a look at the thread I started back then:

    Torque converter or gear slipping?
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...d.php?t=308665
    Thanks, battery is new but will keep that possibility in mind.

    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
    2013 Amarok Auto

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    What I didn't mention is that the Amarok is a 2013 TDI on 115,000km. It was also a hot day (31deg) but I don't think it's normal for the gearbox to overheat on the highway.
    Last edited by Paddo; 2019/12/14 at 11:41 AM.

    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
    2013 Amarok Auto

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddo View Post
    Thanks, what does Uniglide do?
    Brings down the friction in the gearbox/hydraulics. It only clings to metal. Thus the clutch plates are not affected.

    It is a friction reducer.
    LC 78 Troopie 1HD-FTE
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    That box locks up the torque converter in most gears.

    If it overheated while on the open road you have a serious issue. The sooner you address it the less expensive it will be.

    Start by checking the level and doing an ATF flush. There is a thread from a ZF partner on the forum that knows the boxes and do flushes at good prices.

    No additives in the world can fix an underlying issue.

    Fix the issue, don't patch it. That box is so well designed, it should never overheat.

    PM me next week if you want the technical pdf on it. Ill share it here.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    I would tend to concur with Marius, although he does mention that he has already been to ZF and had the gearbox flushed.

    On the freeway even at 50DegCel that gearbox should not overheat. if you say you were pulling 3 tons up a mountain pass on a hot day, then perhaps it may be different, but if you are driving the vehicle, without significant mass and harsh conditions, the gearbox should be fine.

    As marius mentioned, the gearbox locks up in most gears and therefore does not generate much heat. When you are slipping the torque convertor, like pulling off slowly on a hill or revving it hard without the wheels spinning, like in deep sand, you can overheat it quickly, but if you are on the freeway, you should be moving fast and therefore get plenty of airflow and the clutches should be locked up.

    I am not sure about the specific box, but most autos have a filter that needs to be changed periodically and the oil also needs changing from time to time. Yours sounds like it needs to pulled out and properly inspected and diagnosed on a bench before you do more damage as mentioned.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Where is the transmission oil cooler? Does the oil run through the radiator.

    Check for dirty/blocked cooler.
    Kobus

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    The Amarok is now with ZF in Cape Town. Hopefully they will find something obvious.

    What is not obvious now is whether the slipping caused the overheating or the overheated oil caused the slipping.

    The ATF cooler is positioned in front of the radiator:
    (Thanks Mariusfor the pdf)
    Name:  Annotation 2019-12-18 073334.png
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    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Let us know when you find the issue?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    The car is back from ZF. They picked up the logged high temp message and checked the oil. They said the oil is in good condition and level is fine, no other problems found.
    I was advised to keep driving and see how it goes.

    When I asked about checking the ATF cooling circuit I was advised to take it to a cooling specialist as they can't check that.
    I haven't had the issue again and not picked up any slipping but I'm still nervous about doing further damage.

    Maybe I should invest in a scan tool to keep an eye on the ATF temp - any advice on which one would work?

    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
    2013 Amarok Auto

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    I do not know what the positions of the Gearbox, Main and Air-con radiators are, but check for blocking by grass and feathers between the radiators.

    My brother's 250+ K Km Isuzu had a overheating problem pulling a caravan in steep passes; and it was traced to rubbish between the Main and Air-con radiators.
    Herman Meyer.

    AG0017 ORRA AG38
    2014 Amarok DC 4Motion Auto ,
    2015-02-03: Bush Lapa Miskewer 394.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddo View Post
    The car is back from ZF. They picked up the logged high temp message and checked the oil. They said the oil is in good condition and level is fine, no other problems found.
    I was advised to keep driving and see how it goes.

    When I asked about checking the ATF cooling circuit I was advised to take it to a cooling specialist as they can't check that.
    I haven't had the issue again and not picked up any slipping but I'm still nervous about doing further damage.

    Maybe I should invest in a scan tool to keep an eye on the ATF temp - any advice on which one would work?
    Vcds is the best scan tool.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Do you have an aftermarket bumper on the car or spotlights/light bar?
    That Mighty Amarok
    ---------------------------------------
    Swart Tires wat ek self gekoop het
    Pull over wat my ouma gebrei het
    Vensters waar deur ek kan sien
    Engine voor
    Exhaust agter

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    No aftermarket equipment in the front.

    Done some research and it looks like the VCDS is the only tool that can read the transmission temp - it's costly though.
    Also it looks like one needs to plug them into a laptop which is not great if you want to constantly monitor the temps. The OBDII bluetooth devices that pair with a phone would be much more practical but they can't read the VW proprietary protocol.
    Last edited by Paddo; 2019/12/25 at 11:12 AM.

    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
    2013 Amarok Auto

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Have no idea what the reason for the overheating might be, but the gerking you discribed when you come to a complete standstill is normal. At least according to local VW and ZF service station. Had same effect on both my Amaroks. Apparently this have been sorted in the new models.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Drive a few kilometers in slow traffic to get the ATF up to temp. Then feel both lines to/from the cooler. Feel them on the cooler side of the thermostat.

    If its cold the thermostat is stuck. Both lines should be fairly hot. The cooler itself should be pretty hot as well.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Amarok gearbox overheating

    Thanks Marius, will try that.
    Have not had the issue again so I'm hoping it was a once-off.

    2008 X-Trail ->
    2006 D3 V8 ->
    2013 Amarok Auto

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