GM full size SUVs are one of, if not the most common truck on the road, and because of their reliability and ease of maintenance, it’s easy to see why.
Since this platform is widely known for having a large aftermarket and being easily modifiable, you have plenty of options when it comes to improving your truck’s stock components.
One area that is simple to upgrade is with transmission cooling. The full size GM SUV platform allows you to have plenty of transmission cooler upgrade options.
Adding a a transmission cooler to your truck is very simple, and the average DIY weekend mechanic can install one in their driveway in only a few hours with limited hassle.
Whether you drive your truck daily to work or simply have it as a weekend trip vehicle for family vacations, installing a transmission cooler will help extend the life of your transmission and keep you on the road longer.
Looking for a transmission cooler upgrade to help lower your SUV’s transmission temperatures? Here are our recommendations for the best transmission coolers for Suburbans, Tahoes, and Yukons (Including Yukon XL).
Note: GM full size SUV’s are similar to pickup trucks, so most parts that work on a Silverado or Sierra should work on a Tahoe, Suburban, or Yukon of the same mode year.
|Transmission Cooler||Direct Fit?||Type Of Cooler||Price|
|Tru Cool Max LPD47391||No||Plate & Fin||Shop Now|
|Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14||Yes||Plate & Fin||Shop Now|
|B&M 70274||No||Stacked Plate||Shop Now|
Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon Factory Transmission Coolers
One of the common questions that owners ask is does my Tahoe, Yukon, or Suburban have a transmission cooler? The answer is possibly. While all full size GM trucks have a factory radiator transmission cooler, having a factory external cooler may be hit or miss.
Depending on the years or model, there can be an external cooler in addition to the factory cooler within the radiator.
Below is the factory cooler that comes standard on many older Suburbans, Tahoes, and Yukons.
The factory cooler is not that big, and while it may do a good enough job at keeping temps within a safe range under daily driving conditions, it is not capable of handling more stress caused by hard driving, towing, or hauling.
One of the best parts about having an external cooler from the factory is that you are easily able to upgrade to a more effective cooler since the transmission lines are already run to the front of the truck for an external cooler.
If you are looking for a simple, oem replacement automatic transmission cooler for your SUV, here are is a GM factory replacement cooler for most models from 1999 and up that came factory with a similar cooler. Shop now.
Suburban, Yukon & Tahoe Transmission Temperature
The ideal transmission temperature for your truck is in the 160 – 180 degree F range. If you think you need to lower your transmission temps, keep in mind it is far easier to install and aftermarket cooling on older trucks due to their simple transmission cooler line setup.
For newer models with a 6L80 or 6L90 however, the transmission cooler lines utilize a built in thermostat that remains closed and does not flow to the cooler until the fluid reaches 190 degrees.
To combat this, many late model GM truck owners will modify the thermostat to bypass it which allows fluid to continually flow to the cooler like it should. Learn more with our 6l80 thermostat bypass guide.
The transmission temperature fluid temperature chart shows that 175 degrees is the ideal temperature. For every 25 degree increase in temps, the shorter your transmission’s life becomes. As with all vehicles, cooler transmission temps are always preferred.
How To Install A Transmission Cooler On A Chevy Suburban, Tahoe or GMC Yukon
When it comes to installing a transmission cooler on your truck, the process is fairly straight forward. For instance, since there is so much room in front of the truck behind the grille, you already know where the transmission cooler will be placed generally.
Most GM trucks have braces that are behind the grille which make for fantastic mounting points, and we highly recommend using these support bars to place your cooler.
Once that’s all situated, the next piece involves running the new transmission cooler lines and installing them in the new cooler.
If your truck came factory with a trans cooler, you can easily use the stock lines with some modification.
If this is the route you’re going to take, it’s recommended to inspect your transmission cooler lines for any leaks or severe rust.
To watch transmission cooler installation videos specific to full size GM SUVs, continue scrolling to specific transmission coolers for more guidance.
Transmission Coolers For Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon
When considering a transmission cooler upgrade for your truck, there are a number of factors to consider, such as:
- Transmission Cooler Size – How well will it fit?
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – Cooling capacity
- Type of Transmission Cooler
For a full size SUV is it typically best to get a cooler that has a large cooling surface with a higher GVWR, and either a stacked plate or plate and fin construction.
With all these things in mind, our choices for the best transmission coolers for a Chevy Suburban, Tahoe, or GMC Yukon, or include:
- Tru Cool 40k
- Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 ( For 2014 models and newer)
- B&M 70274
Each of these transmission coolers will do a phenomenal job at keeping your trans temps down, even under the most extreme situations.
Tru Cool 40k - Best Heavy Duty Transmission Cooler
As mentioned before on Transmission Cooler Guide, the Tru Cool 40k is one of the top rated heavy duty transmission coolers. This cooler is widely used on a number of trucks and SUV’s, and is very commonly installed on Tahoes, Suburbans, and Yukons making it a great upgrade over your stock cooler.
In fact, there is plenty of aftermarket support for the Tru Cool Max 40k in terms of installation kits which help to make for a very simple installation. Because of this, the Tru Cool 40k is the best transmission cooler upgrade for your 1500 or 2500 Suburban, Tahoe, or Yukon.
The image below shows the difference between the Tru Cool 40k and factory external cooler on a GM truck. While many GM trucks come factory with an external cooler, it is not big enough to provide the cooling needed for towing or hauling simply due to its size.
Tru Cool 40k Specs
The Tru Cool 40k utilizes a large plate and fin design that provides ample cooling for all strenuous driving situations. With 13 rows of cooling, the Tru Cool 40k does a phenomenal job at keeping temperatures in check.
This cooler uses a 3/8″ inverted hex flare fitting, which allows for the use of 6 or 8 an lines and fittings for a more secure fit and greater fluid capacity.
Because this cooler is so large and provides extremely efficient cooling capabilities, you can use this as a standalone trans cooler if you so choose.
Cooler Dimensions: 8 1/2″ x 22″ x 1 1/4″
GVW: 40,000 pounds
BTU Rating: 45,000
Fitting Size: 3/8″ inverted flare hex with 5/8″ thread size – This is great for those looking to install custom transmission lines
Installation Kit: Yes – Includes universal installation kit with rubber transmission line, various fittings, clamps, and mounting hardware
Tru Cool 40k Pros & Cons
- 40,000 GVW Rating
- Low Pressure Drop System
- Specific Kits Available
- Includes Universal Install Kit
- Requires Extra Pieces For Install
Tru Cool 40k Tahoe, Suburban & Yukon Installation
When it comes to installing this transmission cooler on your truck, there is not too much complexity. The hardest part about the installation (if you are using factory lines) is adding new fittings to the existing lines so that the factory lines can be used. If you are uncomfortable with that you can always add rubber hose and barb fittings to the cooler, which are included in the kit.
As mentioned before, there are a number of aftermarket installation kits for the Tru Cool 40k that are designed for these trucks, so mounting the cooler is simple. The video below shows how simple it is to install a Tru Cool 40k on your truck.
See What Other GM SUV Owners Have To Say About The Tru Cool 40k
Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 - Best Transmission Cooler For 2014+ Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon
Mishimoto is arguably the industry leaders in providing direct fit transmission coolers for specific vehicles, and their transmission cooler for full size GM trucks and SUVs is no different.
The Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 is designed as a 100% factory fit which makes for easy installation and our top pick for best 2014+ Chevy & GMC SUV transmission cooler. This cooler comes as a complete kit and is built to provide serious cooling for your transmission.
One of the common issues with transmission cooling on the 14+ GM full size trucks is the bypass valve within the factory transmission line. This valve is designed to prevent complete fluid flow until the trans temps reach 190F+. While this is on the higher side, these trucks are equipped with a 6l80e transmission that relies on Dexron 6 (Dex VI) for its transmission fluid.
When installing this cooler, it is common to modify the factory lines to remove the valve. Between the addition of the Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 and the valve bypass, you can expect significant drops in transmission temperatures.
Mishimoto MMTC-K2 Specs
The Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 is designed a 27 inch wide plate and fin construction that is more than capable to handle all that your 1500 truck can handle.
The cooler comes with a complete installation kit that is specifically designed for your truck. This alleviates any hassles in trying to get things to fit and running out to the store for extra parts. All lines, brackets, clamps and fittings are designed to work with your 14+ truck and make install a breeze.
Because of the overall size of this cooler, you will need to pick up an additional quart of Dex VI to compensate for the additional 0.65 quarts of fluid capacity and to replace any fluid that may have leaked out during installation from the factory transmission cooler lines.
Cooler Dimensions: 27″ x 6″ x 1.25″
Cooler Type: Plate & Fin
Fitting Size: 3/8″ barb
Number of Cooling Rows: 14
Additional Fluid Capacity: 0.65 Quarts
Fits The Following Application:
2015+ Cadillac Escalade 6.2L V8
2015+ Cadillac Escalade 6.2L V8
2014+ Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3L V8
2014+ Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2L V8
2015+ Chevrolet Suburban 5.3L V8
2015+ Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L V8
2014+ GMC Sierra 1500 5.3L V8
2014+ GMC Sierra 1500 6.2L V8
2015+ GMC Yukon 5.3L V8
2015+ GMC Yukon 6.2L V8
2015+ GMC Yukon XL 5.3L V8
2015+ GMC Yukon XL 6.2L V8
Mishimoto MMTC-K2 Installation
The Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 comes with a complete transmission cooler installation kit that includes the correct size line and hoses, clamps, and mounting pieces. This makes for one of the more seamless transmission coolers on a GM truck.
While the cooler may cost more than others, the cost is certainly made up for the direct fitment that is extremely easy to mount and install yourself in your driveway with basic hand tools.
Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 Pros & Cons
Mishimoto MMTC-K2-14 Reviews
B&M 70274 SuperCooler Transmission Cooler
The B&M 70274 has been mentioned in our transmission coolers for towing guide and rightfully so. This cooler is a great option for your Suburban, Tahoe, or Yukon for lowering trans temps.
Like all B&M SuperCoolers, the 70274 utilizes a stacked plate construction that is strong and durable. The cooler also features a low pressure drop system that allows for fluid to flow through only part of the cooler before getting to optimal operating temp.
B&M 70274 Specs
Cooler Dimensions: 11″ x 11″ x 1.5″
Cooler Type: Stacked Plate
Fitting Size: 1/2″ NPT
Number of Cooling Rows: 48
B&M 70274 Installation On Suburban, Tahoe, or Yukon
When figuring out how to install a B&M 70274 transmission cooler into a Chevy GMC full size SUV, there are a two of important factors to consider, routing the transmission lines and mounting the cooler.
Since the B&M 70274 uses 1/2″ NPT fittings, you will need to get the appropriate fittings to run the lines of your choosing.
B&M 70274 Pros & Cons
B&M 70274 Reviews From Around The Web
The GM full size SUV line up are some of the most popular and longest lasting trucks on the road. They are highly dependable, easy and cost effective to maintain, and have plenty of aftermarket support for upgrading and improving factory parts.
This is also true with improving the transmission cooling capabilities on your truck. Not only are there plenty of options for a transmission cooler upgrade, but it is very easy for the average weekend mechanic to install a transmission cooler on their truck.