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I was perusing a parts diagram for Black Betty the other day and discovered the Civic automatics have an ATF warmer. It's a small heat exchanger near the block to warm the ATF going back to the transaxle if needed. I didn't know this sort of thing was used. I found it a neat bit of engineering. Wonder how many other cars utilize this?
 

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Many cars have a heat exchanger between the radiator and transmission fluid. It serves to both warm and cool the fluid to keep it at a temp best suited for good shift quality.
 

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Many cars have a heat exchanger between the radiator and transmission fluid. It serves to both warm and cool the fluid to keep it at a temp best suited for good shift quality.
Yep, but this is a separate, controlled unit that takes coolant from the engine to warm the ATF after passing through the radiator section on it's way back to the transaxle.
 

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Interesting. Apparently Toyota does something similar with the 7th gen Camry, but I haven't bothered to look how it's routed.

The only powertrain changes, aimed at improving fuel economy, are subtle: lower-viscosity engine oil (0W-20 versus 5W-30), a transmission-oil warmer to achieve operating temps a little faster, and a higher (numerically lower) final-drive ratio of 3.46:1 versus 3.69:1. The net, according to the EPA, is a gain of 1 mpg in city and highway modes, for a rating of 21/30. We averaged 25 mpg.
 

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Hasn't GM been doing this for years? Running the ATF through the radiator to warm or cool the ATF as needed?
Yes, and so has everyone else. The Civic also has the ATF cooler in the radiator and this little warmer unit to speed up warm up of the fluid. In looking at the parts diagram more, I was wrong about it being near the engine block. It's actually bolted to the front side of the transmission and fed by lines directly from the engine.
 

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I was wrong about the Civic's transmission cooling/warming system. I was corrected by a Honda tech. and verified it on a parts diagram for the radiator. ATF no longer flows through the radiator for cooling. Instead this "warmer" device functions as both warmer and cooler. There is no plumbing in the radiator for ATF to flow through. This hockey puck sized device that is bolted to the side of the transmission case does both functions. I learned something new today, so it was a good day.
 

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I was wrong about the Civic's transmission cooling/warming system. I was corrected by a Honda tech. and verified it on a parts diagram for the radiator. ATF no longer flows through the radiator for cooling. Instead this "warmer" device functions as both warmer and cooler. There is no plumbing in the radiator for ATF to flow through. This hockey puck sized device that is bolted to the side of the transmission case does both functions. I learned something new today, so it was a good day.
Probably a much more efficient heat exchanger than a metal tube through the side of the radiator.
 
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