7.3 PSD - Ford F350 with the 4R100 AutoTrannny.

Is it plausible / even common for a seized brake / caliper to cause a tranny to overheat? I've never had this occur previously on any vehicle, much less a vehicle like this one which is made to tow 20k lbs and has a rather beefy transmission.

After fixing the brake, I have seen normal tranny temps (70-100 degrees f. above ambient - not towing). The overheat (about 240 degrees) did occur while climbing a hill (again, not towing). Should I still suspect possible tranny issues and if so what exactly or is it more likely this was all caused by the brake seizing?

  • Check your transmission fluid?
    – justinm410
    Sep 30, 2016 at 0:36
  • ya... looks good. Right level, right color.
    – maplemale
    Sep 30, 2016 at 15:08
  • 1
    Considering the fact that your truck can tow 20k lbs, your truck has to also be able to reliably stop 20k lbs (+ weight of truck) within a reasonable distance. Your brakes are much much beefier than some Corolla so having them seize up can certainly cause issues.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 30, 2016 at 19:32
  • @MonkeyZeus that's a good point...
    – maplemale
    Sep 30, 2016 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


A seized brake / caliper sure could cause overheating.

Braking while driving (in your case a stuck brake) will put a load on the engine and transmission just like towing will. To overcome the resistance, the engine and transmission must work harder. Working harder creates heat. This explains the higher trans temps.

Once the brake is fixed, the opposite becomes true.

Less resistance + Less work = Less heat

  • I think this is dangerous. Sure, it could be causing it... If you think you have a stuck brake, fix it immediately. What is really dangerous here is to settle for "eh, it's just a stuck brake" and not worry about the transmission. That road leads to buying a new transmission $. Fix the brake and be very vigilant.
    – justinm410
    Sep 30, 2016 at 19:56
  • This is a very general answer to the first question asked; "Is it plausible / even common for a seized brake / caliper to cause a tranny to overheat?". Nowhere did I say not to fix the brake or "eh, it's just a stuck brake". I updated this to specify what I am answering.
    – CharlieRB
    Sep 30, 2016 at 20:03
  • Agreed. I have since installed a separate tranny gauge and am watching it closely and fixed the brake. It just really surprised me that this happened and seems to have caused the issue which is the reason for my more general question. And, I appreciate the answer!
    – maplemale
    Sep 30, 2016 at 20:45

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