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In the future there will be no automatic transmissions, just standard transmissions. 9 on the floor (or in the dash), shifted by a robot, lifetime fluid of course. Ha, ha.

Chrysler fluid drive transmission. Way ahead of its time:
 

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Did I tell you that I never change ATF?
what's your opinion on refurbished transmissions that come with special non chrysler ATF fluid for them?

should you use chrysler ATF+4 or the fluid that the rebuilders put with it?
 

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what's your opinion on refurbished transmissions that come with special non chrysler ATF fluid for them?

should you use chrysler ATF+4 or the fluid that the rebuilders put with it?

If buying from a good remanufacturer who offer good warranty like Jasper (3 year or 100,000 miles), I would use whatever fluid they use.

If they only offer like 3,000 miles, I would try it with their fluid, then change it to ATF+4 (unless they used ATF+4).
 

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I bought my 2012 Town & Country in November 2019 and the mileage is currently 126,000

In December 2019 I had a recall service done at the dealer and was given a free multi-point inspection

Dealer said that the transmission fluid is discolored and smells burnt.

As far as I can tell from the service records the previous owner gave me the transmission has never been serviced.

Dealer recommends transmission filter, fluid & gasket replacement.

Dealer cost to do this is roughly $700.

Local transmission shop would do it for far less BUT recommends I do NOTHING and hope that the transmision continues to serve me well.

The reason given was that simply draining out 5+ quarts of transmission fluid that is discolored and smells burnt and putting in 5+ quarts of new fluid would likely result in transmission failure within the next 3 to 4 months (3,000 to 4,000 miles)

What should I do in this situation?
I had the transmission serviced in my 2010 Town & Country at 70k by my dealer and it cost me $408. Part of the function of the transmission fluid is to lubricate moving parts and all lubricants break down with use, heat and time. I believe in following the recommended 70k transmission service intervals.
 

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I had the transmission serviced in my 2010 Town & Country at 70k by my dealer and it cost me $408. Part of the function of the transmission fluid is to lubricate moving parts and all lubricants break down with use, heat and time. I believe in following the recommended 70k transmission service intervals.
Upselling apparently, instead of a pan drop and fluid/filter change, that was a flush (based on the price). You know what Chrysler says about flushes.
 

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I did an exchange via the cooler return line. Very little mess and I didn't need to touch the pan. However my van developed a small leak from the pan recently, so I need to drop it anyhow. I'm debating on getting the doorman pan with a drain plug, but I'm not sure it's worth it since the cooler line exchange worked so well.
 

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Discussion Starter #87 (Edited)
I swapped out my 2012 Chrysler Town & Country transmission pan for a Dorman 265-833 pan with a drain plug at 126,291 miles when I decided to go ahead and service the transmission.

Apx 5.5 quarts of ATF fluid drained out when I removed the old pan. I installed a new filter and used a new gasket when I installed the Dorman pan (using the magnet from the original pan!). I poured in apx 5.5 quarts of new Valvoline ATF+4 to replace the fluid that I had drained.

I'm now at 126,500 miles and the transmission is shifting fine (and so far no transmission fluid leaks!)

Only issue is the transmission fluid level. It measured at a 85mm (3.34646 inches) level using the aftermarket level checker I bought off ebay just prior to draining the fluid early in the morning after the minivan had been parked in my driveway since the day before.

As of today 3/7/2020 the fluid level is still at 85mm (measured at 8am after the minivan had been parked since last night)

Is that level too high or too low when it is checked on a flat driveway?

If too high I can suction out the excess fluid via the transmission tube.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I replaced two leaking transmission cooler lines a few weeks ago
 

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It sounds right. I wonder if the new pan is the same as the old one, except for the plug. If it is, then the level indeed should be the same before and after changing the fluid. Checking the level under the same conditions is the way to do it.
 

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I swapped out my 2012 Chrysler Town & Country transmission pan for a Dorman 265-833 pan with a drain plug at 126,291 miles when I decided to go ahead and service the transmission.

Apx 5.5 quarts of ATF fluid drained out when I removed the old pan. I installed a new filter and used a new gasket when I installed the Dorman pan (using the magnet from the original pan!). I poured in apx 5.5 quarts of new Valvoline ATF+4 to replace the fluid that I had drained.

I'm now at 126,500 miles and the transmission is shifting fine (and so far no transmission fluid leaks!)

Only issue is the transmission fluid level. It measured at a 85mm (3.34646 inches) level using the aftermarket level checker I bought off ebay just prior to draining the fluid early in the morning after the minivan had been parked in my driveway since the day before.

As of today 3/7/2020 the fluid level is still at 85mm (measured at 8am after the minivan had been parked since last night)

Is that level too high or too low when it is checked on a flat driveway?

If too high I can suction out the excess fluid via the transmission tube.
The "85mm" measurement, is that with the motor off? Just wondering.
Here is the recommended oil level procedure. 62TE Transmission - Caravan's without Dipstick Refill - Bob Is The Oil Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #90
The "85mm" measurement, is that with the motor off? Just wondering.
Here is the recommended oil level procedure. 62TE Transmission - Caravan's without Dipstick Refill - Bob Is The Oil Guy
Both measurements were with the motor off and both times were measured after the minivan had been parked for at least 8 hours.

I was hoping to hear from someone who knew for certain that their transmission had the correct level of ATF and could measure their ATF level with a Dorman 917-327 or similar transmission dipstick tool after their minivan had been parked for several hours.
 

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Both measurements were with the motor off and both times were measured after the minivan had been parked for at least 8 hours...
The measurements in the chart are based on checking the fluid level with the engine running, you should run the gear selector from park to drive then back to park before checking the level.

What does the level check with the engine running, right after a cold start?
 

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Discussion Starter #92 (Edited)
The measurements in the chart are based on checking the fluid level with the engine running, you should run the gear selector from park to drive then back to park before checking the level.

What does the level check with the engine running, right after a cold start?
I just measured "right after a cold start" and level is apx 5mm (Five-mm) with engine running

I assume this means I'm low on ATF - correct?

I have two quarts of Valvoline ATF+4 on hand

If my level is too low should I buy more or should two quarts be enough?

Note 01: I have NOT added any ATF since I checked the level a few minutes ago!
Note 02: If level is too low it is likely due to the two leaking transmission cooler lines I replaced a few weeks ago.
 

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It seems tricky measuring reproducibly while running after a cold start. The transmission oil temperature will then depend on the initial temperature, before starting, which will be different summer versus winter.

There are YouTube videos showing how to mark off the oil dipstick, to allow using it for checking transmission fluid. But that would assume there had not been any leaks.

I suppose if I'd had a leak, I'd buy the correct dipstick and bother with the procedure involving checking the fluid temperature. Or take it to a trusted mechanic who knows what to do and has the right tools. Or go to a dealer.

This thinking makes me ready to mark my oil dipstick, in case my T&C gets a hose leak or something...
 

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It seems tricky measuring reproducibly while running after a cold start. The transmission oil temperature will then depend on the initial temperature, before starting, which will be different summer versus winter.

There are YouTube videos showing how to mark off the oil dipstick, to allow using it for checking transmission fluid. But that would assume there had not been any leaks.

I suppose if I'd had a leak, I'd buy the correct dipstick and bother with the procedure involving checking the fluid temperature. Or take it to a trusted mechanic who knows what to do and has the right tools. Or go to a dealer.

This thinking makes me ready to mark my oil dipstick, in case my T&C gets a hose leak or something...
Me too.
 

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Let's form a support group on this. I'll report in when it's done. The YouTube videos show how to do this over the range from cold to hot. But perhaps doing it over the temperature range of, say, 55 to 70 degrees F won't make for a big difference in the level. Below 55 F, I don't find it very enjoyable to work in the driveway, and Spring is just around the corner.
 

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I marked the engine oil dipstick on my 2012 long time ago, it works fine on my 2017 too.

No need to form a "support group", it was already started back on 2003 by Glen Millar.
 

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I marked the engine oil dipstick on my 2012 long time ago, it works fine on my 2017 too.

No need to form a "support group", it was already started back on 2003 by Glen Millar.
I'm thinking that this oil dip stick remedy should be showing up in the Quick Fixes thread. My questions are:
  • does the dip stick bottom out at the top or bottom?
  • what is the measurement, from wherever (top or bottom), when, with vehicle on level ground:
-- vehicle is cold, engine not running
-- vehicle is cold, engine has just been started a couple of minutes ago
-- vehicle has been driven for 15 miles+ / 24 km.+ / 15 minutes+, engine and transmission are at operating temperature
 

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On my 2014 T&C, when I insert the oil dipstick into the transmission filler tube, the dipstick bottoms out at the bottom of the transmission pan. (After sitting overnight, the level appears to be right about at the crook of the oil dipstick, when the outside temperature is about 40 degrees F.)

The dipstick that one can purchase and use according to this procedure cited above (62TE Transmission - Caravan's without Dipstick Refill - Bob Is The Oil Guy) appears to have a stop on it, such that it "bottoms out" at the top of the filler tube. (Note: this bobistheoilguy procedure is for a specific transmission, so for other transmissions the measurements in the chart are likely going to vary). From a quick look at the procedure, it looks to me like the special tool measures the true depth of the fluid in the transmission oil pan.

(Note the procedure includes going through the gears, etc.)

As can be seen in the chart in the procedure, there's a range of minimum and maximum for the transmission oil level. Depending on temperature, this range is anywhere from around 12 to 16 mm, or so. The minimum temperature in the chart is 70 deg F, so we won't have any data for temperatures below 70 deg F unless we do it ourselves. If we were to use the length of the filler tube, we could convert between the two dipstick methods (bottom out at the bottom of the pan, versus at the top of the filler tube), but there seems to be no need for that.

Here's a version of the dipstick hack from youtube:
.

I think it would be difficult to reproducibly get fluid levels for a transmission a couple of minutes after starting because the level will depend on the ambient/outdoor temperature. A couple of minutes after starting in Yellow Knife will result in a far different level than in Miami! Doing it at operating temperature should work fine, and then the chart ought to work using the special dipstick or using the oil stick if the conversion is known. Operating temperatures themselves are likely to vary with latitude and season.

It would be interesting to develop some data ourselves on factory-filled transmissions that have never had a leak. I'd think we'd want to do it on a transmission that has sat all night. Then we'd want to measure the (relative) dipstick level (say, using the oil dipstick) and the temperature. For temperature, we could use the outdoor temperature first thing in the morning. Of course, this would all vary with transmission type. Then we could get some averages and there you go. Or, given the difficulty of all that, we can just mark our dipsticks before things leak, so we're ready when they do, or when we do a fluid change-out.

I plan to change out my transmission fluid soon, although my T&C has about 45,000 miles. The car is new to me, and I like to change out all the fluids to start out. But I'll not plan to do the filter, as I've read that most times, transmission oil filters (on these Chryslers, anyway, but it likely applies to others) don't get munged up unless there's a mechanical breakdown.

'Nuff said for now!
 

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On my 2014 T&C, when I insert the oil dipstick into the transmission filler tube, the dipstick bottoms out at the bottom of the transmission pan.
Seems like it, but it doesn't.

You don't need to go to the Bob guy's site, everything you need to know is here, you just need to look for it.
 

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It would be nice if people who have further insight and/or information about previous posts shedding light on these matters would, at the least, supply some relevant links. Otherwise, we can be quite content knowing that the truth is out there while we continue sharing to the best of our ability.
 
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