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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.
The dipstick does NOT bottom out at the bottom of the pan.

The dipstick does NOT have a stop that bottoms out on the top of the fill tube (but I did see on another forum where someone modified a dipstick to do that.)

The dipstick DOES bottom out on a stop at the end of the fill tube.

Here is a picture from when I change the fluid and filter:
 

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All I need are the three measurements I mentioned previously. I will then mark them on my dip stick as well as record them. Transmission fluid operates within a safety range, it doesn't have to be "up to a full mark". Ballparkish works.

PS: Just noticed your picture georgef. Very helpful. The dipstick is at quite a slant.
 

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The dipstick does NOT bottom out at the bottom of the pan.

The dipstick does NOT have a stop that bottoms out on the top of the fill tube (but I did see on another forum where someone modified a dipstick to do that.)

The dipstick DOES bottom out on a stop at the end of the fill tube.

Here is a picture from when I change the fluid and filter:
Remember you posted that picture before.

That stopper is a good thing, as it really doesn't matter if you replace the transmission pan for another of different capacity.
 

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Hmm. Well, the tip of my oil dipstick is hitting something, at a consistent depth, when I insert it in the transmission oil filler tube. The handle end of the dipstick has plenty of free length before the ring touches the top of the filler tube.

Which brings things to the main point, which is to be consistent. The measurement method doesn't matter so long as the level, however determined, is returned to close to the factory-fill level under the same conditions. Best to get this marked off before there's a leak!
 

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When are you going to start manufacturing a dipstick with a stopper LEVY? Change the location of the stopper, depending of what transmission one is dealing with. Sounds like a good invention. You could give us all one for Christmas. :)

Did you measure the distance from the end of your dipstick to your mark, to the nearest mm? :)

Oil / transmission dipstick (referenced in a previous Post on this Thread):
 

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Discussion Starter #106 (Edited)
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.

Update 3/10/2020

I added some fluid.

I started my minivan and moved the gear selector from park to drive then back to park before checking the level.

Fluid level is 45mm with the engine running while parked on a flat driveway.
 

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Is there an actual procedure that involves checking "right after a cold start?" I've never seen that and it seems go me to be highly variable. For transmissions with actual dipsticks, we check the level on a flat surface while the car is running, after it's at operating temperature. The dipsticks have cross hatches marking off a range that the level should fall between. Pretty simple.

I'd sure be following the procedure in the service manual if I wanted to do it by the book, and, as I understand it, that involves using a special dipstick for that purpose, and using a chart that gives the level range as a function of temperature.

The service manual is available on USB key or a DVD for something like $150. I haven't bought one yet, but, heck, they can pay for themselves in no time.
 

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Is there an actual procedure that involves checking "right after a cold start?" I've never seen that and it seems go me to be highly variable. For transmissions with actual dipsticks, we check the level on a flat surface while the car is running, after it's at operating temperature. The dipsticks have cross hatches marking off a range that the level should fall between. Pretty simple.

I'd sure be following the procedure in the service manual if I wanted to do it by the book, and, as I understand it, that involves using a special dipstick for that purpose, and using a chart that gives the level range as a function of temperature.

The service manual is available on USB key or a DVD for something like $150. I haven't bought one yet, but, heck, they can pay for themselves in no time.
Sure is a procedure that involves checking "right after a cold start". It was in the Owner Manual for the 4th Generation. In fact, the transmission dipstick had two cross hatched areas on it, one for right after a cold start and one after 20 miles of driving.
More on those fluid checks here: Quick Fixes
 

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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.
Sounds OK, within the 3.8 mm - 15 mm range expected. To verify, check when hot, after 20 miles of driving, to see what you get.
It's not about being full and it's best not to overfill. Within the range is fine, so Chrysler says.
If it is at the low end of a range, adding a quart will be way too much IMO.
The transmission contains a lot of fluid, over 9 quarts full, being down a bit is no big deal except you may have a leak to sort out.
 

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Hmm. Well, the tip of my oil dipstick is hitting something, at a consistent depth, when I insert it in the transmission oil filler tube...
Yes, it hits on the "dipstick stop" located near the end of the fill tube, you can see it in the picture I posted in post #101.
 

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8 months later, I pulled out my MightyVac to pull out the transmission fluid on my 2010 Town and Country.

What is sort of concerning is that the MightyVac would only pull out just over 2 quarts... actually 2.15 liters (MightyVac has gradations in liters). I'd thought I'd get out around 5 quarts. I worked the withdrawal tube as much as possible, but still wasn't sure if it made it to the bottom of the pan.

I thought about pulling the pan and changing the filter also, but couldn't get an OEM/Mopar filter right away, and we're running out of warm days now, with winter approaching. I'm not going to chance it with a non-Mopar filter. So, I just replaced what came out with new ATF-4 transmission fluid and let it go a that. Guess I'll pull the pan and filter in the spring, probably getting a pan with a drain plug to make changing easier.
 

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There's a catch for the dipstick at the bottom of the tube. You will not get the last 3.5 quarts with a sucker. And once you drop the pan, there's still a bit over 2 quarts in the case and converter. Get a pan with a drain plug to make future changes much easier and less messy.
 

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I understand about the catch. Thanks. Plan B could be to just repeat the procedure a couple of times. Back of the envelope, if I remove about 2 quarts of the 9 quart system (I think it's 9 quarts), and then replace it, run the car (10 or 15 miles should do it) to mix it in, and then do that 2 more times, should be about enough to have changed out about half of the fluid. (I suppose some good old fashioned algebra would lead to an exact calculation.. one of the members could assign that to a high schooler!).... Or just pull out the 2.15 liters and replace once a year. In these days, the car only gets 5,000 miles a year or so. My old Honda Accord only drained about 2 quarts of automatic transmission fluid, using the drain plug had enough sense to include.

Anyway, this sort of changeout would not result in a filter change, nor cleaning the magnet in there. But perhaps it's OK to let the filter run a lot longer...up to the 100,000 miles they say for the changeout procedure? Maybe not that long, although, as mentioned before, I believe the filter is mainly there in the event of a serious problem, helping save the transmission for a rebuild, maybe. But an old filter might impede fluid flow as it accumulates fines. Who knows!??

One thing I wonder is, suppose the car is up to temperature, and then I use the MightVac. Would that get the level up in the pan so more fluid would come out? It'll flow easier, of course, when it's hot.

Another question: do I need to worry about air in the system? I assume not because after the pan is pulled and the filter is changed, it still it has to be filled up and reach some sort of equilibrium, so air entering during that procedure has to come out somehow. I figure just sucking out of the pan with the MightyVac, and then replacing doesn't change anything. And doing it cold might be better because then there's no need to consider volume changes with temperature. Just pump it out and replace with fluid that was outside with the car.
 

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The catch for the dipstick is below the dipstick tube and open on the sides, isn't it?. I think vinyl tubing can be worked around that. Best to check georgef's picture.
60244


Parking at a severe angle will help also
Based on the amount removed/replaced per attempt, one can calculate the amount of actual new fluid in the system. Two attempts should equal a pan drop or more.
As for the magnet, a magnet or two on the outside, will increase the capability.
 

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1) I just read this ENTIRE thread. It does contain a bit of repetition.
2) I have ALWAYS wondered why 'stop 'n go' operation isn't on EVERY severe conditions list. I believe it should be.
3) I buy fully into the theory that my transmission WASN'T specced using black, burned, depleted fluid.
4) I buy fully into the claim that "some-many-most-all-whatever" transmission failures after service are due to the transmission already being worn / damaged.
5) That many people HERE can discuss using a dipstick inconclusively speaks volumes to what John Q. Average can accomplish.
6) I find it odd that the perennially vilified, always distrusted, seemingly universally careless, boundlessly greedy dealerships -who's only goal is to see a product past it's warranty- is quoted as a source of preventative maintenance knowledge.
7) SEVERAL managers of dedicated oil change places which include transmission service on their menus have told me there are no differences among transmission fluids. That makes them dirty, stinking, unwashed, unshaven, out-of-shape, meth head, lying thieves.
8) I applaud LEVY's many hundreds of thousands of trouble free miles. Texas highway miles are good miles.
9) As many here know, my pal's son just got a NOS 2019 DGG. He's a smart lad. We can talk about pollution, politics, religion and high finance. If his transmission comes up I plan on saying nothing. (kidding)
10) Has anyone anything 'big picture' to say about transmission coolers?
11) Trannies just go into gear, right? There'd be no wear difference between babying up to the speed limit vs giving your vehicle a little gas to get going?
 

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Here is what I can say about transmission fluids in general as I don't own a 5th gen van yet:
I have had trannies in my various vans, some Mazda, some Dodge act up in various ways. I would say that 99% of the time a partial fluid change has completely solved these shuddering or poor/harsh shifting issues. I have never done a flush and never done a complete fluid change. Instead, I use a fluid extracting pump with a 5 litre capacity to suck about 4 litres up the dip stick. On some vehicles you can only get 2-3 litres at a time, so that is all I do....however I'll do it more frequently if that is all I can get, in an effort to provide fresh fluid, with all its additives, into the transmission. The change in fluid colour is impressive and easily seen.
I consider a transmission overhaul at a shop/dealer a waste of money and scrap the vehicle instead of 'feeding' overhaul bandits....of which I have some experience...never again! I know there are good shops out there, just none that I have found.
As for oil types, anyone who tells you that the transmission fluids are all the same is either miss-informed or a liar. I strongly suggest that you buy the confirmed fluid from a big name brand and don't be cheap in this area. For reference I probably exchange 4 litres about every 12-24 months in my vans and have remained trouble free if I do so. These vans had issues in the past and I did no fluid changes prior to the issues surfacing.
As for difficulty in changing fluid, I pretty much paid for the extractor on the first use and it could not be an easier task. I also know that the correctly spec'd fluid went in not the universal crap from the 'oil change place' My wife used one of these places for one oil change on her TDI and after I met her I discovered they had used the wrong oil and severely damaged her camshaft....but this was 5 years afterwards and they escaped any responsibility.
That's just my 2 cents...but it has saved me many thousands over the years.
 

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I had a very noticeable improvement in shift firmness and quickness when I did my first filter and fluid change at 67k. Not changing the filter near 100k is just being lazy. Care for your fluid systems and your van will last a long time without much issue.
 
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If it helps, I just dropped my pan, replaced the filter (WIX 58128) and installed a pan with drain plug. About a week earlier, I sucked out 4L and replaced it. I too could only get about 2 L at a go due to the stop in the pan. I used a flexible rubber hose but didn't try manipulating it in any way to get more fluid out. At 93000 miles, the Mopar filter I removed look impeccably clean, at least the small section of it that I could see. The pan looked great with minimal metal paste on the magnet. Had I known the condition of the pan - and of course you can't until you remove it - I would have just done 3 - 4 more extract and fills and called it a day. I have AppCar diagFCA - bought it mainly to do a relearn after the fluid change - but didn't bother as the transmission is so smooth with almost imperceptible shifting. Of course I use the app as well to see trans temp when level checking.
 

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As for high temps: I ran my van up the longest nastiest hill in all of BC, stopped at the top, after 10 min of shift-hunting pulling a load, hot day, etc and used my trusty temp gun to find out the temp of the pan/casing/everywhere. I don't know how to make it any hotter than that, except maybe trying to become unstuck in snow by rocking it for a long time. Anyway, it surprised me because the temp was far below the max allowable and far below the need for an auxillary cooler, which I was under the impression was a smart addition to keep a trans alive long term.
 

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If you are serious about ATF change, don't buy a pump. Buy a transmission pan with drain plug. Remove old pan, replace filter, install new pan, add ATF and you're done.

It's going to be messy just the first time. After that, you'll drain old ATF + some sediments.

I never change ATF at all, but it is me. I'm right now on my way to Puerto Vallarta, I go several times per year.

No transmission problems yet.

Saying that replacing a couple of quarts of ATF saved your transmission is not really accurate, as you don't know if your transmission would have failed otherwise.

Yes, fresh ATF looks different than used ATF but it can be very dark and still be good.
 
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