Transmission Fluid Change 2005 3.8



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Thread: Transmission Fluid Change 2005 3.8

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    Transmission Fluid Change 2005 3.8

    I'm considering changing my transmission fluid(96,000miles). I've read many post but still have a few questions:

    Is it safe to refill with aftermarket ATF+4?... using Valvoline or other brands or should I really use mopar ATF+4 only?

    When replacing the pan, do I need to get a new gasket?...It looks like some of the kits come with filter and new gasket

    Thanks

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I just did this last weekend on ours. I got a filter kit at NAPA, which includes a gasket. If it's never been changed, it will be held on with silicone from the factory, which will take a while to scrape off.

    Use any brand ATF+4 licensed by Chrysler. Here is a list: http://www.centerforqa.com/licensedatf4brands.html

    I let mine drain for 2-3 hours after I removed the pan, and ended up needing to add 5 quarts. I would start with 4, and add from there as needed.

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    L22 (05-26-2011)

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    on both vans i've owned, I've used the "cheap" atf4 (if you consider $4 a quart cheap) from walmart without any issues. I had mixed success with the gasket and prefer to reseal with rtv silicone when reinstalling the pan, never had it leak with the rtv. 5 quarts sounds about right.

    2011 Grand Caravan, 3.6, 112k miles
    2005 Grand Caravan SXT, 3.8 247k miles, Sold
    2002 Grand Caravan SE, 3.3, 166k miles, Sold

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    L22 (05-26-2011)

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    Some advice:
    - there's a tendency to overfill. Read what your dipstick has on it for instructions and what your Owner Manual says as well. Normally "transmission hot" is not the same as "engine hot", the transmission needs about 15 minutes of driving to be somewhere near "hot". Check this Thread out.
    - Haynes Manual has a good method for removal of the pan to avoid massive spillage.
    - if interested, you can add a drain plug to your pan (a kit or new pan with welded on connection) to facilitate more frequent fluid changes. The pan will still need to be dropped for any filter changes.
    - I would go with a good quality reusable gasket. RTV is a bear to clean off, that activity is most of the work. If you are using a hoist, then things are a little easier. The newer gaskets retain the bolts to make life easier.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 115,600 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 314,240 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 246,430 kms

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    L22 (05-26-2011)

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    Is there any type of solvent that I can use to help remove the RTV?

    Thanks for all of your replies....

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    Permatex offers a gasket remover, but if memory serves me correctly I believe they recommend avoiding painted surfaces, so the pan finish could be damaged using it. Silicone RTV is an inert compound which makes it a great gasket material, as well as limiting solvents' ability to break it down. I think you'll find old-fashioned and careful scraping will be your best method. Takes me about 20 minutes while the transmission is draining.

    As you can see in responses to this thread there is a variety of opinions on RTV versus a gasket. Personally I prefer the Chrysler ATF-RTV and transmission filter. It does take some scraping each time I pull the pan, but the time spent scraping allows time for the transmission to drain, and even then I still find myself tinkering with the van looking for things to do while the transmission continues to drain. Now that I've timed all my major services around a 30,000 mile schedule, I'll start with the tranny drain, complete everything else, and then finish with the pan reattachment.

    One caution with the OEM ATF-RTV (p/n 05010884AA), if you choose to go that route, is it requires a long cure time (I think most RTVs do). Typically I'll complete the fluid drain, filter replacement, and pan reattachment Saturday afternoon and then wait until Sunday afternoon to fill.

    My use of OEM sealant led to a funny argument at around 90,000 miles with my local dealer. I took the van in to have a door lock actuator replaced, and while waiting, the service adviser called me over to upsell me on a transmission fluid change. I explained it had already been done three times since the original fill, and he chose to challenge me explaining that it had the original seals. Some back and forth ensued in which he could not comprehend that I knew something about the maintenance of my van. Finally he asked how I KNEW it had been completed, that perhaps a mechanic lied to me. The look on his face when I explained that I rarely lie to myself, as I was the mechanic in question, was truly priceless. Argument done.

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    L22 (05-27-2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyguy View Post
    My use of OEM sealant led to a funny argument at around 90,000 miles with my local dealer. I took the van in to have a door lock actuator replaced, and while waiting, the service adviser called me over to upsell me on a transmission fluid change. I explained it had already been done three times since the original fill, and he chose to challenge me explaining that it had the original seals. Some back and forth ensued in which he could not comprehend that I knew something about the maintenance of my van. Finally he asked how I KNEW it had been completed, that perhaps a mechanic lied to me. The look on his face when I explained that I rarely lie to myself, as I was the mechanic in question, was truly priceless. Argument done.
    Gotta love those stories. Those "sell" jobs hurt the Dealer's credibility. Although I may change my transmission fluid at 100,000 kms (nice number), I don't want somebody telling me that I need it changed at 100,000 kms (60,000 miles) when it can go much longer than that. ATF+4 had a design life of 100,000 plus miles, one of its main advantages over ATF+3.

    Had a new rack (remanufactured by FENCO) put in my Van this week. One quote for installation, I got from a local shop (not a Dealership), included a "flush" which they insisted must be done. They were using a kit (Wynns, I believe), of course ($$.$$ maker), to condition the seals, etc. Considering that (a) I already have a fine mesh filter in my system (in the reservoir), and (b) all the old fluid, plus lots of new added because of the large leak in an external corroded pipe on the rack (the reason for replacement), was being removed anyway, why would I want to pay $134.00 plus tax (yes, that's what they were trying to sell me) for a flush. Needless to say, I didn't get the work done there.

    The Mechanic at the shop where I did get the work done was thorough, I think. However, I had to argue with him a bit about the use of ATF+4 (provided by me) as he said the system required power steering fluid not transmission fluid, not knowing that ATF+4 was indeed power steering fluid as well. Hard to say what he would have put in if I hadn't been there at the time.

    As to the question about what cleaner to use (another Post), you can try paint cleaner, WD-40 or brake cleaner. Brake cleaner is very agressive and works best (my opinion). I used it the clean the RTV off the front differential housing and cover for my Jeep when I replaced the differential fluid last Fall. I used Permatex Ultra Black OEM RTV (PX #59803) and it was easy enough to use. The instructions on the package say to use a "residue free solvent cleaner such as Permatex Brake and Parts Cleaner" for cleaning off the old RTV. Hope that helps and good luck with your fluid/filter change.

    From http://www.permatex.com/documents/Pe...aCatalogue.pdf for PX #59803:
    Oil pans, transmission pans, valve covers, valves and guides, timing gear covers, differential covers
    Last edited by Jeepman; 05-27-2011 at 01:59 PM.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 115,600 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 314,240 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 246,430 kms

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    If you are lowering the pan I would just change both gasket and filter as they are not expensive, even if you get a Chrysler filter. And no matter what mileage ATF+4 is "good for" I would rather spend $20-30 on a fluid change then risk anything with the transmission.

    As far as overfilling, use a big, yet shallow, plastic tote from Walmart as your drain pan and measure how much you take out using some old oil jugs or whatever you have. Then, put that amount back in assuming, of course, the current fluid level is ok.
    2005 T&C Signature Series, 64,xxx miles
    Lots of rust, leaking steering rack, bad rear AC condenser coil, rusted (and replaced) rear brake line. Looking forward to the next failure/defect that this Chrysler will bring into our lives.

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    Holy smokes. $134 for a power steering fluid change out. Good call on the fact most of the fluid would be replaced anyway during the rack replacement. I have a feeling very few modern drivers are educated on the mechanical functioning of their vehicles, and would have blindly taken that recommendation as a service adviser watching out for his/her best interest. People often question why I complete so much of my own vehicle maintenance and repair, and my answer is that I simply enjoy the work, it provides a welcome break from my normal work, and I like knowing what's happening with the things I own.

    I've been a bit aggressive with the transmission fluid change intervals due to the Gen 3 transmission challenges, but it appears the changes made for Gen 4 have had a positive impact on durability. I do tow with my van in the summers now, so I'll continue with the 30,000-mile interval as cheap insurance.

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    Today I ATTEMPTED to drop the pan in my mom's 2005 3.8l (86K+ change on the clock) to change the filter, add a drain plug and install a rubber gasket (was included with the Wix filter). The pan does NOT want to budge, as I used a razor blade to try and crave out as much RTV as possible, beat it at all angles with a rubber mallet, beat it at all angles with a rubber mallet with heating it up with my heat gun, pulled down on it with all my might and flipped it the bird to no effect.

    Anyone have any other suggestions to getting the damn thing off? Also, where would be the best location to mount the drain plug (where it won't hit any internal parts)?

    I want to make sure my mom's van last a good while [she had a Gen 3 3.3L before this and it was traded in due to transmission issues (never had transmission service, once issues began, dad put Slick 50 trans stuff in it, which did nothing)]. Seeing the experience I'm having with the RTV, a drain plug and rubber gasket will make life MUCH simplier for me when I do future drains and filter changes!

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