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Thread: Transmission fluid change?

  1. #1

    Default Transmission fluid change?

    I took my WJ into the dealer to get an oil change before my last roadtrip (didn't have time to do it myself). Anyways after their "21 point check" they said that I need to change my transmission fluid. My last XJ I never changed it and drove it for 100k, no real issues. Should I change it? My WJ has 59k on it. I took the WJ on a 600 mile trip fully loaded with 4 people and enough ski gear for 10. It was shifting somewhat hard on the hills but nothing too crazy. Any thoughts?
    04 WJ, Rustys 2.5", BFG TA KOs 245.75.16 with lots of Thule stuff on it...

    WAS:01 XJ, 4" combo lift with every brand on her, 31" BFG TA KOs, Ski Rack, custom bike rack

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  2. #2
    Registered DaveG55's Avatar
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    Transmission fluid should be changed at regular intervals just like the oil sholud be. It is a regular part of the maintaince of the vehicle, or should be.
    I don't know what Cryco reccomends for the WJ but at almost 60k, it sounds about right - or some over - to me.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

  3. #3
    Registered tbm5690's Avatar
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    Pretty sure rule of thumb is every 30K miles....
    Rare 2001 WJ S/A Laredo, loaded, 4.7L
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  4. #4

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    Should be every 30K.

    It pays dividends. Your tranny will last a LOT longer.

    If it's not pink, or if it smells burnt, change it now. Change it now anyway.
    94 5.2 Ltd.
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  5. #5

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    Depends on the tranny. The 42RE tranny behind the 4.0L is a bit touchier and should be serviced regularly. I do mine about every 40k. The 45RFE/5-45RFE is a little more forgiving, and it also has 2 filters. I'd do that one every 50-60k, and change both filters every single pan drop.

    Never let these shops talk you into flushing your transmission. Worst thing you could ever do to it. Sure, there's people that say it worked fine and made a difference in the way it shifted, etc. and that it's best to get all the fluid out of the torque convertor, etc. and replace it with fresh fluid...But...There's another group that had a tranny flushed, and shortly thereafter had a failure. That's nothing I'd want to gamble on.
    Besides, nobody has ever been able to show me factual data that proves a transmission that is flushed will last longer than one that has just had a filter/fluid replacement at the same mileage interval.

    2005 WK Rocky Mountain Edition -- Inferno Red, 4.7L / QT II

  6. #6
    Registered VicPick58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDodgeGuy View Post
    Depends on the tranny. The 42RE tranny behind the 4.0L is a bit touchier and should be serviced regularly. I do mine about every 40k. The 45RFE/5-45RFE is a little more forgiving, and it also has 2 filters. I'd do that one every 50-60k, and change both filters every single pan drop.

    Never let these shops talk you into flushing your transmission. Worst thing you could ever do to it. Sure, there's people that say it worked fine and made a difference in the way it shifted, etc. and that it's best to get all the fluid out of the torque convertor, etc. and replace it with fresh fluid...But...There's another group that had a tranny flushed, and shortly thereafter had a failure. That's nothing I'd want to gamble on.
    Besides, nobody has ever been able to show me factual data that proves a transmission that is flushed will last longer than one that has just had a filter/fluid replacement at the same mileage interval.

    I agree with TheDodgeGuy, My 2000 WJ with original 45RFE was still doing just fine when I sold it at 281k. I just changed the fluid and filters every 50k miles for it's entire life. No flushes ever.

    However I drove mostly highway with a some sitting in stopped traffic mixed in. Very little off road use.

    I think if I were driving through deep water, mud and dust a lot, I would change the fluid more often.

    But at 60k miles you are definitely due for a transmission service. If you do not want to do it your self, witch is understandable, find good a local transmission shop that knows these units and be sure they use the correct fluid ATF+4. It should cost somewhere around $140 give or take, but will save quite a mess.

    Also the shop that I use uses a gasket for the 545RFE pan so there is no RTV to mess with.
    2004 Overland Traded in at 218k miles on a new 2012 4Runner Trail Edition. 4-21-12

    2000 Laredo 4.7 Q-Drive, was still running good when SOLD at 281,340 miles.

  7. #7
    Registered Billy Ray's Avatar
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    From my '02 FSM:

    -br

    Helping one another is why we are all here on Jeeps-Unlimited, or should be.
    http://s112.photobucket.com/albums/n171/Billy_Ray_2006/

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    Registered KMdef9's Avatar
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    Not to thread jack, but is there a specific fluid you should use? I have heard so many things, let alone risks, when changing fluids.
    -1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.2L V8
    -200k Club Member

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    Service Schedule A calls for 100,000 miles.

    Service Schedule B calls for 30,000 miles.

    I'd stick to schedule B.

    Color & Smell are no longer a indicator of fluid condition in ATF+4

    See the TSB on the fluid:

    Date: April 14, 2006

    THIS BULLETIN SUPERSEDES TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 21-004-04, DATED
    MARCH 16, 2004, WHICH SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FILES. THIS IS A
    COMPLETE REVISION.

    Models: All 89 - 07 Ram Trucks (AD, BR/BE, DR/DH/D1, DC)

    1989 - 1995 (AA) Spirit/Acclaim/Lebaron Sedan
    1989 - 2003 (AB) Ram Van/Wagon
    1989 - 1993 (AC) Dynasty/New Yorker/New Yorker Salon
    1989 - 1993 (AD) Ram Truck
    1989 - 1994 (AG) Daytona
    1989 (AH) Lancer/Lebaron GTS
    1989 - 1995 (AJ) Lebaron Coupe/Lebaron Convertible
    1989 - 1990 (AK) Aries/Reliant
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    1989 - 2004 (AN) Dakota
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    1999 - 2004 (WJ) Grand Cherokee
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    2006 - 2007 (XK/XH) Commander
    1989 - 1995 (YJ) Wrangler
    1996 - 1998 (ZG) Grand Cherokee (International Markets)
    1994 - 1998 (ZJ) Grand Cherokee/Grand Wagoneer

    NOTE: This Service Bulletin DOES NOT apply to AW-4 transmissions, Sprinter
    transmissions, Crossfire transmissions, MK/PM vehicles equipped with
    Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and WG vehicles equipped with a
    diesel engine (sales code ENF) and a W5J400 or NAG1 transmission (sales
    code DGJ).

    Discussion:
    ATF+4® - (Type 9602) is being used as factory fill for Chrysler Group automatic
    transmissions. ATF+4® is recommended for all vehicles equipped with Chrysler
    Group automatic transmissions EXCEPT FOR THOSE NOTED ABOVE.

    NOTE: ATF+4® must always be used in vehicles that were originally filled with
    ATF+4®. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER FLUID.

    NOTE: ATF+4® is backward compatible with ATF+3 , ATF+2, and ATF+. Additionally,
    ATF+4 can be used to top off vehicles that used ATF+3, ATF+2, or ATF+.

    NOTE: If ATF+4® is used to service models originally filled with ATF+3 , ATF+2, and
    ATF+ the fluid maintenance schedules listed for that model does not change.
    The service interval currently in effect for a given model should continue to
    be followed. Refer to the Service or Owners manual for maintenance
    schedule directions.

    In general terms, If ATF+, ATF+2 or ATF+3 was the recommended fluid, it is now
    recommended to use ATF+4.

    BENEFITS

    Better anti-wear properties
    Improved rust/corrosion prevention
    Controls oxidation
    Eliminates deposits
    Controls friction
    Retains anti-foaming properties
    Superior properties for low temperature operation

    FLUID COLOR

    Mopar ATF+4® has exceptional durability. However, the red dye used in ATF+4® is not
    permanent; as the fluid ages it may become darker or appear brown in color. ATF+4® also
    has a unique odor that may change with age. With ATF+4® fluid, color and odor are no
    longer indicators of fluid condition and do not necessarily support a fluid change.


    Parts Required: Qty. Part No. Description
    AR 05013457AA Fluid, Transmission, ATF+4® (Type 9602), Quart
    AR 05013458AA Fluid, Transmission, ATF+4® (Type 9602), Gallon


    Policy: Information Only


    2003 WJ Laredo I-6 183,000 Miles

  10. #10
    Registered Billy Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    Not to thread jack, but is there a specific fluid you should use? I have heard so many things, let alone risks, when changing fluids.

    ATF+4 is the only approved fluid. You can buy it nowadays at most auto parts stores.
    -br

    Helping one another is why we are all here on Jeeps-Unlimited, or should be.
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  11. #11
    Registered VicPick58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    Not to thread jack, but is there a specific fluid you should use? I have heard so many things, let alone risks, when changing fluids.
    ATF+4 is recommended for either the 42 or the 545 transmissions found in Jeep WJs.

    I believe that ATF+4 is a more synthetic version of the ATF+3 and will not break down as fast as the older stuff.

    ATF+4 can be mixed with the old +3 that may already be in the trans. Just don't put ATF+3 into a tranny that came with ATF+4 in it.
    2004 Overland Traded in at 218k miles on a new 2012 4Runner Trail Edition. 4-21-12

    2000 Laredo 4.7 Q-Drive, was still running good when SOLD at 281,340 miles.

  12. #12

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    Wow thanks everyone! I will get it in at some point this month maybe when I'm away on work so that its ready for me to drive when I get back :P

    Is it hard to change the fluid? (drop a pan, put it back on refill?) I wasn't planning on flushing it.
    Last edited by Jeepman3ski; 01-19-2010 at 10:24 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
    04 WJ, Rustys 2.5", BFG TA KOs 245.75.16 with lots of Thule stuff on it...

    WAS:01 XJ, 4" combo lift with every brand on her, 31" BFG TA KOs, Ski Rack, custom bike rack

    "hmmm lets drop in"

  13. #13
    Registered VicPick58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepman3ski View Post

    Is it hard to change the fluid? (drop a pan, put it back on refill?) I wasn't planning on flushing it.
    It is not really all that hard, but it can be kind of messy.

    It is one of those jobs that I can do, and have done many times when I was younger but perfer to pay to have done nowdays.

    Do a search of this forum, I am sure there must be at least one write up on the subject.
    2004 Overland Traded in at 218k miles on a new 2012 4Runner Trail Edition. 4-21-12

    2000 Laredo 4.7 Q-Drive, was still running good when SOLD at 281,340 miles.

  14. #14
    Registered KMdef9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPick58 View Post
    ATF+4 is recommended for either the 42 or the 545 transmissions found in Jeep WJs.

    I believe that ATF+4 is a more synthetic version of the ATF+3 and will not break down as fast as the older stuff.

    ATF+4 can be mixed with the old +3 that may already be in the trans. Just don't put ATF+3 into a tranny that came with ATF+4 in it.
    I have the 98 GC limited AWD, being AWD, this doesn't affect the type of fluid?
    -1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.2L V8
    -200k Club Member

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDodgeGuy View Post
    Depends on the tranny. The 42RE tranny behind the 4.0L is a bit touchier and should be serviced regularly. I do mine about every 40k. The 45RFE/5-45RFE is a little more forgiving, and it also has 2 filters. I'd do that one every 50-60k, and change both filters every single pan drop.

    Never let these shops talk you into flushing your transmission. Worst thing you could ever do to it. Sure, there's people that say it worked fine and made a difference in the way it shifted, etc. and that it's best to get all the fluid out of the torque convertor, etc. and replace it with fresh fluid...But...There's another group that had a tranny flushed, and shortly thereafter had a failure. That's nothing I'd want to gamble on.
    Besides, nobody has ever been able to show me factual data that proves a transmission that is flushed will last longer than one that has just had a filter/fluid replacement at the same mileage interval.
    100% false...............

    Those trans failures after a flush are due to 3 things..............

    1-wrong fluid used
    2-underlying problem with the transmission so it was going to fail anyway
    3-wrong flush machine was used(power flush or reverse flush)
    I drive a Liberty,laugh now.

    Sitting on 35's,HP44,RockJock60,and 4:3 AtlasII

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjkj2002 View Post
    100% false...............

    Those trans failures after a flush are due to 3 things..............

    1-wrong fluid used
    2-underlying problem with the transmission so it was going to fail anyway
    3-wrong flush machine was used(power flush or reverse flush)
    Yea, well, unless you can guarantee that a well paid, detail oriented, certified mechanic is doing number 3 correctly, TheDodgeGuy's statement is 100% true. With flushing you usually get lower paid labor doing the work and whatever machine the dealer bought.

    Considering I've had different Jeep dealers try to sell me 1- a "Power Flush" for "better cleaning", 2- a "Reverse Flush" for better cleaning (he actually said "it's just like back-flushing a radiator"), and 3- a "Super Flush" using their "new 2008 model flushing system" ... all at prices higher than an old fashioned pan-drop change.

    Flushing is good for the dealer because they:
    1- charge more for the service (more fluid used; sell the customer more "perceived value")
    2- can and do use the less experienced labor to hook up the machine and push buttons (higher margin)
    3- don't have to actually open the trans (quicker turnaround on the work for higher margin on the job)

    Don't believe me? Look at any of the marketing materials from the people who sell the various transmission flushing machines.

    And if anything goes wrong, of course it was your old, almost failed transmission. You can never prove them wrong.

    No Jeep service manual says to "flush" your trans. Don't do it. Do the job the right way. Drop the pan, clean the screen, change the filter, adjust the bands (if applicable). Anything else is taking an unnecessary risk.
    like my name says:
    97 ZJ - it's green

  17. #17
    Registered xmonger's Avatar
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    http://www.wjjeeps.com/service/transmission.htm

    Never flush a transmission. I got 9 qts out doing the pan drop service as advised by Jeep.
    2003 WJ Overland 4.7 H.O.
    1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0 - SOLD
    1992 XJ Sport 4.0 - SOLD
    1994 ZJ Laredo 4.0 - SOLD

  18. #18

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    For years I changed my transmission fluid by losening the pan and letting the oil drain out and then trued to drop that pan and not make a mess.

    Well, I thought about it last time and got one of these oil change pumps.
    So simple and no mess.
    Just measure the length of the dipstick and mark that spot on the tube so when you insert it you have the right depth. Go about 1 more inch and that put you right to the bottom of the pan.
    Then just let it suck the oil out.
    Once done, remove the pan, clean the pan, reinstall and add fluid. Mo mess, no spills no fuss.
    Wish i had done it this way years ago.
    http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...9&classNum=170

  19. #19
    Registered Glenn J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepman3ski View Post
    Wow thanks everyone! I will get it in at some point this month maybe when I'm away on work so that its ready for me to drive when I get back :P

    Is it hard to change the fluid? (drop a pan, put it back on refill?) I wasn't planning on flushing it.
    I did it myself following trail rated's write up: http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=498015

    I didn't even have to jack the Jeep up..a little tight under there, but doable.

    I reused the pan gasket. The one that came with the AutoZone filter kit looked kinda cheap IMHO.

    My writeup:
    http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=509239
    2003 WJ Laredo: 4.0 I-6, 242 Selec-Trac
    JK Wheels, Destination A/T tires
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  20. #20
    Monkeys Freak Me Out
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    I changed mine for the first time at 122,000 miles, just slightly past the FSM recommended interval of 100,000 miles. I've had no problems with the tranny.
    01 Laredo 4.0
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