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Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

 
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Old 06 Jun 2009, 06:22 pm
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Default Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

My cruiser has 45,000 miles and I am planning a transmission fluid drain and fill. Since there is no drain plug, do I have to drop the pan and do a complete fluid change or is there an easier way? I have read several threads and one post mentioned "drop the fluid from the drain plug". Is the plug on the cooler? My Haines book says to remove the bumper in order to get access to the cooler. Is this right? Seems like more trouble than dropping the pan and replacing the filter!

Regards,
crooner
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Old 06 Jun 2009, 06:55 pm
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Default Re: Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

There's no drain plug and you don't want to mess around with the cooler. If your only dropping the pan and changing the filter, that what you do, drop the pan. It's messy and you want to have a large container handy to catch the fluid.

Your only changing about 4-5 quarts of oil (use only ATF+4) and the whole system holds about 12 to 16 quarts (I forget exact amount right now). Since the transaxle is a weak point in the drivetrain, we recommend you have the system flushed the first time it's done. It changes all the oil but has to be done professionally and costs more but worth it if you plan on keeping your PT for awhile longer.
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Old 06 Jun 2009, 07:19 pm
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Default Re: Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
There's no drain plug and you don't want to mess around with the cooler. If your only dropping the pan and changing the filter, that what you do, drop the pan. It's messy and you want to have a large container handy to catch the fluid.

Your only changing about 4-5 quarts of oil (use only ATF+4) and the whole system holds about 12 to 16 quarts (I forget exact amount right now). Since the transaxle is a weak point in the drivetrain, we recommend you have the system flushed the first time it's done. It changes all the oil but has to be done professionally and costs more but worth it if you plan on keeping your PT for awhile longer.
Agreed. Professional flush now and then evey 30k alternate between a drain and fill and a full flush. 45k is too long to wait for tranny service. The 41TE auto tranny is known as a weak link so service is needed more often.
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Old 08 Jun 2009, 07:37 am
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Default Re: Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

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Originally Posted by Mean Green View Post
Agreed. Professional flush now and then evey 30k alternate between a drain and fill and a full flush. 45k is too long to wait for tranny service. The 41TE auto tranny is known as a weak link so service is needed more often.
Thanks for the tip. I've owned my PT for 3 months and just hit 49k. With no idea of the prior maintenance I am scheduling a professional flush in the coming weeks.

Edit: I just got a quote from a local transmission shop for $155 for a full flush. Is this reasonable?
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Last edited by Travis2k7; 08 Jun 2009 at 07:47 am.
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Old 08 Jun 2009, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

Mopar tranny flush? Be careful!
See: TSB 26-003-07

If the flush is not performed at a dealer, bring in your own ATF+4 oil and witness them pouring it in.
See: TSB 21-010-06

Parts & labor for a flush at a Boise dealer 1 & 1/2 years ago was $167.
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Old 08 Jun 2009, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinosa View Post
Mopar tranny flush? Be careful!
See: TSB 26-003-07

If the flush is not performed at a dealer, bring in your own ATF+4 oil and witness them pouring it in.
See: TSB 21-010-06

Parts & labor for a flush at a Boise dealer 1 & 1/2 years ago was $167.
Thanks for the links.

I'm getting it done at Rincon Georgia Transmission Repair and although I personally have never dealt with them I know people that have and have been told they are the best around here.

$155 and am getting a flush on Thursday. They told me it also includes a new filter, pan gasket and some kind of "conditioner" treatment.

It's more for peace of mind than anything else. With no idea of the prior owner's maintenance habits I'm going to get it done. My guess would be it's never been serviced and $155 is certainly a lot cheaper than a new transmission. 49k miles is also a good interval assuming it's never been done, which I am.
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Last edited by Travis2k7; 08 Jun 2009 at 12:27 pm.
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Old 10 Jun 2009, 03:57 pm
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Exclamation Re: Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

A lot of transmission shops are convinced that they don't need to use +4 fluid. They use some kind of "universal" fluid & put in additive to "bring it up to spec". If you want to be sure your getting +4 fluid go to a Chrysler or Dodge dealer. Even then confirm that they use +4 fluid for the flush.
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Old 11 Jun 2009, 01:42 pm
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Default Re: Help! How to drain and refill automatic transmission?

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Originally Posted by nhdriver View Post
A lot of transmission shops are convinced that they don't need to use +4 fluid. They use some kind of "universal" fluid & put in additive to "bring it up to spec". If you want to be sure your getting +4 fluid go to a Chrysler or Dodge dealer. Even then confirm that they use +4 fluid for the flush.
Funny you mention that... the guy from the transmission shop just called me and said my car is good to go. He said the transmission looked great.

When I asked him about ATF-4 he said they use Dexron 4 with a "conditioner" that exceeds Chrysler specs.

I actually did a search of these forums and one guy said if you use Dexron you might as well buy a new transmission. Kinda gives me the sick to my stomach feeling.

Having recently purchased this car I figured since I don't know the prior maintenance it would be a good idea to get a flush being that I'm at 49k miles. I hope I don't end up regretting getting this done.

Edit: I talked to some other people and was told what they did is fine... for what its worth I also got a 3 month/4k mile warranty with the flush. As I said before all I've heard is good things about this shop so I'm leaving it at that.

The guy did tell me "we'll see you at your 80k service" when I left so I guess he does stand behind his work.... LOL
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Last edited by Travis2k7; 12 Jun 2009 at 07:30 am.
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