Dodge Grand Caravan trans service or not?

I have a new to me, 2019 Grand Caravan with 33k miles. It was an ex rental.

I called the dealership to inquire about a trans drain and fill. Advisor said it was a sealed unit, and they don't service them. The fluid is lifetime or 100k....

I know there is a dipstick port and that the transmission can be serviced.

Since then, I've acquired a new trans filter, trans pan with a drain plug, and gasket.

I am looking for ATF +4 fluid as I type this.


My thought is to do a drain and fill every 40k as it would be super easy not having to drop the fan. I'd also like to clean the magnet off of junk it's acquired over it's previous life as a rental unit. The Dodge dealer seemed to think I'm crazy and was uninterested.

Am I being unreasonable? $40 worth of fluid to do exchanges every 40k seems like peace of mind to me...
 
Messages
7,439
Location
Roanoke Virginia
I think 40K is fine. I don’t buy that lifetime fluid stuff they try to say or 100,000 mile fluid. And I’m surprised it has a gasket most of the Chrysler, Dodge products I’ve done those on you have to use RTV because they didn’t have a gasket so I am glad yours has a gasket.
 
Messages
2,727
Location
WY
They sell a long cable style dipstick and there is a chart to use when filling. Some good videos on youtube. I marked my dipstick cold and hot with a file. Drained, cleaned magnet, changed filter andpan with new drain plug. Measured drained amount approximately and refilled with Red Line C+ fluid. I use an infrared laser thermometer aimed at the pan and case for highest temperature as a temperature guide for refill. I then check a couple times in the following few days and compare the cold and hot levels previously marked. I do all my Mopar stuff at 50K miles. Make sure you have a torque wrench and don't over tighten the pan bolts. They don't take much.
 

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11,891
Location
USA
Yes, you want to change the ATF often. Chrysler minivans are known for transmission problems.

If your transmission doesn't have a drain plug, get an aftermarket pan that has one. This will make future ATF changes much easier :)

I think 40K is fine. I don’t buy that lifetime fluid stuff they try to say or 100,000 mile fluid. And I’m surprised it has a gasket most of the Chrysler, Dodge products I’ve done those on you have to use RTV because they didn’t have a gasket so I am glad yours has a gasket.

Fel-Pro makes a gasket for this transmission, so you don't have to worry about that either :cool:
 
Messages
7,439
Location
Roanoke Virginia
Yes, you want to change the ATF often. Chrysler minivans are known for transmission problems.

If your transmission doesn't have a drain plug, get an aftermarket pan that has one. This will make future ATF changes much easier :)



Fel-Pro makes a gasket for this transmission, so you don't have to worry about that either :cool:
That’s good to know for future reference no more getting RTV all over the place LOL.
 
Messages
35,916
Location
NY
I have a new to me, 2019 Grand Caravan with 33k miles. It was an ex rental.

I called the dealership to inquire about a trans drain and fill. Advisor said it was a sealed unit, and they don't service them. The fluid is lifetime or 100k....

I know there is a dipstick port and that the transmission can be serviced.

Since then, I've acquired a new trans filter, trans pan with a drain plug, and gasket.

I am looking for ATF +4 fluid as I type this.


My thought is to do a drain and fill every 40k as it would be super easy not having to drop the fan. I'd also like to clean the magnet off of junk it's acquired over it's previous life as a rental unit. The Dodge dealer seemed to think I'm crazy and was uninterested.

Am I being unreasonable? $40 worth of fluid to do exchanges every 40k seems like peace of mind to me...
I think your plan is solid. Get the Dorman dipstick @sloinker suggested they're easy to use. I get the ATF warm by driving, record the temperature and let the vehicle idle for about 3 minutes after driving it and parking on level ground. Then insert the dipstick and get your reading, compare it to the chart. It is very easy to do.
 

JC1

Messages
6,152
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I changed the fluid on my caravan around 36k miles and did what you did. Used Black RTV which was a pain, if I ever do it again I'll get a gasket. Also had one of the bolts get crossed threaded. Dam thing broke on me. I just left it for now since it's not leaking. I have the Dorman dipstick as well. Some other guys use a long white ziptie and put marks on it to indicate the level before they did the initial drain.

When removing the bolts I would put the bolts on something that will show which locations they should go back in. Magnetic tray or cardboard etc. Just incase!
 
Messages
98
Location
South Central MN
I vote you service it like you intend. It might seem early, but, you don't know the actual use/abuse this thing has seen.
Your plan makes it simple to do going forward.
And ATF+4 is dang cheap (Valvoline about 5 dollars per quart at Menards, for example).
 
Messages
2,727
Location
WY
Last two Chrysler minivans transmissions 41TE's I serviced, the '05 I owned and the '04 is a relatives are still going with well over 200K miles on their original transmissions. I did the fluid filter changes @50k mile intervals. The nonsense you hear about the 41te/62TE being a bad transmission is nonsense. Of the millions built there are going to be a few problems I'm sure. Just like Toyota or Honda..... I would venture to say on a percentage wise basis the modern FCA minivan transmission is as trouble free or more trouble free than the other brands. Took a couple decades but the bugs have been pretty much ironed out, especially on the 62TE in your van and my '14.
 
Messages
5,172
Location
Great White North.. eh
Got my local garage to do a dump and fill on our 2017 van. I made sure they used the Mopar ATF+4 since I'm still under warranty. Wish I would have thought about the drain plug prior.

85k km on the van now.. I think a 50k mile interval makes sense, especially considering we tow with the van.
 

dja4260

Thread starter
Messages
1,344
Location
Greenville, SC via Chicago, IL
They sell a long cable style dipstick and there is a chart to use when filling. Some good videos on youtube. I marked my dipstick cold and hot with a file. Drained, cleaned magnet, changed filter andpan with new drain plug. Measured drained amount approximately and refilled with Red Line C+ fluid. I use an infrared laser thermometer aimed at the pan and case for highest temperature as a temperature guide for refill. I then check a couple times in the following few days and compare the cold and hot levels previously marked. I do all my Mopar stuff at 50K miles. Make sure you have a torque wrench and don't over tighten the pan bolts. They don't take much.

Thank you! I found the dipstick you referenced and added that to my list.
 
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