New trans cooler in PT Cruiser-fluid topoff?

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May 25, 2005
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I am having the trans cooler replaced in my 2003 PT Cruiser. There's been a slow but steady leak for awhile (nasty stains in the driveway) and I thought it was a line leak. Turns out the cooling line fitting to the trans cooler is shot and no way to fix it. The shop is replacing the trans cooler and I want to bring fluid to top it off after the replacement. I had the trans flushed (and dropped the pan and replaced the filter) about 5,000 miles ago...used Redline C+ for the flush. I was a little short on the Redline at the time so I added about 1/2 quart of ATF+4 and 1/2 quart of Amsoil fluid that I had in the garage. As the trans already lost some fluid (about 1/2 quart or so I estimate) from the leak and a little more will be lost when the cooler is replaced should it matter if I use Amsoil or ATF+4 to bring it back up to full (will have to purchase either one)? I can't get the Redline ATF locally and won't have time to order...Thanks
 
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ALL ATF+4 is virtually identical. The specification is very tight. Buy any brand and don't worry. But don't trust any brand that doesn't SPECIFICALLY say it is the Chrysler ATF+4 spec. You can't be "universal" and meet ATF+4.
 
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 Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
ALL ATF+4 is virtually identical. The specification is very tight. Buy any brand and don't worry. But don't trust any brand that doesn't SPECIFICALLY say it is the Chrysler ATF+4 spec. You can't be "universal" and meet ATF+4.
I run the AMsoil ATF in my 46 RE and 545RFE and they run just fine. Al ot of the Jeep and DOC guys run it in their WJ's and Durangos, Rams etc. Sounds like he has already mixed ATF+4, Amsoil and Redline so I guess it wouldnt matter which if the three he tops off with LOL
 

oilmaven

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VNTS...good point...the repair is done and we just topped off with some ATF+4 (about 3/4 quart). My "cocktail" in the tranny is now about 85% Redline, 10% ATF+4 and 5% Amsoil. I've serviced this trans every 25,000 miles including a pan drop, new filter and flush. It may seem like overkill but at 85,000 miles the trans shifts like new...no issues. Used ATF+4 the first time, Specialty Formulations fluid the second time and the current mix the last time. Bottom line is any of these compatible fluids will probably work fine...just take care of the trans with good maintenance intervals and don't abuse it. That's not to say I couldn't have problems later on but I'm sure I've put them off with the regular service intervals.
 
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Maybe my cuation stems from the fact that I owned a 42LE during the ATF+3 days (and was happy to have no trouble for 150k miles until a front seal failed). The 41TE and 42LE were INCREDIBLY picky about lubricants back then. The 46RH and 46RE could care less- they're just a bulletproof 727 with an O/D in the tailshaft, and in the case of the RE an adaptation for electronic control. The 41TE and 42LE were fundamentally different- no bands, no OR clutch, full electronic control, and used the TC clutch in "partial lock" mode in all gears above first, so the clutch was at least partially engaged 80-90% of the time. It was so much time in partial engagement that played havoc with the fluids. Old ATF+3 would make the torque convertor clutch shudder hard enough to rattle your teeth. Dexron III would make it shudder hard enough to fail the clutch and necessitate a rebuild. Transmission shops were always claiming that they could use "an additive" to make Dexron into a +3 compatible fluid, which was completely false. They've come a long way since then in terms of both fluid (+4 is WAY better than +3) and in the transmission programming and to a degree the hardware, but the PT Cruiser tranny is still very similar to the very first 41TE from '89. I'd be a lot less paranoid about the HD transmissions like the 545RFE- apparently its getting a reputation for being almost as solid as the old 727.
 
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 Originally Posted By: rszappa1
The good old "UltraDrive"
Which actually did turn out to be a great idea in the (very) long run. The original fluids and software (mainly- a few hardware problems too) just weren't there. Much of the 90s was spent trying to put band-aids on things. Also a few hundred thousand were needlessly replaced by shops (including dealer shops) with no electronics experience, and therefore didn't understand that a $20 speed sensor could make a whole transmission play dead. The current heavy-duty 545RFE that is turning out great results is the same basic architecture.
 
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