Chrysler Caravan/Voyager/Town and Country 1996-1999

Automatic Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



All automatic transaxles use ATF PLUS 3 Type 7176 automatic transaxle fluid. Under normal operating conditions, periodic fluid changes are not required. If the vehicle is operating under severe operating conditions change the fluid and filter every 15,000 miles.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

When checking the fluid level, the condition of the fluid should be observed. If severe darkening of the fluid and a strong odor are present, the fluid, filter and pan gasket (RTV sealant) should be changed and watched closely for the next few hundred miles. If the fresh fluid also turns color, the vehicle should be taken to a qualified service center.

  1. Make sure the vehicle is on level ground. The engine should be at normal operating temperatures, if possible, and be idling for at least 60 seconds.
  2.  
  3. Apply the parking brake, start the engine and move the gear selector through each position. Place the selector in the PARK position.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Removing the automatic transaxle fluid level dipstick

  1. Remove the dipstick and determine if the fluid is warm or hot.
  2.  
  3. Wipe the dipstick clean and reinsert until fully seated. Remove and take note of the fluid level.
  4.  
  5. If the fluid is hot (approximately 180°F / 82°C), the reading should be in the crosshatched area marked HOT .
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: If the fluid is warm, the level should be within the lower two holes of the dipstick (1). If the fluid is hot, the reading should be within the two upper holes of the dipstick (2)



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Fig. Fig. 3: Using a funnel, add the necessary amount of fluid to the automatic transaxle

  1. If the fluid is warm (85-125°F / 29-52°C), the fluid level should be in the area marked WARM .
  2.  
  3. If the fluid level checks low, add enough fluid (ATF PLUS 3) through the fill tube, to bring the level within the marks appropriate for average temperature of the fluid.
  4.  
  5. Insert the dipstick and recheck the level. Make sure the dipstick is fully seated to prevent dirt from entering. Do not overfill the transaxle.
  6.  

PAN & FILTER SERVICE



See Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14

Filter replacement is recommended when the fluid is changed.

  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Place a suitable container that will hold at least four quarts of fluid under the oil pan.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Loosen, then remove all the transaxle pan bolts except for two bolts at each end of the pan



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Fig. Fig. 5: Back of the two bolts at the lower part of the pan, allowing the pan to separate from the transaxle case slightly, allowing fluid to drain



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Fig. Fig. 6: After tapping the pan loose, allow the pan to hang slightly, enabling the fluid to drain into a suitable container



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Fig. Fig. 7: After the fluid has fully drained, remove the remaining bolts and then the pan

  1. Using a 10mm socket, loosen all of the pan bolts slightly, then remove all of the pan bolts except for two bolts at each end of the pan.
  2.  
  3. Continue backing off the two pan bolts at the lower end of the pan, creating a hinge effect that will enable the fluid to drain from the pan at a less sloppy rate. If the fluid drains to sloppy, you will find yourself taking a shower in ATF. If necessary, tap the oil pan at one corner to break it loose from the transaxle, allowing the fluid to drain. As the fluid starts to drain, unfasten the bolts around the point where the fluid is draining to increase the flow.
  4.  
  5. When the bulk of the fluid has drained, remove the oil pan. Clean the dirt from the pan and magnet.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Always clean the oil pan magnet of all metallic shavings and dirt



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Fig. Fig. 9: Clean the mounting flange of the oil pan of all old sealant (or gasket material) using an appropriate scraping tool



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Fig. Fig. 10: Clean the mounting flange of the transaxle case of all old sealant (or gasket material) using an appropriate surface scraping tool



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Fig. Fig. 11: Remove the two fluid filter mounting screws ...



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Fig. Fig. 12: ... then remove the transaxle fluid filter ...



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Fig. Fig. 13: ... as well as the rubber gasket (or O-ring) between the filter and valve body

  1. Remove RTV sealant or gasket material from the pan and case mounting surfaces.
  2.  
  3. Using size T25 Torx® bit, loosen the mounting screws, then remove the filter and filter O-ring or gasket from the bottom of the valve body.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install a new filter and gasket. Tighten the mounting screw to 40 inch lbs. (5 Nm).
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: Applying a bead of RTV sealant to the oil pan

  1. Apply an unbroken bead 1 / 8 inch thick of RTV sealant to the mounting flange of the oil pan. Install the oil pan to the transaxle. Tighten the mounting bolts to 165 inch lbs. (19 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Lower the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Pour four quarts of ATF PLUS 3 Type 7176 fluid through the dipstick fill tube, using a funnel. Start the engine and allow it to idle for at least 1 minute. Then, with parking and service brakes applied, move the gear selector through the various positions ending up in the PARK or NEUTRAL position.
  6.  
  7. Add sufficient fluid, if necessary, to bring the level to 1 / 8 in. (3mm) below the ADD mark.
  8.  
  9. Check the fluid level after engine and transaxle have reached the normal operating temperature. The level should be within the HOT range on the dipstick.
  10.  

Always make sure that the dipstick is fully seated in its tube to prevent dirt from entering the transaxle.

 
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