Dodge Omni/Horizon/Rampage 1978-1989 Repair Guide

Manual Transaxle



The A-412 transaxle is a VW design and is the only model to use Hypoid gear lubricant. The A-412 transaxle can be easily identified from the Chrysler design models because the starter motor is located on the radiator side of the engine compartment. If it becomes necessary to add or change the fluid to the unit, lubricant conforming to API GL 4 specifications should be used. The recommended SAE grade should be selected from the chart.

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Fig. Fig. 1 A-412 transaxle lubricant recommendations

All other manual transaxles through 1986, use only automatic transaxle fluid labeled DEXRON®II or it's superseding type. Starting in 1987, Chrysler recommends using SAE 5W-30 SF engine oil in all their manual transaxles.


The fluid level in the manual transaxle should be checked twice a year. Maintain the fluid level at the bottom of the filler plug opening.

To check the fluid level, position the car on a level surface and clean the dirt from around the transaxle filler plug. Remove the filler plug. The level should at least reach the bottom of the hole. You can check the level with your finger or a piece of bent wire.

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Fig. Fig. 2 Once you have located the plug, remove it. The level should at least reach the bottom of the hole


Under normal conditions, the manual transaxle fluid will never need changing. Rare circumstances, such as the fluid becoming contaminated with water will necessitate fluid replacement.

It is relatively easy to change your own transaxle oil. The only equipment required is a drain pan, a wrench to fit the filler and drain plugs, and an oil suction gun. Gear oil and automatic transaxle fluid can be purchased in both quart and gallon cans at automotive supply stores.

To change the oil:

  1. Jack up the front of the car and support it safely on stands.
  3. Slide drain pan under the transaxle.
  5. Remove the filler plug and then the drain plug.
  7. When the oil has been completely drained, install the drain plug. Tighten to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
  9. Using the suction gun, refill the transaxle up to the level of the filler plug.
  11. Install and tighten the filler plug.