How to Change Jeep Transmission Fluid

by Christian Killian

Changing the transmission fluid in your Jeep will extend the life and performance of the transmission. The Jeep automatic transmission uses Mopar ATF+4 transmission fluid from the factory. When changing the fluid, Jeep recommends you use the same type of transmission fluid in the transmission. You can get quarts of ATF+4 from the dealer as well as most auto parts stores. You can also change the transmission filter while you are at it for some added security.

Changing the Transmission Fluid


Raise all four corners of your Jeep off the ground using a jack and support it with a set of jack stands placed under the frame. Be sure you are working on flat, solid ground so the Jeep does not move while you are under it.


Position a drain pan under the transmission oil pan to catch the old fluid. Loosen the retaining bolts around the outer edge of the oil pan with a socket and ratchet. Tap on one corner to loosen it from the transmission and allow the fluid to run out into the drain pan.


Remove the retaining bolts with a socket and ratchet after all the fluid has drained from the pan. Remove the oil pan from the transmission and wipe out the pan and magnet in the pan with a clean rag.


Clean the mounting surface of the transmission and oil pan with a gasket scraper to remove any old gasket pieces or silicone sealer off the surfaces. Locate the transmission filter on the base of the transmission under the pan. Remove the mounting bolts and remove the filter and o-ring from the transmission.


Install the new filter and o-ring, insert the mounting bolts and tighten them with a socket and ratchet. Install the pan gasket from the filter kit on your transmission pan or use Jeep's silicone sealer, available at the dealer, to make a gasket on the mounting surface of the pan.


Raise the oil pan up and mount it to the transmission. Insert the retaining bolts and torque them to 165 inch-lbs. with a torque wrench. Remove the jack stands and lower the Jeep to the ground using a jack.


Remove the dipstick from the dipstick tube located near the firewall on the passenger side of your Jeep. Insert a clean funnel into the dip stick tube and fill with Jeep-approved ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid. Jeep recommends you start with 3 quarts and then check the level to avoid overfilling.

Checking the Transmission Fluid Level


Start the Jeep and let it run at idle until it has warmed up to operating temperature. Place your foot on the brake and shift through all the gears several times then place the Jeep in neutral.


Apply the parking brake and leave the Jeep idling in neutral. Remove the funnel from the dipstick tube and insert the dipstick all the way into the tube. Remove the dipstick and check the oil level on it. If it is below the "MAX" mark on the dipstick, add transmission fluid until it reaches that point.


Close the hood, place the Jeep in park and shut it off. Recheck the fluid level after a couple days of driving to ensure that it is full.


  • check While changing the filter is not mandatory, if you are changing the fluid it is good preventative maintenance to replace the transmission filter at the same time.


  • close Use a wide-mounted drain pan to catch the fluid when draining the transmission. There is no drain hole, and the fluid running off the corner of the pan can make a real mess if the pan is not wide enough to catch it.

Items you will need

About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages/ Images