How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid in Dodge Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Different cars require different maintenance schedules, so refer to your owner's manual to find out how often you should change the oil. The sort of driving you do will make a difference in the schedule, but frequent oil changes will extend the life of your transmission.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Durango

Drain the Transmission Fluid and Replace the Filter and Gasket

Drive the Durango for 15 to 20 minutes to warm up the transmission fluid. When the fluid is warm, it will drain better and remove more contaminants from the engine. Raise and support the front of the Durango on ramps or jack stands. Place a large drain pan beneath the transmission.

Loosen the transmission pan retaining bolts with a socket wrench. Remove the bolts, but leave one at each of the four corners of the transmission pan. Slowly loosen the remaining bolts a little at a time. Fluid should begin to drain from the seal on the transmission pan. If the pan is stuck, break the seal by gently prying it loose or tapping it with a rubber mallet.

Support the pan with one hand and remove the bolts on one side of the pan. Allow the transmission fluid to drain until it stops. Remove the two last bolts. Remove the pan and drain the rest of the fluid.

Remove the three screws that hold the filter onto the transmission. Note that these screws may be Torx style. Install a new transmission fluid filter.

Clean the transmission pan and the magnet with solvent. Remove the old gasket material from the transmission pan. You may need a scraper to remove it all. Clean the mating surfaces with a lint-free cloth soaked in solvent. Let the pan air dry.

Put the new gasket on the pan and align them. Remove the gasket, apply a few drops of adhesive on the pan and replace the gasket. Realign the gasket before the adhesive dries.

Replace the pan onto the transmission and replace the retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts in a crisscross fashion to 150-inch pounds with a torque wrench. Return the Durango to level ground.

Replace the Transmission Fluid

Refill the transmission with new fluid a little at a time, while checking the level often. Continue to add transmission fluid until it passes the "Add" mark on the dipstick, but doesn't pass the "Full" mark.

Start the engine, shift the transmission through all the gears and place the gear selector back in "Park." Recheck the transmission fluid level and add more fluid if needed. Don't overfill the transmission.

Replace the dipstick into the filler tube. Turn off the engine.

Items you will need

  • Ramps or jack stands

  • Drain pan

  • Socket wrench

  • Rubber mallet

  • Torx screwdriver or regular screwdriver

  • New filter assembly

  • Solvent

  • Scraper

  • Lint free cloth

  • New transmission pan gasket

  • Adhesive

  • Torque wrench

  • New transmission fluid

 How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Ram

Remove the Transmission Fluid and Replace the Filter

Drive the truck for 15 to 20 minutes to bring the engine and transmission to normal operating temperature. Raise the front of the truck with ramps or a floor jack. Support it securely with jack stands.

Loosen (but don't remove) the transmission pan retaining bolts with a socket wrench. Remove the bolts, except for one in each corner of the pan. Fluid should drain out around the seal. If it doesn't, tap the seal gently with a rubber hammer.

Support the pan with one hand and remove the two bolts on one side. This will tilt the pan to tilt and fluid will pour out from one side. When it stops, remove the remaining bolts and remove the pan from the transmission.

Remove the screws that attach the filter to the transmission. These may be Torx style, so have both a Torx screwdriver and a regular screwdriver handy. Remove the old filter and replace it. You probably will have to replace a seal or gasket, too.

Clean the transmission pan and magnet with solvent. Clear the transmission pan and transmission gasket mating surfaces of all old gasket material with a scraping tool. Wipe the area with a lint-free cloth moistened with solvent. Return the magnets to the pan, rinse the pan and allow it to air dry.

Align the new gasket on the transmission pan. Remove the gasket, place a few drops of adhesive on the pan flange and replace the gasket. Check the pan flange and gasket for proper alignment before the adhesive dries. Reinstall the pan and retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts in a crisscross to 150-inch pounds with a torque wrench.

Replace the New Transmission Fluid

Remove the jack stands and return the truck to the ground. Raise the hood, remove the dipstick and replace it with a funnel.

Refill the transmission with new fluid through the funnel. Do this slowly, while checking the level often. Stop when the fluid level reaches the proper level for cold fluid.

Start the engine and shift the transmission through each gear. Stop when you reach "Park." Recheck the fluid level and add fluid if needed.

Items you will need

  • Ramps or a floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Socket wrench

  • Rubber hammer

  • Torx screwdriver or regular screwdriver

  • New filter assembly

  • Solvent

  • Scraping tool

  • Lint free cloth

  • Gasket for the transmission pan

  • Adhesive sealant

  • Torque wrench

  • Funnel

  • New transmission fluid

 How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Intrepid

Raise the Intrepid with ramps or a floor jack. Support the car safely and securely. Place a large drain pan beneath the transmission oil pan.

Loosen the pan bolts with a socket wrench. Tap the pan at one corner with a rubber mallet to loosen the pan. Allow the fluid to drain and remove the oil pan. Disengage the clips to separate the filter from the transmission.

Install the new filter and gasket on the valve body. Tighten the retaining screws to 40-inch pounds with a torque wrench.

Clean the oil pan and magnet with a solvent and a clean, lint-free cloth. Remove all traces of the old sealant. Air dry the items and restore the magnet. Secure the pan with new MOPARĀ® adhesive sealant. Tighten the oil pan retaining bolts to 14-foot pounds.

Pour 4 quarts of the new transmission fluid through the dipstick opening, using a funnel. Start the engine and let it to idle for one or two minutes. Then, apply the parking and service brakes and move the gear selector lever momentarily to each position, ending in the "Park" or "Neutral" position.

Add enough transmission fluid to bring the level to 1/4 inch above the bottom hole on the dipstick. Let the engine run for 15 to 20 minutes to bring the transmission to normal operating temperature. At this time, recheck the fluid level. The level should be in the HOT region on the dipstick.

Items you will need

  • Ramps or floor jack

  • Drain pan

  • Socket wrench

  • Rubber hammer

  • New filter and gasket

  • Torque wrench

  • Solvent

  • Clean lint free cloth

  • MOPAR adhesive sealant

  • New transmission fluid

  • Funnel

 How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Caravan

Drain the Transmission Fluid and Replace the Filter

Raise, support and level the van on jack stands or ramps. Place a drain pan that can hold at least 4 quarts of fluid beneath the transmission.

Employ a socket wrench to remove the retaining bolts on the fluid pan, except for the two on either end. Loosen the two bolts on the lower end of the pan. Gently pull down on the edge of the pan so that it separates from the transmission case. Let the fluid drain. You may need to tap the pan with a rubber hammer to separate the pan from the case.

Remove the last four bolts and the pan when the fluid finishes draining. Loosen the bolts a little at a time, allowing the remaining fluid to drain. Clean the pan and the magnet inside.

Scrape the old sealant from the pan flange with an appropriate scraping tool. Do the same on the mating surface of the transmission case.

Remove the two screws that hold the filter on the transmission with a T25 Torx bit and remove the filter. Look for the rubber filter or O ring between the filter and valve body and remove it.

Install a new transmission fluid filter and gasket. Using a torque wrench, tighten the mounting screws to 40 inch pounds.

Apply a thin, 1/8 inch bead of RTV sealant on the mounting flange of the fluid pan. Replace the fluid pan on the transmission and tighten the bolts to 165 inch pounds with a torque wrench. Return the van to the ground.

Replace the New Transmission Fluid

Pour 4 quarts of ATF PLUS 3 Type 7176 fluid into the filler tube using a funnel. Start the engine and let it idle for a minute or two. Apply the parking brake and the service brake. Move the gear selector through the gears and stop at "Park" or "Neutral."

Add enough fluid to bring the level to 1/8 inch below the "Add" indicator, if needed. Let the van run for another 10 to 20 minutes to allow the engine and transmission to reach a normal operating temperature.

Check the fluid level again to ensure it reached the "Hot" indicator on the dipstick. Add more fluid if needed and replace the dipstick in the filler tube. Turn off the engine.

Items you will need

  • Jack stands or ramps

  • Drain pan

  • Socket wrench

  • Rubber hammer

  • Scraping tool

  • T25 Torx bit

  • New fluid filter and gasket

  • RTV sealant

  • Torque wrench

  • New transmission fluid

About the Author

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