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How to Change Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Neon

by Dan Ferrell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands (2)

  • Wheel chocks (2)

  • Goggles

  • Large drain pan

  • Ratchet

  • Long ratchet extension

  • Socket

  • Gasket scraper

  • Solvent

  • New transmission filter O-ring seal

  • Silicone adhesive sealant

  • Torque wrench

  • 5 quarts of ATF+4 Type 9602

  • Funnel

Just like you do with the engine oil, you need to change the transmission fluid in your Dodge Neon at regular intervals. Chrysler recommends replacing the fluid every 24,000 miles or two years to help flush out particles, such as metal and friction material that accumulate in the oil over time and accelerate parts wear. Changing the oil at regular intervals will not only help you keep repair costs down but also increase the service life of your Neon transmission.

Draining the Transmission Fluid

Drive your Dodge Neon for 20 minutes at highway speed then park the car on a firm, level surface.

Shift the transmission into neutral, apply the parking brake and block the rear tires with two wheel chocks. Raise the front of the Neon with a floor jack and support it on two jack stands.

Put on a pair of goggles, climb under your car and position a large drain pan under the transmission pan.

Remove the mounting bolts from the sides and front of the transmission pan with a ratchet, long ratchet extension and socket. Be careful not to burn your hands as hot transmission fluid will begin to drain from the pan. Loosen the pan rear bolts about four turns, hold the bottom of the pan with a shop rag with one hand and finish removing the rear pan bolts.

Lower the transmission pan over the drain pan. Tilt the transmission pan to drain the remaining oil into the drain pan then remove it from the vehicle. Carefully pull off the transmission filter from the bottom by hand and the O-ring seal from the filter mounting fitting.

Refilling the Transmission Fluid

Scrape off any sealant material from the drain pan and the mating surface at the bottom of the transmission with a gasket scraper. When finished, thoroughly clean the mating surfaces and mounting bolts with solvent and let the parts air-dry.

Install a new O-ring seal at the filter mounting fitting and a new transmission filter.

Apply a continuous, 1/8-inch wide bead of silicone adhesive sealant around the transmission pan mating surface, circling around the outside of the mounting holes.

Position the transmission pan in place with one hand and install the mounting bolts finger-tight with your other hand. Gradually begin to tighten the mounting bolts with the ratchet, long ratchet extension and socket, starting at the center of each side and working your way towards the front and rear of the pan. Torque the mounting bolts to 165 inch-pounds with a torque wrench, long ratchet extension and socket.

Lower your Neon off the safety stands with the jack.

Open the hood, pull out the transmission dipstick from its tube and fill the transmission with 4 quarts of ATF+4 Type 9602 through the dipstick with a funnel.

Start the engine. With the parking brake applied, push the brake pedal to the floor and hold it there. Shift the transmission gradually through every gear then back to park. Let the engine idle.

Reinsert the transmission dipstick then pull it out again. The fluid level on the dipstick should be about 1/8-inch below the lower mark near the tip of the dipstick. Add very small amounts of fluid to bring the fluid to the correct level, if necessary, then turn off the engine.

Tips

Store your used transmission oil in a closed container for later recycling.

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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Photo Credits

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