Question about 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Minivan

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When should tranny fluid be changed? - 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Minivan

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Hello
According to your service manual chrysler does not recomend fluid and filter change on the transmission,,,, As a mechanic i would say every 30,000 miles here is my thioughts please read......................
What can damage your automatic transmission Most of the transmission troubles start from overheating.
Under heavy load, such as towing a heavy trailer, rocking the vehicle from the snow, having continuous stop and go traffic in hot weather, racing, etc. the transmission overheats. At higher temperatures the transmission fluid burns, losing its lubricating qualities and becomes oxidized leaving deposits all over inside the transmission. Exposed to the heat the rubber seals and gaskets inside the transmission become hardened causing leaks. The metal parts warp and lose their strength. All this, sooner or later, results in transmission failure. For example, a friend of mine burned the transmission when he was spinning the wheels too hard trying to free his shiny Audi from the snow on the next day after he bought it!
However, overheating is not the only reason - sometimes transmission breaks down because of poor design, due to lack of maintenance or after being rebuilt by inexperienced technician. Few other reasons: harsh driving, too low or too high transmission fluid level or wrong transmission fluid type - a person I know added gear oil into the automatic transmission... guess, what happen? - the transmission died after 40 minutes of driving!
How to prevent the transmission from damage - Regularly check your parking space for leaks. Doesn't matter, is it the engine oil leak, power steering fluid or transmission fluid; if you discover any, get it fixed before it caused something serious.
- Once in a while check the transmission fluid level and condition. Not all cars however have the automatic transmission dipstick, in some cars, for example, in late Volkswagen models, the transmission fluid can only be checked by the dealer. Consult with your owner's manual for details. If the transmission fluid level is too low, there is a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed.
- Change the fluid as often as it said in your owner's manual or when it becomes too dark (rather brown than red) or dirty.
Also, keep in mind that an automatic transmission can not be drained completely - there is always some transmission fluid left inside the transmission (the torque converter, in the valve body, etc.) which means you only can change about %60 of the fluid at once. This is one more reason to change it more often.
- Use only the same type of the transmission fluid as specified in the owner's manual or on the dipstick. Some vehicles (e.g Dodge Caravan) are very sensitive to fluid type
- Never shift to the Reverse or Parking until the car comes to a complete stop.
- Never shift from the Parking mode when engine rpm is higher than normal idle.
- Always hold a brakes down when shifting from Parking.
- The automatic transmission can be damaged if towing with the drive wheels on the road. Always use a dolly or place powered wheels on the towing platform (if the vehicle is front wheel drive - tow it from the front leaving rear wheels on the road. How to use overdrive Generally speaking, overdrive (O/D) is the highest gear in the transmission. On most cars the automatic transmission has 3 speeds and Overdrive (forth speed). Overdrive allows the engine to have less rpm with higher speed in order to have better fuel efficiency. When you switch it on, you allow the transmission to shift into overdrive mode after the certain speed is reached (usually 30 - 40 mph depending on the load). When it's off, you limit transmission shifting by third speed.
In normal driving condition the overdrive should be always on.
You may need to switch it off when driving in mountainous area or towing a trailer.
[The automatic transmission automatically shifts from OD to the 3-th gear when it feel more load. When it feels less load it shifts back to the O/D, but under certain conditions, e.g: driving uphill or towing a trailer, the transmission can not decide to stay in OD or to shift into 3-th speed and it starts to shift back and forth. That's the time you may switch it off and help the transmission to decide.] .
You also may need to switch it off when you want to slowdown using the engine braking, for example, driving downhill. [For more details, check your owner's manual]

Servicing your transmission I'd recommend to go for a service to your car make dealer - they have original parts, they know exactly what type of the fluid to use and their technicians are highly trained to service particular vehicle model. Even if you go to the independent garage, always ask to use original parts - sometimes, the after-market parts are not of as good quality as original. When it's time to go to the transmission shop If you experience any problems with your transmission such as leaks, noises, problems with shifting, etc. (Follow this link to learn more: How to check an automatic transmission) - don't wait until the problem will become worse and car will finally stop somewhere on a highway, visit your trusted local transmission shop. Automatic transmission problems never disappear by themselves. Also, when going for the repair, try to explain to service person more detailed - what exactly problem you experience, when it happens, what does it look like. It will be easier for them to repair the transmission. Before going to the transmission shop for the repair ask them about the warranty - the longer warranty they will give you, the better will be the repair.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

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The owners manual is'nt vry clear but under drard use it's 50,000 miles, of course any time contaninants are added or a leak has to be repaired is a good time to change the fluid. Many shops even if you hire them to do it will make sure it's not leaking cheak the level and may take the pan off and change the filter and if it's looking clean enough just fill up what came out with the pan removed, and let er rip and charge you as if they changed the fluild. The right fluild costs alot and they put in cheaper fluild instaed and then charge for the right fluild and it'll still work OK for awhile so you may not notice. Some shops get rooked at the time they buy the fluid as charge and switch as the 55 gal drums can be anything real easy even cleaned recycled oil thats all different kinds thats been filtered real good. There's alot of bad things happening in the world of repair and even the best shops are having troble. Some of the tire stores that are offering service have a flush and change machine and you'll get a good change but again they may use the wrong fluild for money reasons or their supplier gets them and they don't even know it.! Light duty use with out pulling trailors and dlivery and police work they don't recomend changing the fluild. and I don't either.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

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