Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

2002_KJ

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I realize this question has been asked before but I figured there may be some additional or updated suggestions...

02 KJ with 101,000 miles, family member was previous owner, and I don't think the transmission fluid has ever been changed. My mechanic says I should change the transmission fluid, filters, and do a flush which would cost something like 700$...seems a bit high to me frankly.

I've read about the pros and cons of flushing (mostly cons), particularly that if you have an older transmission with a certain amount of miles it could cause problems and that if anything it's best to just change what comes out of the pan, change the filter, and that's it. Something about the particles that have accumulated so far basically becoming kind of a part of the system working and that a flush will remove these or move them and this is bad (clearly my understanding of this is lacking.)

Any thoughts on this? Is the consensus still to stay totally stay away from flushing the transmission?
 

turblediesel

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Do it yourself. Every machine likes good clean oil and a filter that isn't plugged and bypassed.

One of the middle rear pan bolts acts as a drain, then loosen and remove bolts to allow the back of the pan to tip down and drain. If you work carefully you can avoid the OMG splash/mess.
 

LibertyTC

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Does it shift fine without any issues?
I assume you have an automatic 2002 kj, which has a 45RFE transmission. Pulling dipstick, is the fluid still reddish/ clean with no blackness or burnt smell ? Use ATF+4 only.
How many bolts on your transmission pan?
I would consider doing the fluid & filters.
Refer to the 2002 fsm located here: http://www.colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/2002JeepKJServiceManual.pdf
Confirm you have the 45RFE by typing in your VIN # here for free build sheet info: https://fcacommunity.force.com/RAM/s/equipment-listing
 

2002_KJ

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Does it shift fine without any issues?
I assume you have an automatic 2002 kj, which has a 45RFE transmission. Pulling dipstick, is the fluid still reddish/ clean with no blackness or burnt smell ? Use ATF+4 only.
How many bolts on your transmission pan?
I would consider doing the fluid & filters.
Refer to the 2002 fsm located here: http://www.colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/2002JeepKJServiceManual.pdf
Confirm you have the 45RFE by typing in your VIN # here for free build sheet info: https://fcacommunity.force.com/RAM/s/equipment-listing
It seems to shift fine, at least I can't tell whether there are any issues. Anything you could describe/suggest that would indicate something off that I could keep an eye or ear out for?

Yes it is automatic with the 45RFE transmission, the build sheet info says under optional equipment (thanks for this link BTW): 3.7L Eng(EKG)/4Spd A/T 45RFE(DG4)

I will check the dipstick and the fluid on it. Not sure about the bolts on the transmission pan.

I assume you mean fluid and filters as in without flushing? Why is flushing the system discouraged so much?

Thanks.
 

LibertyTC

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I have had the dealer do a complete transmission flush, but not $700 !! It requires the use of a dealer "pressurized re-circulating machine" Get a spring deal quote. ;)
Many shy away simply because of costs, and worries over the fine particulate matter getting disturbed.
Draining and re-fill only replaces 10 pints, which is 40% newer fluid?, but nothing is better than a complete dealer flush IMHO.
 

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Ksat

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I wouldn't do it if I were you, at least when it comes to a flush. A flush is a very bad idea if there's any significant mileage on the vehicle and the oil change history is unknown. I know Valvoline shops will not do flushes if the above is true.

I would only do a fluid change if it was unavoidable- say, you had to replace the oil pan or gasket because of a leak or something. If it isn't broke don't fix it. Leave it well enough alone.

BTW, $700 is an insane price.
 

2002_KJ

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I wouldn't do it if I were you, at least when it comes to a flush. A flush is a very bad idea if there's any significant mileage on the vehicle and the oil change history is unknown. I know Valvoline shops will not do flushes if the above is true.

I would only do a fluid change if it was unavoidable- say, you had to replace the oil pan or gasket because of a leak or something. If it isn't broke don't fix it. Leave it well enough alone.

BTW, $700 is an insane price.
$700 IS insane...not sure why they quoted me this. I've used them before and they didn't seem like the gouging type.

I'm becoming less inclined to do the flush, especially without a serious amount of confidence in who would be doing it, but the oil/filter change without the flush seems like a reasonable alternative and perhaps a relatively minor maintenance intervention that could help prolong the functioning of the transmission. Or it could just mess things up like you say and if the transmission is working OK don't mess with it, which also sounds reasonable.
 

uss2defiant

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so you don't want to flush it with any cleaning agents.
what you want is a full complete fluid transfer.
Without touching the lines to the transmission from the cooler, you can DIY with a partial fluid transfer by just dropping the pan and replacing the filter.

Total ATF+4 in the system is 14qts. The pan drop will result in 5 qts being changed.

Another alternative, which is what I do, is create your own fluid vacuum system and remove 'old' ATF+4 through the dipstick and refill it then run the jeep for a bit.
Without thinking too much into the dilution detail, you could do this 3 times and be mostly new fluid.

One thing I would start first is to see if you can even find ATF+4 and the trans filters you at your country.
 

Johnny O

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If they quoted you 700$ you need a different shop. Shouldn’t be more than 200$. Assuming of course you are using USD.
 

Phil2020

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WOW!!! I agree with YOU "Johnny O"!

OUCH!!! $700:eek: for a ****** flush does seem a bit steep. Geeez what are they flushing it with Gold Dust?
I've never been a "flushing the system" type of Jeep user, tried it once with my power steering system and I ended up changing out the complete system; (rack, pump,sensor, hose), was an expensive mistake:(

Personally, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's fine to change the transmission oil, ONLY and IF ONLY the car has been sitting for a long time and I'm talking years, with no movement.
But when it comes to the transmission, all it needs is fresh oil and this is IMPORTANT>>> CHANGE THE 2 TRANSMISSION FILTERS with the VERY BEST ONES MONEY CAN BUY!!!
Try to find ones with 0.8 microns or better, same with the engine.
WIX ( https://www.wixfilters.com/Products.aspx ), are one of the best OIL filter companies out there.
With 2 very HIGH quality filters in there, it will weed out the minute metal particles that would normally attach themselves to the transmission magnets inside the housing, therefore last longer and cleaning the oil as it goes.

With the $700.00 saving take the missus to Mexico!:cool::cool:

Hope this helps:)
 
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Adcoski

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Hello,
I live in France and I have a 2005 KJ 3.7 which totals 120,000 km.
The gearbox is a 42 RLE.
Two years ago I did the partial drain with filter and joint with Mopar ATF+4 MS-9602
I have no particular concern, but I have a question concerning this gearbox: I noticed that the gear passage was too noisy when the vehicle accelerates. And much less to deceleration.
So my question is this: has someone already put an additive (MRC X-1R type) with ATF+4 oil to make the gear passage more fluid?
Here in France, many users successfully add additives to automatic transmission oils of European cars, but as the MOPAR is a special oil, I do not know if it is appropriate to do so.
Thank you
 

Phil2020

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@Adcoski,
There's a saying, "when in doubt take it out!"
"Il y a un dicton en cas de doute, sortez-le!"

See my post before yours, change everyting:)
Voir mon post avant le vôtre, changez tout!
 

tommudd

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At the very least dump the old fluid and filter and install new
I used to deal in used cars , flipping is the new word for what I did I guess
But I had my own machine to drain and fill and never had any issues
If it seemed to have had a hard life then I would drop the pan and change filters or if it had over 100,000 miles
most cars/4x4s I bought were 75 to 100,000 miles
of course this was back before most on here or born or maybe in diapers LOL
To say if it still works let it be is just asking for problems on down the road
 

Adcoski

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@Adcoski,
There's a saying, "when in doubt take it out!"
"Il y a un dicton en cas de doute, sortez-le!"

See my post before yours, change everyting:)
Voir mon post avant le vôtre, changez tout!
Thank you for the information, but in France we do not find a filter for WIX transmission for the KJ Liberty
Wix filter catalog
 

Phil2020

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Don't forget to replace the oil pan with a BRAND NEW GASKET!!!
Please don't re-use the old one, NOT a good idea!
 

Phil2020

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Geeeeezzzz...
Go here, ( https://www.autozone.com/filters-and-pcv/transmission-filter-a-t/jeep/liberty ) put in the year, make, model, of your Jeep, get the part numbers, go on Ebay if you have to!!!
Make absolutely sure that the oil pan is perfectly clean from the old gasket remains that like to stick on the oil pan.
TAKE YOUR TIME!!! USE NO KNIVES OR SHARP OBJECTS, just elbow grease before you even think of installing the pan!!!
And DO NOT FORGET THE GASKET!!!

And if Tom or I end up in France one day, your taking us out in France for a few beers you're paying,LOL:)
 
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Adcoski

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Two years ago I already drained partial.
I changed everything and I cleaned everything at the brake cleaner.
As for the partial emptying, on the file that LibertyTC it is indicated that for a 42RLE box the Fill Service the capacity is 3.8L.
I remember that at the time, I gave exactly the same amount of oil that had flowed. And the quantity was 5.0L.
The cold and hot levels being correct I deduce that I gave the right amount.

As for beer, no worries, it would be with pleasure;)
 

2002_KJ

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Thanks for all the info guys, this is helping me out a lot. Here's a recap of what I'm thinking now...I'm just "thinking out loud", mind you:

Flushing the entire system with cleaning agents seems like a bad idea, especially at 102,000 miles.
A total fluid replacement seems like a better idea but I need someone to do this for me; I don't have the equipment or the confidence to try a DIY of this and I'm getting the sense that even replacing all the fluid in one go could be risky at this mileage.
The alternative would be to do the pan-drop and filter replacement myself, which results in about a 5 quart change so about 1/3 of the total fluid. If I could find a way to change those 5 quarts three times, say in the next several months or year (easier with a pan that has a drain plug), then maybe that would be better than the "shock" of totally new fluid? Does it make sense doing it this way?

700$ for a flush (which would actually be about 700 euro since I'm in Italy) is a lot no doubt, but when you think about it...an original Mopar filter kit replacement with 2 filters, RTV/gasket, and seal is about 99 euro with tax plus 20 for shipping with eBay (from Germany) where I found it. 14-15 liters of Mopar ATF+4 at 12.50 a liter is about 190 euro with tax and shipping...so that's 310 euro in parts alone. If you were to add the use of a special machine to change/flush all the fluid in one sitting, labor, disposal, taxes (quite high in Italy), etc....I can see getting to 500 euro at a shop easy.
 

nbas

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Since you are in Europe as I am, check ato24 in Germany. I buy all my Mopar fluids from there and there is no shipping above 200Euro. I have no affiliation with them, I just checked their prices which were far better than the ones in Greece...
 

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