Automatic Transmission Fluid Change

2002_KJ

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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...
Thanks! They have Mopar ATF+4 for 10.50 euro a liter so definitely a better price than what I found.

Any suggestions on where I might find a 45RFE transmission oil pan with a drain plug? I'm guessing somewhere in Germany...it's a challenge to find anything in Italy.
 

nbas

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I bought a PML cast Aluminum transmission pan with drain plug for my 42RLE transmission, from US.
So I cannot help you with that. I bought two actually, one for my KJ and another one for a 2008 JK of a friend of mine (they both share the same transmission 42RLE). We ate both very happy with it.
 

jeepop

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Way cheaper than a new pan -- get a fluid vacuum pump like a Mityvac or a Moeller.

For the next couple of oil changes, suck 3 quarts of ****** fluid out and pour new fluid in through the dipstick. After the fluid looks a little better, suck all you can out and then drop the pan and replace the filters. Just do it gradual over time.

In most my cars I do my oil changes with my fluid vacuum. I let the car warm a little, stick a tube down the dipstick and suck out the oil.

Way easier to suck out the power steering fluid too than a turkey baster.

They sell brake bleeder attachments too, but I just put some flex tube on it and sometimes put a little vacuum on the bleeders, open slightly and suck out the brake fluid vs pushing it back in when bottoming out brake pistons.

Mine is a Moeller 4 liter - I should have gotten at least a 5 quart.
 

Eric120daniel

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I personally wouldn’t worry about not flushing the transmission because your scared it will destroy it. It’s a totally normal procedure at 100,000 miles. I’d go check your dipstick like a few others said if the fluids nice and red and smells strong and not burnt then I wouldn’t worry about flushing it. If it’s brown which is likely for 100,000 miles I would flush it. Get a few quotes I don’t think a flush should be over 200 ish dollars. Maybe take it to a jiffy lube type place. I replaced my filter and dropped my pan because the original pan was almost rusted through. I could move it up and down with my index finger. I haven’t had any issues with it and it’s probably been around 5ish months. I know it got flushed at 100,000 miles too and there hasn’t been an issue. I wouldn’t recommend diy with this specifically if you can get it done cheap because I fought with getting the level correct for a while. I did it at my college and wanted to measure out exactly what came out and replace it exactly but my teacher was just like dump in 5 quarts and call it good. So for like two weeks after that I was constantly adding a little fluid and having anxiety attacks when my car would stop moving while I was giving it gas. If you do diy it don’t be in a rush and make sure to measure what you take out and replace it with what you took out exactly. I think I still have the temp graph on my phone too if you want it. If you have a scan tool it will show you exactly where the fluid should be on the dipstick according to the transmission temp.
 

nohitter64

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$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.
For what it's worth, I have been using the same mechanic for 20 years on multiple vehicles. He strongly suggested against the flush...let sleeping dogs lie. Part of the decision being with an older vehicle, I was at 180k at the time, transmission issues become pricey and may not be worth it. He had seen too many issues arise on high mileage vehicles after flushing. Although, at 100k, that may be the age of "the last time to do a flush" if it were mine...but would probably still pass on the flush.
 

Rasfetch

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Figured I would put in what I did with my Jeep KJ. I did a complete transmission fluid flush when it was at about 175k miles. I am not sure when the last transmission service was done on it before this, but the transmission fluid was burned/black. It's been about 10k miles since I did the service, and the transmission runs fine. I have had no issues at all with it and it cost me about $250 at my mechanic. You don't have to use MOPAR ATF+4, and you can save money by using a different and cheaper brand of ATF+4.
 

soulpunisher

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In my opinion I’d definitely say not to do a flush, just change everything and maybe do another change at 5-10k more miles (maybe less) and that be your flush, if you will.
 

gayle.woods

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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?
Agreed, do it yourself. Don’t do a flush! It’s really no more difficult than changing your engine oil. Loosen all the pan bolts, start at the rear, remove all those at the rear and up the sides. Across the front loosen a few at a time and pry down on the back of the pan to break the seal loose. Be sure to have your drain pan under the pan. I usually have two bolts at the front that I keep loosening as the pan continues to drop at the rear draining most of the fluid before I take them all the way out. Purchase your filter, it should come with the pan gasket.
 

Michael Noland

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I had mine flushed and the internal filter changed a few years ago. The mechanic didn't get the filter pushed on hard enough, and it wrecked my transmission. If you do have it done, make sure they know how.
 

imacarfan2

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I'm kind of in the same boat. Our 2003 has 85k miles on it. The transmission works fine, but being in New England, the trans pan needs to be replaced due to rust. I'm planning on just a fluid and filters change when I change the pan and gasket.
 

nbas

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What I do is, use the drain plug to drain as much as possible every 15.000km (approx 5L). Every 60.000km I change the filter also. This way, I keep my fluid always as good as possible. Off course I have already raised the breathers of the transmission high in the engine bay... I always check the ATF+4 beng drained, and so far it is fine.
One more thing. I have changed the external transmission oil cooler to the bigger one from Mopar, and I have also changed my radiator to an aluminum one with a transmission oil cooler (as the 2002-2003 used to have). I did this when I found out that the Transmission Temp was getting very high when I was going through inclines when 4 wheel driving. Now, with those 2 changes, my Trans Temp does not climb so easily and i am fine.
 
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Weazerdogg

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I did what jeepop did after buying my 2012 in Nov 2020, haven't had any issues. Well, as far as changing out some transmission fluid goes I did, I just pop the drain plug when changing the engine oil, LOL!
 

JibeHo22

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For what it's worth, I have been using the same mechanic for 20 years on multiple vehicles. He strongly suggested against the flush...let sleeping dogs lie. Part of the decision being with an older vehicle, I was at 180k at the time, transmission issues become pricey and may not be worth it. He had seen too many issues arise on high mileage vehicles after flushing. Although, at 100k, that may be the age of "the last time to do a flush" if it were mine...but would probably still pass on the flush.
General Motors has issued tech bulletin in the past advising GM dealerships to not use transmission flush. I know this is a Jeep forum, but if an auto manufacturer is recommending against trans flush, then I am definitely NOT going to do it on my vehicle.
 

Deb'nKJ

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When I wanted ATF+4 a couple of years ago I got a, then, unknown to me German brand because it was cheap - & free shipping. Whether it's stii the best deal, I'm not sure but there are serious savings buying in bulk, i.e. 10, 20 or even 25 litres.

Or you can buy a Mopar "kit" filters, gasket & fluid - about £80 - again with free shipping - & I'm pretty sure they are coming from Germany, Poland or maybe Lithuania, so the same deals are available across continental Europe.

Can't believe anyone would contemplate spending $700 on a KJ - just too high proportion of the vehicle's worth. In fact still plenty of them on e-Bay for under $700!
 

Phil2020

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For what it's worth, I have been using the same mechanic for 20 years on multiple vehicles. He strongly suggested against the flush...let sleeping dogs lie. Part of the decision being with an older vehicle, I was at 180k at the time, transmission issues become pricey and may not be worth it. He had seen too many issues arise on high mileage vehicles after flushing. Although, at 100k, that may be the age of "the last time to do a flush" if it were mine...but would probably still pass on the flush.
Your mech is absolutely correct...
Unless the Jeep has been sitting for years doing nothing!
I mean 5, 6, 7, years then it's best and also change the filters all 2 of them, gasket too and flush. Gets all that grunge out from the bottom of the pan.
 

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