The Chrysler 62TE automatic transmission (transaxle)
The 62TE six-speed automatic was launched in 2007, with the 3.5 liter V6 on the Sebring and Avenger, and with the 4.0 liter Pacifica. It was later used on minivans, the 200 (with both engines), and the Ram ProMaster.
The 62TE six-speed automatic transaxle was based on Chrysler’s existing four-speed automatic, with two new primary gear ratios and a secondary ratio for passing at highway speeds. The first gear ratio was much lower, to increase standing-start acceleration; and the differential was beefed up to handle more power.
The two extra gear ratios were added by replacing the transfer shaft with a compounder.
Smaller steps between ratios helped smooth shifting, as the engine speed doesn't change as often with each shift, while the wider range allowed both quicker acceleration and better mileage at highway speeds.
The 62TE’s second gear was a considerable distance from first, and all other gears were fairly close together. The fifth gear was a 1:1 ratio; the overdrive gear was similar to the 41TE.
The “fourth prime” gear carries on the tradition 45RFE/545RFE’s “prime” gears, used for kickdowns only. When the driver accelerates, the transmission uses the standard fourth gear; when the driver hits the gas from fifth or sixth, the transmission may kick down to “fourth prime” instead, to make the shift feel smoother.
The 62TE uses variable line pressure (VLP), adjusting its fluid pressure to reduce parasitic losses from the pump and hydraulic system, increasing gas mileage and lengthening the transmission lifespan. It uses Chrysler ATF+4 transmission fluid, a synthetic with durability up to 100,000 miles under normal conditions.
The 62TE six-speed automatic has adaptive electronic control; the torque converter clutch is electronically modulated. A company called Tesma reportedly designed the underdrive packs (pictured below); they have since been purchased by long-time Chrysler supplier Magna.
Thanks to “Mr. LH” and other allpar forums contributors for the information, and to Fernando for the tip on Tesma supplying the underdrive pack. (The underdrive pack includes two clutch packs, one planetary set, two aluminum die-cast housings, input and output shafts, a one-way over-running clutch, six roller bearings, and a total of 60 components altogether. Pistons and dams are stamped.)
The 62TE was built in Indiana with components from the Toledo Machining Plant in Ohio.
Transmission service and repair
Walt McCrystal wrote that the 62TE does not come with a dipstick, but one can still check the fluid level by taking the cap off the dipstick tube; the cap can be re-used but will show signs of tampering if it is taken off (you can buy replacement caps). He suggested using a length of flexible speedometer cable and listening for the light “thunk” as it hits the pan bottom; there is also a tool for finding the fluid level. There is a chart showing the fluid level given various temperatures (the level can vary by an inch over a 10°F range, so temperature is important). If fluid is low, there is probably a leak. Again, ATF+4 is the only acceptable transmission fluid, not Dextron 3.
Extreme shuddering, stalling at a stop, and other symptoms can come from using the wrong fluid.
Around 2012, a firmware update corrected harsh shifting. Walt McCrystal pointed out that an improved compounder assembly was created around this time (failing compounder clutches/bearings will set gear ratio error codes for 3rd and 5th gear.) As with any modern Chrysler transmission, mechanical failures are often detected by the computer and stored as fault codes.