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Hello! I have an '89 Caravan with a 2.5 engine and the 3 speed transmission. I want to get some advice on transmission fluid.

When I bought the van, I changed the filter and replaced the fluid with the latest version of Dextron. Now, I am hearing that I should have put ATF-4 into the tranny.

I have been under the impression that if the transmission was rebuilt, one should use the ATF-4. I have no idea if ATF-4 was used by the prior owner, and the tranny dip stick says Dextron.

My question: Can I add ATF-4 to the Dextron in the transmission with out creating problems?

Thanks for the assistance. As Always!
 

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Yes, you can. The three-speeds can take Dexron II and up, any Chrysler fluid, and they can be mixed. It's probably better to have all one fluid, but you can add ATF+4. The three speed doesn't require ATF+4 to function properly; it's just now the only fluid recommended for all applications.
 

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Many people have swapped the Dexron out for ATF+4 and commented on the latter's superiority in terms of shifting, though who knows if that's real or imaginary. What I do know is that ATF+4 is approved as a Dexron replacement, and is essentially a synthetic-base fluid -- it should be far superior in cold starts.
 

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Don't lose any sleep over it, Mike. The next time you do a fluid and filter change, just go with the ATF+4. It will last longer and probably give you smoother shifts.
 

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As noted here on good old Allpar and partially quoted below:
http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html

"Chrysler TSB# 21-006-01 notes that all current vehicles only use ATF+4 type 9602, part 05013457AA (for quart bottles). The advantages of ATF+4 over +3 (and Dexron for that matter) include:
  • Better anti-wear and anti-corrosion properties — and maintains its friction properties over time
  • Controls oxidation - eliminates deposits
  • Anti-foaming
  • Superior low temperature operation
You can use ATF+4 with all older Chrysler transmissions (except some Jeeps, as noted earlier, and very early automatics — before the TorqueFlite).

Rich Hutchinson wrote: [In 1989-91] both the manual and the dipstick said Dexron was okay, which is wrong. For non lockup 3 spds, either can be used. For lockup 3 spds up to some date in 1999 either could be used but ATF+3 was prefered. After that date ATF+4 is to be used in all automatics.

The best bet for transmissions made before 1998 is to just use ATF+4. Even if it's not needed, it's better than Dexron."

Don't mess with Dex, but don't panic over it either - in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, Guys! I think I get the message. Next time, I'll change out the filter and put in ATF-4.

Thanks to All for the assistance. AllPar Rocks!
 

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Maybe I'm just being picky, but there are a lot fluids out there that have "ATF" in the name, and some with even a "-4" after it. Make no mistake, we're talking "ATF+4", not some unworkable knock-off like ATF, or ATF4, or ATF+, or ATF-4. It's gotta be ATF+4. Not trying to beat you up, just want to make sure your experience is good :thumbsup:
 

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The key is, it must say ATF+4 and it must say that it meets the specifications of Chrysler ATF+4.
 

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Originally, it was only available in a Mopar bottle... made by PetroCanada.

Then (during the DCX period) there was a list of licensees who could sell it... most of them were repackaging product made by PetroCan, Mobil, and a couple of other big companies.

Not sure what the current situation is.
 

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slim slow slider said:
Hello! I have an '89 Caravan with a 2.5 engine and the 3 speed transmission. I want to get some advice on transmission fluid.

When I bought the van, I changed the filter and replaced the fluid with the latest version of Dextron. Now, I am hearing that I should have put ATF-4 into the tranny.

I have been under the impression that if the transmission was rebuilt, one should use the ATF-4. I have no idea if ATF-4 was used by the prior owner, and the tranny dip stick says Dextron.

My question: Can I add ATF-4 to the Dextron in the transmission with out creating problems?

Thanks for the assistance. As Always!
Whenever I service my own A 413's I always use Type F, not recomended but it always makes for firmer shifts and I've never had one fail. Electronic transmissions, only + 4 as they need the specefic viscoty.

Thanks
Randy
 

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I thought type F was for Fords. My understanding is that is has more "grit" in it and will wear out the clutch packs in Mopar and GM transmissions prematurely.
 

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Type F is only for Fords, and I would never put it in any MoPar. I'd have to believe that the poster has just been lucky. The engineers know what's best for each transmission. There are other ways to make the transmission shift more firmly if that's desired.
 

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Back in the day, drag racers would use Type F in their Torqueflites for firmer shifts.
 

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jglen490 said:
As noted here on good old Allpar and partially quoted below:
http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html

"Chrysler TSB# 21-006-01 notes that all current vehicles only use ATF+4 type 9602, part 05013457AA (for quart bottles). The advantages of ATF+4 over +3 (and Dexron for that matter) include:
  • Better anti-wear and anti-corrosion properties — and maintains its friction properties over time
  • Controls oxidation - eliminates deposits
  • Anti-foaming
  • Superior low temperature operation
You can use ATF+4 with all older Chrysler transmissions (except some Jeeps, as noted earlier, and very early automatics — before the TorqueFlite).

Rich Hutchinson wrote: [In 1989-91] both the manual and the dipstick said Dexron was okay, which is wrong. For non lockup 3 spds, either can be used. For lockup 3 spds up to some date in 1999 either could be used but ATF+3 was prefered. After that date ATF+4 is to be used in all automatics.

The best bet for transmissions made before 1998 is to just use ATF+4. Even if it's not needed, it's better than Dexron."

Don't mess with Dex, but don't panic over it either - in this case.
Have a '98 Voyager SWB w/ 2.4 3 spd. Recently changed trans fluid w/ some ATF+3 I had never used. After the fact was wondering if ATF+4 would have been better, but read about the lock-ups preferring +3. I think mine is a lock-up, not sure. Have a hard 1-2 shift when cold. Just thought +4 might be better, despite what they say about the lock-ups.

So, that's my question.
 

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If ATF+3 is recommended for a transmission, ATF+4 is even better, even in a 3 speed in a 1998 Voyager (which is a lockup).

Back in the day, drag racers would use Type F in their Torqueflites for firmer shifts.
I agree, it was a somewhat common trick. I had a RWD 904 transmission rebuilt years ago and the guy set it up for Type F fluid. I'm sure it was overkill for a car that was otherwise a dead stock 360-2.
 

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Jaydon said:
Have a '98 Voyager SWB w/ 2.4 3 spd. Recently changed trans fluid w/ some ATF+3 I had never used. After the fact was wondering if ATF+4 would have been better, but read about the lock-ups preferring +3. I think mine is a lock-up, not sure. Have a hard 1-2 shift when cold. Just thought +4 might be better, despite what they say about the lock-ups.

So, that's my question.
ATF+4 is a better tranny fluid for MOPARs (with the Jeep exceptions noted above), and it was intended by Service Bulletin announcment to repalce ATF+3. ATF+3 was a good tranny fluid, ATF+4 is better. Unless the ATF+3 has degraded just from sitting on the shelf, it's probably O.K., but the next time you replace fluid use ATF+4.
 
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