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HOW TO: Transmission Fluid Level Check (the proper way)

7674 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Sienile
This info is specific to 41TE with ATF+4 fluid, but general guidelines apply to others as well.

FSM said:
The transmission sump has a fluid level indicator
(dipstick) to check oil similar to most automatic
transmissions. It is located on the left side of the
engine. Be sure to wipe all dirt from dipstick handle
before removing.

The torque converter fills in both the P Park and N
Neutral positions. Place the selector lever in P Park
to be sure that the fluid level check is accurate. The
engine should be running at idle speed for at
least one minute, with the vehicle on level
At normal operating temperature 82° C
(180° F), the fluid level is correct if it is in the HOT
region on the oil level indicator (Fig. 209). The fluid
level should be within the COLD region of the dip-
stick at 27° C (80° F) fluid temperature.
If you have access to the temp sensor data, with DRBIII or equivalent scan tool OR you can measure the fluid temperature, refer to the following chart for correct fluid level:
Text Line Design Font Parallel
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I just checked mine after doing a 41TE fluid replacement, it's 20° outside and so I ran the van for probably 15 minutes in park to get the transmission temp up to 80° (measured with an infrared thermometer) as indicated as "cold" by the chart above, and the dipstick read just above the first 'hot' fill hole - which makes me think it's too full. Does my procedure seem correct? Is using an IR thermometer on the bottom of the pan a good way to get a temp reference in order to use the graph above?
Does anyone know of an OBD app (ideally for iOS) that can read the trans temp?
Not sure if it works for iOS, but Torque works with ELM327 bluetooth OBD2 adapters.
Thanks, do you happen to know how I'd set up the app to read transmission temp on my 02 Caravan?
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