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I am a newbie Dodge caravan owner in that I purchased the van last weekend because the price was right and I really liked the layout and the way it drove.

My short wheelbase 2002 Caravan SE has 142k miles on it and the last owner didn't know anything about the transmission history. I want to pull the pan off this weekend and replace the filter and trans fluid. While I definitely will use ATF+4, should I go with Mopar ($9/quart from the local dealer), Valvoline ($5.50 from parts store), or the blue bottle from WalMart ($3.77/quart). Are Fram trans filters any good or do I need the Mopar one? I just bought a Mopar engine oil filter from my local Walmart before reading this forum to find out that they too are made by FRAM and may be suspect in their quality. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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The Wal Mart Brand stuff is fine.

Where did you read the Mopar Filters were Fram? Last ones I opened were Purolator made.

I have heard some say the cheap tranny filters are just that, cheap junk that can degrade quickly. I have not changed mine yet (but will be in the next few months) and will probably get a Wix.

Oh, and Welcome to the forum! :hi2:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Blupupher,

Thanks for the advice!

I read that the oil filters were made by Fram (I believe) on the oil filter sticky post at the top of this forum--maybe at the time of the posting that was the general consensus or maybe I just misunderstood the post.......

At my local auto parts store, they seem to only sell Fram trans filters and gaskets and so that's why I was leaning towards getting it there. I will see if any WIX trans filters are available close-by.

Again, thanks for the advice!
 

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If you're referring to those Fram-bashing posts online, you'd better read this. Those "studies" are full of holes. They're obviously written by someone with an ax to grind against Fram. If you formed your opinion of Fram based on those posts, you owe it to yourself to read the other side of the story.

Take a second look at those Fram Bashing posts

Then read this one on the differences between economy filters and premium models

Economy vs Premium Oil Filters
 

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If you're referring to those Fram-bashing posts online, you'd better read this. Those "studies" are full of holes. They're obviously written by someone with an ax to grind against Fram. If you formed your opinion of Fram based on those posts, you owe it to yourself to read the other side of the story.

Take a second look at those Fram Bashing posts

Then read this one on the differences between economy filters and premium models

Economy vs Premium Oil Filters
Interesting read. Been saying similar things myself in various Posts on here. Silicone anti drainback valve (more expensive) and more efficient filter media (more expensive than basic cellulose) tend to separate the higher end filters from the norm.

As for Fram bashers, Fram sells and stands behind more filters than they can imagine "in their wildest dreams". :lol:

Fram, and maybe a couple more filter Manufacturers, will actually state the multi pass efficiency and the recommended oil change intervals for their filters. Loosey-goosey seems to be the attitude of other filter manufacturers on this important information.
 

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The Wal Mart Brand stuff is fine.

Where did you read the Mopar Filters were Fram? Last ones I opened were Purolator made.

I have heard some say the cheap tranny filters are just that, cheap junk that can degrade quickly. I have not changed mine yet (but will be in the next few months) and will probably get a Wix.

Oh, and Welcome to the forum! :hi2:
In Canada, the Mopar oil filters (white can with blue lettering) appear to be made by WIX.

As for the transmission filter, I would go Mopar for 100% confidence, no second guessing.
 

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I am a newbie Dodge caravan owner in that I purchased the van last weekend because the price was right and I really liked the layout and the way it drove.

My short wheelbase 2002 Caravan SE has 142k miles on it and the last owner didn't know anything about the transmission history. I want to pull the pan off this weekend and replace the filter and trans fluid. While I definitely will use ATF+4, should I go with Mopar ($9/quart from the local dealer), Valvoline ($5.50 from parts store), or the blue bottle from WalMart ($3.77/quart). Are Fram trans filters any good or do I need the Mopar one? I just bought a Mopar engine oil filter from my local Walmart before reading this forum to find out that they too are made by FRAM and may be suspect in their quality. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
I have been using the cheap +4 from walmart in my 2000 Stratus (also a 41te trans like I believe all the FWD vans all have), and have had no problems what so ever. I'm sitting on 175,000mi now and she still shifts smooth. Have not had to do the trans fluid in my T&C yet, but I personally don't feel the need to pay for the mopar label when I know that my other car is OK with the cheap stuff. (side note, I never expected my stratus to keep running this long, so didn't care).
 

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If you're referring to those Fram-bashing posts online, you'd better read this. Those "studies" are full of holes. They're obviously written by someone with an ax to grind against Fram. If you formed your opinion of Fram based on those posts, you owe it to yourself to read the other side of the story.

Take a second look at those Fram Bashing posts

Then read this one on the differences between economy filters and premium models

Economy vs Premium Oil Filters
Well Rick you've obviously never had them fail on you as I have. Lucky you. FWIW the very high end Frams actually seem very well made and engineered (at least the equal of anything else) but the standard grade ones are beyond awful.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for the input. I bought the ATF+4 from Walmart today although I have yet to get the trans filter. I'll change all the fluids and we'll see what happens. The van passed smog (a requirement here in California) with flying colors and it has 142,310 miles on it right now. The previous owner put nearly 40k miles on the van and I know that he didn't rebuild the trans and so it might be original (I didn't pay for a carfax report). So, I'll tackle the easy stuff first.

Again, thanks for all your input.
 

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Walmart (Supertech) is fine, It is on the list of Chrylser Certified ATF+4 tranny fluids and is all I use. (without issue at that)
 
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