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Thanks.
That's the 5-Speed Auto W5A580 Transmission, originally from Mercedes/ZF, I believe, not the 6 speed 62TE from Chrysler, used for FWDs.
The instructions are pretty much the same as for the 41TE transmission used in the 4th (and 3rd) Generations.
How long is that dipstick?.
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Mercedes NAG1 / WA580 / W5A580 automatic transmission
 

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Does the cold turkey method work if the ambient is even lower? Like -10C or more? What I've also found is that during the cold periods here my T&C's trans temp wouldn't go much higher than 50C even after 25-30km trip.
 

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Does the cold turkey method work if the ambient is even lower? Like -10C or more? What I've also found is that during the cold periods here my T&C's trans temp wouldn't go much higher than 50C even after 25-30km trip.
I haven't done any readings at below freezing yet. It's now on my todo list. The fluid may be a little slower draining back as the transmission cools off quickly.

50C/122F is very low for the operating temperature. I guess you have to take a longer drive to see if there's a difference. The heavy duty cooler is not likely helping to get the temperature up.
Stated operating temperature:
Remove the dipstick and determine if the fluid is hot or warm. Hot fluid is approximately 180°F (82°C), which is the normal operating temperature after the vehicle has been driven at least 15 miles (24 km). The fluid cannot be comfortably held between the finger tips. Cold is when the fluid is below 80°F (27°C).
With the 62TE I would expect no dipstick, of course, and a normal operating temperature of say 170F/77C.

Electronic transmissions change their shift patterns as they warm up. For example the 41TE operates this way:
The automatic transmission uses several "shift schedules" that are based on ATF oil temperature. There is an "extreme cold" schedule when the oil temperature is below -16 degrees F that allows Park, Neutral, Reverse, 1st and 3rd gears only. If the oil temperature is between -12 degrees and 10 degrees F, it uses the "super cold" shift schedule that delays 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts, and provides an earlier 4-3 and 3-2 coast down shifts. High speed 4-2, 3-2 and 2-1 kickdown shifts are prevented in this mode. When the ATF is between 10 and 36 degrees F, the "cold" schedule takes over and the transmission shifts at higher throttle openings and high speed 4-2, 3-2 and 2-1 kickdown shifts are still prevented. Also, there is no torque converter clutch lockup in the cold, super cold or extreme cold ranges.
Once the ATF is above 40 degrees F, the TCM goes to the "warm" schedule which allows normal upshifts, kickdowns and coast downs, but still no torque converter lockup. When the ATF reaches 80Fdegrees F, the TCM changes to the "hot/normal" mode and begins to engage the torque converter when vehicle speed is above about 22 mph
 

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I haven't done any readings at below freezing yet. It's now on my todo list. The fluid may be a little slower draining back as the transmission cools off quickly.

50C/122F is very low for the operating temperature. I guess you have to take a longer drive to see if there's a difference. The heavy duty cooler is not likely helping to get the temperature up.
Stated operating temperature:

With the 62TE I would expect no dipstick, of course, and a normal operating temperature of say 170F/77C.

Electronic transmissions change their shift patterns as they warm up. For example the 41TE operates this way:
Did a new try today and 53C is that max that I got at 2C ambient. About 5km city and 25km highway trip. I guess I have to wait for warmer period for the fluid to reach operating temperature. Though I think 50C should be enough for measurement.


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Measured mine today, cold turkey, after a 5 hour shut down.

February12, 2022; 5:00 PM AST; 8C/46F; 93 mm

Checked oil also, right at full mark, due for a change (10,000 km coming up)
 
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July 5th, 2021; 4:30 PM, ADT; 25C/77F; 95 mm maximum reading."cold turkey". Other side of dipstick: 88 mm.
Measured mine today, cold turkey, after a 5 hour shut down.
February 12, 2022; 5:00 PM AST; 8C/46F; 93 mm
So, it doesn't look like a real "cold" measurement changes much at all based on ambient temps.

That's good to know! It seems that maybe removing the dipstick from the 62TE wasn't as necessary as was it made out to be by Daimler. I wonder if they went that way because the company was losing money and going into bankruptcy - saving as much money as possible on assembly costs?

The Pinto was a fire hazard just to save a few pennies, so maybe financials played a bigger role in the "lifetime" fluid use in the 62TE. Especially since the manual states that filter and fluid changes are necessary.
 

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So, it doesn't look like a real "cold" measurement changes much at all based on ambient temps.
Appears so. That was only a 5 hour drain time too, versus overnight.

A previous 5 hr. drain reading from Post #8:
Checked yesterday after sitting for about 5 hours
July 6, 2021; 17:00 ADT; 19C/66F; 92 mm

Today, July 7, 2021; 13:30 ADT; 27C/81F; 95 mm after sitting for 14 hours.

I think the reasons for many Manufacturers, not just Chrysler, to delete the dipstick was that the "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" wasn't getting the transmission fluid up to operating temperature before reading the dipstick hot range and ended up overfilling the transmission. So they made determining transmission fluid level more complicated so that the PhDs can screw it up.
Ha, ha.
Little Old Lady from Pasadena

The Pinto was an interesting case. Having a Pinto explode every once in a while was less expensive (lawsuites) than fixing the problem. Go Ford go. Use to be a Ford guy, had a Pinto, swore off of Ford over that rust bucket, potential bomb, hot rod (a new meaning).
Then again, back in the 60s, the top of the gas tank was the floor of the trunk, in some Ford vehicles. 💡
 
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Tried the "special tool" dipstick today for the first time to check trans temp "cold turkey". The steel wire of that dipstick is pretty stiff. Not sure if it's due to being a chinese knockoff or it's supposed to be like that. With first attempt I almost got a heart attack because the dipstick got stuck and didn't want to come out anymore. So I wiggled the part of the dipstick that was out of the trans tube to another place to change the angle and it came out. Was hesitant to try again but still did a second try. It read about 90mm. Not sure how accurate the reading was from my side though. And I think the car wasn't perfectly level either.
 

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Tried the "special tool" dipstick today for the first time to check trans temp "cold turkey". The steel wire of that dipstick is pretty stiff. Not sure if it's due to being a chinese knockoff or it's supposed to be like that. With first attempt I almost got a heart attack because the dipstick got stuck and didn't want to come out anymore. So I wiggled the part of the dipstick that was out of the trans tube to another place to change the angle and it came out. Was hesitant to try again but still did a second try. It read about 90mm. Not sure how accurate the reading was from my side though. And I think the car wasn't perfectly level either.
That must have been scary, went past the "stop" I guess. From the top of the tube to the "stop" is like 16.1 inches, based on my measurements, using the motor oil dipstick. You should not reach the bottom of the pan normally as the stop comes into play above that by quite a bit..

I have my dipstick etched at 95mm on the opposite side to the motor oil reading. The lettering on top faces me as well in the same way as I use it for the motor oil. That's as simple as it gets and measurements are consistent.

Using the temperature readings, chart and a dipstick, Shops are known to overfill at times. Easy enough to check using the "cold turkey" measurement.

What the Dipstick Stop looks like:
 

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I am late to this party, here are my readings:

62TE on a 2013 Grand Caravan 118K miles. Car had sat for 24 hours before reading. Ambient temp 36 degrees F. Level of transmission fluid is 117mm.

The trans had been serviced at 93K miles, I'm guessing they overfilled it? It's been running fine however so maybe 25mm over overfill won't kill it?
 

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I am late to this party, here are my readings:

62TE on a 2013 Grand Caravan 118K miles. Car had sat for 24 hours before reading. Ambient temp 36 degrees F. Level of transmission fluid is 117mm.

The trans had been serviced at 93K miles, I'm guessing they overfilled it? It's been running fine however so maybe 25mm over overfill won't kill it?

Welcome to the party, I mean the Forum.:) Thanks for the information.

Make sure you didn't go past the stop, some 16" down the tube.

Overfilling is sounding typical, better too much than too little, I guess. One would think that with their fancy scan tools and charts, they would get it right. Maybe the dipstick is the too difficult tool to use. :)

David Pike, the Guy from Motor City Mechanic, does the most meaningful "hack" I have come across, doesn't use 200F as an "operating temperature" for starters. Not a rush job either. His YouTube is back in Post #31. Start at 7:00 and take a look.

I would suggest the following as information gathering/comparisons.

  • start the engine, run through gears, and take a reading right away, more or less. Mine will show nothing on the dipstick at startup.
  • warm up for 10 minutes, run through gears, and take a reading. Compare in to the Chart for 80F.
  • take a 15 mile trip, run through gears, take a reading, compare to chart for 170F.

I would consider 180F as a reading one would get after considerable highway driving and stopping along the way for gas.

200F may be reached when loaded down, hill driving, hot weather etc but not under normal operating conditions, I hope. The vehicle has heavy duty transmission cooling, which should run at lower temperatures. IMO.
 
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Welcome to the party, I mean the Forum.:) Thanks for the information.
Thanks for the welcome! Longtime lurker, first time account-holder, happy to be here.

I tried what you recommended and it was 1) at startup there was just a little on the end of the stick 2) after 10 mins about 20mm and 3) after a ride it was at about 60 mm. Hard to be sure, the process of pulling the modified dipstick out causes it to go through that bend in the pipe such that it drags a bunch of fluid all over the part I'm trying to read.

So maybe I'll stick a fluid extractor in there and pull a little out, but now that I think about it, maybe I'll just do a drain/fill/filter in another 5K miles since that'll be 30K since the last trans service and I see people in here recommending every 30K. I'm going to try that one myself for the first time after watching some youtube videos, so I'll be sure to pay attention to the fill level. Thanks for the tips!
 

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That must have been scary, went past the "stop" I guess. From the top of the tube to the "stop" is like 16.1 inches, based on my measurements, using the motor oil dipstick. You should not reach the bottom of the pan normally as the stop comes into play above that by quite a bit..

I have my dipstick etched at 95mm on the opposite side to the motor oil reading. The lettering on top faces me as well in the same way as I use it for the motor oil. That's as simple as it gets and measurements are consistent.

Using the temperature readings, chart and a dipstick, Shops are known to overfill at times. Easy enough to check using the "cold turkey" measurement.

What the Dipstick Stop looks like:
I think I’m going to take my engine oil dipstick, mark it and use that instead. Just one question, how clean does the dipstick have to be before measuring atf level? Just clean or super clean/as clean as possible. Is wiping it down with paper towels enough or should some agent be used to avoid absolutely any engine oil getting mixed with atf?


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I think I’m going to take my engine oil dipstick, mark it and use that instead. Just one question, how clean does the dipstick have to be before measuring atf level? Just clean or super clean/as clean as possible. Is wiping it down with paper towels enough or should some agent be used to avoid absolutely any engine oil getting mixed with atf?


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Paper towel, blue shop towel or a napkin is fine. It's all oil, just different additive package. Nothing special required..
 

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Thanks for the welcome! Longtime lurker, first time account-holder, happy to be here.

I tried what you recommended and it was 1) at startup there was just a little on the end of the stick 2) after 10 mins about 20mm and 3) after a ride it was at about 60 mm. Hard to be sure, the process of pulling the modified dipstick out causes it to go through that bend in the pipe such that it drags a bunch of fluid all over the part I'm trying to read.

So maybe I'll stick a fluid extractor in there and pull a little out, but now that I think about it, maybe I'll just do a drain/fill/filter in another 5K miles since that'll be 30K since the last trans service and I see people in here recommending every 30K. I'm going to try that one myself for the first time after watching some youtube videos, so I'll be sure to pay attention to the fill level. Thanks for the tips!
Looks like they didn't do a very good job when they changed the fluid. Get them to fix it? 60 mm is off the chart, no matter what operating temperature is being looked at.

If doing the job yourself, I recommend a new pan with a drain plug and a Mopar filter. I would use Mopar transmission fluid as well. I would go with a FelPro gasket instead of the Mopar RTV sealant though, unless you have a hoist. IMO, the filter (a screen basically) should only need to be replaced one time to get rid of any of the original particles from fabrication of the transmission. Should be clear sailing after that unless transmission decides to fall apart. The 4th Generation 41TE didn't require a filter or fluid change for its life,. with normal use.
 

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Paper towel, blue shop towel or a napkin is fine. It's all oil, just different additive package. Nothing special required..
Gotcha. Took the oil dipstick and marked it from 1cm to 9cm. Car has been sitting for two days. Measured about 8cm.
And yeah, I haven't been able to get the trans temp to more than 52C. Even while ambient is around 4-5C.
 

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If doing the job yourself, I recommend a new pan with a drain plug and a Mopar filter.
This for sure. Make sure you get the filter KIT and not just the filter by itself. I still use the original OEM sealing method and wait the full 24 hours before refilling the transmission with fluid. I like the idea of the gasket, but I'm still on the lifetime power train warranty so I have to go OEM methods as much as possible. Ran into a big problem with a tech at my 10 year because of something similar (and I used OEM parts, go figure).
 

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Gotcha. Took the oil dipstick and marked it from 1cm to 9cm. Car has been sitting for two days. Measured about 8cm.
And yeah, I haven't been able to get the trans temp to more than 52C. Even while ambient is around 4-5C.
How are you measuring the transmission temperature to get 52C/126F? Scanner? IR Thermometer? After a 15 mile drive?

Your "cold turkey" reading, at 80 mm, is lower than expected.
 
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