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Discussion Starter #1
I intended on doing this writeup when I got to 60K miles, and that time has come.

For those of you so inclined to change your transmission fluid, it is not particularly difficult. If you can change oil you can do this.

Stuff required:
- 3/8" ratchet handle (and ideally a torque wrench)
- 13mm socket (for the front skid plate, or whatever for your plastic undercover)
- 6 and 8mm allen socket
- 3/8" u-joint
- 18" worth of socket extensions
- ~2 ft of 1/2 vinyl tubing and a funnel to attach it to
- Dipstick 10323a or equivalent
- 8 quarts of Mopar 8/9 speed ATF
- Drain container (5 quarts at least) and some way to accurately measure the amount of fluid that comes out

I was hoping that at least half of the fluid would come out through the drain plug and sure enough it did. I got almost exactly 3.375 quarts out. That's 53% of the 6.35 quart capacity. Do a drain/fill twice and you'll change out just about 80% of the old fluid. Technically this uses ~7 quarts of new fluid but get 8 to be safe. You could keep going with a 3rd round but that gets expensive for diminishing returns (92% of total).

My fluid wasn't as gross looking as the picture makes it out to be... when pouring the stream wasn't cloudy at all, just had a brown-gray tinge to it.

Procedure:
- Drive around a little to warm things up. I got mine up to 105 trans temp; don't want it too hot.
- Lift the front of the vehicle. Ramps are easiest since it's a pain to use a jack and stands on this vehicle.
- Remove front skid plate/undercover (13mm bolts x7).
- Get your 8mm allen socket and catch container. Get the container close to the drain plug; the fluid is pretty watery.
- Remove the drain plug (pic attached) and let it drain. I let it drip for 30 minutes or so.
- Reinstall drain plug. 26 ft/lbs torque.
- Clean around then remove the fill plug (pic attached) with the 6mm allen and extensions/u-joint. On the v6 it's easy enough to reach, down past the heater hoses to the left of the brake booster.
- Attach vinyl tubing to the funnel and stick the end in the fill hole.
- Measure how much old fluid came out
- Put that much new fluid in and reinstall fill plug; 17 ft/lbs.
- Go drive around a little to mix things up real good. Don't get it too hot though.
- Repeat the drain/measure/refill procedure, then go ahead and reinstall the skid plate
- Check fluid level and adjust as necessary:

The fluid level isn't going to be perfect even with measuring, as warm fluid came out and cold went in but it should be close. Google for the procedure on how to check the level in a 948TE; there are several out there that include the chart for temperature vs level. It really isn't much different than checking the level in an old automatic... get it warm and check the level while idling in park. With this one you just have to pay attention to the trans temperature and the specific level on the dipstick. This does mean reaching down to the fill plug to remove it and insert the dipstick with the engine warm so be careful. Also I don't know what to tell you if you don't have trans temperature available on your cluster display... not sure what scan tools can read it.
 

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Thanks for this! I plan on flushing my tranny fluid out his spring (anyone who says it's a lifetime fluid is BS. Nothing is lifetime), so this'll help out when i do the procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So where in the owners manual does it say to flush the transmission? 60K miles seems early but I guess if it makes you sleep better at night

I'm fully aware that it doesn't. Totally separate discussion from how to actually do the job. Until they actually define what "lifetime" means, I take it as "lifetime of the longest extended warranty available". 60k probably is early regardless but whatever... this is probably something I'll do all of 3 times in my ownership of this vehicle.
 

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fluid change

I intended on doing this writeup when I got to 60K miles, and that time has come.

For those of you so inclined to change your transmission fluid, it is not particularly difficult. If you can change oil you can do this.

Stuff required:
- 3/8" ratchet handle (and ideally a torque wrench)
- 13mm socket (for the front skid plate, or whatever for your plastic undercover)
- 6 and 8mm allen socket
- 3/8" u-joint
- 18" worth of socket extensions
- ~2 ft of 1/2 vinyl tubing and a funnel to attach it to
- Dipstick 10323a or equivalent
- 8 quarts of Mopar 8/9 speed ATF
- Drain container (5 quarts at least) and some way to accurately measure the amount of fluid that comes out

I was hoping that at least half of the fluid would come out through the drain plug and sure enough it did. I got almost exactly 3.375 quarts out. That's 53% of the 6.35 quart capacity. Do a drain/fill twice and you'll change out just about 80% of the old fluid. Technically this uses ~7 quarts of new fluid but get 8 to be safe. You could keep going with a 3rd round but that gets expensive for diminishing returns (92% of total).

My fluid wasn't as gross looking as the picture makes it out to be... when pouring the stream wasn't cloudy at all, just had a brown-gray tinge to it.

Procedure:
- Drive around a little to warm things up. I got mine up to 105 trans temp; don't want it too hot.
- Lift the front of the vehicle. Ramps are easiest since it's a pain to use a jack and stands on this vehicle.
- Remove front skid plate/undercover (13mm bolts x7).
- Get your 8mm allen socket and catch container. Get the container close to the drain plug; the fluid is pretty watery.
- Remove the drain plug (pic attached) and let it drain. I let it drip for 30 minutes or so.
- Reinstall drain plug. 26 ft/lbs torque.
- Clean around then remove the fill plug (pic attached) with the 6mm allen and extensions/u-joint. On the v6 it's easy enough to reach, down past the heater hoses to the left of the brake booster.
- Attach vinyl tubing to the funnel and stick the end in the fill hole.
- Measure how much old fluid came out
- Put that much new fluid in and reinstall fill plug; 17 ft/lbs.
- Go drive around a little to mix things up real good. Don't get it too hot though.
- Repeat the drain/measure/refill procedure, then go ahead and reinstall the skid plate
- Check fluid level and adjust as necessary:

The fluid level isn't going to be perfect even with measuring, as warm fluid came out and cold went in but it should be close. Google for the procedure on how to check the level in a 948TE; there are several out there that include the chart for temperature vs level. It really isn't much different than checking the level in an old automatic... get it warm and check the level while idling in park. With this one you just have to pay attention to the trans temperature and the specific level on the dipstick. This does mean reaching down to the fill plug to remove it and insert the dipstick with the engine warm so be careful. Also I don't know what to tell you if you don't have trans temperature available on your cluster display... not sure what scan tools can read it.
Drain it at room temperature the put the same amount back in. Then the fluid volumes will be the same.
Repeat at some interval of mileage and you should have fairly fresh fluid.
 

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lifetime

Thanks for this! I plan on flushing my tranny fluid out his spring (anyone who says it's a lifetime fluid is BS. Nothing is lifetime), so this'll help out when i do the procedure.
I have decided "lifetime" means when the transmission self destructs it is at the end of its life.
Perhaps if you do some fluid changes you could extend the inevitable lifetime.
 

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Any particular reason the filter was not changed too? Not sure where the filter is on this transmission, but the manual says to change both fluid and filter. I've never had any of my transmissions fluid changed without the filter getting attention too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Any particular reason the filter was not changed too? Not sure where the filter is on this transmission, but the manual says to change both fluid and filter. I've never had any of my transmissions fluid changed without the filter getting attention too.
Manual? We know the owners manual says nothing about transmission service at all... also it does have a filter but it's only accessible via transmission disassembly. My early 2014 bootleg shop manual talks about it and even has pics.
 

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Manual? We know the owners manual says nothing about transmission service at all... also it does have a filter but it's only accessible via transmission disassembly. My early 2014 bootleg shop manual talks about it and even has pics.
My manual states:
Fluid And Filter Changes
Under normal operating conditions, the fluid installed at the factory will provide satisfactory lubrication for the life of the vehicle.
Routine fluid and filter changes are not required. However, change the fluid and filter if the fluid becomes contaminated (with water, etc.), or if the transmission is disassembled for any reason.
 

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My manual states:
Fluid And Filter Changes
Under normal operating conditions, the fluid installed at the factory will provide satisfactory lubrication for the life of the vehicle.
Routine fluid and filter changes are not required. However, change the fluid and filter if the fluid becomes contaminated (with water, etc.), or if the transmission is disassembled for any reason.
Yup. In other words, changing of the filter requires a complete removal of the transmission, which is not exactly an easy nor quick task.
 

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@iwfur - Actually, the owner's manual DOES reference transmission service.
 

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My humble opinion on transmission fluid changes:
* Mopar 8 and 9 Speed Automatic Transmission Fuid 68218925AA
* The fluid is lifetime under normal usage. If you tow or do a lot of off road it is not lifetime at that point in my opinion. At that point then 60k might be a reasonable point of change. Otherwise I would leave it to 100k/10 years which ever comes first. To me lifetime = 100k/10 year.
* First off what I understand the fluid (OEM) is expensive to start with. Thus you do not want to waste it. The procedure the OP is using is questionable at best and I personally would not recommend it.

It does accomplish what the OP wants. That is changing most of the fluid, but not all of it.
It does not allow for any filter change(if needed) which is critical, especially in a lifetime fluid and high mileage applications.

*It is best practice to remove the pan to clean any residue on it and change the filter. Yes, it does get messy pulling that pan but you rid yourself of any remaining old fluid. Also a new OEM gasket on the pan does not hurt.
You then can put in the correct amount of fluid as specified in the manual. No guessing through multiple drain and refill cycles. No more wasted new OEM fluid and most important proper disposal of all that old fluid of flush fluid. That is assuming I am seeing correctly Mopar OEM full synthetic ATF $29.50 a quart. Wasting it is not an option.
Also it is critical that you use the correct ATF in this transmission and no substitutions.

Being such a messy job, disposal of the old fluid and doing it correctly I would much prefer to just take it in to the dealer to be done. After all its a once in a lifetime expense with this vehicle.
The other issue is you want to avoid introducing any containments/moisture into this normally sealed transmission during this change.
 

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Manual? We know the owners manual says nothing about transmission service at all... also it does have a filter but it's only accessible via transmission disassembly. My early 2014 bootleg shop manual talks about it and even has pics.
Under normal service the transmission fluid does not need changing, period.
We can discuss what that means, though. My definition of lifetime fluid is 100k/10 years. That is unless you tow a trailer. But again it depends on how much weight is being towed and the risk of overheating the fluid. Not really possible unless you are towing top end on hot days I would guess.

Removing the pan on the transmission is not really considered disassembly.
It is the only real way to properly change the fluid and filter. It is a service access method to actually change the fluid and filter properly. But if you are removing the pan for any other reason then obviously you would never reuse the old fluid.

If you had to change say the seals then the fluid would have to be changed because of the contamination issue. That would be considered a disassembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
My humble opinion on transmission fluid changes:
* Mopar 8 and 9 Speed Automatic Transmission Fuid 68218925AA
* The fluid is lifetime under normal usage. If you tow or do a lot of off road it is not lifetime at that point in my opinion. At that point then 60k might be a reasonable point of change. Otherwise I would leave it to 100k/10 years which ever comes first. To me lifetime = 100k/10 year.
* First off what I understand the fluid (OEM) is expensive to start with. Thus you do not want to waste it. The procedure the OP is using is questionable at best and I personally would not recommend it.

It does accomplish what the OP wants. That is changing most of the fluid, but not all of it.
It does not allow for any filter change(if needed) which is critical, especially in a lifetime fluid and high mileage applications.

*It is best practice to remove the pan to clean any residue on it and change the filter. Yes, it does get messy pulling that pan but you rid yourself of any remaining old fluid. Also a new OEM gasket on the pan does not hurt.
You then can put in the correct amount of fluid as specified in the manual. No guessing through multiple drain and refill cycles. No more wasted new OEM fluid and most important proper disposal of all that old fluid of flush fluid. That is assuming I am seeing correctly Mopar OEM full synthetic ATF $29.50 a quart. Wasting it is not an option.
Also it is critical that you use the correct ATF in this transmission and no substitutions.

Being such a messy job, disposal of the old fluid and doing it correctly I would much prefer to just take it in to the dealer to be done. After all its a once in a lifetime expense with this vehicle.
The other issue is you want to avoid introducing any containments/moisture into this normally sealed transmission during this change.
Sounds reasonable on those mileage numbers. I put a little trust in the people who design the transmission and fluid:
https://www.zf.com/unitedkingdom/en_gb/corporate/aftermarket/spare_parts_corporate/transmissions_corporate/how_to_change_oil/change_oil.html
Yeah they're referencing the 6 and 8HP but the fluid tech is the same. They are referencing hard driving too, so maybe this is all pointless discussion. But I think if they mention changing fluid at all, I'm going to do so one way or another.

100% fluid changeout would be nice, but really expensive. I considered disconnecting the cooler lines to feed new fluid in while old comes out, but even then it'd take a lot of fluid (guessing 10 qts or more) to get a full changeout, as old and new would be mixing in the torque converter during the process. A dealer would use a fluid exchange machine (I hope at least) but that would have the same issue. Inside the converter is a big relatively open space that has several quarts in it... no way to get a one for one exchange in there.

BTW this trans doesn't have a pan to speak of that fluid sits in, nor an accessible filter. Pan drops on other cars tend to only get half or less of the fluid out anyway. There is a plastic cover over the valve body on this one, but it's up on the side and not really a pan.
 

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Thanks everyone, perfect timing too. Have my 2016 TH going in for an oil change as we are going on vacation and a long drive soon, and received this email from our dealership. My TH has 55,000 km on it and do regular service but this one got me say WTF!!!!!

Are they nuts?????

You are due for the following services;

4 Wheel Brake Service $199.95 plus applicable fees and taxes- This service includes removal of all brake pads (both front and rear) removal of brake rotors, reconditioning and lubrication of caliper slides and brackets, reseating of pads, remove any rust formations on rotors, clean and grease and moving components while servicing all friction materials.

Brake Fluid Flush $139.95 plus applicable fees and taxes - This service consists of flushing out all old contaminated brake fluid from the entire brake system, simultaneously replacing it with new Brake Fluid eliminating any contaminated fluid or moisture to ensure proper brake system operations

Fuel System Service $159.95 plus applicable fees and taxes- This service completely cleans the entire gasoline fuel system by chemically cleaning valves, injectors, combustion chamber, fuel lines and throttle plate. This restores the fuel system to "like new" operation ensuring maximum performance

4X4 Driveline Service - $469.95 - This service includes a complete flush of the Front Differential, Rear Differential and Transfer case utilizing specialized service equipment to remove any contaminents, foreign materials or debris from internal mechanical components. New fluids and additives are replaced in all components

Throttle Body Service $139.95 plus applicable fees and taxes - This service provides a cleansing of the induction system of gums, varnishes and carbon deposits that form in the throttle body, intake plenums and on the intake valves of modern PFI & GDI engines.

Alignment (4 Wheel) $99.95 plus applicable fees and taxes - This service includes a Computerized Alignment inspection of your vehicle and adjustment of all wheels to bring the alignment back into spec, maximixing tire life and fuel efficiency.

Please let me know if you would like these services attached to your existing appointment
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks everyone, perfect timing too. Have my 2016 TH going in for an oil change as we are going on vacation and a long drive soon, and received this email from our dealership. My TH has 55,000 km on it and do regular service but this one got me say WTF!!!!!

Are they nuts?????

You are due for the following services;

4 Wheel Brake Service $199.95 plus applicable fees and taxes- This service includes removal of all brake pads (both front and rear) removal of brake rotors, reconditioning and lubrication of caliper slides and brackets, reseating of pads, remove any rust formations on rotors, clean and grease and moving components while servicing all friction materials.

Brake Fluid Flush $139.95 plus applicable fees and taxes - This service consists of flushing out all old contaminated brake fluid from the entire brake system, simultaneously replacing it with new Brake Fluid eliminating any contaminated fluid or moisture to ensure proper brake system operations

Fuel System Service $159.95 plus applicable fees and taxes- This service completely cleans the entire gasoline fuel system by chemically cleaning valves, injectors, combustion chamber, fuel lines and throttle plate. This restores the fuel system to "like new" operation ensuring maximum performance

4X4 Driveline Service - $469.95 - This service includes a complete flush of the Front Differential, Rear Differential and Transfer case utilizing specialized service equipment to remove any contaminents, foreign materials or debris from internal mechanical components. New fluids and additives are replaced in all components

Throttle Body Service $139.95 plus applicable fees and taxes - This service provides a cleansing of the induction system of gums, varnishes and carbon deposits that form in the throttle body, intake plenums and on the intake valves of modern PFI & GDI engines.

Alignment (4 Wheel) $99.95 plus applicable fees and taxes - This service includes a Computerized Alignment inspection of your vehicle and adjustment of all wheels to bring the alignment back into spec, maximixing tire life and fuel efficiency.

Please let me know if you would like these services attached to your existing appointment
You might want to post this as its own thread. That said:

Brakes - pointless, unless they're wearing funny, making noise, or the pads are indeed almost worn out. No reason to replace pads until they're done, and nothing should need lubrication until that point.

Brake fluid - not a bad idea to get this done every few years. It does slowly absorb moisture from the air. Last time I checked, it is recommended service for most cars in Euro-land. No idea why almost nobody in this country puts in in the maintenance schedule. FWIW, Subaru has started putting this in their schedules, for 30,000 mi or 15,000 if you're in the mountains. I think there cheap test devices available to check for moisture content.

Fuel system - pointless with modern gasoline and that few km. Just dump some good fuel injector cleaner in the tank once a year and don't sweat it beyond that.

4x4 - pointless with that few km. Another one of those "not in the schedule" things. However, maybe at... 150,000km or so if you plan to be a long term owner

Throttle body - pointless with that few km. Again maybe at 150,000k or more. Also very easy to DIY with a spray can. It really doesn't get that dirty anyway unless you have a PCV problem or a crappy air filter.

Alignment - pointless unless the tires are wearing strangely or the vehicle doesn't track straight.
 

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@pjk007 - Ask the service advisor to show you where those services are recommended in the KL maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. Of course, they are not. Blatant attempt to unethically separate you from your money and pad their profit margin by suggesting unnecessary services, with the possible exception of the alignment. If you drive on poor roads - as we in Michigan do - and you are noticing uneven tire tread wear or a pull to one side in your steering, then by all means, have the alignment checked. Otherwise, tell the dealer that you aren't falling for their scam. And dealers wonder why they have such a low trust level?
 

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Completely agree with @iwfur25. All these items, aside from completely bleeding and replacing the brake fluid are bogus unless there's a specific problem. Differentials sounds reasonable too if you wheel it a lot.

Transfer case, well. As is made very clear in this very thread, doing a "a complete flush" of the KL transfer case involves removing is completely from the vehicle. Aside it not being necessary to service at 55K unless you tow or use low range a lot, I very much doubt that's truly what they include in those $469.95.
 
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My humble opinion on transmission fluid changes:
* Mopar 8 and 9 Speed Automatic Transmission Fuid 68218925AA
* The fluid is lifetime under normal usage. If you tow or do a lot of off road it is not lifetime at that point in my opinion. At that point then 60k might be a reasonable point of change. Otherwise I would leave it to 100k/10 years which ever comes first. To me lifetime = 100k/10 year.
* First off what I understand the fluid (OEM) is expensive to start with. Thus you do not want to waste it. The procedure the OP is using is questionable at best and I personally would not recommend it.

It does accomplish what the OP wants. That is changing most of the fluid, but not all of it.
It does not allow for any filter change(if needed) which is critical, especially in a lifetime fluid and high mileage applications.

*It is best practice to remove the pan to clean any residue on it and change the filter. Yes, it does get messy pulling that pan but you rid yourself of any remaining old fluid. Also a new OEM gasket on the pan does not hurt.
You then can put in the correct amount of fluid as specified in the manual. No guessing through multiple drain and refill cycles. No more wasted new OEM fluid and most important proper disposal of all that old fluid of flush fluid. That is assuming I am seeing correctly Mopar OEM full synthetic ATF $29.50 a quart. Wasting it is not an option.
Also it is critical that you use the correct ATF in this transmission and no substitutions.

Being such a messy job, disposal of the old fluid and doing it correctly I would much prefer to just take it in to the dealer to be done. After all its a once in a lifetime expense with this vehicle.
The other issue is you want to avoid introducing any containments/moisture into this normally sealed transmission during this change.
The filter for the transmission is actually inside the transmission, and requires removal of the bellhousing in order to get to it (meaning a full removal of the transmission from the car). There is no pan that can be removed which would allow you to do this. There is a plastic pan in front of the transmission, but that contains the valve body.

Skip to around the 9:30 min mark, and you can see where the filter is located:


So whether or not it really is necessary to replace the fluid, let alone the filter is probably not needed. If I drive my Cherokee to 200-300k miles though, I would say fluid should be changed, but the filter would be a big PITA to get to. At that point, you might as well take your chances with the filter, and hope it does the job until the car explodes at 500k miles or so. *shrugs*
 
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