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#2082333 - 11/20/10 01:01 PM Brown ATF?
NovaMan Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 256
Loc: Michigan
So I've looked at a couple Cherokee Sports this past week, and both had brown transmission fluid, which I've never seen before. I poked around on the internet, and Chrysler TSB 21-014-07 says ATF+4 turns brown:
Quote:
Mopar ATF+4(R) has exceptional durability. However, the red dye used in ATF+4(R) is not permanent; as the fluid ages it may become darker or appear brown in color. ATF+4(R) also has a unique odor that may change with age. With ATF+4(R) fluid, color and odor are no longer indicators of fluid condition and do not necessarily support a fluid change.

The Sport I looked at today is a 2000 with 148k on it; the ATF was brown, but it looked clean. Is that sufficient to consider the trans OK?
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#2082338 - 11/20/10 01:08 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10806
Loc: The Motor City
Novaman, welcome back after a year.

Fluid can be changed. More importantly, how well does the vehicle shift?

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#2082342 - 11/20/10 01:13 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
oilboy123 Offline


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 6539
Loc: Everett, Washington
Any trans fluid that starts turning brown = Bad IMHO. The trans should be fine. But the fluid is not. As long as it shifts OK you should be good to go.
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#2082364 - 11/20/10 01:32 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
NovaMan Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 256
Loc: Michigan
Thanks for the welcome back; I didn't realize it had been a year since I posted!
It must have shifted OK since I didn't think "boy, this is shifting funny..."
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#2082372 - 11/20/10 01:42 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23915
Loc: ME
Those Aisin Warner trannies are good. But I'd def try and bargain them down. There are some bozos that buy SUVs for the "extra toughness" because they know they can't count on themselves for maintenance.

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#2082381 - 11/20/10 01:56 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
Warstud Offline


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 2786
Loc: MIchigan
If the fluid is brown and smells burnt...run away. Otherwise just change it with pan drops with HM vehicles.

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#2082385 - 11/20/10 01:59 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
Andrew MKZ Offline


Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 2811
Loc: USA
+1
My guess is it's fine.
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#2082390 - 11/20/10 02:08 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
NovaMan Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 256
Loc: Michigan
It didn't smell burnt.
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#2082407 - 11/20/10 02:16 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 6704
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
Some manufactures (don't remember which) say light brown is OK IF it doesn't smell burnt.
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#2082424 - 11/20/10 02:27 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: Eddie]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21098
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Eddie
Some manufactures (don't remember which) say light brown is OK IF it doesn't smell burnt.


+1 Transmission fluid can change color, smell is a better indication as Eddie mentioned.
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#2082450 - 11/20/10 03:10 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
caravanmike Offline


Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 971
Loc: ohio
don't forget the aw4 takes dexron III. it was speced for it from birth. that is what i use in mine. mike
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#2082844 - 11/20/10 11:45 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
NovaMan Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 256
Loc: Michigan
Yeah, I figure I'll switch it over to Dexron if I buy it, which I'm seriously thinking I will.
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I know enough to know that I don't know enough.

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#2082965 - 11/21/10 07:48 AM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
NightRiderQ45 Offline


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 929
Loc: Houston, TX
I would never purchase ANY car that had brown atf fluid. That is the first indication that the previous owner didn't even keep up with the tranny maintenance. All atf fluid turns brown when it's spent. To each it's own.
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2002 Lexus GS300 120k My NEW baby
1998 FGY33 Infiniti Q45 257k....RIP


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#2083561 - 11/21/10 08:54 PM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
NovaMan Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 256
Loc: Michigan
Yeah, but when regular ATF turns brown, it's full of clutches and bands. This isn't.

Edit: I'm not saying I'm an ATF genius, I'm just saying this is what I have observed.


Edited by NovaMan (11/21/10 08:56 PM)
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#2083927 - 11/22/10 09:24 AM Re: Brown ATF? [Re: NovaMan]
rslifkin Offline


Registered: 06/27/10
Posts: 2202
Loc: Stamford, CT / Rochester, NY
The AW4 tranny in those XJs is pretty durable. As long as the fluid doesn't smell burnt, looks clear-ish, and the tranny shifts fine, it's probably OK. Just give it fresh fluid when you get it.
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1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited with Heads/Cam/Headers/Exhaust/Tune/Shift Kit (173k miles, bought with 100k)
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