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#4593117 - 12/03/17 02:40 PM Replacing fluid by weight
RichardS Offline


Registered: 01/14/17
Posts: 616
Loc: Melbourne, Florida
The caliber is coming up on 120,000, and it's time to replace the CVT fluid.

The process, as most of you know, is a little absurd with special dip sticks, temperature charts, and some voodoo. The local dodge dealer (with their impressive 1.5 star service dept rating) wants $334 plus tax to replace the 13 quarts of CVT+4 fluid.

This might seem a little stupid, but couldn't I vacuum pump out the old fluid, and replace it with the equivalent weight of new fluid?

Would that eliminate the volume discrepancies from different temperature fluids, or is the possibility of wear material being significant enough to throw off the addition of the correct amount of new fluid?
_________________________
2008 Dodge Caliber SE 2.0 117k
4qt Imeditsu 0w-20, 1/2qt Mobil SS 5w-20 Fram HM

2003 Buick Century 107k
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#4593118 - 12/03/17 02:45 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10128
Loc: OH
You could draw out the atf and measure what comes out and replace that amount. Just do it cold.

Where all the complexity comes in is when a car arrives hot/warm at the dealer/service facility. The hot/warm fluid that comes out has to match the temperature of the new fluid going in. Which can be tricky.

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#4593121 - 12/03/17 02:47 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3001
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I don't see why not. I checked youtube, but there aren't any great detailed videos for the Caliber CVT tranny fluid change.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY7ZM4C8o1A
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#4593138 - 12/03/17 03:04 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6213
Loc: MI
You can check out videos and sites for the Jeep Compass and Patriot also. They share the same drive train.

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#4593171 - 12/03/17 03:48 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
RichardS Offline


Registered: 01/14/17
Posts: 616
Loc: Melbourne, Florida
It's pretty direct, the changing part.

You take off the pan, and drain it out. I believe the TC drains at the same time, as you replace roughly 13 quarts.

the last time I looked, admittedly a while ago, the dipstick for the fill tube was like $90 bucks, add that to the unnecessarily expensive MOPAR CVTF+4, and I'm not saving enough to make the personal labor worth it
_________________________
2008 Dodge Caliber SE 2.0 117k
4qt Imeditsu 0w-20, 1/2qt Mobil SS 5w-20 Fram HM

2003 Buick Century 107k
4.5q Havoline 5w-30 HM Fram XG

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#4593321 - 12/03/17 06:19 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3001
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: RichardS
It's pretty direct, the changing part.

You take off the pan, and drain it out. I believe the TC drains at the same time, as you replace roughly 13 quarts.

the last time I looked, admittedly a while ago, the dipstick for the fill tube was like $90 bucks, add that to the unnecessarily expensive MOPAR CVTF+4, and I'm not saving enough to make the personal labor worth it


Can't you get an aftermarket ATF dipstick from Dorman for much cheaper?
_________________________
2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 PPPP/Wix Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Mahle Filter

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#4593329 - 12/03/17 06:24 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12324
Loc: The Motor City
I've done changes by measuring the volume of fluid that is drained. But you have to account for clingage losses.

All the better if you can do it by weight.

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#4593340 - 12/03/17 06:31 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4742
Loc: MA
Isn't there also a filter and a magnet that won't get changed/cleaned out if you just suck out the old fluid?

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#4593566 - 12/03/17 10:42 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
RichardS Offline


Registered: 01/14/17
Posts: 616
Loc: Melbourne, Florida
JC1,
Yes, there are aftermarket sticks, and a quick glance found one for $30. But that seems a silly price tag for something I'll use one time if there is a potential, equally effective, and cheaper method.

Kestas,
That's why I was think about weighing it. I'd have to account for the fluid stuck in the extractor, but I'd imagine that wouldn't be more than 3-5 ounces. I figured a gram scale weight of the tubing before and after would give me a close enough estimate of fluid to replace when adding the new oil in.

Wolf359,
I'm not sure, honestly. I can find filter part numbers, but both a cartridge and in-sump version that come up. I'm fairly sure it isn't a cartridge, so there may be one in the pan. But JATCO doesn't even recommend servicing the fluid in a privately owned vehicle, so I'm sure filters are treated with the same "life time" interval. I'd be plenty happy with just a fluid swap via whatever I can suction out.
_________________________
2008 Dodge Caliber SE 2.0 117k
4qt Imeditsu 0w-20, 1/2qt Mobil SS 5w-20 Fram HM

2003 Buick Century 107k
4.5q Havoline 5w-30 HM Fram XG

Top
#4593569 - 12/03/17 10:50 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10097
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I think people sometimes use the engine oil dipstick to check the level. Mark your current level on your oil dipstick after inserting into the transmission. Or use a ruler and measure the distance from the bottom.
_________________________
2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 79k PU 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 228k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 146k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

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#4593637 - 12/04/17 04:06 AM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
greasegunn Offline


Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 202
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: RichardS
The caliber is coming up on 120,000, and it's time to replace the CVT fluid.

The process, as most of you know, is a little absurd with special dip sticks, temperature charts, and some voodoo. The local dodge dealer (with their impressive 1.5 star service dept rating) wants $334 plus tax to replace the 13 quarts of CVT+4 fluid.

This might seem a little stupid, but couldn't I vacuum pump out the old fluid, and replace it with the equivalent weight of new fluid?

Would that eliminate the volume discrepancies from different temperature fluids, or is the possibility of wear material being significant enough to throw off the addition of the correct amount of new fluid?


This is how I do it on my daughters Mazda 6. For this procedure to work correctly, you have to be at the appropriate fluid level when you do the drain. I use a scale from Harbor Freight.

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#4593830 - 12/04/17 10:36 AM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
Whimsey Offline


Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4047
Loc: The Garden State
Or another option is take what you can remove cold with suction and put into a bucket that has measurements in it. Then just put back the same amount with new cold fluid. I did this with our 2017 Explorer and it worked out well. The Explorer does not have a pan, just a drain plug and a fill hole without a dipstick, hence the need to measure what drains out cold to refill the same amount cold. If you do a pan drop you'll likely spill/lose enough fluid to not get an accurate volume measurement.

Whimsey

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#4594487 - 12/04/17 10:02 PM Re: Replacing fluid by weight [Re: RichardS]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4742
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: RichardS
JC1,
Yes, there are aftermarket sticks, and a quick glance found one for $30. But that seems a silly price tag for something I'll use one time if there is a potential, equally effective, and cheaper method.

Kestas,
That's why I was think about weighing it. I'd have to account for the fluid stuck in the extractor, but I'd imagine that wouldn't be more than 3-5 ounces. I figured a gram scale weight of the tubing before and after would give me a close enough estimate of fluid to replace when adding the new oil in.

Wolf359,
I'm not sure, honestly. I can find filter part numbers, but both a cartridge and in-sump version that come up. I'm fairly sure it isn't a cartridge, so there may be one in the pan. But JATCO doesn't even recommend servicing the fluid in a privately owned vehicle, so I'm sure filters are treated with the same "life time" interval. I'd be plenty happy with just a fluid swap via whatever I can suction out.


I don't know about your particular make, but Mercedes did the same thing with their transmissions. First they claimed it was a lifetime fluid, then later they backtracked and said that it should be changed every 40k. Even their new models still call for fluid changes. So I'm not sure I'd believe in anything that really says the fluid is lifetime. They always had a filter available even when it was lifetime and they even make you replace the bolts when dropping the pan as they're one time use bolts. At least there's only 6 of them and they don't cost that much.

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