HELP! Transmission fluid leaking on my 3.7 V6 - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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HELP! Transmission fluid leaking on my 3.7 V6

Hi, I have done plenty of research on this. I have the 3.7 V6 (2x2) 2006 Jeep commander. I guess I have the Mercedes W5A580/NAG1 non-dipstick tranny. I am getting a pretty good puddle of leak while the Jeep just sits in the garage.

Just by looking at the bottom it looks like the pan is the one leaking. However, I read that there is a TSB about the electrical connector/o-ring that is the most common cause of leak on these cars. The problem is, I looked everywhere and cannot find this electrical connector! Does my tranny really have this electrical connector?

If it is the pan, I read that this particular pan does not have a gasket but uses RTV instead. Is this true?

Finally, I know this does not have a dipstick but it does have a tube with a cap on it in the engine bay (says for dealer use). If I want to put some ATF fluid in the tranny, can I use this tube? Also, aside from the dealer where can I get "ATF-4"? Autozone? Pep Boys?







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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:36 AM
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Sorry, probably your biggest question, about an electrical connector seal, I can't answer it, but for the others, to at least help you along.
Quote:
Originally Posted by esanmiguel View Post
If it is the pan, I read that this particular pan does not have a gasket but uses RTV instead. Is this true?
No the pan has a big fitted gasket that goes over the edge a round/rolled lip. If the gasket is the source of the leak, replace it, might as well do a filter/fluid change while you are at it, and get a filter/gasket kit.

Having changed the fluid myself, my guess is the lip of the pan is rolled, i.e. has a rounded edge, NOT a flat flang, thus NOT a lot of sealing area for the RTV. I think you would be far more likely to get leaks using RTV instead of replacing the gasket.
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Originally Posted by esanmiguel View Post
Finally, I know this does not have a dipstick but it does have a tube with a cap on it in the engine bay (says for dealer use). If I want to put some ATF fluid in the tranny, can I use this tube? Also, aside from the dealer where can I get "ATF-4"? Autozone? Pep Boys?
Yes, you add fluid by twisting off the cap on top of that tube and pouring ATF+4 down it using a trans funnel. You also put the special tool dipstick down it to check the fluid level.

This tranny is very sensitive to overfill, that is why it does NOT come with a dipstick and says only the dealer should service it. So I wouldn't add fluid without knowing how much is needed.

It is possible to check the W5A580/NAG1 fluid level yourself, but you need the special tool dipstick (got mine off ebay), a way to measure the fluid temp (the dealer uses the starscan tool to read the temp sensor, I use a trans temp gauge I installed) and the table to show the exact fluid level vs temperature (downloadable off the internet). The dipstick is NOT easy to work with, it is NOT hard at all to dip it incorrectly and get the wrong fluid level reading.
Quote:
Originally Posted by esanmiguel View Post
Also, aside from the dealer where can I get "ATF-4"? Autozone? Pep Boys?
ATF+4 is licensed by Chrysler, an oil manufacturer has to pass Chrysler's specs to be allowed to use the name "ATF+4" on the bottle. So as long as it has "ATF+4" as the name on the bottle, you would be fine. Don't confuse that with the small print on the back of the bottle saying the oil companies "claim" it can be used in "ATF+4" applications. If the name of the fluid is NOT "ATF+4" on the bottle, it is NOT ATF+4 and you should NOT use it.

I've seen ATF+4 sold just about everywhere that sells transmission fluid, including walmart that has it as its own generic brand, as well as others.

NOTE: Some of the more specialized synthetic companies (AMSOIL, Redline, Royal Purple, Mobil1) do sell a Synthetic ATF they claim will meet the specs for ATF+4, but NOT exactly thus they can't claim it is ATF+4, and from what I can tell, they do work well. BUT, for warranty purposes, they are NOT ATF+4 and no argument in the world about how the fluid is better quality is NOT going to amount to a hill of beans if a warranty is denied for using the "wrong fluid".


Last edited by Mongo; 01-09-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:57 AM
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I havent been under a Mercedes trans for quite a while so....the connector is just above the bottom edge of the trans, above where the pan meets the case......it is the only connector.
When it leaks, it tracks around the edge of the pan, making it appear the pan is leaking.

Look harder...it's about the diameter of a nickel.

Rob
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 10:44 AM
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The o-rings to the wiring harness went bad on mine also, creating e leak. The fix was simple, although I didn't do it. This is located to the forward of the tranny, don't remember left or right side though. One of the front corner bolts that holds the pan in place also holds a guard plate that kind of covers, protects the harness. Once the bolt and guard plate are removed, you'll see the wires going into a large plastic lug, I'll bet this is your leak.
There's a Utube video replacing the valve body on the NAG1. In this video he shows how the harness is removed and reinstalled. If I would've seen the video before the leak, I'd have done the repair in my driveway. And As Mongo stated, there is definately a heavy rubber gasket to the pan, and I'm told this hardly ever goes bad. Good luck!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
This tranny is very sensitive to overfill, that is why it does NOT come with a dipstick and says only the dealer should service it. So I wouldn't add fluid without knowing how much is needed.
I already lost maybe 1/2 cup of ATF from the leak. I just want to add a little ATF to the tranny from what I have lost so far.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby View Post
I havent been under a Mercedes trans for quite a while so....the connector is just above the bottom edge of the trans, above where the pan meets the case......it is the only connector.
When it leaks, it tracks around the edge of the pan, making it appear the pan is leaking.

Look harder...it's about the diameter of a nickel.

Rob

Is this what I am looking for:


I spent 30 mins under the Jeep with a flashlight looking for such a thing and can't find it. I even removed a heat shield held with two 10mm bolts thinking it would be under there but it isn't. I will have to go under it one more time to check harder. In the meantime, is there a diagram online to actually see this particular tranny?

Last edited by esanmiguel; 01-09-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esanmiguel View Post
Is this what I am looking for:


I spent 30 mins under the Jeep with a flashlight looking for such a thing and can't find it. I even removed a heat shield held with two 10mm bolts thinking it would be under there but it isn't. I will have to go under it one more time to check harder. In the meantime, is there a diagram online to actually see this particular tranny?
Sorry my friend...your photo didn't come through.
All I get is the little box w/red x inside.

Rob
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robby View Post
Sorry my friend...your photo didn't come through.
All I get is the little box w/red x inside.

Rob
Sorry here are the pics:


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 06:25 AM
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It appears you have photographed the connector we are discussing......if so, that leak rate should be a tow truck ride to a trans shop.

It appears there is another source of leakage above the connector......maybe a fully failed cooler line.

When the connector leaks, it is a occasional drip and it wicks along the edge of the trans pan, never a steady stream like I see.

If this is going to be a DIY event, start by flooding it with brake clean spray and let it dry off.....fluid won't leak uphill so you can better identify the leak source.

Based on what I see I'm really thinking cooler line failure as the primary leak.

Rob
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 07:39 AM
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I agree with Robby, it looks like the cooler line bolted into the tranny just above that point is leaking, and leaking pretty badly.

If I "remember" correctly the driver side cooler line is pressure/out, the passenger side line is return.

They use this new kind of funky connector that has a big rubber bushing between the fitting and line, if I "remember" correctly the rubber bushing is just about flush with the nut/fitting. In your pick the rubber bushing extends quite a bit from the nut/fitting. Compare it with the fittings on the other line, if that rubber bushing is pulled out farther then it should, I suspect that is the cause of the leak (no I doubt just pushing it back in without removing the nut will stop the leak totally).

I don't have enough experience/knowledge about these fittings, if it can be taken apart and have that bushing forced back in to seal it up, if you can replace the fittings on the end of the line or if you have to replace the entire line as an assembly. Eitherway, I've seen posts about folks working on these line, and from appearance, it really looks like it is a DIY job for most.

The problem will be topping off the trans to correctl level, like I said, you'll need:
  • The special tool dipstick
  • A way to measure the trans fluid temp
  • The table for fluid level vs temp
BTW, you're guessing when you say half a cup low, half a cup low is NOT going to hurt the trans, while a whole cup high 'might' hurt the trans. I would avoid adding fluid unless you have a way to determine the fluid level is correct. The tranny fluid level is NOT something you want to guess with, especially this trans.

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