ATF+3 in Transmission ? - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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ATF+3 in Transmission ?

A Friend of mine has just changed the transmission oil in his 4.7L Commander with ATF+3 oil, he did it by mistake. he just drove for about 300 miles only.

Now he bought the correct Oil MOPAR ATF+4 and want to change the oil.

The question is does he need to change the filters as well or just use oil sucking tool to remove the wrong oil from the transmission and fill it with the correct one?

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2007 XH (International model), Green Metallic, Ltd, 5.7L HEMI, Quadra-Drive II
Spidertax 1.5" wheel spacer, K&N replacement filter
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 08:36 AM
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Just to be sure, I'd change the filters too. Compare the cost of two filters to the cost of a transmission. In reality, it probably would'n't make any difference, but I would not take the chance. It would always be in the back of his head - I should have changed the filters.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 08:49 AM
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I don't think there is a need to change the Filter, it can't hurt to be sure though.

ATF+3 is the earlier version of ATF+4, I'm NOT positive, but pretty sure, both fluids have the same properties, as all ATF+ versions do. Its just the later the ATF+ version, the better the quality and LONGER LASTING under severe usage, is the fluid.

The very troublesome A604/41TE (the first fully electronic transmission) is the reason Chrysler came up with the ATF+ series of fluid, that they later switched to all their transmissions, even though they were NOT so demanding on the fluid as the A604/41TE was. So there is an argument that other transmissions, NOT as demanding on the fluid, don't need the higher quality of ATF+4, but I wouldn't risk experimenting with fluid on something as expensive as a Transmission.

SO, unlikely he did damage in only a couple hundred miles, in fact I would NOT be surprised if the ATF+3 could stay in the trans and it continue to work fine, it just wouldn't last as long as ATF+4. BUT, how expensive a transmission is, I would NOT risk it.

Your friends problem is, the transmission pan holds less than half the fluid capacity of the trans, and it mixes with the rest of the fluid. So changing just the fluid in the pan would remove less than half the ATF+3 already mixed with the rest of the fluid. Read the problems/Dealers forum, the trans flushes are recommended AGAINST by Chrysler and guys that have had them done, have experienced problems.

My suggestion, ATF+4 is cheap enough (OK, I'm in the States, it might be expensive overseas), have your friend buy an entire case, and a couple of extra quarts. Change the trans fluid with ATF+4, just in the pan, drive the vehicle for 10 miles or so. Change it again, repeat, until out of fluid runs out, of course get enough to bring it to the proper fluid level.

You change the fluid 3 or 4 times, you've fractionated the remaining ATF+3 down enough there will be nothing to worry about.

An alternative for you friend, he could just change fluid once with ATF+4 now, then pull the next trans fluid changes twice as frequent for then next 4 changes, I'm sure would work just as well.

BTW, ATF+4 is Synthetic, while the earlier versions are Conventional based Oil. Don't worry, conventional and synthetic oil mix just fine, including transmission fluid, which is mostly thin motor oil with a different additives package.

Pretty sure ATF+4 is the GroupIII Synthetic, NOT GroupIV. Thats another American broken legal system's gift to the world, the word "Synthetic" is just a marketing term now, you can label anything you want synthetic now, well you have to argue it has gone through some synthesizing process. I can't wait until the dairy industry figures this out and starts to relabel homogenized milk as Synthetic Milk.


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Last edited by Mongo; 01-08-2011 at 09:10 AM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 11:51 PM
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I wouldn't want that in my tranny. They are very solid transmissions but they need the right kind of fluid, changed at the right intervals, otherwise it could be trouble.

I'd look into pulling one of the lines to get everything out.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briandl View Post
I wouldn't want that in my tranny. They are very solid transmissions but they need the right kind of fluid, changed at the right intervals, otherwise it could be trouble.

I'd look into pulling one of the lines to get everything out.
Thats a really tough call.

I don't think a little ATF+3 mixed in the fluid would be a big problem, for the reasons I stated above. BUT, I don't know that for sure, I'm only making a half-educated guess.

Pulling the return cooler line and catching the fluid being pumped out, while you run the motor, although I've done it with other vehicles and its worked, it has its risks as well. The trans is NOT designed to do that, you don't know if there is something unanticipated about disconnected cooler lines, you could fill the new fluid to slow or to fast, and starve the trans of fluid, get air in the system or foam the fluid.

Lots of people have done this with trans, the "Home-Made Trans Flush" I call it, and they haven't had a problem. If they're a fairly good shade tree mechanic, fairly mechanically inclined and have more experience than changing oil, I'd think that person could do the procedure.

IMO, its 6 of one, a half-dozen of another. Change the fluid several times with the recommended procedure, drive around in between to mix it, fractionate the ATF+3 down to just a small fraction of whats in the ATF+4. -OR- do a NON-recommended procedure that should flush out most of all the old fluid (it will still mix in the torque converter, you can't get all of it out).

BUT, if you take it to a shop/dealer and ask them to flush it, it might end up hooked to one of these machines pumping solvents through it, back flowing fluid through it, etc and make worse problems; like you see threads about on this forum. You definitely want to avoid that.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys ,, I will recommend to him changing the filters too.

But how to perform full flush in the Transmission?

Second Jeep Commander, Current
2007 XH (International model), Green Metallic, Ltd, 5.7L HEMI, Quadra-Drive II
Spidertax 1.5" wheel spacer, K&N replacement filter
OME 2" Lift kit


First Jeep Commander,
2007 XH (International model), Light Graystone Pearl, Sport , 4.7L Quadra-Trac II.





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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 08:46 AM
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If it was my Commander. I would take all that fluid out and change the filters again. Just to be safe. Like stated before, id rather pay for new fluids and filters then the thousands of dollars it would cost for a transmission. Dropping the pan will get about 1/2 of the fluid out. To get some more out disconnect the tranny lines from the side of the tranny. That should drain a good amount of the rest of the fluid. You should be good after that.




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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 11:20 AM
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The Homemade flush, you disconnect the return line and hook a hose up to a bucket, even better a clear jug you can see the fluid filling up in it. Even better mark the clear jug by quarts, to see how much is coming out.

Get set up to add fluid to the trans, funnel in and open bottles, etc.

Start the motor and let it idle, the trans will pump fluid to the cooler and out the return line from the cooler and into the bucket. Judge how fast the fluid is coming out and try to pour an equal amount and rate into the trans. i.e. replacing the old fluid coming out with new fluid going into the pan.

Keep in mind, usually old and new fluid is mixing in the torque converter before going to the cooler.

Just like changing the oil from the pan three times, there just isn't a way to get all the old fluid out, unless you do this homemade flush and keep doing it for dozens of quarts of fluid.

Eitherway, drop the pan 3 times, or do the homemade flush, the old fluid will be so little, its NOT going to hurt. My guess, the homemade flush would get a little more out than dropping the pan 3 times.


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