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Discussion Starter #1
So finally, after months and months of going back and forth, I took the plunge and picked up a Commander. It’s a 2010 4x4 with a Hemi and 14K miles. Need some advice from you guys on what to do with the truck next.
The previous owner apparently towed with this truck (the hitch opening in the back has a couple of rusty scratches inside). At what point do I change the fluid in both axles and are there drain plugs? Also, the oil looks brand spanking new, I guess the dealer changed it when they took in the car (it was a trade). Should I wait for the monitor to tell me to change the oil or just do it? (I want to throw in synthetic at this point). Thanks in advance guys.
a commaner
 

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If the oil looks new, drive it for 3,000 miles and then go synthetic.
 

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congrats on the commander youll love them thats why i own 2 what i did when i bought my commanders is change allt he fluid in everything to synthetic that includes axles and trans and transfercase and power steering and oil and brake fluid and i changed the coolant my advice would be too put in synthetic and a good filter like wix and change out the fluids you can. If you need anything just hollar well all pretty good guys on here and very informitive :)
 

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Thanks guys. GOt a bit of an update here. I got ahold of the first owner and it turns out he never towed with the truck, just used the hitch for a bike rack, hence the scratches. So with only 14K on the odometer, I'm not touching the axles just yet. BTW, isnt the OEM fluid already synthetic?

I'll take your advice and drive for a bit before changing the oil to synthetic. its true, no sense wasting the oil. BTW, is everyone's oil dipstick as crazy looking as mine? After I pulled it out it was almost impossible to put it back in. Whatever happend to dipsticks being straight???:)
 

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BTW, is everyone's oil dipstick as crazy looking as mine? After I pulled it out it was almost impossible to put it back in. Whatever happend to dipsticks being straight???:)
Yep, they are different.

Did you find the one for the Transmission? :)
 

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oh yeh, the tranny dipstick is not nearly as crazy looking as the engine oil one. PLus I had the same transmission in my durango, so that I am used to! :)
 

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Congrats and welcome to the club and forum.

As to change intervals for the diffs, transfer case and transmission I would follow the owners manual. The transmission has 2 filters that require you to drop the pan. So when it comes time to service the transmission fluid, double check what your getting for your money... either sucking out the fluid and no filter change or pan drop and filters.

Enjoy.
 

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Yep, they are different.

Did you find the one for the Transmission? :)
oh yeh, the tranny dipstick is not nearly as crazy looking as the engine oil one. PLus I had the same transmission in my durango, so that I am used to! :)
What's the point in making the dipstick as twisty as fusilli pasta? It's APITA to put back in again :mofo:. Prior to owning this Jeep, I'd never seen a helical dipstick in any car before.
 

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Read your owner's manual, if it didn't come with one, you can download it for free from the Jeep Website.

There are specific warning in the owner manual to use a specific visosity range oil for the Hemi, that the MDS won't work right if you use a different one, so make sure you read it before buying oil to change.

Axle fluid, as well as trans and xfer case, read the owners manual again. For my 2010 I interpret the wording as, if you use your vehicle for severe duty (towing, taxi service, heavy off-roading) you change the axle fluid every 18k miles. If NOT, you don't need to change axle fluid, which I don't agree with never changing it, even if its only street driven, personally I change my axle fluid every 30k miles. If I towed or did heavy off-roading (i.e. get the axle in water or spin wheels in mud) I'd change it every 18k miles.

The Owner's Manual specifies Synthetic Fluid for the axles, so make sure to get synthetic. ATF+4 is synthetic, usually they say that on the bottle, but even if it doesn't, synthetic is part of the spec for ATF+4, so as long as it says ATF+4 as the "name" on the bottle, its synthetic, that can't put the "name" on the bottle if it wasn't certified by Chrysler. Keep in mind, several synthetic ATF's say in the fine print they can be used for ATF+4 applications. That does NOT mean they are ATF+4 and the Dealer could deny any trans warranty claims if you use something other than "CERTIFIED" ATF+4.

The front axle and xfr case has drains and fill ports. The rear axle you have to remove the cover, it has a rubber plugged fill hole. The transmission you drop the pan and swap the filter and re-fill, there is a TSB out recommending against trans flushes, changing Trans Fluid for Jeep means, drop the pan and change the filter and refill, NO flushing that is more likely to cause problems than only changing half the fluid every trans oil change. Just change the trans fluid more often, that way you'll always have a good protion of the fluid still good and protecting the trans.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much for the replies guys. I did download the manual off the website since the car for some reason didn’t come with one.
One thing got me puzzled. I tried to check the oil level last night and had a hard time getting a good reading, which makes me wonder if there is something wrong with this dam dipstick, as it is a PITA to insert. I understand it’s supposed to have the spiral going top to bottom, but the dipstick is not straight. There is a bend a bit past the halfway point, which makes me wonder if it should be there. I would really appreciate If someone could take a picture of theirs and post or email it so I can tell whether or not mine is normal.
I tried ordering a new one from the dealer but its on backorder. I might just change the oil this weekend and dump 7 qts in there and forget about the dipstick altogether.
Thanks in advance.
 
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