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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Bought my 06 Commander new from the dealer. I have always done my own maintenance and noted from the start the transmission fluid was high. I didn't think too much of it. During the cold months here, getting into the single digits, there were some spots in the drive way. Just did another oil change and it seems the fluid under the vehicle is trans fluid. The level is above the high mark and it is 40 degrees outside and I have not been running the engine. Is there a problem with having this much trans fluid?

417 Posts
Could be because it drained out of the torque converter back to the trans. You should check trans fluid while the engine is warm and running. There are specific parameters, but I don't know those.

953 Posts
Is it also high when you check it when it's hot and the engine is running? I think that is the definitive test.

Good luck!


3,037 Posts
Like stated already; Check your owner manual, it will tell you how to check the fluid level.

Unfortunately there does seem to be some debate as to if the Owner's Manual is correct for checking the fluid level in the 545RFE (the V8 Trans). I think the manual says to check the level with the motor running and warmed up, with the trans in neutral, and the dip stick says to check it in park.

More than half of the trans fluid is in the workings of the transmission and the torque converter. When it is NOT working, the fluid can drain back into the pan and the fluid level in the pan can be higher than when the trans is running and warm.

This what my 2010 OM says:
Fluid Level Check (5.7L Engine)
Check the fluid level while the transmission is at normal
operating temperature. This occurs after at least 15 miles
(25 km) of driving. At normal operating temperature the
fluid cannot be held comfortably between the fingertips.
To check the fluid level properly, the following procedure
must be used:
1. Operate the engine at idle speed and normal operating
2. The vehicle must be on level ground.
3. Fully apply the parking brake, and press the brake
4. Place the shift lever momentarily in each gear position
ending with the shift lever in PARK.
5. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert it until
6. Remove the dipstick again, and note the fluid level on
both sides. The fluid level should be between the “HOT”
(upper) reference holes on the dipstick at normal operating
temperature. The fluid level is only valid if there is a
solid coating of oil on both sides of the dipstick. If the
fluid is low, add as required into the dipstick tube. Do
not overfill. After adding any quantity of oil through the
oil fill tube, wait a minimum of two minutes for the oil to
fully drain into the transmission before rechecking the
fluid level.
NOTE: If it is necessary to check the transmission below
the operating temperature, the fluid level should be
between the two “COLD” (lower) holes on the dipstick
with the fluid at approximately 70°F (21°C) (room temperature).
If the fluid level is correctly established at
room temperature, it should be between the “HOT”
(upper) reference holes when the transmission reaches
180°F (82°C). Remember it is best to check the level at the
normal operating temperature.

Be aware that if the fluid temperature is below 50°F
(10°C) it may not register on the dipstick. Do not add
fluid until the temperature is elevated enough to
produce an accurate reading.

7. Check for leaks. Release parking brake.
To prevent dirt and water from entering the transmission
after checking or replenishing fluid, make certain that the
dipstick cap is properly reseated. It is normal for the
dipstick cap to spring back slightly from its fully seated
position, as long as its seal remains engaged in the
dipstick tube.
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