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Ken Peterson
Premium
join:2000-12-08
kudos:3

2 edits

'98 Plymouth Voyager - ATF +3 or +4?

Greetings - we have a '98 Plymouth Voyager with the Mitsubishi 3.0 V6. I had the automatic transmission rebuilt about 15K miles ago and figure it's time to exchange some old fluid for new. I have been trying to figure out which AT fluid I should use. As I have a 1998, it appears to be a pivotal year. Some websites recommend that if it's older than 1998, one should use ATF +3. Yet I have also read that ATF +4 is the stuff to use as it supercedes ATF +3.

Any recommendations as to which fluid I should use? The manual says ATF +3 7176.

I have read to use what the manual recommends, but I have also read that ATF +4 is better replacement.

Can any Chrysler owners set me straight?

======= taken from »www.allpar.com/faq.html

39. What kind of transmission fluid should I use?

Use ONLY what it says in your owner's manual to use. Many Chrysler
transmissions are NOT compatible with standard fluid! ATF+3
is usually the best one to use with automatic transmissions before
2001, ATF+4 after.

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT and very misunderstood issue.

You should really visit »www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html if you have
a four-speed or five-speed Chrysler automatic. Even most three-speed
automatics are required to use ATF+4.

=========== from »www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html

What type of fluid to use? (more details) - ATF+3 vs. ATF+4

Dennis Williamson wrote that Chrysler 7176 / ATF+3 fluid is no longer the only fluid to use in a late model transmission. Chrysler TSB# 21-006-01 notes that all current vehicles only use ATF+4 type 9602, part 05013457AA (for quart bottles). The advantages of ATF+4 over +3 include:

* Better anti-wear properties
* Improved rust/corrosion prevention
* Controls oxidation - eliminates deposits
* Anti-foaming
* Superior low temperature operation
* Maintains its friction properties over time

While others make additives that claim to meet the ATF+3 requirement when added to Dexron, extensive information on Chevron's Web site shows that the two leading additives do not meet the standards.

You can use ATF+3 with all older Chrysler transmissions (except as noted below - some Jeeps). ATF+4 is another story. This is from a Chrysler engineer:

If there is a doubt about which grade of ATF to use, follow the owners manual recommendation. AFT+4 in certain specific tests was shown to be incompatible with certain seal material. This incompatibility may cause a premature failure depending on the duty cycle of the vehicle. The fluid will work as intended however, it may cause a seal failure. (Thanks, Scott Brown, for tracking down that engineer!)

Rich Hutchinson wrote: [In 1989-91] both the manual and the dipstick said Dexron was okay, which is wrong. For non lockup 3 spds, either can be used. For lockup 3 spds up to some date in 1999 either could be used but ATF+3 was prefered. After that date ATF+4 is to be used in all automatics.

The best bet for transmissions made before 1998 is to just use ATF+3. Even if it's not needed, it's better than Dexron.

Remember - when you change from Dexron, also retrain the computer and "flash" the computer memory (if applicable).


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2
Let the guy who rebuilt it change the tranny fluid.

He is in the best position to know what is in there.
--
Overheard: "I could careless matter of Fact"


Ken Peterson
Premium
join:2000-12-08
kudos:3
said by Cho Baka:

Let the guy who rebuilt it change the tranny fluid. He is in the best position to know what is in there.
This was a Lee Myles shop and they said that it would never need tranny service (fluid exchange) again. I hesitate to have them do it as it's not in their best interest to make a tranny last forever.

Anyone else have some input re: ATF +3 vs ATF +4?

Michi5

join:2007-08-31

1 recommendation

It's a lubicrant, unless their is some type of material that is affected by the type of chemicals used on ATF+4, you can use both.

Choose a lubicrant that provides the best protection and durability of transmission parts. Their is no guessing game in this, also take 3SGTE's advice as well.

matt5

join:2001-10-06
Lagrangeville, NY
reply to Ken Peterson
Why not ask them what they put in? I think the best thing is to use the same stuff that's in their already.


Ken Peterson
Premium
join:2000-12-08
kudos:3
reply to Ken Peterson
Well, from what I have read, I can go with ATF+3 and be fine. I wanted to know if ATF+4 was any better, that's all.


Ken Peterson
Premium
join:2000-12-08
kudos:3
reply to Ken Peterson
Apparently ATF+4 is the replacement for ATF+3

»theoildrop.server101.com/forums/···st976100


Michieru_

@bellsouth.net
I would double check on such a claim if I where you. I find it hard to believe that the oil companies (online) still are selling ATF+3 when ATF+4 should of been it's replacement.

There is a reason on "why" it's still being sold, and I highly doubt it's because of stock, or else it would been on sale for 80% off, if it was approved for "all" AT's.


CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to Ken Peterson
This ATF TSB includes your model year vehicle and has partially been quoted above.
DCX says +4 is preferred and compatible with +3. Find out what is currently in there. If it is ATF+3 or +4 then do a simple change with +4. However if it has Dexron/Mercon (even with an additive to make it AFT+3/4 compatible) then I'd do a complete flush to AFT+4. Don't trust those flush machines, some of them back-flush.

matt5

join:2001-10-06
Lagrangeville, NY

1 recommendation

reply to Michieru_
ATF 3 is an older lubricant, their is nothing wrong with it and it can be used in ATF 3 trannys. ATF 4 is simply a newer fluid. It's not it "should" be the replacement but rather can be. Their is nothing to check, nothing fishy about ATF 3 being sold. Also ATF 3 is not approved for all trannys, I believe that ATF 3 in a 4 is a very bad thing.

I would personally keep what ever is in it, in it and not mix and match. For the price if it has ATF 3, I'd keep ATF 3...


Irun Man
Spartan up
Premium
join:2002-10-18
Walden, NY

1 recommendation

said by matt5:

ATF 3 is an older lubricant, their is nothing wrong with it and it can be used in ATF 3 trannys. ATF 4 is simply a newer fluid. It's not it "should" be the replacement but rather can be. Their is nothing to check, nothing fishy about ATF 3 being sold. Also ATF 3 is not approved for all trannys, I believe that ATF 3 in a 4 is a very bad thing.

I would personally keep what ever is in it, in it and not mix and match. For the price if it has ATF 3, I'd keep ATF 3...
Agree. stick with whatever the factory recommends; don't upgrade.
--
If you can't beat 'em, curse 'em behind their back!


swootton
Computer Nut

join:2001-05-11
Barkhamsted, CT
reply to Ken Peterson
I can give you a little background. I am going to make an assumption that based upon the fact that you have a 3.0 liter engine you also have a 3 speed automatic not the 4 speed overdrive unit.
Chysler over the years has made many changes as to the recommended fluid for their transaxles. In all models the current recommendation is ATF+4 except in caravan/voyager/town and country models which they recommend ATF+3 because it affects the shift quality. I personally never noticed any difference. As far as the three speed which I believe your van has, it was originally designed to use regular ATF DexronII. Chrysler never made any significant changes to that transaxle to "require" ATF+3 or above. It was just easier for Chrsler and thier dealers to stock just one fluid and put it in everything. I know because I was a dealer technician when the change came through. We started putting ATF+3 in every vehicle that came in, even the ones that came with DexronII from the factory.
In reality you can use Dexron, +3 or +4. Personally I'd put Dexron if it's a 3 speed and +3 if its an overdrive unit.