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Last night I decided it was time to check all the fluids and make sure they're still at proper levels. I looked everywhere for the tranny dispstick but couldn't find it. Finally looked in the owner's manual, and it says the auto trans doesn't come with a dipstick as the fluid is basically sealed in the tranny for life. If I ever need more fluid added or it changed I have to go to the dealer who has "special tools" to replace it. Is this a new thing with auto transmissions or am I just an old dinosaur for not realizing you don't have to change the fluid and filter every couple of years anymore? In a way that's fine, as replacing transmission fluid is a messy job to begin with. But I sure hope I'm not bound to a damn dealer if I have an issue and need them to check the tranny fluid for me.
 

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Today's vehicles are getting more and more sealed so you HAVE to take it in for service. I'm sure the Dart isn't the only car that does this by far... Gone are the days when you can work on your own vehicle.
 

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Today's vehicles are getting more and more sealed so you HAVE to take it in for service. I'm sure the Dart isn't the only car that does this by far... Gone are the days when you can work on your own vehicle.
Boooooooooo. Not to you nydartsrt, but to being forced to take your car in to the dealership for "routine" work. My son and I just finished replacing the spark plugs in his '13 Dart. Several weeks ago, the dealership replaced a spark plug and the turbo. The 2 bolts that hold on the engine cover were different bolts and were rounded off. Two of the coil pack clips were broken. The clamp that holds the air intake to the turbo was not tightened at all. He found a wrench by the windshield wipers. Yep, that's good quality work right there. :disappointed::disappointed::disappointed::serious:
 

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I just went through this fiasco with my 1998 Malibu. No dipstick but I felt it was time I did the transmission lines and flushed it and changed the filter. Basically you don't need to take it to a dealer. I'm definitely not buying into that 'sealed for life' garbage. If you do, great, if not, even better. Basically when I went to refill my transmission with fluid, you are to get the transmission up to operating temperature with whatever fluid you have in it. This can be confirmed with either the temp gauge or a data stream reader. The car then goes into the air and if the drain plug is accessible (not sure why it wouldn't be) you simply pop it out and let it drain. If there's excess it will flow out and when it's done, it's full. If nothing comes out obviously more is needed.

I'm not sure if the Darts are the same way but this is how I worked on my own without a dipstick. I just think it's stupud they don't include one. Things leak all the time on vehicles - transmission lines, axle seals, pan gaskets. The car is bound to lose some throughout its life and they don't give you a way to check it yourself, and I agree it's ludicrous.
 

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Boooooooooo. Not to you nydartsrt, but to being forced to take your car in to the dealership for "routine" work. My son and I just finished replacing the spark plugs in his '13 Dart. Several weeks ago, the dealership replaced a spark plug and the turbo. The 2 bolts that hold on the engine cover were different bolts and were rounded off. Two of the coil pack clips were broken. The clamp that holds the air intake to the turbo was not tightened at all. He found a wrench by the windshield wipers. Yep, that's good quality work right there. :disappointed::disappointed::disappointed::serious:
Nothing surprises me anymore, reason 4,096 to avoid the dealer even for routine work. I would call them tomorrow and give em a piece of your mind. And it's $100 convenience charge of they want the wrench back, which is still a deal if you think about the techs hourly billable rate.
 

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Last night I decided it was time to check all the fluids and make sure they're still at proper levels. I looked everywhere for the tranny dispstick but couldn't find it. Finally looked in the owner's manual, and it says the auto trans doesn't come with a dipstick as the fluid is basically sealed in the tranny for life. If I ever need more fluid added or it changed I have to go to the dealer who has "special tools" to replace it. Is this a new thing with auto transmissions or am I just an old dinosaur for not realizing you don't have to change the fluid and filter every couple of years anymore? In a way that's fine, as replacing transmission fluid is a messy job to begin with. But I sure hope I'm not bound to a damn dealer if I have an issue and need them to check the tranny fluid for me.
Hey Delta Dart. I can shed some light on this. I work for mopar and have access to tech-connect, MOPAR's online FSM.
Most of the new transmissions like the dart 6 speed, the ddct, the 8 speed auto and the 9 speed do not require services. While this is counter-intuitive, it really isn't an issue. They aren't engineering things so you "have to go to the dealer." It is simply a testament to the new engineering and quality of the fluids now used.

We use "wi-tech," it is the wi-fi based interface from your dart's OBDII port to our computer data portal.
To even check the fluid, it must be at a certain temp, (which can be read in real time on wi-tech.) You then have to remove the lower shield, remove a plug on the trans, and use a dealership-tool dipstick, with certain measurements engraved on the stick. We have a table that explains, "at temp x... the fluid should be at level y."

If you have more questions, please, ask. I have access to the information.
 

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Hey Delta Dart. I can shed some light on this. I work for mopar and have access to tech-connect, MOPAR's online FSM.
Most of the new transmissions like the dart 6 speed, the ddct, the 8 speed auto and the 9 speed do not require services. While this is counter-intuitive, it really isn't an issue. They aren't engineering things so you "have to go to the dealer." It is simply a testament to the new engineering and quality of the fluids now used.

We use "wi-tech," it is the wi-fi based interface from your dart's OBDII port to our computer data portal.
To even check the fluid, it must be at a certain temp, (which can be read in real time on wi-tech.) You then have to remove the lower shield, remove a plug on the trans, and use a dealership-tool dipstick, with certain measurements engraved on the stick. We have a table that explains, "at temp x... the fluid should be at level y."

If you have more questions, please, ask. I have access to the information.
Heard the same thing from VW. They also use 100% synthetic ATF that is superior to ours, and yet at 80K my automatic's fluid came out practically in lumps. While most other VW transmissions are acting up soon after 100K miles, mine is still working fine at 187K miles because I have changed out the fluid a number of times. Unless you warranty the transmission for unlimited mileage, then it is NOT warranteed for life. I believe the manufacturers only are interested in it lasting to the end of their warranty...BTW didn't Chrysler just lower their transmission warranty to 60K miles for the 2016's? Impressive! ;)

Chrysler Reduces 2016 Powertrain Warranties by 40,000 Miles ? News ? Car and Driver | Car and Driver Blog
 

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I honestly don't know what that sound was, but the car has driven about 900 miles since then without the noise (had the noise for about 3 miles in Big Sur) or any other problems. Doesn't seem like an automatic transmission problem would behave like that, does it? Have not been able to get under the car once (wife immediately took it back out of town, but I drove it yesterday up in San Bernardino and not a peep out of it) to look for what could have caused it (lowered). Plus I have put the car through the wringer, fully loaded down, through HWY 1 and the San Bernardino mountains since then. I can only imagine trying this with my 13 year old Dodge Dart II DDCT...LOL

(Its my "new" other MKIV Jetta with approx. 130K miles).
 
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