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ADMIN NOTE: This is old info. More recent info is available. You can, with the transmission at ambient temperature and engine not running, use the engine dipstick to check the fluid level. Just clean the dipstick well before using it. Remove the air intake/battery cover to access the CVT dipstick tube. Fluid level is good if it falls within the "safe zone" markings.

Hello, I have a 2007 Caliber 2.0L with a CVT. I would like to check the transmission fluid level and take a look at the condition. Seems I can't find the dip stick, if there i one, and the owners manual says to "let a qualified mechanic" check it. What;s the deal with this? There must be a way to check it. Anybody know how? Thanks, Nouerid
 

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STOP!

The CVT fluid only needs replacement around 60,000KM. If you've reached that point, my advice would be to have it checked by a dealer.

Checking fluid level requires a special dip stick that has gradation marks on it. These marks are used to compare against a temperature chart for proper levels. CVT fluid is a special beast that contains micro pellets of rubber-like compounds. These make the fluid very dynamic in density with varying temperatures and thus requires special attention when checking for it's level.

Too much fluid will cause an overflow valve to flush out the fluid and depending on it's temperature, will likely flush out too much.

Too little fluid will cause the transmission to heat up rapidly and to foam up the fluid, causing decreased lubrication and transmission failure:

Service Manual said:
EFFECTS OF INCORRECT FLUID LEVEL
A low fluid level allows the pump to take in air along with the fluid. Air in the fluid will cause fluid pressures to be low and develop slower than normal. If the transmission is overfilled, the gears churn the fluid into foam. This aerates the fluid and causing the same conditions occurring with a low level. In either case, air bubbles cause fluid overheating, oxidation, and varnish buildup which interferes with valve and clutch operation. Foaming also causes fluid expansion which can result in fluid overflow from the transmission vent or fill tube. Fluid overflow can easily be mistaken for a leak if inspection is not careful.
These transmissions are not serviceable. If it fails, it must be REPLACED!

If you are mechanically-inclined, then indulge yourself and arm yourself with the proper tools:

  • MOPAR CVTF +4 fluid
  • Mopar Oil Dipstick 9336
and consult this temperature chart:

 

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Mouser, I was going to say, 60,000K is kind of short. My manual says 96,000K or 100,000K. I think you ment miles.


and yes, I would just take your car to the dealer of an oil change, and ask them to specifically check your CVT fluid.
 

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At the very least, you MUST use fluid specified for the JATCO CVT2 Transmission. There may be a few other brands out there (Nissan for one), but do not use any other type of fluid.

There are molecules of a synthetic rubber polymer in suspension in the fluid. Actually, the base of the fluid is synthetic also. This fluid will still be good as new, even after the rest of the car is history.

And a final point, I have never had to change the ATF in any car I have ever owned. Using the dipstick on on my older cars has always shown the fluid level to be correct, and the fluid smelled normal, and was only a little darker than new (at about 100k miles).

Yes I am a conservative driver, but most cars used as "private automobiles" that are driven in a safe and sane manner never really need the fluid changed.
 

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Mine was changed and it was right at 7.9qt.I was quoted $110 at a local Dodge dealer in Duncannon P.A. They quoted me 110 but had only done this under warranty.He said they had never had anyone come in for CVT service as a paying customer.I learned later that service guy quoted me wrong and should have been 300+.While he said that the 110 didn't even cover the parts/fluid he had to honor it and only charge me 110 for the CVT service.I told him I would be willing to at least cover his costs for parts and fluid because of the mix up.He showed me their true costs for parts/fluid and it came up to like 178 so I gave him that as payment.Owner stopped me at the door and told me that I had 2 free OLF just because I was fair about it. While I wont ever use them but at least there are still honest and fair people left on this planet still. From now on I will service them, Just cant go wrong putting back what you take out.This is the very first CVT I have worked on and really took it there to get the flash update. These are not dodge transmissions so would be willing to use another fluid brand in them now. Prior to this dodge CVT vehicle, I would never have put anything in it but mopar fluid in a dodge due to dodge trannys never last on anything but mopar fluid. Now that these are not dodge electronic transmissions I believe that you can get away from using nissan cvt or any other cvt fluid without having the problems you did other dodge 3-4spd electronically controlled transmission. Its about time public got a break from being forced to use mopar fluids.

Downside is Nissan cvt fluid is probably just as much if not more......I would stick to the top cvt fluids only. Mainly Nissan has been using these for over 9 years now so they would be first choice.
 

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Mine was changed and it was right at 7.9qt.I was quoted $110 at a local Dodge dealer in Duncannon P.A. They quoted me 110 but had only done this under warranty.He said they had never had anyone come in for CVT service as a paying customer.I learned later that service guy quoted me wrong and should have been 300+.While he said that the 110 didn't even cover the parts/fluid he had to honor it and only charge me 110 for the CVT service.I told him I would be willing to at least cover his costs for parts and fluid because of the mix up.He showed me their true costs for parts/fluid and it came up to like 178 so I gave him that as payment.Owner stopped me at the door and told me that I had 2 free OLF just because I was fair about it. While I wont ever use them but at least there are still honest and fair people left on this planet still. From now on I will service them, Just cant go wrong putting back what you take out.This is the very first CVT I have worked on and really took it there to get the flash update. These are not dodge transmissions so would be willing to use another fluid brand in them now. Prior to this dodge CVT vehicle, I would never have put anything in it but mopar fluid in a dodge due to dodge trannys never last on anything but mopar fluid. Now that these are not dodge electronic transmissions I believe that you can get away from using nissan cvt or any other cvt fluid without having the problems you did other dodge 3-4spd electronically controlled transmission. Its about time public got a break from being forced to use mopar fluids.

Downside is Nissan cvt fluid is probably just as much if not more......I would stick to the top cvt fluids only. Mainly Nissan has been using these for over 9 years now so they would be first choice.
If they used 7.9qts, then they did a complete fluid change. In other words, drain-fill-run-drain-fill.
 

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CVT Fluid

Just purchased a 08 Caliber SXT last week and it has 75,000 Kms on it.
I went to the Dodge dealer today to check for any outstanding recalls and he suggested that I should think about getting the CVT fluid changed. He stated that there is no filter just the CVT fluid. He stated that the cost of this service would be $380 Canadian. Must be very expensive fluid.
 

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Yes, there is a strainer that must be replaced when you change the fluid.
There is also a filter that is part of the heat exchanger on the transmission, this cannot be replaced unless you replace the heat exchange unit.

It does not hurt to change the fluid early, but the price is kind of high - I'd shop around a little first.

Yes - CVT fluid costs about twice as much as ordinary ATF.
 

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Hi everyone, this thread has been really helpful!

Don't know where you got that from in the service manual. 8.1qts is it's total capacity. The service manual under Fluid Capacities states: "Automatic Transaxle - Estimated Service Fill --- 3.8L (4.0 Qts.)"
@Prop1 I found on the service manual the table you quoted saying 3.8L are needed. But why does the page 21-419 on CVT service say 7.0L for a fluid change?

(Comes from the 2007 Service Manual)
3. Add following initial quantity of MOPART CVT+4, Automatic Transmission Fluid, to the transmission:
a. If only fluid and filter were changed, add 7.0 L (14.8 pts.) of transmission fluid to transmission.
b. If the transmission was completely overhauled or the torque converter was replaced or drained, add 8.1 L
(17.1 pts.) of transmission fluid to transmission.
I'm asking because I called the dealership and asked for a quotation on the CVT fluid change and from the price they gave me (for parts, labour not included) it seems they are charging for the full 7Lts.

Thanks again!
 

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Hi everyone, this thread has been really helpful!



@Prop1 I found on the service manual the table you quoted saying 3.8L are needed. But why does the page 21-419 on CVT service say 7.0L for a fluid change?

(Comes from the 2007 Service Manual)


I'm asking because I called the dealership and asked for a quotation on the CVT fluid change and from the price they gave me (for parts, labour not included) it seems they are charging for the full 7Lts.

Thanks again!
It has to be a typo. Everyone that has changed the fluid has replaced 4qts. If you do a complete fluid change, which consists of draining, adding, running, then draining again; then it would almost double the amount.
 

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Ok, I'll try to get the exact information of how much fluid their quotation includes.

Does anyone know of a different service manual version I can get my hands on?

Maybe an updated one, or even a spanish version?

Cheers!
 

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Tranny change + Filter

Ive done my research - Nissan NS-2, Nippon Eneos CVT fluid, and Motul Multi CVTF are all equivalents to Mopar's CVTF+4 "monopoly" at $22/qt here in Quebec.
I can hardly get anything up here other than the dealers fluid, so im driving to Massena NY to buy Nippon Eneos CVT fluid at 9.99/litre
I bought my car in Nov 2010 with 51,000 km on it. it was used as a rental car by enterprise for 1 year. I immediately wanted to change the tranny fluid and filter but i waited till now. 200,000 km. i hear a winding i dont like.
I bought the filter and gasket.
im buying 7 liters to do my change unless someone objects on here with good reasons why i should only buy 3.75?
 

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No 7 liters is the correct amount, as per the service manual.
I'd put 6 in first, let things settle for a bit.
Check the level - 24 to 36 mm above the bottom of the pan.
Then add half of the final liter.
Check the level again.
Then slowly top off with what's left of the last liter.

CVTF+4 is actually Valvoline CVT fluid.
 

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No 7 liters is the correct amount, as per the service manual.
I'd put 6 in first, let things settle for a bit.
Check the level - 24 to 36 mm above the bottom of the pan.
Then add half of the final liter.
Check the level again.
Then slowly top off with what's left of the last liter.

CVTF+4 is actually Valvoline CVT fluid.
Ive done my research - Nissan NS-2, Nippon Eneos CVT fluid, and Motul Multi CVTF are all equivalents to Mopar's CVTF+4 "monopoly" at $22/qt here in Quebec.
I can hardly get anything up here other than the dealers fluid, so im driving to Massena NY to buy Nippon Eneos CVT fluid at 9.99/litre
I bought my car in Nov 2010 with 51,000 km on it. it was used as a rental car by enterprise for 1 year. I immediately wanted to change the tranny fluid and filter but i waited till now. 200,000 km. i hear a winding i dont like.
I bought the filter and gasket.
im buying 7 liters to do my change unless someone objects on here with good reasons why i should only buy 3.75?
Definitely buy 7 Litres (8 quarts). Do as Dave suggested, adding 6 first, then letting it settle for 30 minutes or so, take a measurement, then top off as needed.

I opted for adding 7quarts off the bat -- turns out Im about 1/4 a quart over (no idea why -- possibly the torque converter and cooler was holding a touch more fluild than I thought), but thats not really a big deal (although I was thinking of evac'ing that 1/4 quart, cuz Im anal like that.. o.0 ).

Also, if you have a valvoline center near you, they only charge around $12 a quart for their fluid. The rebrand to mopar apparently is worth the extra $4.something. lol

In regards to your whining sound -- is your gasket leaking? This was the case with my CVT. I was running at about 1/2 fluid-capacity, which was causing the fluid to overheat rendering it useless. It was pretty dark compared to new fluid when I drained it.
 

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Hi everyone, this thread has been really helpful!



@Prop1 I found on the service manual the table you quoted saying 3.8L are needed. But why does the page 21-419 on CVT service say 7.0L for a fluid change?

(Comes from the 2007 Service Manual)


I'm asking because I called the dealership and asked for a quotation on the CVT fluid change and from the price they gave me (for parts, labour not included) it seems they are charging for the full 7Lts.

Thanks again!
It has to be a typo. Everyone that has changed the fluid has replaced 4qts. If you do a complete fluid change, which consists of draining, adding, running, then draining again; then it would almost double the amount.
Just to clarify:
It is not a typo. I have checked the Dodge service manual, the valvoline service manual, Identifix.com, as well as called 3 dealerships inquiring about a standard drain and fill -- all stated approx. 7.4quarts (adding 7 first, settling, then topping off if needed). I just changed my fluid last week, so if I added 4 quarts too much then my CVT would be smoked out by now.
 

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If you are mechanically-inclined, then indulge yourself and arm yourself with the proper tools:

  • MOPAR CVTF +4 fluid
  • Mopar Oil Dipstick 9336
and consult this temperature chart:

ok, so where is the chart. ? I cant believe how many dead links to this chart i'm finding.

Edit...found it. This is from the 2007 service manual

. Capture.PNG
 
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