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Old 06-20-2014, 06:05 PM
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Transmission oil contamination

Hi everyone.

Again I am in dire need of your advice and input. I had my transmission and transfer case flushed when I first bough my vehicle about three years ago. The service was done by a local shop and they used Royal Purple with the additive. The transmission has run just fine since and so has the transfer case.

Three weeks ago I had a transmission and transfer case flush done at an authorized Chrysler dealership. I did not notice anything different on the 20 mile interstate run home, but the next day, I experienced severe vibration. I noticed my vehicle will exhibit this behavior mostly when: a) vehicle is cold, and b) around 50-55 MPH when the MDS and cruise control are engaged. I immediately contacted the dealership and returned the car a few days later. After one of their mechanics inspected the transmission and transfer case, they were able to determine that the transmission was 2 quarts low and a trouble code had not been erased. Upon refilling the transmission and erasing the code, the vehicle was returned to me, but the problem still persists.

I was wondering if this erratic behavior could be caused by cross-contamination of the two types of fluid as a result of not removing all of the fluid in the system? If not that, could damage have occurred from the transmission being 2 quarts low?

Thanks guys!
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:36 PM
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Re: Transmission oil contamination

As long as Royal Purple is equivalent to ATF+4 and is compatible with other ATF+4 fluids (which I am pretty sure it is), you shouldn't have a problem. Driving it any significant distance when 2 quarts low could definitely cause serious problems in short order though. Hope they didn't ruin the transmission for you. I am sure you'll have a fight on your hands, even if they did. Good luck, and let us know what happens.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:19 AM
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Re: Transmission oil contamination

Did they tell you what fault code was stored?
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:39 PM
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Re: Transmission oil contamination

Thanks to both of you for your replies.

Jeepgcoman, I would not want to take legal action due to costs and the time I would be without a vehicle. Proving that damage occurred solely due to the transmission service will be difficult, if not impossible. If I am not able to remedy this issue, the Jeep will have to go.

Frango, the code was a leftover from when I had all of the software updated about a year ago. The Chrysler software update released last summer requires the tecnician to remove a fault code after finishing the update. The code should not interfere with operations. The technician inspecting the vehicle after the most recent flush found a fault code in the transmission module stating something about a range finder error. I am not sure if this is related to my issue or not. The tech has cleared that code and it has not returned since.

I thank you all for your help and please share if you have any ideas.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:00 PM
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Re: Transmission oil contamination

The transmission range sensor is a series of switches, mounted on the solenoid block, which give the position of the shift lever to the TCM. There are 12 switch combinations, from which 7 are related to the fixed shift lever positions, while the other 5 are positions which never should occur, but when they do, will set a fault code. When this fault code is set, the TCM will use pressure switch signals to determine the shift lever position, which still allows normal transmission operation.
When the fluid level is too low, air will be sucked into the pump and erratic clutch operation and slipping clutches is the result. Since driving home went without any problems, i donīt think that the low level caused any defects to the transmission. The fluid is taken from close to the bottom of the pan, so the level should be real low to get air in there.
But what i understood, a transmission flush was performed. I donīt know if this flushing goes against the normal fluid flow, but there is a change that particles, which where stuck at some place, dislodged, and are now blocking a canal, valve or orifice. I heard about more problems after transmission flushing.
Still possible that something else then the transmission is causing the problem. Was more maintenance performed that day?
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:00 PM
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Re: Transmission oil contamination

Hi Frango, no other service was performed on the transmission. I guess at this point I will have to wait for a response from the dealership.
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