DISCLAIMER: These instructions are provided with no guarantee. The author is not responsible for any damage or injury caused by following these instructions.
1st off, this is how to do it on a Chrysler Sebring with a 2.7. The process is incredibly similar on the Intrepid as the transmissions are very similar. The biggest difference is how they are mounted in the car. Even the bolt pattern on the pan is the same.
2nd off, this how-to is probably the same as a 1st gen, except there is a big debate over ATF+3 vs. ATF+4
3rd off, do a quick search on this. Changing trans fluid is kinda like making chili, everyone has their own little variation on how to do it. This is what I do.
Heres what you will need besides basic hand tools.
- 6 to 7 quarts of ATF+4 (It HAS to be ATF+4 otherwise your tranny is gonna be #$%@ed up
- New transmission filter
- Black RTV sealant
- Newspaper or a big mat because its gonna be a big mess
- Drain pan
- Torque wrench
- Brake cleaner (you need it, I will explain later on)
- Gasket scraper
1. Jack the car up, I dont think you can use ramps because the tranny is pretty much in the middle of the car.
2. Locate the trans pan. It looks like this. On our cars, its mounted flat. This is the only difference between the Sebring and LH in this how-to.
3. Take the drain pan and put it under the trans pan. Then loosen all the bolts for the pan about 2-3 turns. Most likely, it will start dripping or may even start leaking.
4. Remove all the bolts except for the 4 on the front part of the pan.
5. Heres where the mess begins. By now the pan might be leaking pretty heavily, or slightly dripping. What you need to do is break the seal. DO NOT pry between the pan and transmission, you will scratch up the aluminum sealing surface and have leaks. What you can do is try and pry down on the pan. I used a cotter pin extractor to pry down on the pan. People also hammer on the pan, but MAKE SURE there is a piece of wood between the pan and the hammer if you are using a metal one so you dont dent the hell out of the pan.
6. When the pan breaks free, let the fluid drain.
7. Remove the last 4 bolts from the pan and remove it.
8. Pop the filter off. There are spring type clips that hold it in. You can either use a small torx head to remove the clip, or just pull off the filter.
9. Inspect the sediment in the pan. A fair amount is ok, but a lot is bad. If its silvery, its dust from the gears, but if it looks like clay its clutch material. Also, Ive done this 4 times, and all 4 the bottom of the filter was covered in metal shavings, so dont be alarmed by it.
10. Remove ALL traces of old RTV from the pan and the sealing surface of the transmission. Be very careful on the transmission because its a very soft aluminum.
11. Clean the pan with either the brake cleaner or some other kind of solvent so its clean enough to eat off of
12. Clean off the magnet and install it where it was when you took the pan off. Between those two indents
13. Take brake cleaner and spray down the whole bottom of the transmission to remove all the oil residue
13. Take the new filter, (Make sure the O-Ring is on the back of it) and put it in.
14. Start laying a 1/8" bead of RTV around the sealing surface of the pan. Notice how it goes on both sides of the bolt holes
15. Go back under the car without the pan and give the sealing surface of the trans one last wipe with a paper towel or something just to make sure its 100% clean.
16. Take the pan, with all the bolts under the car and hold the pan onto the transmission with one hand and with the other start putting all the bolts back in in a criss-cross pattern, just enough to make them seat the pan to the transmission.
17. Do this again, just with a socket and an extension. Then use a rachet to get a little more torque on them. Finally, in a criss-cross pattern, torque them to 18 ft. lbs.
18. Start pouring the new trans fluid in. Start with 5 quarts.
19. Go for a drive. If it starts revving like you put it in neutral, that means its low on fluid.
20. After the cars all warmed up, pull into a parking lot. Keep the engine running and move the gear selector from park down to :L (or autostick if you have it). Then check the fluid level. Depending on how low it is, add more fluid. Usually, I have to add another quart to bring it up.
21. Check for leaks for about the next week or so. It can be a very tedious job getting it to seal right.
Feel free to ask any questions.