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Discussion Starter #1
So I just crossed 58,000 this morning which means by the end of next month I will be at the 60k mark. So, I am looking to see what general maintenance items I should be doing versus those that can wait. I have looked at the book schedule and see some of the following listed for this time interval.

I have already done the oil, oil filter, and air filter just 2,000 miles ago and usually run it between 5,000-7,500 miles as it is the Mobil 1 full synthetic.

I also changed the plugs back at 40k so they will only have 20k on them, still young and in good shape.

Next up is a change I will be doing very soon that I feel needs done, the O2 sensors. However, I had been planning on just changing out the upstream ones (code once thrown for upstream) and not worrying about the downstream. A lot of people suggest these be changed out every 30-50k, so all of them to this point would be overdue for a swap. However, the downstreams only monitor the functionality of the catalytic converter, correct? I have not had any codes thrown on the downstream but wonder if they really need to be changed now?

I also am looking into changing the PCV valve. Necessary?

Next up are the drive belts. How do you really know when to replace these? My last car had over 150k on it and I never once changed them, even after having put over 100k on them myself. Pros or cons?

Lastly is the transmission fluid. Is this really necessary before 100k? Is a simple fluid pan drop and change good enough or is this something to take to the dealer and run a flush of the system?

So many details! Just looking to see what the general maintenance of things are here and what you thing is a must do versus something that "if it ain't broke..."

Thanks!
 

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do the pan/filter drop w/ ATF+4 ONLY!!!, MOPAR RTV Silicone for ATF+4, and remove/clean and re-install the input/output sensors on her, they have a magnet on each end of them,a nd can really build up some crud on the sensor side which screws into the tranny!, ;), also yes do the drive belts/along w/ the pulleys as well!, ;), that will smoooooth her out during idle, accelaration,ect....!, I would even go and do a coolant flush with G-05, or ther O.E.M. mopar Orange stuff!, I guess its piece of mind!, ;)
 

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To be honest with you, it seems like you are good to go until 100k miles for the belt replacement.

I agree with Luisa though, you should do the tranny filter and fluid change. Coolant also!!
 

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Speaking of "if it ain't broke"---O2 sensors often last zillions of miles. I wouldn't throw money away changing them til they throw a code.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Speaking of "if it ain't broke"---O2 sensors often last zillions of miles. I wouldn't throw money away changing them til they throw a code.
That's why I figure I'll leave the downstream sensors alone. However, I have had a code thrown before for the upstream sensors. I have yet to changes them as the CEL went out and the code no longer shows. I think they are on their way out though...
 

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change out the differential fluid as well, im planning that for my 50,000 tune-up along with some of the ones you mentioned above.
 

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That's one thing I have never done. Is this an easy job?
Oh yeah. If you have a 1/4 extension and a .25 ratchet, a 15mm socket, and a pump, you will have no problems. You do need to take the passenger side tire off though.

Scarface had a How-to somewhere around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK, so what I thought would be an easy job turned into a big PITA. Well, mostly because of trying to located tools to do the job as well as I had only done two of these things routinely before (rotate tires and I/O speed sensors).

However, I now have an issue I am seeking help on. Question posted near bottom.

So, the evening last night started OK with running SeaFoam through the PCV valve after removing my spark plugs and putting in my old. One question here is that I fed it in through the PCV valve itself by attaching a hose to it and suctioning it in. Should I have gone of the other end of the hose where it connects to the nipple on the side of the motor instead? I put a half bottle in that way and the other half in the gas tank. Got little no no smoke out of it. Took off for a spirited drive and filled up the tank.

Got back, swapped the spark plugs back out and then decided I would change out the PCV valve. Well, I got the old one out and was putting in the new when I over torqued it just a bit and heard a crack in the plastic valve. Went to loosen it and it snapped off inside the plenum! A few angry words came out and I had a time getting the threaded piece out of the plenum to put back the old. So, after a long day I would wait until today to do the rest.

On todays agenda, O2 sensors, speed sensors, tranny fluid and filter, differential fluid and rotating tires.

O2 sensors a cake walk even with it being the first time I've swapped these.

I/O sensors slightly more of a pain, especially the Input. Output not as bad but still tricky.

Differential fluid easy for the most part, but somewhat rough getting the drain plug out. A first for me here.

Transmission pan drop real rough! Took all my strength to break that thing loose. Once off, cakewalk of course! Never done one of these before either!

Rotated the tires.

Now here is my issue that I need some help!

Dropped in 3 qts ATF+4, started it up for a minute, shifted through P-N-D and back. Added another quart, repeated sequence.

Took it out for a drive around the block, upshifted smoothly.

However when coasting down from 4-3 it is pretty harsh. Got back home, checked the levels, was low, added about another quart. Went out for another drive and stopped to check it, motor had been well heated by now but was still downshifting quite hard from 4-3, only in auto mode and NOT in A/S.

Levels reading at low on the stick. So I added another half quart taking the total up to 5.5 quarts. Going for yet another drive, still hadn't changed anything. As I had used up basically all of my fluid, stopped at Advance Auto, checked it again, now the levels looked high! Bough a extra quart just in case.

Turned car off, ran into another store and pulled fuse N under the hood to reset the computer. Came out, drove home, no change?

Anyone else experience this 'bump' shift coasting to a downshifting from 4-3 on a roll?

Any thoughts? I'm going to wait until the morning to check the cold fluid levels. Is it harming anything with these harsh shifts even if there is nothing else wrong in the up-shifting or the 3-2-1 downshift? I even beat on it heavy to see what it would do downshifting to gain speed and no issues?

I have gotten no CEL lights or codes and everything else is working just fine.

Pleas help!
 

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Just changed fluid/filter in my '96 last week. No bump shift, but experienced the same issue with having to add fluid several times. Started with 4 qts, checked good (also idled in all gears like you did). Experienced slip next morning. Check fluid, low, added qt, checked OK. Next day had to add another qt. In all I've added about 6.5 qts.
Here's another question to add to yours--why does the level read OK on one side of the dipstick and 1/2 qt lower on the other? Seems like the stick must go into the pan at a severe angle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just changed fluid/filter in my '96 last week. No bump shift, but experienced the same issue with having to add fluid several times. Started with 4 qts, checked good (also idled in all gears like you did). Experienced slip next morning. Check fluid, low, added qt, checked OK. Next day had to add another qt. In all I've added about 6.5 qts.
Here's another question to add to yours--why does the level read OK on one side of the dipstick and 1/2 qt lower on the other? Seems like the stick must go into the pan at a severe angle.
I wonder about the reading on the stick too, it's not always definitive. I'm going to try driving it all week and see if I notice any differences. Maybe, the computer will learn the new fluid levels and how to readjust the shift points to my driving. If I don't notice anything after this week, I guess I'll be taking it in to the dealer to get the computer flashed.

So far I have added 6 quarts, and after my drive home today with the motor nice and hot it was just over halfway between the COLD and HOT hash-marks, so I wonder if I should try adding another 1/4 to 1/2 quart. I'm just afraid of putting too much in with the fear of not being able to get it back out.
 

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most mechanics recomend douing a full tranny and differential flush every 70k miles or so
For anyone wondering, the maintenance schedule in my 2003 SXT says at 48000 miles to change differential fluid. I had the same problem as Fearless2000 and only had a heart wrenching 8oz. of fluid drizzle out of my diff. a third of what should be in there. I have the same "oil spray" along my undercarriage and assumed it was from my tranny or even my oil but wasn't expecting the differential leak. I filled it up completely with 32oz. valvoline 75w-90w and it took every drop. I wish i had checked or changed it at 30,000 and will do it every 25,000 miles now if i don't get paranoid and check it earlier.
 
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