Transmission fluid dip stick

  • 50,000 MILES

How do I check the fluid in the van listed above it has the 3.8L engine? These vehicles are not supplied with a dip stick. There is a small 'fill tube' that extends into the transmission with plug marked "dealer use only". Allegedly there is a check plug at some point on the transmission so that one could determine the level of fluid without going to the dealer. It may be under a shield on the front of the transmission; however that shield can only be removed by unplugging the electric/electronic connector that controls the transmission, removing four jamb nuts and assorted other paraphernalia. I have been unable to locate anything that appears to be a check plug. I have jacked the van up, crawled under it and run my hands all over the transmission at this point.
Has anyone actually found one and been able to check the fluid levels?

Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, September 23rd, 2011 AT 8:08 PM

2 Replies


Yes, I have a 2008 Town and Country also, and I am very good on working on cars. But there is no dipstick. So how do you check the level? Also, what type of fluid do you put in? I was guessing ATF+4? Also, what is the reasoning behind having no dip stick, and instead a cap over it saying dealer use only. Are they just after a person taking in the vehicle every 50,000 miles or can a person maintenance on there own?

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Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 AT 12:37 PM
  • 12,866 POSTS

Hey Guys,

It looks like you need a special tool or a scanner to check the fluid level. Here is the instructions from the manual even though it says it has a dipstick, they do not, and then it goes on to say you need a tool or a scanner.

Verify that the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
Remove the dipstick tube cap.

There is a risk of accident from vehicle moving when the engine is running. Secure vehicle to prevent it from moving. There is a risk of injury from contusions and burns if you insert your hands into the engine when it is running. Do not touch hot or rotating parts. Wear properly fitted work clothes.

Actuate the service brake. Start engine and let it run at idle speed in selector lever position "P".
Shift through the transmission modes several times with the vehicle stationary and the engine idling.

NOTE:When inserting dipstick special tool (special tool #9336A, Dipstick), excess insertion force may cause the dipstick to slip past the stop on the bracket in the transmission oil pan. An approximate distance that the dipstick should be inserted into the fill tube is 424 mm (16.69 in.).

Warm up the transmission, wait at least 2 minutes and check the oil level with the engine running. Push the Oil Dipstick (special tool #9336A, Dipstick) into transmission fill tube until the dipstick tip contacts the oil pan and pull out again, read off oil level, repeat if necessary.

NOTE:The dipstick will protrude from the fill tube when installed.

Check transmission oil temperature using the appropriate scan tool.
The transmission Oil Dipstick (special tool #9336A, Dipstick) has indicator marks every 1 mm. Determine the height of the oil level on the dipstick and using the height, the Transmission Fluid Temperature (TFT) as viewed with the scan tool, and the Transmission Fluid Graph, determine if the transmission oil level is correct.

Add or remove oil as necessary and recheck the oil level.
Once the oil level is correct, install the dipstick tube cap.

I forgot to mention. When you check the fluid, the engine needs to be running and the transmission needs to be in park. If you need to add fluid, look on the dipstick to identify the proper type for your vehicle.

When checking it, the engine needs to be at operating temperature and the vehicle needs to be on a flat surface. Transmission fluid should be red in color. If it is brown or discolored, it should be serviced.

Please let us know happens so it will help others.

Best, Ken

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 AT 12:20 PM

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