2004 Town and Country - No ATF Cooler in radiator!

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Bob, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    I took a close look at my '04 Town and Country today to look at what would
    be involved with adding an aftermarket ATF cooler. I was surprised to find
    that the ATF is cooled with an external cooler - a big one at that - and the
    fluid is not sent into an in radiator cooler. Does this mean that Chrysler
    has figured something out???
    Bob, Oct 26, 2003
  2. Bob

    Mike Martin Guest

    Do you have the tow package added - or did they maybe they just decided to
    give it to everyone?
    Mike Martin, Oct 26, 2003
  3. Bob

    Bob Guest

    No tow package. I'm putting a hitch on it for a small utility trailer - not
    real heavy, and only used occasionally. I know firsthand about the
    reliability of the trannys in these, and figured I'd help prevent whatever
    heat might have to do with failures. What I found odd was the fact that they
    don't have any ports on the radiator for ATF cooling, as they would have if
    it were just the towing package - it appears to be a separate cooler between
    the condensor and the radiator. I haven't torn it apart to look really
    close, yet.
    Bob, Oct 27, 2003
  4. I don't know the years and models but others have mentioned that on the late
    model vans that Chrysler went to a real tranny cooler.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Oct 27, 2003
  5. Bob

    Jack Guest

    My 2002 Town and Country has large transmission cooler mounted between the radiator and the AC condenser, the shop manual shows the cooler as standard item on all the models.

    Jack, Oct 28, 2003
  6. Bob

    Bob Guest

    If you've got the manual....
    Did they really eliminate the in radiator core? If so, that's great! It
    removes the change that the tranny can be polluted by coolant. Is the cooler
    thermostatically controlled to maintain the temp. if it's cold out? Thanks
    for any info.

    My 2002 Town and Country has large transmission cooler mounted between the
    radiator and the AC condenser, the shop manual shows the cooler as standard
    item on all the models.

    Bob, Oct 28, 2003
  7. In my ATSG trany manual, it refers to 150-200 degrees as operating temp
    for ATF+3, no mention of ATF+4. (this is an old version of the manual)

    The thing is, though, that ATF+4 is a synthetic transmission fluid. One of
    the most vaunted properties of synthetic is that it maintains it's same
    properties at cold temps. My guess is that Chrysler decided that it's new
    ATF+4 fluid doesen't need to run at a specific operating temperature.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Oct 28, 2003
  8. Bob

    David Reid Guest

    If they are factory filling these transmissions with a good synthetic
    lubricant (not sure who Chrysler Farms out ATF production to) than
    they don't need to add the cooler. Just as cold temp performance was
    cited as a benefit, high temperature performance is one as well. Many
    vehicles will be going to fill for life transmissions in the years to
    come (no dipstick and or drain plug associated with the automatic
    transmission) some oems already are.

    David Reid
    David Reid, Oct 28, 2003
  9. My 1999 T & C has one because I ordered the towing package. Had a 93
    T & C that went through four transmissions in 130K miles. Back in
    those days Chryslers standard warranty was 7/70 drive train, so
    Chrysler paid for 3.5 of them ( felt bad about all the problems and
    paid for half of the one that was out of warranty). After not being
    able to talk my wife out of buying the 99 (these women love this
    vehicle) I specifically ordered the towing package even though I
    didn't plan to tow, just to get the ATF cooler.

    The good news is that this one is pushing 95K with no transmission
    problems. The bad news is the "extra heavy duty brakes" also part of
    the towing package, had to have the front rotors turned every 12K
    until I finally ran out of room and replaced them. Warped, bad cast
    iron on the rotors. Chrysler refused to make it good although they did
    do the first two turnings for free. My replacements, (not Mopar) are
    pushing 50k with no problems.

    Maybe the cooler is standar equipment now.
    Frank Boettcher, Oct 28, 2003
  10. Bob

    Jack Guest

    The shop manual just show the flushing , removal and installation of the AT cooler, to purge the cleaning fluid from the cooler they specify using one quart of ATF+4 transmission fluid type 9602.

    Jack, Oct 28, 2003
  11. Bob

    mic canic Guest

    i would bet the lines go to the external cooler then to the rad. take a closer
    mic canic, Oct 28, 2003
  12. Havoline and Petro-Canada.
    Not true. The shearing effect in the torque converter generates heat in
    the trans fluid that must have a way of being dumped. Granted you can
    let the fluid get a lot hotter, but if there's no way of removing waste
    the trans will eventually melt.
    If your refering to Ford, there is a drain plug.

    fill for life on the auto tranny hydraulic fluid is in the same league as
    "maintainence free" battery that never uses water. It's a pure marketing
    ploy that is attempting to create a benefit for something that the vast
    majority of purchasers never thought they needed. Most car owners do not
    change fluids, they leave that up to Jiffy Lube. And the Jiffy Lubes will
    simply tell the vehicle owners that the factory is blowing smoke up their
    ass and they need a trans fluid change anyway, and will make the change
    by dropping the pan and inserting a drain plug, and if the factory tries
    to defeat that, the Jiffy Lubes will just buy machines that they can connect
    to the trans cooler lines and flush the trans that way.

    By the time that 150,000+ miles are on enough of these "fill for life" auto
    trans to see that "fill for life" is a joke, the marketing people will be
    of this game and move on to "fill for life" something else.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Oct 29, 2003
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