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How to Change Your Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Fluid

Updated on March 14, 2012

It’s very important to change the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) on your Jeep Grand Cherokee transmission. The manufacturer recommends you to change it every 30,000 miles, but I would say, do it every 20,000 miles just as an extra precaution. The thing is Jeep Grand Cherokees are known for their “somewhat problematic” transmissions. It doesn’t matter what year yours is, there is still a chance you may have problems. Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a hundred pounds of broken transmission.

So make sure to change your transmission fluid and filter(s) at least as often as 30,000, especially if you own a Grand Cherokee.

Many people assume that changing your transmission fluid is a difficult task and you need to have it done at a special shop. This is far from true. It’s very easy to change the fluid on your Grand Cherokee. So easy, that a 15 year old can do it.

Follow the steps below to change your ATF yourself. You will be done in an hour or two, and you will save yourself a bundle of cash in the process, by not paying for the labor. Also, you will have a sense of accomplishment, knowing you did a major service job on your own. Let’s get started.

  1. First thing you need to do is warm up your Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission. You can do this by going on a short drive, 20 minutes should be good. Warm transmission fluid is quite liquid and will drain out of your transmission more completely, compared to cold ATF.
  2. You will need to room under your vehicle, so it needs to be raised up enough to have space for the drain pan and to work. The best way to do this is with jack stands. Make sure you Grand Cherokee is well supported before you get under it.
  3. Get under your Jeep and locate the transmission fluid pan. I will be flat and rectangular, and is located a little past the engine bay. If your transmission fluid pan has a drain plug, remove it using a ratchet and let the ATF drain into the drain container.
  4. If your transmission pan doesn’t have a drain plug, you will have to loosen the transmission pan to drain your fluid. With your drain container ready, remove the bolts from any three sides of your transmission fluid pan and loosen the bolts on the fourth side about 3-4 turns.
  5. You will need to break the fluid pan free with a rubber mallet or something similar. Be quick to position the drain container underneath the fluid pan because the draining fluid can make a huge mess. When the ATF fluid is done draining, remove the fluid pan and gasket.
  6. Take off the fluid filter by removing the screws, then take off the o-ring (if you have one). Install the new o-ring and fluid filter, and then tighten the screws to secure.
  7. Wipe your Jeep Grand Cherokee transmission fluid pan rim, and the area where it bolts onto (on the transmission case), clean of all ATF and debris. Place the new gasket onto the ATF pan so that the gasket holes and bolt holes line up.
  8. Re-install the fluid pan onto the transmission and tighten the retaining bolts. Make sure they are tight. Tighten to about 150 in-lbs if you have a torque wrench.
  9. Using a funnel, pour two quarts of ATF into your transmission fluid dipstick tube. Then start your engine and let it idle for a few minutes. With your foot on the brake, switch gears from park all the way to the low driving gears, pausing for a few seconds at each. This will help the ATF flow through the transmission, and reach every part of it.
  10. Check the transmission fluid level and fill accordingly. Take a short drive (5 minutes) and check you ATF level again. Fill to the proper level again, if required.

Congratulations! You just changed your Jeep Grand Cherokee transmission fluid.

Thanks for reading my article. If you have any transmission problems, I wrote a trouble shooting article here: Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission Problems and Solutions

If you need a new transmission for your Grand Cherokee, you can get one here: Jeep Grand Cherokee Transmission


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      a void step one the mufflers will be hot and you will be working right by it so no pre drive .

    • profile image

      bob smith 

      5 years ago

      My trans mission is going in and out of overdrive when you get above 60 milesper hour. it is a 94 jeep grand cherokee


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