Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2009 Jeep Patriot..ATF Overfill

Yesterday I started my jeep at 6:30am and headed down the road around 7:20 am i heard this sound like i had a flat. Pulled off the road and checked tires. no issue, got back in and drove about 5 miles when i lost all power in the jeep. had it towed to a garage. The garage called at 9:30 am and told me that 3 months ago when I had my oil changed, whoever did it topped off all my fluids and the automatic transmission fluid was over filled. Now they say i need a new transmission. Also they told me Jeeps are famous for always freezing up and not going.
Is this possible?! Wouldn’t i have noticed something between the time off my oil change to now?!
Please let me know if i should get a 2nd option!!

They could try draining the transmission to see if that helps. Right now, you need them to document that it was over filled and by how much. keep a sample of the fluid. You can try to get the oil lube place to pay. It will take proof and maybe small claims court.

You DEFINITELY need a second opinion, and not from a regular mechanic.

Ask friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers for a recommended INDEPENDENT transmission shop in your area. (Don’t go to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain-run operation unless you want to overpay for substandard workmanship.)

As to “Jeeps are famous for always freezing up and not going”, this tells me that you need a new mechanic. While Jeeps–overall–are less reliable than most other makes, your Jeep Patriot is mechanically identical to…the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Chrysler Sebring, and the Dodge Avenger. Why would your Patriot be known for something that is not characteristic of those other mechanically-identical models?

Ditch that mechanic–permanently–and for the time being find an indy transmission shop in your area.

The Transmission Wasn’t “Topped Off” With Coolant From A Faulty Radiator/Oil Cooler, Right?
That Was Checked?

“Also they told me Jeeps are famous for always freezing up and not going.”

Total BS.

they told me Jeeps are famous for always freezing up and not going.

How cold is it there?

I don’t know the context of the conversation but perhaps there is a problem in your area of people pouring conventional ATF into CVT transmissions leading to failure.

I agree with above. It might be a case of wrong ATF in the CVT transmission. I am not sure how the shop decided you have too much fluid there, but you need a second opinion.

Always get a second opinion.

Just a clarification: By “lost all power”, you mean the engine quit or the engine was still running but the car wouldn’t move?

Is this possible?! Wouldn't i have noticed something between the time off my oil change to now?!

Yes, it is possible. And no, you might not have noticed anything wrong immediately after the transmission over-fill. & sorry to say, overfilling modern automatic transmissions, all of them, not just Jeep’s, can do severe damage, even to the point of ruination requiring transmission replacement.

Still, as posted by others above, I wouldn’t accept the first diagnosis without a second opinion.

In add’n to the idea posted above … check …

  • that the fluid in the transmission now is the correct type, as recommended by Jeep.

  • that the existing fluid isn’t contaminated w/coolant due to a leak in the transmission fluid cooler

I think the problem is that conventional ATF was added to a CVT transmission and if the transmission fluid change was part of the “oil change”.

Also, I am not sure how you check a CVT transmission’s fluid level, so probably they added the wrong ATF to the wrong level.

“Lost all power” means what?
Engine runs, car does not move.
Engine does not run at all.
Key turn to the RUN position but there are no dash warning lights or starter motor operation.

And how much of an overfill? Running an automatic a quart over will hurt nothing. Half a dozen quarts over might but I would assume there would be some leaks.

“The Jeeps are famous for freezing up and not moving” comment would have me getting that vehicle out of there ASAP and getting another opinion; from anybody.