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Jeep Compass CVT maintenance

I just read halfway into the latest big thread about pan drop vs. flush.

All of these discussions always talk about the conventional kind of automatic transmission. But what about a CVT?

As I understand it, Chrysler’s CVT is essentially a belt that gets moved up and down the slopes of two cones to get the different ratios, similar to how a bicycle chain moves to bigger and smaller cogs. If this is true, presumable the belt is doing most of the work, and the transmission fluid isn’t nearly as stressed as it is in a torque converter.

The top of the dipstick tube is sealed and says that it is not owner-serviceable. The manual says that the fluid level should only be checked by a trained technician. The manual also specs Mopar CVTF+4 fluid, which I assume is different than more typical ATFs. CVT fluid change is spec’d at 60,000 miles. I’m at 30,000 miles. Dealer has said that they can do flush only on these types of transmissions.

So, seeing as manufacturer transmission recommendations are typically not trusted, what is recommended for this car? It’s a 2007 Jeep Compass with the 2.4L engine.

It is very important to use the correct spec fluid, which as you note isn’t a normal auto trans fluid. Check with a couple of Jeep dealers and get prices for a transmission service. If they all say a flush is required, it likely is. My guess is at least some of the dealers would do a simple drain and refill. If there is a filter it should be changed too.

As to timing, I’d say CVT’s don’t seem that robust and are a relatively new design, so I’d not go the full 60K miles. Just to be safe I’d get the service done somewhere between the 30K you are at now and about 40K.

And now for the ironic followup:

There are about 41,000 miles on the car now. Last week a whirring sound started in the front end. A pain to listen to, but at least I could audibly tell if I was speeding or not. I thought it was a wheel bearing (out-of-warranty). Turns out it is “something” in that fancy-pants CVT. Dealer doesn’t know what that something is, nor does he care, and a new transmission is being installed tomorrow (under warranty). This is after the control arms and tie-rod ends were changed under warranty less than 2 years ago.

Anybody want to buy a Jeep? :slight_smile:

Macfisto; you post confirms my hesitation in recommending ANY vehicle with a CVT. They are all made by Jatco of Japan (not Chrysler or Jeep), and even Nissan dealers, who sell a lot of vehicles with those boxes, don’t know how to fix one. The just replace them.

That’s OK under warranty, but who wants to cough up $3500 for a replacement with only 61,000 miles on the clock?

I sure don’t. I’m starting to consider selling asap, even though I’ll take a loss.

Dealer says he’s only seen one or two so far. He didn’t respond when I asked him how that compared to conventional 4-year-old automatics…