Piece of paper towel in transmission dip stick

A small piece (triangle shape, about 1/2 inch in the base and maybe 3 inches long) of gasoline station paper towel got stuck in transmission dip stick and went inside the transmission when the dip stick was put back. It happened very quick. When I pulled out the dip stick, the paper towel piece was gone. I’m assuming it went in or stayed in the tube where the dip stick is housed. Drove the van about 230 miles to go home in a combination of highway and city driving. So far, no change in transmission performance. Would appreciate any advice on what I could do.

1. Is it harmful to the transmission and if so how could I remove the paper towel debris?

2. Will changing the transmission fluid and filter (not flush) help? (Btw, I read that it is not a good idea to do a transmission flush for cars with 100K miles or above)

I’m hoping the paper towel piece will disintegrate in the fluid and therefore I don’t need to do anything. Or perhaps if it doesn’t integrate, it will remain harmless.

Would appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance.

Additional info:

Vehicle is a 1997 Grand Caravan with 104,000 miles

It will most likely get sucked into the filter. Its not big enough to stop up the filter. It wont harm anything else. How long has it been since you last serviced it?? The transmission needs to be serviced every 25-30k miles regardless of what the owners manual says. If its been at least 25k miles since the last service then drop the pan, clean it out real good, change the filter and refill using Chrysler ATF+4 fluid ONLY.


Listen to Transman.
At 104k miles, in an ideal world, this trans would have had its fluid and filter changed 3-4 times by now.

Thanks for the advice.

Vehicle had two transmission services (drain and filter change but not flush); Last one was at 75000 miles.

So can I assume that transmission fluid and filter change is preferred maintenance at this time and not transmission flush?

If you’ve done the two transmission services, and at the same schedule are due for another, I highly doubt your van needs a ‘flush’. A pan drop and fluid change is the best way to service transmissions. Some flushing machines can seriously damage a transmission. Why risk it? Besides, the fluid running through the transmission is first filtered. The paper towel is not small enough have gotten past it, and is not big enough to clog it, so don’t worry about that.