Simple (hopefully) Tranmission Fluid Question



I just recently purchased a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Edition with a 4.0L-6 CYL. Engine…the only problem with the vehicle is that there is a very slow leak with the auto-transmission fluid, I need to fill it up slightly until I get the pan replaced later in the week. Problem is, I just need to fill it with fluid and I’m continually being refered to a dealership to have them fill it, the owners manual states to pour the fluid right in the dipstick tube…before I completely screw something up, can someone answer me whether or not pouring the auto-trans. fluid directly into the dipstick tube is the correct way this is typically performed.

Yes, I am completely dumb when it comes to cars.


Yes, the fluid goes down the dipstick tube. A funnel will be very helpful.


A small leak does not necessarily mean you have to change the pan, unless the pan is damaged. It could just be a pan gasket, and any transmission shop can fix that. If the leak comes out of the seals somewhere,it means taking the transmission out and doing a proper repair job. You don’t need to go to the dealer for any of this work, but DO go to a reputable transmission shop.

To add a little to Doc's comments, I suggest that a local transmission shop is likely to be your best choice if you need one.  The dealer can do the work and will likely do a good job, but it will cost more.  The chain will likely do the job, but often they are below average quality since they tend to hire cheap labor.  They are business men first.

An independent shop is usually mechanic first business second. They are also far less likely to try and sell you products and services that you don't need and will not help. Ask around of friends and family to see if they have had any experiences with local shops.


I agree with all those who posted before me. Add fluid yourself, through the dipstick fluid. Have repairs made at a reputable transmission shop (ask around) rather than a dealership.

The problem may not be the pan itself. It could be merely some seal. As long as you add the necessary fluid when needed, there is no urgency for this repair.


Also be sure that when you check the fluid level that the engine is running and on level ground or you will get a false reading.


Agree; engine has to be WARMED UP, level, in neutral/park and idling.


We’ve always poured it in that way. You noticed that it has bigger diameter than the oil one does.


There are different types of fluid. The correct one for your car should be marked on the dipstick. And yes, the dealership is the last place you want to go for ANYTHING…