Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid – Type, Change & Leak Guide

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After every 30,000 miles or 2 years you will need to change Your Jeep Wrangler transmission fluid, most of you like me drive a 100k miles or more Jeep wrangler, and most of you never think of changing your Jeep wrangler transmission fluid when doing their Jeep maintenance.

Most Jeep Wranglers still have stock transmission fluid, despite the manufacturer recommending changing your diff oil after the first 30,000 miles, the reason the manufacturer proposes changing your transmission after the first 30,000 miles is that your Jeep wrangler differential gears and parts will need to break in and some metals will chip off over time as part of normal differential gear wear.

First lets us internalize what transmission fluid does.

Your Jeep Wrangler transmission fluid is an important element in your differential, it acts as a seal to cool, lubricate and wash off the gears and bearings including the pinion (input gear) and ring gear (driven gear), and when driving your Jeep, the intermeshing of the gear teeth causes high-pressure points on the gears and bearings resulting in metal shavings, you will normally see a magnet on the diff cover that collects the metal shavings from the Jeep transmission, and this too needs to be cleaned when changing your transmission fluid.

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid Change

You can easily tell if you have a transmission leak by strange noises on your Jeep transmission, shifting issues, wet oil patches underneath your Jeep, and warning lights indicating a transmission oil leak

When replacing your Jeep Wrangler fluid transmission, you will need at least 4 quarts of transmission fluid, but make sure not to overfill it.

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid Type

It’s important to understand which type of transmission fluid is suitable for your Jeep Wrangler, this is because there are two types of transmission, a manual transmission, and an automatic transmission.

A manual transmission: if your Jeep wrangler has a manual transmission, it requires you as the driver to engage the clutch and shift your gears at the appropriate time, whereas if you have an automatic transmission your Jeep wrangler will automatically shift the gears on its own as the speed and power demands.

Check out our Jeep Wrangler Engine Oil case study

To maintain and change your Jeep wrangler differential oil it’s important to understand what type of transmission you have and the specific transmission fluid, it requires.

You will find your recommended Jeep Wrangler Transmission fluid in your service manual but they are also highlighted here for quick reference:

Jeep Wrangler JL Transmission Fluid.

Jeep Wrangler JL Automatic Transmission fluidMopar ZF 8 or 9
Jeep Wrangler JL Manual Transmission fluidMopar ATF 4
Transfer CaseMopar ATF 4
186 FBI – Front Axle        80w-90
210 FBI – Front Axle        80w-90
200 RBI – Rear Axle         80w-90, if towing 75w-140
220 RBI – Rear Axle w/ EDL          80w-90, if towing 75w-140
220 RBI – Rear Axle w/ T/L           80w-90, if towing 75w-140

Jeep Wrangler JK Transmission Fluid.

NSG370 6-Speed Manual             Mopar Manual Transmission oil
NAG1 5 Speed Auto       ATF 4
545RFE (4×2) 5-Speed Auto        ATF 4
545RFE (4×4) 5-Speed Auto        ATF 4
42RLE 4-Speed Auto      ATF 4
NV241 Transfer Case     ATF 4
Dana 30 Axle     80w-90
Dana 35 Axle     80w-90
Dana 44 Front Axle         80w-90
Dana 44 Rear Axle80w-90

Jeep Wrangler TJ Transmission Fluid

NV231 Transfer Case     ATF 3 or ATF 4
NV241 Transfer Case     ATF 4
AX-5 5-Speed Manual    75w-90 GL3 or GL4
AX-15 5-Speed Manual75w-90 GL3 or GL4
NV3550 5-Speed Manual             Mopar fluid (04874464AA) or Synchromax
NV1500 5-Speed Manual             Mopar fluid (04874464AA) or Synchromax
NSG370 6-Speed Manual             Mopar fluid (04874464AA) or Synchromax
30RH 3-Speed Automatic             ATF 4
32RH 3-Speed Automatic             ATF 4
42RLE 4-Speed Automatic           ATF 4
Dana 30 Axle     80w-90
Dana 35 Axle     80w-90
Dana 44 Axle     80w-90

Jeep Wrangler YJ Transmission Fluid

NV231 Transfer Case (Man Trans)            ATF 3 or ATF 4
NV 231 Transfer Case (Auto Trans)          ATF 4
AX-5 5-Speed Manual    75w-90 GL3 or GL4
AX-15 5-Speed Manual75w-90 GL3 or GL4
Peugeot BA-10/5             75w-90 GL3 or GL4
TF 904  ATF 4
TF 999  ATF 4
Dana 30               80w-90
Dana 3580w-90

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid Change

As we explained earlier, your Jeep wrangler transmission fluid change intervals are 30,000 miles or after 2 years. Or when regearing your Jeep. This is when you should drain all your transmission fluid and replace it with the recommended fluid type highlighted above.

You should replace your Jeep Wrangler transmission fluid before driving your Jeep, we recommend changing your Jeep transmission fluid after your Jeep has cooled down preferable early in the morning.

You should also change your transmission filter/ gasket during the process, your transmission filter helps remove contamination from your transmission fluid and after 30,000 miles there is a higher chance that your transmission filter is clogged with metal flakes and other elements, and should be replaced, you should also replace your transmission filter to avoid contaminating your new transmission fluid.

draining Jeep wrangler transmission fluid in order to repair a leak in the transmission.

To drain your transmission fluid, you should open the transmission pan by first loosening the transmission pan mounting bolts that are located below the pan and only leaving one top bolt intact to prevent the pan from falling in your draining basin, after the fluid is drained, you can go ahead and remove the top bolt, transmission pan and gasket.

We recommend cleaning your transmission pan and removing all traces of the old gasket, oil, and metal flakes from the pan immediately after removing it, this will also allow all the remaining oil from your transmission to drain as you clean the transmission pan. The quickest and most efficient way to clean your transmission pan is through the use of a solvent and compressed air.

After cleaning your transmission pan, install a new O-Ring gasket that will prevent your transmission fluid from leaking, make sure you have cleaned thoroughly and dry out the surfaces you will place the gasket to make sure the seal, transmission pan, and transmission are properly sealed. Pan the transmission cover and tighten the bolts with 15ft-lbs torque.

You are now ready to fill up your transmission with new fluid as recommended on your owners and user’s manual, to add about 4 quarts of transmission fluid you will need to fill it through the transmission fluid dipstick tube.

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid Reservoir Location is normally located to the right side of the oil dipstick, it’s conveniently labeled for access with red/pink or yellow handle.

A Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid Check is recommended after changing your transmission fluid, this should be done when your Jeep is in park, and parking brakes are applied, run the engine at idle for a few minutes, and use your gear knob to select each gear, then place the Jeep in neutral – then check your Jeeps transmission fluid level with a transmission fluid dipstick.

Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid Leak

A Jeep Wrangler transmission fluid check is a common occurrence due to war and tears over time of transmission parts. If your Jeep’s transmission deeps too low, your Jeep will start shaking as you accelerate due to a change in transmission performance and will be accompanied by noise as you change gears.

The costs may vary to repair a Jeeps transmission leak and could cost anything between $100 if it’s only the seals that need replacement up to $1000 for transmission parts such as torque converters that are worn out.

You should not at any time drive your Jeep with a transmission leak, and we advise you to inspect where the leaks are coming from using the troubleshooting guide below and call a mechanic to have them inspect and repair your Jeeps transmission leak.

Jeep Axle seal Transmission Fluid Leak

If you notice oil leaks at the bottom of your Jeep, you should check if your axle seals are leaking. The first place you should check for wet patches are the seals of your transmission pans and axle, and also check the seals of the axle shafts that go into the side of the Jeeps transmission.

For the majority of Jeeps transmission fluids, we estimate that the transmission seals are the major culprits accounting for more than 90% of transmission leaks and they should be the first to inspect. The reason being a seal leak might be a loose bolt or the seal is worn out. Replacing the seals is labor intensive especially the front seals because they require a mechanic to disassemble a large portion of the transmission assembly. Jeep transmission seals cost around $150-$600.

Jeep shift solenoid gasket Transmission Fluid Leak

One of the ways to tell if your Jeep solenoid is leaking is wet patches of oil underneath your Jeeps, the costs of solenoid leaks are the cheapest because you don’t have to remove the transmission parts, however, we have found that the tasks of repairing a solenoid leak require attention to detail when inspecting and repairing because there are electrical plugs and wires involved.

Your Jeep might also leak transmission fluid from the solenoid gasket, we recommend inspecting the solenoid itself and seeing if it has patches of oil in it, the possible leak is between the solenoid and the transmission case.

Jeep speed sensor case leak

The main reason why your Jeeps speed sensor will leak transmission fluid is because of an overflow of transmission fluid in the transfer case, especially after servicing or repair. The leak is common between the speed sensor and the transfer case.

The speed sensor leak is also common on customized Jeeps with a Slip Yoke eliminator, where there is a speedometer sensor bolted onto it, if you have an SYE you should inspect it too for possible Slip Yoke eliminator leaks, by looking for wet patches on the speedometer sensor and the mounting bolt.

Transmission front pump seal leak

Front pump seal leaks are common on high mileage Jeeps, this is because over the years the pump seals are exposed to dry episodes that will cause them to wear out due to friction and heat, if the transmission fluid dries out on them and doesn’t protect them, they can also leak if you don’t change your transmission fluid frequently and they end up not properly lubricated and they burn due to excessive heat and get damaged.

There are two ways we recommend when repairing a Jeeps transmission leak from the front pump seal, the first one is using a transmission sealer and the second one is replacing the front seal entirely, we recommend the first option as a first aid repair which should be followed by a replacement when your Jeep is at a mechanic shop.

Transmission cooler and hose leak

Transmission cooler and hose leaks are also common on old Jeep Wranglers, while hoses and clamps are built to last the entire life of your Jeep, they are prone to wear and tear due to overheating or being clogged.

The first signs of a cooler or hose leak on your Jeep are strange noises from the transmission, and shifting issues before the oil lights blink, depending on the leak the oil lights might blink days after you experience this symptom.

Cooler and hose links repair are fairly simple, you just need to purchase the leaked hose t around $100-500 depending on the brand and quality and

Jeep Torque converter Transmission Fluid Leak

Another common transmission fluid cause is the torque converter, especially on higher mileage Jeep Wranglers. The torque converter often gets damages on the needle bearings and the solution involves replacing the whole torque converter at $1,000.

James Ndungu - Jeep Runner Writer

Author: James Ndungu

James is an Automotive Service Writer, I4WDA certified trainer, Jeep enthusiast, and shop owner specializing in Jeep parts, accessories, and Electric Vehicles Charging Station Installation services. His interest and first-hand experience in electric vehicle charging technology motivated him to achieve certification through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

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