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Fluid level checks Dodge Avenger 2008 - 2014 Petrol 2.4

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Dodge Avenger 2008 - 2014  | 2.4 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1
Note: The following are fluid level checks to be done on a 250-mile or weekly basis. Additional fluid level checks can be found in specific maintenance procedures that follow. Regardless of the intervals, develop the habit of checking under the vehicle periodically for evidence of fluid leaks
1 Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, brake and window washer systems. Because the fluids gradually become depleted and/or contaminated during normal operation of the vehicle, they must be replenished periodically. See Recommended lubricants and fluids at the bottom of the page before adding fluid to any of the following components
Note: The vehicle must be on level ground when fluid levels are checked
2 Engine oil level is checked with a dipstick that is located on the side of the engine facing the front of the vehicle. The dipstick extends through a tube and into the oil pan at the bottom of the engine
3 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle has been driven, or about 5 minutes after the engine has been shut off. If the oil is checked immediately after driving the vehicle, some of the oil will remain in the upper engine components, resulting in an inaccurate reading on the dipstick
4 Pull the dipstick out of the tube and wipe all the oil off the end with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the clean dipstick all the way back into the tube, then pull it out again. Note the oil level at the end of the dipstick. Add oil as necessary to bring the oil level to the top of the cross-hatched area, or MAX mark
5 Oil is added to the engine after removing a cap located on the valve cover. Use a funnel to prevent spills as the oil is added
6 Don't allow the level to drop below the MIN mark on the dipstick or engine damage may occur. On the other hand, don't overfill the engine by adding too much oil - it may result in oil aeration and loss of oil pressure and also could result in oil fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or seal failures
7 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A consistently low oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals, defective gaskets or past worn rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky in color or has water droplets in it, the block or head may be cracked and leaking coolant is entering the crankcase. The engine should be checked immediately. The condition of the oil should also be checked. Each time you check the oil level, slide your thumb and index finger up the dipstick before wiping off the oil. If you see small dirt or metal particles clinging to the dipstick, the oil should be changed

Engine coolant

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Don't store new coolant or leave old coolant lying around where it's accessible to children or pets – they're attracted by its sweet smell. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal! Wipe up garage floor and drip pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered and repair cooling system leaks as soon as they're noticed
8 All vehicles covered by this manual are equipped with a coolant recovery system. A white plastic coolant reservoir is located at the right side of the engine compartment and is connected by a hose to the cooling system filler neck. If the coolant heats up sufficiently during operation, in excess of the pressure cap rating, it can escape past the cap and into the reservoir. As the engine cools, the coolant is drawn back into the cooling system to maintain the correct level
Warning: Do not remove the radiator cap to check the coolant level when the engine is warm
9 The coolant level in the reservoir should be checked regularly. The level in the reservoir varies with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be mid-way between the ADD and FULL HOT marks on the reservoir. Once the engine has warmed up, the level should be at or near the FULL HOT mark. If it isn't, allow the engine to cool, then remove the cap from the tank and add a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol based antifreeze and water
10 Drive the vehicle and recheck the coolant level. If only a small amount of coolant is required to bring the system up to the proper level, water can be used. However, repeated additions of water will dilute the antifreeze and water solution. In order to maintain the proper ratio of antifreeze and water, always top up the coolant level with the correct mixture. Don't use rust inhibitors or additives. An empty plastic milk jug or bleach bottle makes an excellent container for mixing coolant
11 If the coolant level drops consistently, there may be a leak in the system. Inspect the radiator, hoses, filler cap, drain plugs and water pump. If no leaks are noted, have the pressure cap pressure tested by a service station
12 If you have to remove the radiator cap, wait until the engine has cooled completely, then wrap a thick cloth around the cap and turn it to the first stop. If coolant or steam escapes, or if you hear a hissing noise, let the engine cool down longer, then remove the cap
13 Check the condition of the coolant as well. It should be relatively clear. If it's brown or rust colored, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled. Even if the coolant appears to be normal, the corrosion inhibitors wear out, so it must be replaced at the specified intervals
14 The fluid for the windshield and rear window washer system is stored in a plastic reservoir located at the right front corner of the engine compartment. The reservoir level should be maintained about one inch (25 mm) below the filler cap
15 In milder climates, plain water can be used in the reservoir, but it should be kept no more than two-thirds full to allow for expansion if the water freezes. In colder climates, use windshield washer system antifreeze, available at any auto parts store, to lower the freezing point of the fluid. Mix the antifreeze with water in accordance with the manufacturer's directions on the container
Caution: DO NOT use cooling system antifreeze - it will damage the vehicle's paint. To help prevent icing in cold weather, warm the windshield with the defroster before using the washer

Brake fluid

16 The brake fluid reservoir is located on top of the brake master cylinder on the driver's side of the engine compartment near the firewall
17 The fluid level should be maintained between the lower ADD mark and the upper (FULL or MAX) mark on reservoir
18 If additional fluid is necessary to bring the level up, use a rag to clean all dirt off the top of the reservoir to prevent contamination of the system. Also, make sure all painted surfaces around the reservoir are covered, since brake fluid will ruin paint. Carefully pour new, clean brake fluid obtained from a sealed container into the reservoir. Be sure the specified fluid is used; mixing different types of brake fluid can cause damage to the system. See Recommended lubricants and fluids at the bottom of the page or your owner's manual
19 At this time the fluid and the master cylinder should be inspected for contamination. Normally the brake hydraulic system won't need periodic draining and refilling, but if rust deposits, dirt particles or water droplets are observed in the fluid, the system should be dismantled, cleaned and refilled with fresh fluid. Over time brake fluid will absorb moisture from the air. Moisture in the fluid lowers the fluid boiling point; if the fluid boils, the brakes will become ineffective. Normal brake fluid is clear in color. If the brake fluid is dark brown in color, it's a good idea to replace it
20 Reinstall the fluid reservoir cap
21 The brake fluid in the master cylinder will drop slightly as the brake lining material at each wheel wears down during normal operation. If the master cylinder requires repeated replenishing to maintain the correct level, there is a leak in the brake system that should be corrected immediately. Check all brake lines and connections, along with the calipers and power brake booster
22 If you discover that the reservoir is empty or nearly empty, the system should be thoroughly inspected, refilled and then bled

Power steering fluid

23 Check the power steering fluid level periodically to avoid steering system problems, such as damage to the pump
Caution: DO NOT hold the steering wheel against either stop (extreme left or right turn) for more than five seconds. If you do, the power steering pump could be damage
24 The power steering reservoir is located in the right side of the engine compartment
25 For the check, the front wheels should be pointed straight ahead and the engine should be off
26 The reservoir has ADD and FILL RANGE fluid level marks on the side. The fluid level can be seen without removing the reservoir cap
27 If additional fluid is required, pour the specified type directly into the reservoir, using a funnel to prevent spills
28 If the reservoir requires frequent fluid additions, all power steering hoses, hose connections, steering gear and the power steering pump should be carefully checked for leaks

Automatic transaxle

Note: It isn't necessary to check the transaxle fluid weekly; every 12,000 miles or 12 months will be adequate (unless a fluid leak is noticed)

40TE and 41TE (4-speed) models

29 The automatic transaxle fluid level should be carefully maintained. Low fluid level can lead to slipping or loss of drive, while overfilling can cause foaming and loss of fluid
30 With the parking brake set, start the engine, then move the shift lever through all the gear ranges, ending in Neutral. The fluid level must be checked with the vehicle level and the engine running at idle
Note: Incorrect fluid level readings will result if the vehicle has just been driven at high speeds for an extended period, in hot weather in city traffic, or if it has been pulling a trailer. If any of these conditions apply, wait until the fluid has cooled (about 30 minutes)
31 With the transaxle at normal operating temperature, remove the dipstick from the filler tube. The dipstick is located on the left side of the engine compartment
Note: Normal operating temperature is reached after a few miles of driving
32 Wipe the fluid from the dipstick with a clean rag and push it back into the filler tube until the cap seats
33 Pull the dipstick out again and note the fluid level
34 Check the fluid with the transaxle at normal operating temperature - the level should be kept in the HOT range (40TE and 41TE transaxles)
Note: Wait at least two minutes before rechecking the fluid level to allow the fluid to fully drain into the transaxle
35 The condition of the fluid should also be checked along with the level. If the fluid at the end of the dipstick is a dark reddish-brown color, or if it smells burned, it should be changed. If you are in doubt about the condition of the fluid, purchase some new fluid and compare the two for color and smell

62TE (6-speed) models

Note: The 62TE transaxles require the use of a scan tool to check transaxle fluid temperature and special tool #9336A (or a homemade equivalent, see Step 38) to measure the fluid level. If you do not have both tools to make the proper temperature-to-fluid level comparisons, we do not recommend attempting this procedure
36 Make sure the vehicle is parked on a level area
Warning: Make sure to set the parking brake and block the front wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving when the engine is running
37 Apply the parking brake, start the engine and allow it to idle for a minute, then move the shift lever through each gear position, ending in Park or Neutral
38 Special oil dipstick tool no. 9336A will be required to check the fluid level. An alternative to this tool can be fabricated from a straightened-out coat hanger
38a Using a standard non-painted coat hanger, straighten out the hanger then measure 16-11/16 inches from the tip . . .
38b . . . and attach a piece of tape to mark the point to which the dipstick will be inserted
39 Allow the transaxle to warm up, waiting at least two minutes, then remove the dipstick tube cap
40 Insert the tool into the transaxle fill tube until the tip of the tool contacts the stop in the oil pan (or up to the tape if you're using a homemade dipstick) then pull it out. It may be necessary to repeat this several times to get an accurate reading
Caution: Do not use too much force when inserting the tool; there is a stop in the oil pan that the tool can be pushed beyond giving incorrect measurements. The approximate length that the tool should be inserted into the dipstick/fill tube is 16-11/16 inches (424 mm)
Note: The dipstick tool should stick out from the fill tube when it is installed
41 With the engine warmed up and running, check transaxle oil temperature with a scan tool
42 Compare the reading on the dipstick tool with the transaxle fluid temperature reading on the scan tool
43 Match the two readings with the transaxle fluid level chart to make sure the transaxle oil level is correct
18.43 62TE transaxle fluid level-to-temperature indexing chart
44 Add or remove transaxle fluid as necessary, then recheck the fluid level and install the dipstick tube cap

Recommended lubricants and fluids

Engine oil
  Type API "Certified for gasoline engines"
  Viscosity
    2.4L and 2.7L engines SAE 5W-20
    3.5L engine SAE 10W-30
    3.6L engine SAE 5W-30
Automatic transaxle fluid Mopar® ATF +4 automatic transmission fluid or equivalent
Power steering fluid Mopar® ATF +4 automatic transmission fluid or equivalent
Brake fluid DOT type 3 brake fluid
Engine coolant 50/50 mixture of Mopar® 5 year/100,000 mile Formula (MS-9769) antifreeze/coolant with HOAT (Hybrid Organic Additive Technology) and water*
Note: *These vehicles are filled with a 50/50 mixture of Mopar 5-year/100,000-mile coolant that shouldn't be mixed with other coolants. Refer to the coolant reservoir label under the hood to determine what type coolant you have. Always refill with the correct coolant
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