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sprinkles08, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep master tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 22652
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced Certified, Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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1996 Dodge Grand Caravan: transmission fluid..the leaks..gas tank

Customer Question

I have 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan that leaks transmission fluid. My brother says to add a treatment to stop the leaks but my son says the treatment additive will only mess up the seals even more.

On a recent trip, drive time was 12 hours each way, I had to add tranny fluid every time I filled the gas tank up. Around town, it doesn't seem to leak as much.

What do you suggest I do? I cannot afford to have the transmission rebuilt.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 7 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!


You don't need to have the trans rebuilt you need to have the leak fixed. The source of the leak needs to be found and repaired. Common leaks are the cooler lines, solenoid pack, pan, or axle seals. Once the leak source is found then it can be repaired. The solenoid pack would be the most expensive to replace out of all the likely causes, with the part being $200 and the labor time about one hour, the other repairs will be cheaper.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No one has mentioned any of the possible problems that you listed...only that the leak is from a 'seal'. I mainly want to know if an additive treatment will help prolong the life of the transmission.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 7 years ago.

No, an additive isn't going to help prolong the life of the trans. A fluid additive that is meant to stop leaks will work on a seal leak - either an axle seal or front pump seal, possibly a leaking cooler line to an extent. The additive works by softening the rubber which may help some, but isn't a permanent fix. Also when a leak is as large as you are describing it's too large for an additive to help, plus it will all leak out quickly before it had time to work.


Additives and fluids other than ATF+4 aren't good for your trans either. The TCM relies on the frictional properties of ATF+4, and a fluid additive will change that. Putting an additive in can cause clutch chatter and wear and eventual damage.