1997 Dodge Caravan oil change


t4ia
03-14-2005, 12:45 AM
Hi,

I am new using Caravan. Just bought it a few months back. Can anyone tell me how difficult it is to change the Engine oil/filter and transmission oil on these vans if I want to do this myself. Which engine and transmission oil and filter are recommended. Does anyone have instructions on doing this (along with pictures if possible) or any site that explains this?


thanks.

t4ia
03-14-2005, 12:46 AM
forgot to mention that it is a Dodge Caravan SE with 3.0 V6 Engine.

jawss
03-14-2005, 12:05 PM
An oil change is no prob. Jack the front of the van up and use blocks or stands. Just high enough to let you get under and your drain pan has to be able to fit easily. You can put your jack on the front motor/transmission mount ( the part thats bolted to the body). The filter is right in the front and is easily accessed while you're under the van. Use a funnel when pouring new oil in, less mess. Dont use cheap oil either. Im a Castrol fan myself. You pay a little more but its worth it. My motor has over 500 000 kms on it and its still going strong. Oil stays nice and clear.

As far as the transmission oils change goes, thats a little more difficult. If you're not a mechanic, I would advise that you take it to a tranny shop and let them do it. These Dodge trannys are very sensitive. One wrong move or using low-grade oil can ruin them.. fast! Also, the tranny shop will remove ALL the old oil, including whats in the torque convertor too. Dropping the pan off and changing the filter doesnt get all the old oil out. Its worth paying the money to get the pros do do this. Make sure its a reputable shop too. Also, as an added safety, if your van doesnt have a transmission cooler, get one! This will add longer life to your tranny.

Look through the front grill of your van on the drivers side and look for a small radiator-like piece( about 8"x14") attached in front of your radiator. If you have this, great, if not, get one. You can even go to the local junk yard and get a good used one. The shop will clean it and install it. You will find that the Caravan is a great functional van, but it has its.."quirks". Keep checking this site for info. Theres a lot of knowlagable Dodge owners here that can be very helpful. Good luck!

HiRez_L
03-14-2005, 12:52 PM
Changing the transmission fluid isn't all that hard, there are detailed instructions here:
http://www.allpar.com/eek/atf.html
I have done it on several vans, I use the flush method from the cooler line. Make sure and use only the correct Mopar ATF fluid.

t4ia
03-14-2005, 02:45 PM
Thanks for the information jawss (and HiRez_L). my van has 157000km on it right now. congrats on driving your van to such high kms! I plan to do the same as far as it allows me to. I will change the oil and filter myself (Castrol oil and Fram oil filter?)

For transmission oil change which shop do you normally go to. I am in ON, Canada. should I go to mr transmission or any other that can do a reliable work.

HiRez_L
03-14-2005, 03:55 PM
Which fluid to use depends on the year, 99 and down are ATF+3, 2000 & up are ATF+4.

t4ia
03-14-2005, 05:03 PM
I am not sure which transmission it has. How do I check for that.

evictor
03-14-2005, 05:08 PM
If your gears are 1,2,d,n,r you have three speed
If your gears are 1,2,d,OD, you have four speed
OD is overdrive.

t4ia
03-14-2005, 06:24 PM
yes it has 1,2,d,n,r gears on it.

t4ia
03-25-2005, 12:47 AM
which power steering oil to use for 97 caravan. any specific brand/type is required.

Also how good are Pennzoil engine oil filters. saw them at walmart

jawss
03-25-2005, 10:28 AM
For pwr steering fluid I use ATF oil. If you want to use pwr steering fluid, most any kind will do. Rule of thumb for any oil;the cheaper the price the cheaper the quality.Penzoil filter should be fine.

evictor
03-26-2005, 02:14 PM
For pwr steering fluid I use ATF oil. If you want to use pwr steering fluid, most any kind will do. Rule of thumb for any oil;the cheaper the price the cheaper the quality.Penzoil filter should be fine.


Menards (if you have one around you) has Quaker State for .69 per qrt.

yoji6365
03-28-2005, 12:57 AM
For pwr steering fluid I use ATF oil. If you want to use pwr steering fluid, most any kind will do. Rule of thumb for any oil;the cheaper the price the cheaper the quality.Penzoil filter should be fine.

My 98 manual specifically states not to use ATF for PS.

yoji6365
03-28-2005, 12:58 AM
which power steering oil to use for 97 caravan. any specific brand/type is required.

Also how good are Pennzoil engine oil filters. saw them at walmart

Are you planning to flush the PS or just topping it off?

t4ia
03-28-2005, 12:49 PM
just top it up.

1thunder
03-28-2005, 06:22 PM
Chrysler has approved ATF+4 for power steering fluid or the dealer sells power steering fluid for this application. Are you from the northern part of ontario because i do have #'s to reputable shops

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