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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011, 2.4 L engine, Jeep Patriot North, automatic transmission and was wondering if there is an easy way to check the transmission fluid level?

I went to the local parts store and bought a dipstick, which was quite long maybe about 4 feet or more; and it only went into the dipstick tube about a foot or so; there was transmission fluid on the flat steel marked section. I took the part back to the store as I figured I had the wrong dipstick seeing as how only a quarter of the dipstick went into the tube?

In the Jeep Patriot manual it recommends part #9336A or a straightened out coat hanger; surely there is something more accurate than a coat hanger or a dipstick that is 2 or 3 feet longer than it needs to be? The instructions did say not to leave the dipstick in the tube, so maybe that is why it was so long?

I did check online and realize that the dealer needs to check your transmission fluid level, hence no dipstick; and that the level marking varies based on the temperature of the transmission fluid, moving through gears and reading the results on a graph chart.

I am thinking to make something out of 1/4 or 3/8 inch flexible flat steel with 2 pieces of round bar one at the bottom and the other at the top of the indicator markings to keep the bar from touching the sides of the tube and give a true fluid level reading; has anyone made anything that works?
 

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For quick checks, I took the engine oil dipstick and scribed marks on it.

In my case it just barely touches the bottom of the pan; others have said theirs doesn't reach far enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
That's a good idea; I will give it a try.

My car is parked underground and at a steady temperature of around 70 degrees fahrenheit, so my thinking is if I get a reading from cold on the oil dipstick and mark that, then do a hot running the car reading I should have a baseline for my transmission oil level.

Just curious; I am in Canada and was wondering how much the dealer charges to do a transmission oil level check?

Thanks for your reply very helpful.
 

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I purchased the really long dipstick too. I found that with my old eyes that I had trouble seeing the fluid on it, so I took some 100 grit sand paper to the end if it, just enough to scuff it up to give the fluid something to cling to. Using ambient temperature on a cold engine isn't a very bad idea, but my recommendation would be to get a bluetooth ELM327 OBD2 code reader from ebay or amazon and install the Torque app or the CVTz50 app on your phone. Both of those apps will show you the trans temp.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do have a code reader that I bought at Canadian Tire when it was on sale and I have never used it; so would have to look at it and see what type it is. So your saying I would plug in the correct bluetooth code reader (somewhere?) add the app to my phone, run the engine and the phone app will tell me what the trans temperature is; and how do you figure out what the trans fluid level should be at on the oil, a homemade or parts store dipstick?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I checked the trans fluid level using my oil dipstick and it fits in the trans tube with no problem and bottoms out; I get a clear trans fluid oil reading right on the safe mark at an ambient air temperature of around 70 degrees fahrenheit and a cold engine; so this will be my baseline. The code reader I have is an Innova 3100e - CanOBD2® Diagnostic Tool, so don't see that it has bluetooth? Will have to check where to plug the code reader in, I'm guessing under the dashboard somewhere? I bought this code reader for a different car, so not sure if it will work for the Patriot.
 

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The OBD2 port is under the dash, to the left of the steering wheel. An ELM327 bluetooth code reader looks like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/Mestart-OB...child=1&keywords=elm327&qid=1613616789&sr=8-8

There's no screen on it, it's just a little device that plugs into the OBD2 port and connects to your phone/tablet/laptop/etc via bluetooth. They can actually do a lot more than the handheld code readers with a screen and buttons, and they're cheaper too. The code reader that you have will connect to your Patriot just fine, but it only reads powertrain codes, so it will not show trans temp and does not have bluetooth.
 

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The CVT dipstick that you can purchase comes with a chart that shows temp/fluid level. You can also find the chart here, using the search bar above. Or maybe someone can post it in this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can get the ELM327 code reader for $15 CND from Amazon.ca; so a great price. I have a Samsung Galaxy A71 with android 10; what phone app are you using and will it read the transmission temp?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So the way I am reading the chart is at a temperature of 70 degrees Fah (cold) the minimum level is one inch from the bottom of the dipstick and at 190f about 1 3/8" from the bottom of the dipstick; has anyone transferred this measurement using the oil dipstick?
My oil dipstick bottoms out in the transmission tube, so it may just be the plastic top of the oil dipstick hitting the stepped down neck of the transmission tube or the bottom of the transmission oil pan; I will have to measure the tube to make sure.
 

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If you just want to read info on your trans then CVTz50 is the way to go. I sometimes use it to watch my trans temp while driving, because my CVT seems to hate me. But, if you want to do more, there are other more full featured apps out there... Torque and JSCAN are ones that come to mind that will also show trans temp. Torque has a free version.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I downloaded the CVTz50 Demo and torque to my phone, but will need the ELM327 code reader to pair them on my Patriot; so will be about 6 days before it gets here. The full apps cost $4.99 each so worth it if it works on my Patriot with the ELM327 code reader. There are a couple of ELM327 readers to choose from so just went with the one in your link, but bought it on Amazon.ca (Canada).

Thanks to everyone who has replied; a great help in figuring how to check my own trans fluid level.

I guess gone are the days of just pulling out a dipstick and checking your fluid levels.

Does anyone know what the length of the dipstick is from the top of the tube down to the bottom of the oil pan?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Forgot to ask: are you leaving the code reader in all the time? If not does it have to be paired each time you put it in?
 

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The link I shared is for one of the code readers that I have, it works good for me. Like any bluetooth device, the first time you use it you'll need to par it with your phone. After that, whenever you plug it in it will connect to your phone automatically. So you don't need to leave it plugged into your Jeep, but it won't hurt anything of you do. I've had one plugged into my Jeep since 2016.
 

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On my phone I have CVTz50. On my Android head unit I have Torque Pro.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not sure if this will help anyone; I put several pieces of wire down the trans tube and they seemed to bottom out at around 20 1/2 to 21 1/2" from the top of the trans tube, with an oil reading on the wire of 1 3/4" with cold ambiant air temperature 70 degrees fah; attached is a picture showing the wire and the oil dipstick with an oil reading just on the safe level mark.

I have about 96,000KM on the car, so close to when they recommend a transmission service.

mr_et2: what android head unit do you have and is that separate to the RADIO UNIT? I have the Jensen VX7020 and the write up is here:Jensen VX7020 Navigation receiver at Crutchfield Not sure if you can plug a phone into it or par a device or an app?
 

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