Alternatives to Mopar ATF+4 Fluid

Mopar ATF+4 is a type of transmission fluid made by Chrysler specifically for Chrysler automatic transmissions. For transmissions that use Mopar ATF+4 fluid, the only alternatives you can use are ATF+4 fluids from other manufacturers.

Mopar ATF+4 Overview

Mopar ATF+4 fluid was created in 1998 to address a specific issue that vehicles had started having a couple of years prior. 

OBD-II was standardized on all cars sold in North America in 1996, with the goal of making it easier for mechanics to diagnose vehicle problems. However, some of the early OBD-II vehicles started generating erroneous error codes.

Specifically, early OBD-II vehicles kept displaying a “random misfire” error code when no misfires were occurring. It turned out that vibrations caused by regular driving were slightly altering the rotation of the crankshaft, causing the ECU to falsely report that a cylinder was misfiring.

Once this was figured out, the solution most automakers went with to fix it was to develop a new torque converter clutch that would have a little more slippage. These new torque converter clutches required a different kind of transmission fluid that was available at the time, which led to the development of ATF+4.

It’s important to note that ATF+4 is only intended to work with Chrysler vehicles (or vehicles from other brands owned by Chrysler, such as Dodge and Jeep).Other manufacturers like Ford, GM, and Toyota have their own versions of ATF+4, which are similar but not interchangeable.

As for Mopar ATF+4 itself, it consists of an oil base produced by Texaco and an additive package from Lubrizol intended to optimize this oil for Chrysler transmissions. ATF+4 is a backwards-compatible transmission fluid, and can also be used in older Chrysler models that use ATF+, ATF+2, and ATF+3 transmission oil.

In 2003, Chrysler came out with a revised version of ATF+4 that was designed to be a “lifetime” transmission fluid. Chrylser promised that as long as you drove “normally”, your transmission fluid and fluid filter would never have to be changed.

Alternatives to Mopar ATF+4

If you need to replace your transmission fluid but can’t find Mopar ATF+4 specifically, you certainly have options. There are tons of licensed third-party brands out there that make their own version of ATF+4.

You can find ATF+4 alternatives from pretty much any major manufacturer of automotive fluids, including Valvoline, Mobil, Petro-Canada, and more. If you want the complete list of brands that produce licensed ATF+4 transmission oil, the Center for Quality Assurance has a good one.

It’s important to only use ATF+4 from Mopar or brands that are actually licensed by Chrysler. Many unlicensed ATF+4 alternatives don’t meet the specifications required for Chrysler transmissions, and using them can potentially void your warranty or even damage your transmission.

How to Change Your Transmission Fluid

If you’re thinking of replacing your transmission fluid yourself, it’s important that you know how to do it correctly. Here’s what you need to do in order to change your transmission fluid:

  1. Make sure you have the right fluid! Every car with an automatic transmission needs a specific type of transmission fluid, so take care to use the one that is actually intended for your car.
  2. Jack up your car enough so that you have access to the transmission oil pan.
  3. Place a drip pan under the transmission before you start draining the fluid. You should also make sure that your transmission is at its normal operating temperature before changing the fluid, so it’s best to change your fluid after going for a drive. 
  4. Drain the oil into your drip pan. Some transmission oil pans have a drainage plug to make changing the fluid easier, while others require you to remove the entire pan. The fluid in the oil pan may be hot, so be careful when draining it. If your transmission doesn’t have a drainage plug, you’ll need a drip pan at least as wide as the oil pan to avoid making a mess. Keep track of how much oil you’ve drained; you’ll need to know later.
  5. If you’ve removed the entire oil pan, you can use this opportunity to inspect your transmission fluid filter and gaskets, and replace them if you need to.
  6. With the drainage plug or the oil pan back in place, you can now fill the transmission up with new oil. This can be done through the port that contains your transmission fluid dipstick. If you’re not sure where this dipstick is, check the owner’s manual.
  7. When filling your transmission with new fluid, aim to put in slightly less fluid than you originally drained from it, to prevent overfilling.


If you own any Chrysler vehicle from the late ’90s or newer, it’s essential that you use ATF+4 transmission fluid. This fluid is designed specifically for Chrylser automatic transmissions, and no other fluid will work.

Plenty of licensed third-party companies produce ATF+4 fluid, however, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the right fluid for your transmission even if Mopar ATF+4 isn’t available.