Dodge Neon Transmission Fluid Capacity

The Dodge Neon, a compact front-wheel-drive car, was introduced by Chrysler in 1995 as a replacement for the Dodge Shadow. It was known for its relatively powerful engine, affordable price, and sporty aesthetics for its class. The Dodge Neon underwent a redesign in 2000 for the second generation, improving many aspects of the vehicle.

The Neon was discontinued after 2005, replaced by the Dodge Caliber in Chrysler’s lineup. However, many Neons remain on the road today, demonstrating their durability and the continued need for their proper maintenance.

Understanding the Importance of Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid serves as the lifeblood of your vehicle’s transmission system. It’s a versatile substance, fulfilling multiple roles within the system, such as:

  1. Lubrication: By coating the moving parts of the transmission, the fluid reduces friction, thereby minimizing wear and tear, and ensuring the transmission operates smoothly.
  2. Cooling: The fluid helps to draw heat away from the transmission’s components. This function is crucial because transmissions can generate substantial heat, particularly during demanding driving conditions.
  3. Power Transfer: In automatic transmissions, the fluid also acts as a hydraulic fluid, facilitating the smooth transition between gears.
  4. Cleaning: Many transmission fluids include detergents and other additives designed to keep the transmission clean and free from harmful sludge and deposits.

Given the vital role that transmission fluid plays, it’s crucial to use the correct type, maintain it at the right level, and replace it at regular intervals to ensure the long-term health of your vehicle’s transmission.

Dodge Neon Transmission Fluid: Type and Capacity

First Generation Dodge Neon (1995-1999)

The first generation Dodge Neon came with either a three-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. For the automatic transmission, Chrysler recommends the use of ATF+3 (Automatic Transmission Fluid). This fluid type was designed to meet the specific needs of Chrysler transmissions.

For the manual transmission, Mopar Manual Transmission Lubricant is recommended, or an equivalent that meets the requirements of Chrysler Material Standard MS-9224.

In terms of capacity, the three-speed automatic transmission in the first-generation Dodge Neon holds approximately 4.1 quarts for a fluid and filter change, and up to 9.3 quarts for a completely dry fill. The manual transmission, on the other hand, has a capacity of approximately 2.1 quarts.

Second Generation Dodge Neon (2000-2005)

The second-generation Dodge Neon also offered both automatic and manual transmission options. For the automatic transmission, the recommended fluid is ATF+4, an improved formula over the ATF+3 used in the first-generation models.

The manual transmission in the second generation Neon uses the same Mopar Manual Transmission Lubricant as the first generation.

The fluid capacity for the second generation’s automatic transmission is approximately 4.1 quarts for a fluid and filter change, or up to 8.6 quarts for a completely dry fill. The manual transmission’s capacity remained the same as in the first generation, at about 2.1 quarts.

As always, these values are approximate, and the actual quantity can depend on factors such as the fluid level in the transmission before the change, the specific model of your vehicle, and whether the transmission has been completely drained or flushed.

Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or a professional mechanic for the most accurate information.

The Significance of Regular Transmission Fluid Changes

Proper maintenance of your vehicle includes regular changes of transmission fluid. Over time, the high heat within the transmission causes the fluid to break down, diminishing its lubricating and cooling capabilities.

If not replaced, the fluid can become contaminated with tiny metal particles from the transmission, leading to increased wear and potentially serious damage.

Most manufacturers recommend a transmission fluid change every 56,000 miles, but the exact interval can depend on your specific vehicle, driving conditions, and the type of fluid used. For example, newer synthetic fluids may last longer than traditional fluids before needing to be replaced.

Regularly changing your transmission fluid offers several benefits:

  1. Lifespan: Fresh fluid helps to prolong the lifespan of your transmission by reducing wear on its internal components.
  2. Performance: Clean fluid ensures smoother gear shifts, especially in automatic transmissions.
  3. Cooling: Fresh fluid is more effective at cooling the transmission, reducing the risk of overheating.
  4. Efficiency: Maintaining the correct fluid level and viscosity can improve fuel efficiency.

Even if your vehicle isn’t experiencing any transmission issues, regular fluid changes are an essential preventive maintenance task. It’s always cheaper to change your transmission fluid than to replace a damaged transmission.

Always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult with a trusted mechanic to determine the best transmission fluid change interval for your specific vehicle.

Cost Considerations for Transmission Fluid Changes

The cost to change the transmission fluid in a Dodge Neon can vary depending on the type of service, the specific transmission fluid used, and your location. A typical cost for a basic fluid and filter change is around $100 to $200. However, a complete fluid flush, which replaces nearly all of the old fluid with new, can cost more—somewhere in the range of $200 to $300.

While these costs may seem significant, it’s important to consider the value of regular maintenance. Replacing transmission fluid at recommended intervals is a cost-effective way to extend the life of your transmission and prevent potentially costly repairs or replacements down the line.


Proper maintenance is key to keeping any vehicle running smoothly and efficiently, and the Dodge Neon is no exception. This includes using the correct type of transmission fluid, ensuring it’s at the right level, and changing it regularly.

Remember, using the right type of fluid is vital, as the wrong fluid can cause harm to your transmission. And while the cost of changing your transmission fluid regularly may seem high, it’s a small investment compared to the cost of major transmission repairs or replacement.

Always refer to your owner’s manual or consult with a trusted mechanic for your vehicle’s specific needs and recommendations.


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