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Dodge Journey Transmission: Overview, Problems, Fluids

The Dodge Journey is a car we’ve covered extensively on this blog. It’s been around for more than a decade and therefore is a vehicle you’ll see on the road every day. Today we’re going to talk about the transmissions this car has used between 2009 – 2020. Let’s start with a quick answer:

The Dodge Journey was initially equipped with the A604 (41TE) transmission – the late model 2008+ Dodge Journey was fitted with the 6-speed 62TE transmission. Models also have a 4-speed Ultradrive 40TES automatic, 5-speed Magna, T355 manual, 6-speed Aisin BG6/Fiat C635 manual, Getrag Mps6 DCT automatic, and Ultradrive 62TE automatic transmissions.

However, that doesn’t tell you the whole story. Below we’ll first talk about how long these transmissions last. Furthermore, we’ll talk about the cost of each unit at retail and the price for a remanufactured unit (if applicable). Finally, we discuss all the common problems of each unit, and we finish by giving recommendations for the proper transmission fluid. Read on!

Also read: Dodge Journey Towing Capacity: Can It Tow A Trailer, Boat, Or Jet Ski?

How Long Does a Dodge Journey Transmission Last?

The 40TES, Magna T355, Aisin BG6, and Fiat C635 are solid transmissions that should last between 180.000 – 250.000 miles depending on the use of the car. Transmissions like the A604/41TE, Ultradrive 62TE, and Getrag Mps6 DCT will have a lifespan of 150.000 – 200.000 miles. However, some of these units can fail prematurely, which usually happens between 50.000 – 100.000 miles.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Dodge Journey Last? (Answered)

How Much Does a Dodge Journey Transmission Cost?

  • 4-speed Ultradrive 40TES automatic costs $1.600 remanufactured and $2.800 at retail.
  • 5-speed Magna T355 manual costs $2.300 remanufactured and $3.000 at retail.
  • 6-speed Aisin BG6 manual costs $2.000 – $2.500 at retail.
  • 6-speed Fiat C635 manual costs $2.000 – $2.500 at retail.
  • 6-speed Getrag Mps6 DCT automatic costs $2.000 – $2.500 at retail.
  • 6-speed Ultradrive 62TE automatic costs $2.400 remanufactured and $3.500 at retail.
  • A604 (41TE) Transmission costs $1.600 remanufactured and $2.800 at retail.

Common Dodge Journey Transmission Problems

4-speed Ultradrive 41TE automatic

The A604 (later renamed the 41TE) is one of the most problematic transmissions Chrysler has ever put into a car. The transmission is plagued by electrical issues that cause poor shifting overall and numerous other complaints. Problems with this unit include:

  • Poor shifting quality with no codes stored in the transmission control module (TCM), no communication from the TCM or codes 11 – 17, 19, 20 and 45.
  • Poor shifting quality due to faulty TCM. The TCM has inputs codes that refer to elements such as TSS, OSS, pressure switches, gear select, crank sensor, TPS and temperature sensor. Bad grounds, connections, alternator diodes and EMI can affect speed sensors. If the clutches are good and there are no external problems, the TCM may be bad. A pressure switch trouble code may be caused by valve body crossleaks. Common examples are 2–4 or L/R pressure switch codes, which can indicate a bad solenoid pack, a sticky solenoid switch valve, or a warped valve body.
  • Solenoid circuit errors. Solenoid circuit codes 41–44 can be difficult to fix. This is partly because the TCM goes into limp mode by turning the ETAX relay off. Since the solenoid circuits are off, testing is limited and inconclusive.
  • Gear ratio problems. The TCM detects gear ratio errors by calculating signals from the input and output speed sensors. Make sure both sensors are working. If they are working, the clutches are slipping, a hub or shell maybe stripped or the solenoid pack is bad.

4-speed Ultradrive 40TES automatic

The 4-speed Ultradrive 40TES is the upgraded replacement of the 41TE mentioned above. The 40TES was introduced in 2007 and has been with the Dodge Journey throughout its lifespan. A pressure sensor and line pressure solenoid were added to the valve body, in addition to the solenoid pack that bolts to the outside of the case. The TES doesn’t have the same electrical problems its predecessor had.

5-speed Magna T355 manual

The 5-speed Magna T355 manual is a solid transmission overall. However, there are reports of units becoming challenging to shift while also making a whining noise. Continuing to drive with this problem can cause significant issues and some owners have had to replace their transmission completely. This problem is fixed by replacing the third, fourth, fifth, and reverse gear synchronizer rings as a set.

6-speed Aisin BG6 manual

The 6-speed Aisin BG6 manual is a solid transmission overall. However, Aisin does mention some common problems in the 2009 manual of this transmission related explicitly to the use of the manual in the Journey.

  • Hard shifting caused by a misadjusted crossover cable. Other causes include:
    – If there’s gear clash then the synchronizer clutch and stop rings or gear teeth may be worn or damaged.
    – Misassembled synchronizer components also cause shifting problems.
    – Incorrectly installed synchronizer sleeves, struts, or springs can cause shift problems.
    – Worn, damaged, misassembled or leaking hydraulic clutch release system/components can also cause difficult shifting or gear clash.
  • Noisy operation caused by chipped, broken gear or synchronizer teeth, and brinnelled, spalled bearings all cause noise
  • Slips out of gear caused by misaligned or damaged shift components, or worn teeth on the drive gears or synchronizer components.
  • Clutch problems worn, damaged, or misaligned clutch components can cause difficult shifting, gear clash, and noise. A worn or damaged clutch disc, pressure plate, or a faulty slave cylinder can cause hard shifting and gear clash.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Dodge Journey

6-speed Fiat C635 manual

The 6-speed Fiat C635 manual transmission has very few recorded problems and therefore is a reliable transmission. If problems occur, it’s usually the following issue.

  • Whining noise and hard shifting because of premature clutch failure caused by overshimming of the main gear shaft inside the gearbox.

6-speed Getrag Mps6 DCT automatic

Two central problems can be identified with this unit:

  • Clutch wear/failure
  • Mechatronic unit failure

The following causes mainly cause these problems:

  • Clutch wear is caused by general wear and tear but can also be cause by contamination of the oil or faulry mechatronic operation. This requires a complete replacement of the clutch. Also read: What’s The Oil Type, Capacity & Weight Of A Dodge Journey?
  • Mechatronic unit failure is most likely caused by clutch pack failure which releases metal debris in the unit. Both the unit as well as the clutch pack need to be replaced.

6-speed Ultradrive 62TE automatic

The 62TE transmission is an average transmission in terms of quality. It’s not riddled with problems, but it certainly has its flaws mainly caused by improper design. Below we’ve described the symptoms you should look out for, together with what is most likely causing it and how to fix it.

  • High pitched whining noise
  • Poor shift quality
  • Premature wear of the valve body
  • Engine stalls
  • Transmission shifts into neutral instead of 1-2

Of course, each of these problems has its causes and fixes. We’ve outlined these for you below.

  • The high pitched whining noise and/or the poor shift quality can be caused by a faulty bearing in the torque converter that sheds metal into the transmission filter causing it to plug off. Partial disassembly of the transmission and replacement of the bearing and torque converter is needed.
  • The premature wear of he valve body of the 62TE transmission is a design flaw that causes shift quality to deteriorate quickly once the 125.000 miles mark is reached. Changing the valve body is needed.
  • Engine stalls normally occur when the transmission is put into Drive. Mechanical failure of the electronically modulated converter clutch variable force solenoid / EMCC VFS solenoid, which can cause the torque converter clutch to engage when it shouldn’t, is normally the cause. To fix the problem, the EMCC solenoid will need to be replaced.
  • In Chrysler 200’s that are older than 2007 drivers may notice that the transmission shifts into neutral instead of from 1 to 2. Worn sealing rings that land on the low clutch housing is normally what you should look out for. Replace the housing of the piston and, maybe, also the one from the direct clutch to fix the issue.

Transmission Fluids and the Dodge Journey

Transmission fluid is as vital for car transmissions as anything else. Without proper care of fluid, you might end up with an impaired car. You could know the condition of car fluid by its color. If it has turned into a black liquid, get it changed as quickly as possible. The Dodge Journey’s Owner’s Manual suggests changing the fluid and filter after 120,000 miles. One might go a little more miles with the same oil if they adopt precautions.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Dodge Journey Takes (All Generations)

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