How to Change the Transfer Case Fluid in a Jeep


Changing the fluid in the transfer case of your Jeep should be done every 30,000 miles. The fluid used in the Jeep transfer cases is Mopar ATF+4 and can be purchased from your Jeep dealer or most auto parts stores. The fluid protects the moving parts and gears within the case from damage caused by heat and movement. The case used in most Jeep vehicles is an NP231J three speed transfer case. The case is strong and dependable as long as it is maintained regularly.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Oil drain pan
  • Socket and ratchet set
  • Pump adapter (for oil or transmission fluid bottle)
  • Mopar ATF+4 fluid
  • Clean rag
  • Jack up the vehicle and support all four corners on jack stands. Make sure the Jeep is high enough to comfortably work under the Jeep while still being stable and secure.

  • Position the drain pan under the rear of the transfer case. Locate the drain and fill plugs on the back of the transfer case. They are two round plugs with a square cut out in them that will accept the square drive from a ratchet extension.

  • Remove the bottom plug (the drain plug) from the transfer case using a ratchet and extension and allow the fluid to drain into the pan. Remove the top plug to allow the fluid to flow faster.

  • Reinstall the drain plug into the drain hole once the fluid stops running out of the case. Tighten it with the ratchet and extension bar. Install a bottle pump into the top of a bottle of ATF+4 and insert the tube from the pump into the fill hole.

  • Fill the transfer case with fluid with the bottle pump until fluid starts to run from the top fill hole. Remove the pump tubing from the hole and reinstall the plug. Tighten the plug with the ratchet and extension then wipe any excess fluid from the outside of the case with a clean rag.

  • Remove the drain pan from under the Jeep and dispose of the used fluid properly. Most auto parts stores will take used oil and fluids for recycling free of charge.

  • Support the Jeep with a jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the Jeep slowly to the ground.

Tips & Warnings

  • The transfer case will hold three and a half pints of fluid. Don't overfill it or you will damage the seals as the case will build up pressure and force the fluid through the seals.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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