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I recently received a 120k mile 1996 Stratus 2.4l from my parents that they were done repairing and ready to donate. I stepped up and took the donation as I could use a vehicle that gets nearly double the fuel mileage of my trucks.

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The car recently had the head gasket, timing belt, timing belt tensioner, and water pump replaced. Although there were little issues remaining I believe I have all those fixed except for the transmission.

Recently just before my father gave up on the car the transmission started to leak. It appeared to be dripping from the oil pan. So he pulled the pan, replacing the filter and gasket. Sure enough it started to leak again in the same area so he replaced the gasket again. Still leaking.

Upon getting the car back to my home I realized there were a few flaws with the transmission. One was that it had been filled with Dexron fluid. The other was despite imo installing the gasket improperly the largest part of the leak did not appear to be coming from the transmission pan. It appeared to be coming from a higher point.

The transmission is very greasy and despite attempting to clean what I could access off, my attempts failed mostly due to the cold weather.

It does appear the leak is coming from around the base of the transmission control solenoid.

The transmission does not slip. In fact it shifts perfect when it is working. However randomly it will go into a fail safe state where only reverse and one forward gear (I believe 2nd) is accessible. There is no CEL set on the car, nor do I have a scan tool at the present time to access the Chrysler specific transmission data.

After reading up this is probably caused by the output sensor or transmission control solenoid. To be safe I ordered the updated style solenoid (the old one was factory circa 1996), an input speed sensor, an output speed sensor, and both the transmission cooler lines.

I plan to "flush" the transmission with ATF+4. Whereas I will remove the line that sends fluid from the transmission to the cooler and keep adding fluid while running till the fluid coming out is no longer dark. Hopefully removing most all of the Dexron and any contaminants. I also plan to back and forward flush the cooler separately to clean it out.

What alarms me is the state of the current fluid. While there was no metal present on the magnet, the transmission fluid does appear rather dark with the presence of a faint silver metallic emulsion which is non-magnetic. I assume it is aluminum. It isn't apparent with the fluid in a container but was quite obvious while draining the transmission in daylight.

I really know little about modern automatics, I have always elected for manual transmissions on vehicles I have purchased. So I am not sure how this will affect the transmissions lifespan.

Is this silvery emulsion normal? Possibly a by product of using Dexron? Is it is show stopper, or sign of a major failure to come? Any idea what component this material would have come from?

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What alarms me is the state of the current fluid. While there was no metal present on the magnet, the transmission fluid does appear rather dark with the presence of a faint silver metallic emulsion which is non-magnetic. I assume it is aluminum. It isn't apparent with the fluid in a container but was quite obvious while draining the transmission in daylight.

Not a good sign... I would do like your saying to do and flush it out and get the fluid and filter changed out. But I'm going to assume the metalics is a aluminum...
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