Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems

The Ram 1500 is the most powerful and durable pickup truck on the market. It is also known for its safety and reliability. However, like any other vehicle, the Dodge Ram 1500 has some major and minor problems. One of its major problems is the transmission problem.

The Ram 1500 uses the following transmission in their various model years:

  • Ram 1500(2009-2012): 5-speed automatic transmission
  • Ram 1500 (2013-2018): 6-speed 68RFE, 66RFE, and 65RFE automatic transmissions
  • Ram 1500 (2018-2022): 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Ram 1500 (2019-2021): 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Ram 1500 (2022-2024): 8-speed TorqueFlite 8HP95 or 8HP75 automatic transmissions

Dodge Ram’s earlier models are highly prone to transmission problems. However, the problem was reduced momentarily after the 2001 to 2009 models.

From 2010 to 2016, transmission problems were present in almost all Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 models. The 2019 and 2022 Ram 1500 also received many complaints and recalls related to transmission problems.

There are 7 most common Ram 1500 transmission problems, which are:

  1. Sporadic shifting
  2. Hard shifting
  3. Grinding or Shaking
  4. Lack of acceleration
  5. Slipping
  6. Poor downshifting
  7. Interlock faulty design

Let’s discuss the Ram 1500 8-speed and 6-speed transmission problems with their easy solutions.

1. Sporadic Shifting

Ram issued recalls for its 2009-2017 models because the vehicle would sometimes unexpectedly move out of parking position. As the problem is very concerning, buyers should know about it.

In these vehicles, if you keep the brake pedal pressed for a while when the vehicle is on and in park position with a column shifter, it causes a problem.

Sometimes, the pin that keeps the brake and transmission connected gets stuck As a result, the vehicle’s transmission shifts out of park position and don’t shifts in any gears.

This problem occurs even if you do not press the brake pedal or have the key in the ignition. The sporadic shifting mainly occurs because of software glitches.

Therefore, Dodge Ram issued a recall for 2009-2017 models to fix the issues. The dealership also fixes the pin that interlocks the brake and transmission shift without any charge.

If you are having the same problem, check your vehicle recall status through the dealership.

2. Hard Shifting

Transmission hard shifting is one of the major problems of Ram 1500 models. The problem is widespread in the 2015 Ram 1500 models. Many owners complain that they experience this problem after 25,000 miles.

Some claim that the transmission shifts from one gear to the next while driving, while others report jerking when shifting gears and loud noises. Sometimes, the problem occurs because of dirty transmission fluid. Changing the dirty transmission fluid will fix the problem.

However, if there is a major issue underneath, it may require replacing the shift solenoid to fix the shifting problem.

3. Grinding or Shaking

Shaking or grinding while in operation is another common complaint from owners of Ram 1500 trucks. The 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 models are mostly affected by this problem.

The jerking of the vehicle is noticeable in both high and low speeds.

4. Lack of Acceleration

Due to transmission problems, many Ram 1500 users do not get actual acceleration. This is another common problem that many owners reported.

According to the owners, although the engine appears to rev and the RPMs increase, the vehicle does not accelerate at the same speed.

The problem becomes very frustrating when starting on the highway. The lack of acceleration is very common in 2014 Ram 1500 models.

This issue occurs at low mileage (approximately 15,000 miles) and can require expensive repair.

5. Gears Slipping

Transmission gears slipping also occurs in many Dodge Ram trucks. The problem primarily starts with damaged transmission bands.

Poor vehicle and transmission maintenance are mainly blamed for gear slipping. However, if you notice gear slipping, it is necessary to take quick action.

If damaged bands cause the problem, it can easily be repaired. But sometimes gears slipping indicates major issues too. Therefore, take the issue seriously.

6. Poor Downshifting

Many drivers reported struggling to shift the transmission from second gear to first gear. This problem is mostly affected by the 2014 and 2015 Ram 1500.

In these vehicles, when the driver tries to stop the vehicle completely, it feels like the truck takes a long time to switch from 2nd gear to 1st gear.

Sometimes, trucks jerk forward, making it difficult to brake safely. As this creates a safety hazard, you should fix it properly.

7. Interlock Faulty Design

A faulty interlock design was detected in some Ram 1500 models.

Therefore, the company also issued a recall for 2018 Ram 1500 models related to the transmission problem.

In these models, the interlock system design was not correct, causing the vehicle to move out of the park position.

Manufacturers fix the problem in the same way as they fix the sporadic shifting issue.

Solutions to Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems

Sometimes, transmission’s internal components, as well as other components, cause problems.

Therefore, repairing the transmission does not fix the Ram 1500 transmission problems completely.

Change the Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is the first thing that needs to be checked in case of transmission problems.

Most of the time, low-level or dirty transmission fluid causes transmission problems.

That’s why first, the transmission fluid level from the dipstick must be checked.

Then check the fluid quality.

If the transmission fluid level is low, fill up the transmission fluid at the requirement level.

If the transmission fluid is contaminated, change it to a high-quality fluid.

I always recommend changing the transmission fluid, pan and filter every 50,000 miles.

Replace the Transmission Sensor

For internal components, the transmission sensor is an important part that impacts the transmission’s functions.

If the transmission sensor becomes faulty, it causes several transmission problems.

Transmission shifting issues and vibrations are primarily caused by bad transmission sensors.

So, inspect the transmission sensor properly and replace it if it looks worn out.

Improper maintenance also causes the transmission sensor to wear out.

Inspect and Fix the Wiring System

If your Ram 1500 transmission seems to be problematic, first check the wiring system.

The signals cannot transmit properly if the wiring is broken or damaged.

As a result, you will experience delay shifting, transmission slipping, warning lights, and limp mode problems.

So, replace the faulty wires to fix the transmission problem.

Replace the Faulty Spark Plugs

Generally, there is no direct connection between spark plugs and transmission.

However, if the spark plugs are faulty, they indirectly cause transmission problems.

Because of bad spark plugs, transmission hesitation, and vibration problems occur.

So, if your Ram 1500 spark plugs are faulty, replace the whole unit at once.

Check Recalls

As I have already discussed above, some Dodge Ram 1500 model years have been recalled because of transmission problems.

So, check the recall history. If your transmission problems come under any recalls, contact the dealership to fix the problems.

Note: If you do not have enough experience in the automotive sector, do not try to fix the transmission issue by yourself. The transmission is a sensitive component and always requires professional repair.

Ram 1500 Transmission Problems Symptoms

There are 12 common symptoms of Ram 1500 transmission problems are:

  1. Rough shifting
  2. Transmission slipping gears
  3. Loud noises
  4. Check engine warning lights
  5. Leaking transmission fluid
  6. Contaminated transmission fluid
  7. Low level transmission fluid
  8. Jerking or vibration when changing gears
  9. Poor downshifting or lack of acceleration
  10. Burning smells
  11. Difficulty in getting the transmission out of the park position
  12. Faulty error codes

Ram 1500 Transmission Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance prevents transmission problems and provides a smooth driving experience.

That’s why you maintain your Ram 1500 transmission in the correct way.

Some important transmission maintenance tips are:

  • Regularly check the transmission fluid. Ensure the transmission fluid is not contaminated and is at the correct level.
  • Use high-quality transmission fluid according to the owner’s manual recommendations.
  • Change the transmission filter when changing the transmission fluid.
  • Overheating affects the transmission. So, service the cooling system regularly to prevent the engine and transmission from overheating.
  • Avoid heavy towing and loading.
  • Flush the transmission fluid to remove grime, dirt, metal, and grit from the transmission.
  • Shift the gears, ideally.
  • In colder weather, warm up the engine properly before driving. This will allow the vehicle fluids to circulate correctly.

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