Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems & Cost | 46RE | 42RLE | 545RFE

The Dodge Dakota was equipped with the 42RE (A500), 46RE or the 545RFE transmission. Late model 2011+ Dakota’s are called the Ram Dakota and had the 42RLE transmission. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Dodge Dakota transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Dodge Dakota / Ram Dakota Transmission Models

Dodge Dakota: 42RE (A500)
Dodge Dakota / Ram Dakota: 42RLE Transmission
Dodge Dakota: 46RE Transmission
Dodge Dakota: 545RFE Transmission

Dodge Dakota Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by model. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

Replacement Dodge Dakota Transmission Prices:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto PartsDealer Retail
46RE (A518)1620163316993030

What are the DTC codes related to Dodge Dakota transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0700Transmission Control System (MIL Request)
P0706Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0710Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0714Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
P0717Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0720Output Speed Sensor Circuit
P0730Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0732Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio
P0733Gear 3 Incorrect Ratio
P0734Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio
P0735Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio
P0740Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction
P0742Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On
P0743Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Electrical
P0748Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0750Shift Solenoid 'A'
P0751Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off
P0755Shift Solenoid 'B'
P0760Shift Solenoid 'C'
P0765Shift Solenoid 'D'
P07833-4 Shift
P0841Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch “A” Circuit Range/Performance
P0846Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch “B” Circuit Range/Performance
P0871Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch “C” Circuit Range/Performance
P0880TCM Power Input Signal
P0881TCM Power Input Signal Range/Performance
P0882TCM Power Input Signal Low
P0884TCM Power Input Signal Intermittent
P0888TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit
P0891TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit High
P0897Transmission Fluid Deteriorated

Dodge Dakota Transmission Recalls

Recall 05V460000 / E14 – Transmission may not hold in the park position
2005 – 2006 Chrysler 300 – 2005 – 2006 Dodge Charger – 2006 Dodge Dakota – 2005 Dodge Durango – 2005 – 2006 Dodge Magnum – 2005 – 2006 Jeep Liberty – 2005 – 2006 Jeep Wrangler
Summary – In November 2005, Chrysler recalled 256,409 vehicles equipped with the 42RLE transmission, because the cup plug that holds the park prawl anchor shaft may not have been properly installed. If the shaft moves out of position, the vehicle may not be able to achieve the Park position.
Consequence – If this occurs and the parking brake is not applied, the vehicle could unexpectedly roll away, causing serious injury and damage.
Remedy – Dealers were instructed to install a bracket to ensure that the 42RLE parking prawl anchor shaft will stay in the proper position. Concerned owners may call Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.

Recall 00V197000 – Transmission fluid leak from fill tube
2000 Dodge Dakota 4.7L 45RFE transmission
Summary – Transmission fluid may be expelled from the fill tube during normal driving conditions.
Consequence – Automatic transmission fluid could come into contact with the hot exhaust system, causing a fire, damage and potential injury.
Remedy – Dealers were instructed to shorten the vent hose to ensure adequate clearance. Approximately 20,000 vehicles were affected. Concerned owners can contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Refer to recall H29. You can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236

Dodge Dakota Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 21-08-99 – Buzz, whining or moaning sound when reverse is selected
1996 – 1999 Dodge Ram Van – 1996 – 1999 Dodge Dakota – 1996 – 1999 Dodge Ram – 1998 – 1999 Dodge Durango – 1997 – 1999 Jeep Wrangler TJ – 1996 – 1999 Jeep Cherokee – 1996 – 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ/WJ
Problem – An intermittent buzz, whining, or moaning sound may be noticed when the vehicle is shifted into reverse.
Solution – A new regulator valve may solve this problem. However, the issue can also be caused by a number of things, including a cracked pump housing, a torn pump gasket, low transmission fluid level, a dirty transmission filter, restricted transmission cooler flow, a worn valve inside of the valve body, or a worn valve body.

TSB 21-11-97 – Reverse buzz – 46RE Transmission
1996 – 1997 Dodge Ram Van/Ram Wagon – 1996 Dodge Dakota – 1996 – 1997 Dodge Ram
Problem – A buzz or moaning sound may be heard when shifting into reverse. This transmission problem may be more noticeable on cold vehicles – have been parked for several hours or overnight.
Solution – In order to repair this 46RE transmission problem, the rear band adjusting lever, reaction lever and strut, and the regulator valve pressure plug and sleeve will all have to be replaced.

TSB 21-11-00 – Check engine light with P1740 DTC for TCC or OD performance – 46RE transmission
2000 – 2001 Dodge Ram Van – 2000 – 2001 Dodge Dakota – 2000 – 2001 Dodge Ram – 2000 – 2001 Dodge Durango
Problem – There may be a check engine light illuminated, with a P1740 diagnostic trouble code for the torque converter clutch or overdrive performance.
Solution – A revised 46RE valve body pressure boost valve cover plate may need to be installed. To properly diagnose this condition, a technician will need to form a torque converter clutch stall test. If the TCC does not engage properly (the vehicle actually stalls), the following components may need to be considered: A cut or worn input shaft seals, a missing pump lockup circuit check ball, or a worn converter hub, input shaft, reaction shaft and/or pump rotor.

TSB 21-19-95A – Slips in reverse at mid throttle
1996 Dodge Ram – 1996 Dodge Ram Van/RamWagon – 1996 Dodge Dakota
Problem – Drivers may notice that the transmission slips in reverse, when they have applied mid/half throttle.
Solution – The 36RH or 46RE transmission regulator valve line pressure sleeve and plug will need to be replaced. The reverse drum, reverse band and rear servo assembly should also be inspected and possibly replaced if any damage is found.

TSB 21-015-05 – Delayed gear engagement – 545RFE Transmission
2000 – 2004 Dodge Dakota – 2000 – 2006 Dodge Durango – 2003 – 2006 Dodge Ram – 2002 – 2006 Jeep Liberty – 1999 – 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee – 2006 Jeep Commander
Problem – Drivers may notice an initial delayed gear engagement with the shift into Drive or reverse after the vehicle has been parked overnight/is cold. This may occur after having the transmission serviced and having the transmission cooler return filter replaced.
Solution – If the OEM transmission cooler return filter (part #04799662AB) was used, it can allow the transmission fluid to drain back out of the torque converter, causing the delay/slip on initial gear engagement. Installing an upgraded transmission cooler return filter should cure the problem.

Common Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems

Shifting problems and solenoid/pressure switch DTCs – 42RLE transmission
Problem – Drivers may experience 42RLE transmission problems that include slipping and harsh shifts. The check engine light may also be illuminated with the following codes stored in the ECU: P0750, P0755, P0760, P0765, P0846, P0871, P0841.
Solution – The problem may be caused by corrosion in the 10 pin solenoid harness connector. This may also be caused by a wiring issue between the TCM/ECU and the transmission harness connector. A new design 42RLE 10-pin connector will need to be installed and/or wiring issues repaired.

Premature forward clutch failure
Problem – It’s not uncommon to experience premature forward clutch failure, which can prevent the vehicle being driven.
Solution – This can be caused by a number of issues including valve body failure, a worn stator bushing, a failed forward clutch piston seal, a failed forward drum assembly, the use of power programmers/chips to increase engine output, which can overwhelm a number of internal components.

Delayed and/or harsh 3-4 or 4-5 shifts – 545RFE Transmission
Problem – Owners may experience an unusually delayed or harsh 3-4 or 4-5 gear change, where the transmission doesn’t seem to want to go into that particular gear.
Solution – This issue is related to valve body problems where the material used to make one of the checkballs has broken down to the point that fluid is able to get past and engage the underdrive clutch during those shifts. An upgraded #2 checkball will be needed to solve the issue.

Lack of Response
Leaking Fluid
Low Fluid
Burning Smell
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
Gears Slipping
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
No Reverse
Dragging Clutch
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light

Can I drive with a transmission problem?

If your Dodge Dakota can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.

How often does a Dodge Dakota transmission need to be replaced?

The overall lifespan of a Dodge Dakota transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the Dodge Dakota transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

How are Dodge Dakota transmission issues diagnosed?

It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Dodge Dakota transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.

How is a Dodge Dakota transmission replaced?

In order to replace your Dodge Dakota transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed.

Recommendations for Dodge Dakota transmission issues?

To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Dodge Dakota transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Dodge Dakota Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Dodge Dakota Transmission

The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Dodge Dakota Transmission

Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Dodge Dakota Transmission

Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Problem Does Your Dodge Dakota Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

Leave a Comment


I have a 1993 dodge Dakota 4X4 automatic. Transmission shifts great but when I go uphill it always wants to shift into overdrive so it kick in and out of it all the time. I’ve adjusted the kick down cable but it still wants to shift into overdrive when it needs to be out of over drive.


2004 dodge Dakota when you put it in reverse it stalls , was fine till I went to the car wash to spray it off ?


Transmission stuck in 5th gear this makes two transmissions ive put in this truck both stuck in 5th


I have a 2006 Dakota from hell with a 545RFE tranny. I have changed the ECM & the entire Engine / Tranny harness. Only to still have the same problems. Because one day tranny works fine. The next day its acting up. I even swapped out a complete valve body as a test . Same Dammm thing . Codes are .
I’m Sooo pissed and fed up. I have to drive it. Gotta work. Now I’m getting a junkyard tranny. This Better fix it.


03 Dakota 3.9L with the 42RE. The transmission has a delayed shift between 1st and 2nd, and it gets stuck in neutral during heavy acceleration (specifically when downshifting from 3rd to 2nd). I know my 3-4 shift solenoid is failing, according to my local mechanic, just not sure why all of my issues are outside of those two gears… any suggestions or explanations?

Notes: Transmission has 199k miles, but all other systems function normally, filter and fluid just changed after having this issue, with no significant wear or debris found. Shifts through all gears under light-medium acceleration, with the persistent delay between 1-2 shifts.

I probably just need to fork over the $2500 for an upgraded 42RE, but I would like the peace of mind of knowing what my problem was.

Jason Boullion

I have a 2005 dodge dakota 2wd 3.7litre. The transmission is stuck in limp mode. I have 4 trouble codes. P0700, p0733, p0734, and p1790. Where do I start to fix the issue.

Doug B

We’re you able to figure out the problem? Mines doing the same thing. I have the same truck as you.

Jason Boullion

My ’05 dakota is in limp mode as well. Changed trannys, pcm and CPU as well. Still in limp mode. Please help!!!


Won’t shift into drive at times


My Dakota has no gears whatsoever tranny fluid is clean and topped up ,full level when in neutral , no gears at all tho


my Dakota is not wanting to go into drive gear sometimes it’s like a pressure problem but the dealership said they could not duplicate the problem so they didn’t know how to fix it but if Dodge knew that these transmissions had a shifting issue why didn’t they recall him


1997 dodge Dakota sport, automatic, 3.9. Won’t shift out of first gear. Was replaced with another transmission and still doing the exact same thing. Please help!!


I have a
2002 Dakota it seems to slip shifting to 3rd occasionally fluid is full & clean any ideas 15400 milestones

James hall

Band adjustment

Stephen Hux

2007 dodge dakota 217000mi, 42RE. After warm up, driving 60mph in OD the truck seems to buck really hard as if it were hit with sledge hammer. place the tranny in “tow / haul” it runs smooth like it should. No other issues.

Brian Shugarman

Ever get this figured out?

Mopar tech by force

Locking torque converter problem


I have a 2000 dodge dakota. It just started shifting hard in all gears. No engine light has came on. I changed guild and transmission filter. Still doing it when it warms up.


I just changed the transmission on my 2007 Dakota but still have same problem it will stay on one gear on second gear. The other one did the same thing what is wrong.


Your check engine light should be on and if you took it to O’Reillys or AutoZone and had the code checked it would give you a P 0760 code is your problem it’s probably in your wiring harness going from the transmission to the computer you need to find a reliable transmission shop that can repair the connection or replacing it

Steve Harvey

I have 2005 dakota my transmission shifts into 2nd gear when driving shifts to 2nd gear but I stop and shut off and restart it’s ok till does it again which could be up to 4 or 5 times a day.must be an electrical part


1989 Dodge Dakota 2WD 3.9 V6. Forward gears, D 2 1 suddenly just stopped working. Like being in neutral. Reverse works fine. No codes stored.

john matacola

have you replaced it? When was last time you had the fluids replaced and the screen cleaned with the filter replaced? Pull out the dipper and smell it; does it stink like something died and burned inside your tranny? It might not because you most likely have added more fluid to it. You need to keep up yearly maintenance after 100,000 miles or these will not keep going. drop pan, clean screen, and replace filter and fluids and see if this helps. Remember that the converter has a lot of fluid in it and it might be the problem too. If someone can check that for you you might get lucky.

john adams

also is the transmission out of the 2004 Dakota compatible with mine

john matacola

need to check bolt patterns and the spleen.

john adams

my 2006 Dakota has a 4 plug 42rle..the reverse has gone out..fix?


97 Dodge Dakota 42rle Sutter’s in reverse


69,000 MILES

John clayton

What are the “factory design flaws” for this tranmssion that you refer to?

John Spencer

My transmission light came on and I figured I could get it flushed at Pro-lube when I got an oil change .Transmission fluid was changed and the guy said the fluid should be reddish in color when it is changed. He said my fluid appeared to be clear, I drove my truck about a week and the light came back on, then turned off. That afternoon I drove my truck again.and my check engine light came on, I parked my truck and checked my transmission fluid . When I pulled the dip stick and checked the level, it was not touching the stick. So I need to know how much fluid needs to be replaced. .


I am assuming you know to check it when it’s hot and on a level area while running. If all that is true, since you are not touching the stick, I would add 8 oz. Then row the gears and check again. Keep adding only 8 oz at a time if it is not touching the stick. Once it is touching the stick, slow down to 4 oz at a time till you reach the bottom of the while hot. Once within that range drive it and then very slowly add, 2 oz at a time till in the middle of the while hot. Now all of this is assuming you have the right dipstick also. If the place put that little in, you can not assume they put the right stick in. Call them also, they may have a free topoff type thing with fluids. Hopefully this was helpful, I realize its a week after you asked them.