Dodge Durango Transmission Problems & Cost | 46RE / 545RFE / W5A580 / 65RFE

The Dodge Durango was equipped with the 46RE (A518), the 545RFE the W5A580 (NAG1) or in later models the 6-speed 65RFE transmission. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Dodge Durango transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Quality transmission suppliers can be hard to find. Have your 17-digit vehicle VIN# ready. Free estimates sent via text and email.

Dodge Durango Transmission Models

Dodge Durango Transmission: 46RE (A518)
Dodge Durango Transmission: 545RFE
Dodge Durango Transmission: W5A590
Dodge Durango Transmission: 65RFE (2012-Up)

Dodge Durango 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 Durango Transmissions:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto Parts
42RLE184017001700
545RFE188018501900
65RFE244024372550
W5A580 / NAG1249045103000

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

P0766 – Failed Shift Solenoid D – This DTC can be stored when there is a problem with a shift solenoid or the valve body.
P2703 – Failed Friction Element D – This trouble code can be triggered by a failed friction element like a clutch disc.
P0720 – Failed Input Speed Sensor or Output Speed Sensor – This trouble code is caused by a bad speed sensor on the transmission.
P0730 – Incorrect Gear Ratio – This issue could be caused by a number of problems, including a fault in the transmission control module, dirty transmission fluid, or a bad transmission solenoid.
P0657 – Voltage Problem in the ‘A’ Circuit – This transmission problem is often caused by a short, or bad ground on the PCM or PCM wiring harness.
P0700 – Malfunction in the transmission control system – This DTC is often triggered when there is a problem with the TCM, a wiring harness, a solenoid, or the valve body.
P0715 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Malfunction – This code typically gets stored when the input sensor cannot read the engine RPM, which can prevent the transmission from appropriately shifting gears.
P0717 – Input/Turbine Speed Sensor No Signal – This trouble code is generated when the PCM does not get a signal from the input speed sensor, which will prevent the computer from being able to determine when the transmission needs to shift.
P0791 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor ‘A’ Circuit – This error can occur when there is a problem with the intermediate shaft speed sensor, most likely due to a bad sensor, wiring problem, or a failed shift solenoid.
P0793 – Intermediate Shaft Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal – The computer will generate this DTC when it cannot communicate with the intermediate shaft speed sensor.

Dodge Durango Transmission Recalls

2005-2006 Durango – 05V460000 / E14

Summary

On certain 2005-2006 Durango models equipped with the 42RLE automatic transmissions, the cup plug that retains the park pawl anchor shaft may be improperly installed. If the shaft moves out of position, the vehicle may not be able to achieve ‘park’ position.

Consequence

If this occurs and the parking brake is not applied, the vehicle may roll away and cause a crash without warning.

Remedy

This recall began on November 28, 2005, and dealers were instructed to inspect the transmissions and install a bracket to ensure the park pawl anchor shaft is retained in the proper position. Owners may contact DaimlerChrysler at 1-800-853-1403, referring to recall number: E14. Customers may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Dodge Durango Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2009 Durango 5.7L Hemi – TSB 21-008-08

Problem:

Driver’s may experience an intermittent Check Engine Light, with the Diagnostic Trouble Code – DTC: P0A2D

Solution:

This issue is likely due to a failed body harness connector at the transmission, or a failed transmission internal wiring harness.]

2005-2006 Durango – TSB 21-016-05

Problem:

Owners may experience an initial delayed shift engagement following an extended off (not running) period of time, generally after being parked overnight. The initial shift engagement may feel like a delay or slip when a transmission gear (reverse or drive) is first selected after engine start. There may also be a Check Engine Light due to one or more of the following Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC’s): P0868 – Line Pressure Low. This DTC will be the most frequently occurring DTC for the delayed shift condition. P0731 – Gear Ratio Error In 1st. P0736 – Gear Ratio Error In Reverse. P0841 – LR Pressure Switch Rationality. P0876 – UD Pressure Switch Rationality. P0944 – Loss Of Hydraulic Pump Prime.

Solution:

If the transmission was built between February 11, 2005 – February 15, 2005, or April 11, 2005 – August 22, 2005, then the condition may be caused by a suspect cooler return filter with a part number of 04799662AB. The suspect cooler return filter may allow transmission fluid to drain back out of the torque converter when the engine is not running. All cooler return filters with the “AB” suffix (04799662AB) are suspect. The above condition may be corrected by replacing a suspect “AB” filter with a new cooler return filter whose part number is 04799662 (with no suffix or with a suffix that is other than the “AB” level).

2007 Durango – TSB 21-002-07 REV. B

Problem:

Durango’s equipped with the 42RLE transmission, may experience transmission shudder when the transmission temperature is between 38° C and 54° C (100° F and 130° F) during steady state driving with the torque convertor in partial lock (EMCC) operation. The shudder feels like the vehicle is being driven over rumble strips.

Solution:

A new torque converter will need to be installed, and PCM re-flashed with the latest software version.

Common Problems with the Dodge Durango Transmission

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 Durango 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 Durango transmission need to be replaced?

The overall lifespan of a Dodge Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango transmission issues diagnosed?

It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Dodge Durango 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 Durango transmission replaced?

In order to replace your Dodge Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Dodge Durango Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Dodge Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango 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.

Fair Replacement Transmission Cost by Vehicle

  1. Use the Year / Make / Model lookup tool to determine what transmission your vehicle has.

  2. Find your transmission model in the table below for fair prices from reputable suppliers. Also fair labor cost for local installation at a local auto repair shop.

  3. Get a free estimate on a remanufactured transmission by email.

Fair Remanufactured Transmission Price Ranges by Transmission Model Updated July 2018

transmission repair cost
Download Replacement Transmission Cost Guide PDF

What Problem Does Your Dodge Durango 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!

3 thoughts on “Dodge Durango Transmission Problems & Cost | 46RE / 545RFE / W5A580 / 65RFE

  1. I have a 98 4×4 Durango .

    Just changed out the fluid and filter and there were slight deposits on the magnet, however there was also some aluminum in the pan….right at 200,000 miles.
    The transmission has trouble shifting into drive from second and does eventually shift but acts like it is over revving out of gear until it catches the drive gear.
    Even letting off the throttle this is happening at around 3000 rpm.
    All other operations seem to be normal.

  2. I have a Durango 05 and when I put the gear shifter to 1st and 2nd the transmission runs perfect. While in Drive, 1st delays shifting to second at 2k rpms while driving slow and shifts from 2nd to 3rd with no issues. Reverse works perfect and there are no problems shifting gears with the gear shifter. Once my Durango gets into third gear there is no pull/traction. I can rev the engine while in gear but it slowly loses speed until it shifts back to second where everything is ok again. Ran the codes myself and was given P0700,P0731,P0732, and P0700 P. I have already tried resetting the check engine light. Light came back on. Manually reset the PCM by disconnecting the battery for 30 minutes. Same the light came on and troubles with 3rd gear. Now at this point the next thing for me to check selonoid before taking the transmission out.. any ideas at this point

  3. I have a 2001 dodge durango and whenever I drop it down into reverse it will die instantly but It drives just fine when I put it in drive 1st and 2nd.

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