The Dodge Ram 1500 was equipped with the A518 (46RE) or the 545RFE transmission. The late model Ram 1500 also had the option for the 6-speed 65RFE, along with a number of other gearboxes. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Dodge Ram 1500 transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.
Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Models
Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission: 42RLE
Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission: A518 (46RE)
Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission: 545RFE
Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission: 47RE
Ram 1500 Transmission: 65RFE
Ram 1500 Transmission: 8HP70
Dodge Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 Transmission Prices:
|Transmission||Street Smart Transmission|
What are the DTC codes related to Dodge Ram 1500 transmission problems?
|P0700||Transmission Control System (MIL Request)|
|P0705||Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Malfunction (PRNDL Input)|
|P0706||Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0710||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit|
|P0711||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0712||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input|
|P0713||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input|
|P0714||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715|
|P0717||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal|
|P0720||Output Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0729||Gear 6 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0730||Incorrect Gear Ratio|
|P0731||Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0732||Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0733||Gear 3 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0734||Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0735||Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0740||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction|
|P0742||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On|
|P0743||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Electrical|
|P0748||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0750||Shift Solenoid 'A'|
|P0751||Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0755||Shift Solenoid 'B'|
|P0760||Shift Solenoid 'C'|
|P0765||Shift Solenoid 'D'|
|P0841||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch A Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0846||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch B Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0871||Transmission Fluid Pressure Sensor/Switch C Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0880||TCM Power Input Signal|
|P0881||TCM Power Input Signal Range/Performance|
|P0882||TCM Power Input Signal Low|
|P0884||TCM Power Input Signal Intermittent|
|P0888||TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit|
|P0891||TCM Power Relay Sense Circuit High|
|P0897||Transmission Fluid Deteriorated|
Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Recalls & Known Problems
Recall 03V503000 – Loose fasteners on transfer case
2004 Ram 1500
Summary – Most likely due to a glitch on the assembly line, the attaching fasteners on some Dodge 4×4 trucks may not have been tightened properly, which could cause leaks between the transmission and the four-wheel drive transfer case.
Consequence – If this problem occurs, the propeller shaft could separate and damage critical fuel system components. This can lead to a fuel leak, and in the presence of an ignition source, an underbody fire. The loss of transmission fluid can also result in transmission/transfer case damage, an inoperable 4wd system, and a big red spot in your driveway.
Remedy – Dodge dealers were given the correct torque specs to use when tightening the transfer case to the transmission fasteners. A recall for this problem was issued in December 2003. Owners can contact Fiat-Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236 (refer to recall ’03V503000′)
Recall 97V084000 – Transmission cooler lines
1994 – 1997 Dodge Ram pickups equipped with V6 or V8 gasoline engines and an automatic transmission
1995 – 1997 Dodge Ram pickups equipped with the V-10 gasoline engine and an automatic transmission
1996 – 1997 Dodge Ram Van and Ram Wagon equipped with an automatic transmission
Summary – In certain operating conditions, the transmission fluid temperature can cause the plastic retainers in the transmission cooler pressure line quick connect fittings to melt.
Consequence – If this occurs, the fitting may separate engine transmission fluid could spray onto the engine and exhaust system, potentially causing a fire.
Solution – In May 1997, Dodge dealers were instructed to replace the quick connect fittings with ones that incorporated a stainless steel retainer. Chances are, this problem has already been addressed in your vehicle. However, if you’re still concerned, you can call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236
Recall 14V-161 / P13 – Failed Park engagement
2014 Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi and 8-speed automatic transmission
Summary – According to the recall, some 125 copies of the 2014 Ram 1500 equipped to with the 8HP transmission may have had improperly machined Park rod guide plate mounting surfaces inside of the transmission case, which could cause the fasteners to loosen, preventing the Park prawl from fully engaging.
Consequence – If the above condition occurs, the transmission may slip out of the park position and unexpectedly roll away, causing serious injury or property damage.
Remedy – The transmission will have to be replaced. Concerned owners can contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. You can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236
Ram 1500 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.
TSB 21-010-12 – Clunk noise when shifting from drive to neutral – 65RFE transmission
2011 – 2012 Ram 1500 – 2011 – 2012 Ram 2500 – 2011 – 2012 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis – 2011 – 2012 Dodge Durango – 2011 – 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Problem – Drivers may notice a pronounced clunking noise when shifting from drive to neutral. This may be particularly evident when the vehicle is hot or at normal operating temperatures.
Solution – These 65RFE transmission problems may be caused by the underdrive clutch releasing too quickly. To correct the issue a revised spacer plate will need to be installed inside of the valve body.
TSB 21-004-17 – Low/reverse solenoid failure – 65RFE transmission
2016 – 2017 Ram 1500 – 2016 – 2017 RAM 2500 – 2016 – 2017 Ram 3500 – 2016 – 2017 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis
Problem – Drivers may experience extreme difficulty and/or the inability to engage Drive or Reverse.
Solution – These 65RFE transmission problems could be due to the premature failure of the low/reverse solenoid assembly.
Other Dodge Ram Technical Service Bulletins
A small number of 2008 Dodge Ram trucks were fitted with a defective shift cable that could loosen itself, preventing the driver from manually selecting low gears with the shift lever.
The 2007 1500 came from the factory with transmission control software that could lead to harsh or erratic shifting. This TSB addressed the issue with a software patch that dealers could use to reprogram the TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module).
The PCM (Powertrain Control Module) on the 2003 model contained software errors that prevented it from detecting problems with the governor pressure sensor. To fix the problem, dealers were issued a software update for the PCM.
Common Problems with the Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission
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
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light
Can I drive with a transmission problem?
If your Dodge Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 transmission need to be replaced?
The overall lifespan of a Dodge Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 transmission issues diagnosed?
It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Dodge Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 transmission replaced?
In order to replace your Dodge Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.
How to Solve Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used Dodge Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 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.
What Problem Does Your Dodge Ram 1500 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!