Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems & Cost | A518 / 46RE / 545RFE

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. 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.

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 Ram 1500 Transmission Models

Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission: A518 (46RE)
Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission: 545RFE
Ram 1500 Transmission: 65RFE (Late Model)

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:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto Parts
46RE (A518)166016001600
545RFE188018501900
65RFE244024372550

What are the DTC codes related to Dodge Ram 1500 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 Ram 1500 Transmission Recalls & Known Problems

2004 Ram 1500 – Loose Fasteners on Transfer Case (03V503000)

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′)

2014 Ram 1500 – Improperly Machined Transmission Case/Rollaway (14V161000)

Summary
On 125 copies of the 2014 Ram 1500 4×4, built between January 24, 2014 and February 5, 2014, a manufacturing defect could cause the transmission to not fully engage Park, which can result in a rollaway situation.

Consequence
According to the recall, a handful of 8-speed automatic transfer cases weren’t properly machined, which prevented the Park prawl from fully engaging. In some situations, the truck can slip out of Park and cause serious injury or property damage.

Remedy
The official recall was issued in May 2014, and dealers were instructed to replace the entire transmission. Owners can contact Fiat-Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 (refer to recall ‘p13′), or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236 (refer to recall ’14V161000’)

Ram 1500 Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 247853
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.

TSB 224763
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).

TSB 138954
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.

YearEngineTrans TypeDrive
1990-1992V6 3.0L / V6 3.9L42RE4 SPD Auto 2/4WD
1993-2004V8 5.2L / 5.7L / 5.9L / 8.0LNV45005-SPD Manual 2/4WD
2003-2011V8 4.7L / V8 5.7L545RFE4 SPD Auto 2/4WD
1987-2003V6 3.9L / 4.7L / 5.2LNV35005-SPD Manual 2/4WD
2007-2012V6 3.7L42RLE4 SPD Auto 2/4WD
1995-2005V8 5.9LNV56006-SPD Manual 2/4WD
1995-2006V8 5.2L / V8 5.7L / V8 5.9L46RE4 SPD Auto 2/4WD
2005-2012V8 5.2L / 5.7L / 5.9L / 8.0LG565-SPD Manual 2/4WD
1995-2006V8 5.2L / V8 5.7L / V8 5.9L46RH4 SPD Auto 2/4WD

RFE
The RFE is an automatic transmission family from Chrysler. The name refers to its Rear wheel drive design and Four Wheel Drive Electronic control system.

  • 45RFE – 2002 Model (3.7L and 4.7)
  • 545RFE – 2003–2011 Model (3.7L, 4.7L, 5.7L Hemi)
  • 65RFE – 2012 Model (4.7L, 5.7L)

Common Problems with the Dodge Ram 1500 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 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.

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 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!

29 thoughts on “Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems & Cost | A518 / 46RE / 545RFE

  1. I have a 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 I put a used transmission into my truck now the engine turns over good but it won’t fire up do you have any ideas for me on what to look for?

  2. I have a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 6 speed manual transmission. Clutch won’t engage. I broke handle off trying to move. It has less than 70 thousand miles. Bought it from lot. Took it back twice they said they checked it. But I was out of luck. Now handles broke. Don’t have a lot of money to fix it. Check engine light is on. But that is supposed to be emissions. I was ripped off .

  3. The shifter keeps popping off on the transmission when I go to put it in gear at the column is there something that needs to be on the shifter on a transmission to keep it from popping off

  4. Hello i have a 1998 dodge ram 1500 with the 3.9 in it and my transmission is making a whining sound when down shifting i dont think its my rear end making any noise .

  5. i have a 2006 2wd ram 1500 with a 5.7 hemi and a 4 speed auto. when i let off the gas the trans mission has this howl to it that is getting noticeable worse as time goes on. i know its the transmission cause when i put it into neutral it make no difference until i rev it up then it gets louder. any ideas? it still shifts fine

    thaks

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