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.
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:
|Transmission||Street Smart Transmission||Autozone||Advance Auto Parts|
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
|1990-1992||V6 3.0L / V6 3.9L||42RE||4 SPD Auto 2/4WD|
|1993-2004||V8 5.2L / 5.7L / 5.9L / 8.0L||NV4500||5-SPD Manual 2/4WD|
|2003-2011||V8 4.7L / V8 5.7L||545RFE||4 SPD Auto 2/4WD|
|1987-2003||V6 3.9L / 4.7L / 5.2L||NV3500||5-SPD Manual 2/4WD|
|2007-2012||V6 3.7L||42RLE||4 SPD Auto 2/4WD|
|1995-2005||V8 5.9L||NV5600||6-SPD Manual 2/4WD|
|1995-2006||V8 5.2L / V8 5.7L / V8 5.9L||46RE||4 SPD Auto 2/4WD|
|2005-2012||V8 5.2L / 5.7L / 5.9L / 8.0L||G56||5-SPD Manual 2/4WD|
|1995-2006||V8 5.2L / V8 5.7L / V8 5.9L||46RH||4 SPD Auto 2/4WD|
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
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!