Ram 1500 Transmission Problems with Solutions

Have you ever faced issues while switching gears in your RAM 1500? If so, then your vehicle might have transmission problems. The usual outcomes of the transmission problems are – jerking movements, lack of acceleration, poor downshifting, etc.

And these are hard to diagnose with open eyes.

The most common RAM 1500 transmission problems are Overheating, Gear Slipping, Leaking, Faulty torque converter, and Improper Shifting. Typical causes for these issues include – Damaged transmission sensors, loose cables, gear clutch failure, and degraded transmission fluid.

Let’s discuss the issues you’re facing, their causes, and possible solutions!

At A Glance Ram 1500 Transmission Problems, Causes & Solutions

Improper Shifting● Low transmission fluid levels
● Faulty shift solenoid
● Worn-out clutch
● Check the transmission fluid levels and perform a diagnostic test.
● Replace the faulty shift solenoid or worn-out clutch
OverheatingTowing heavy loads
● Driving in hot temperatures
● clogged transmission cooler
● Clean out or change the transmission cooler
● Reduce heavy loads and avoid driving in hot temperatures
Gear Slipping● Worn-out clutch plate friction materials
● malfunctioning torque converter
● Replace or rebuild the transmission
● Repair the torque converter
● Replace the worn-out clutch plates
Transmission Fluid Leaking● Damaged transmission pan
● Faulty gaskets or seals
● Damaged transmission lines
● Change the faulty transmission gasket
● Replace damaged transmission lines
Faulty Torque Converter● Lack of transmission fluid
● Malfunctioning transmission filter
● Loose transmission sensors
● Top up the necessary transmission fluid
● Clean out the transmission filter
● Tighten up the transmission sensors

RAM 1500 Manual Transmission Problems

Most RAM 1500 comes with automatic transmissions, but a few models have manual transmissions. Manual transmissions are more reliable than automated transmissions. Still, there are some issues with manual transmissions that can arise.

1. Clutch Problems

After prolonged usage, the clutch gets damaged or worn out over time. It causes problems with engagement and shifting. The common signs of a bad clutch are – Slipping or grinding gears, burning smells, and jammed shifting.

2. Bad Gear Synchronization

The gears in transmission need proper synchronization to prevent grinds and damage while shifting. Because of poor gear synchronization, the gears can clash and cause significant damage.

3. Transmission Fluid Leaks

Similar to automated transmissions, manual transmissions can leak fluids from damaged gaskets, seals, and other parts. As a result, your vehicle can experience low fluid levels, which causes further damage to the transmission.

4. Grinding Noise

If you hear any strange noises (grinding or whining noises), this could be an early sign of any transmission issues. Consult with a professional to investigate and prevent any possible transmission complications.

Read This Important Article: What's the Ram 1500 top speed

RAM 1500 Automatic Transmission Problems

An automatic transmission is more complex than a manual transmission. Therefore, your RAM 1500 can experience transmission issues frequently. Some typical RAM 1500 Automatic transmission problems are-

1. Delayed Shifting

The shifting problem is one of the most common transmission issues in RAM 1500. In an automatic transmission, hesitation or delayed shifting is prevalent. It can overheat the transmission and lead the vehicle to poor acceleration.

2. Sudden Power loss

RAM 1500 automatic transmission can slip between gears and cause the engine to rev higher. A sudden loss of power occurs because of a higher and unusual revving.

3. Improper Transmission Engagement

One of the most crucial components of an automatic transmission is the torque converter. If it fails, it can cause improper transmission engagement. It can also cause a shuddering sound during acceleration.

4. Electronic Control Module Issues

The electronic control module (ECM) regulates many elements of transmission, including shift points and fluid pressure. Issues with the ECM can drive shifting problems or cause the transmission to fail completely.

Ram 1500 6 Speed Transmission Problems

Usually, a 6-speed transmission is a manual transmission with six gears. However, RAM 1500 can have both manual and automatic six-speed transmissions. Nevertheless, some typical RAM 1500 6-speed transmission problems are as follows:

1. Harsh Shifting

According to most RAM 1500 owners, the 6-speed transmission shifts roughly, particularly between the first and second gears. It makes a jerking movement and can be hazardous if driving at a higher speed.   

2. Transmission Failure

If your RAM 1500 has problems with the six-speed transmission, it can damage the whole transmission mechanism. If the transmission hits failure, your vehicle can stall anytime in motion. You should perform a complete transmission replacement, which is costly and time-consuming.

3. Torque Converter Problems

Due to a malfunctioning torque converter, your RAM 1500 six-speed transmission can overheat. Moreover, it causes delayed transmission engagement when shifting in reverse.

Ram 1500 8 Speed Transmission Problems

Basically, the RAM 1500 8-speed transmission features eight gears. More gears mean better acceleration and improved fuel efficiency with a higher max speed. Some frequently occurring RAM 1500 8-speed transmission problems include-

1. Shuddering

Because of a faulty torque converter or worn transmission elements, it makes a shuddering sound. The RAM 1500 eight-speed transmission typically shudders when accelerating during startup.

2. Stuck In Gear

If your RAM 1500 gets stuck in a particular gear, this is because of a bad solenoid or valve body. This can also happen because of low transmission fluid or worn transmission parts.

3. Rough Idle

Most RAM 1500 users faced a rough idle issue, especially in the 8-speed transmission models. A malfunctioning torque transmitter or any damaged transmission components is responsible for this issue.

Ram 1500 Transmission Problem Years

Since 1994, RAM 1500 has produced some major transmission problems. Here are the RAM 1500 bad transmission years with specified problems:

2001 RAM 1500:

In terms of transmission problems, the Dodge RAM 2001 is considered one of the worst models.

Most users experienced a transmission failure at 92K miles. The repair cost was also expensive, as it grossed almost $2000 at that time.

The same RAM 1500 variant had some engine and electrical problems as well. A few users also faced issues with a steady fluctuation of RPMs. Another unbearable issue was the out-gear transmission shift.

2003 RAM 1500:

The issues with the 2003 RAM 1500 were not so alarming. A triggering issue was about the engine light. Another pressing complaint was about the dashboard crank. The dashboard cranked rapidly at low mileage.

2007 RAM 1500:

In the 2007 RAM 1500 variant, the transmission problems were mild. If you just replace the whole transmission and install a new unit to solve the problem.

2014 RAM 1500:

Some owners complained that the transmission slips or hesitates, especially when shifting from second to third gear. Others experienced a whining & grinding sound coming from the transmission unit during initial acceleration.

2015 RAM 1500:

Most users faced a potential issue with the eight-speed automated transmission variant that caused it to stumble or shift roughly. The manufacturers launched a software update to manage the issue. It also causes rough or jerky shifting, especially at low speeds.

How To Replace Transmission In RAM 1500?

Follow these steps below to replace the transmission in a RAM 1500:

  1. Park it on a level surface and set the emergency brake. To prevent rolling, chock the wheels.
  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable, drain the transmission fluid, and remove the driveshaft.
  3. Detach the electric connectors, vacuum lines, sensors, switches, and the cable that connects the transmission to the shifter.
  4. Remove the bolts attaching the transmission to the engine and the transmission cross member.
  5. Support the weight with a transmission jack and remove the bolts that secure the transmission.
  6. Lower the transmission to the ground and install the new transmission in the jack properly.
  7. Uplift the transmission in place and reconnect the bolts, connectors, sensor cables, and switches in place.
  8. Reinstall the driveshaft, connect the negative battery line, start the engine, check the leaks, and perform a test drive.

Before performing the transmission replacement, consult a professional for detailed guidelines and safety instructions. However, it is better to perform the replacement through a qualified mechanic to stay risk-free.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Transmission On A Ram 1500?

For the 2009 RAM 1500 transmission replacement, you have to pay approximately, $2900 dollars. But, for the recently launched 2020 RAM 1500 model, you have to pay up to $3200 dollars.

So, for an average estimate, you must pay between $2000 and $3500 dollars for a RAM 1500 transmission replacement. The cost will vary on the damage level and the RAM 1500 model.

Bottom Line

It is necessary to fix transmission issues as soon as possible because they can be excessively detrimental. Sadly, the transmission in some Ram variants is unrepairable, and the users have to replace the whole transmission.

So, If you experience any Dodge Ram 1500 transmission problems, consult a professional mechanic as early as possible. Routine checkups and fluid changes can help prevent some of these issues.

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