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Dodge Ram Transmission Problems



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    *Low fluid level

    * Low hydraulic pressure caused by clogged transmission filter, transmission cooling lines, or anti-drain back valve.

    *Governor electrical circuit fault, defective Governor Pressure Sensor or Solenoid.

    *Valve Body problem: Clogged passages, stuck valves, or worn plunger bores.

    *Front Servo stuck or damaged

    *Kickdown Band burned

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The reason the Dodge tech. may have said something was fishy is because of the P0871 code. I have no listing for that code, and normally Chrysler doesn't use a 800-series trouble code.

    The P0218 is a transmission over temperature code.

    The P0740 is a torque converter clutch circuit failure code.

    Hard say about this problem. Sounds like the transmission is overheating, but within one mile of a cold start? Pretty severe problem if true. More diagnosis needs to occur, like a DRB3 scan and actually live pressure test. A person would need to know the Clutch Volume Indexes and other data from the TCM. At this point it could be a lot of things.

    I think you're going to have to trust your tech. Isn't this vehicle in warranty?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    We really need additional information.

    What year is the vehicle and how many miles is on it?

    Which engine do you have?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I would suggest pulling a code. I'm not exactly sure of the symptom. If you haven't changed the Throttle Position Sensor since the vehicle was new, now might be a good time.

    As an aside, in my opinion all bets are off with this one since you added another fluid type to the transmission. ATF+4 is easily destabized by the introduction of other types of fluid. I've seen this before. I highly recommend not adding any aftermarket fluids.

    Good luck,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I recommend checking to see if you have a trouble code stored. If no code I would suggest you get the transmission serviced, which on a 545RFE is simply changing the two transmission filters and freshing with about six quarts of ATF+4. Then go from there.

    It's hard to judge from your sympton description, but you may be just feeling the torque converter locking up. You could have a rough spot on the Throttle Position Sensor, although I haven't seen any replaced on new 4.7 or 5.7 Rams. I believe there is at least one Transmission Computer Module reflash that's been released since your truck was manufactured.

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    Without knowing which engine you have I can't determine which transmission you've got. But in general there is a good possibility the symptoms are the result of relatively non-evasive things.


    *Low fluid level

    *Low hyraulic pressure: transmission filter, cooling lines, or anti-drain back valve clogged.

    *Throttle linkage dirty, sticking, or binding.

    *Transmission Throttle Valve cable binding or sticking; misadjusted. Throttle Valve Lever sticking.

    *Electronic governor circuit malfunction. Defective Governor Pressure Sensor or Solenoid.

    *Dirty transmission valve body, sticking valves or worn plunger bores.

    *Loose front band or out-of-adjustment.

  • I'm a chrysler technician in winnipeg canada with 20 years experience. I own a
    2001 ram quad cab 4x4 with a factory off road package, 5.9 liter v8 and a 46re
    transmission. Recently while drive on the highway the truck would not lock up in
    overdrive and fault code p0740 tcc solinoid circut would become active. The trans
    pan was removed, no debree found in the pan. the 3/4 and lock up solinoids were
    tested and working fine. There is a boost pressure plate in the valve body that
    requires a larger bleed hole to be installed. The boost pressure plate was replaced and valve body reinstalled in trans. While road testing on highway same fault
    occured. Brought truck back in shop, with scan tool attempted a lock up stall test.
    The torque convertor would not lock. Inputs from tcm to lock up solinoid were tested, all inputs were ok. At this point transmission was removed, when disassembled, rear bearing support was damaged, overdrive clutches and steels
    were burnt, overdrive planatary and intermediate shaft were also damaged.
    i completly overhauled the trans with new torque converotr and pump also installed.
    Inside the trans cooler lines is a one way valve to prevent torque convertor bleed back, the one way valve was removed because of a possible restriction. Reinstalled the trans and reroad tested. On the highway same fault occurred,
    when returning to the shop the trans temp light came on and overdrive was disabled
    I pulled over and waited for it to cool down. After restarting and driving when the
    trans shifted from first to second the rear wheels locked up solid, two clutches applying at the same time. At this point it had to be towed back. I reremoved and disassembled the valve body, no probelem found, all valves were working properly.
    Tans was the removed again and disassembled, the exact same damage was found
    in the overdrive unit. The rear bearing support is fed fluid directly from the return side of the trans cooler. I hooked up a trans coolker flush machine with a pressure gauge and checked flow pressure, pressure was 45 psi, it should be no more than 15 psi. Anyway long story short a restriction was isolated to the radiator cooler, not the auxillary cooler. The radiator was flushed, aux cooler flushed, all rubber
    portins of cooler hoses replaced, Trans was reinstalled and is now working fine.
    please check for a restirction before doing any repair on your trans. remove the
    one way valve in the cooler hose, and disconnect your return cooler hose from the
    trans(rear one) runyour engine in neutral at 2000rpm and check you trans flow,
    you should get a gallon in about 20 seconds, basically drain the pan. If the flow is a good amount less then you probably have a restiction. The pumps and valve bodys in these trans are solid and the issue is usually some place else. I found out he hard way, rebuit trans twice in the same week.
  • replace your boost pressure plate in the valve body with chrysler part number
    04617015, it has a larger bleed hole and prevents you lock up convertor from
    kicking in and out.
  • ramman9ramman9 Posts: 4
    Just wondering if the govenor pressure sensor and transducer fixed your pickup? Mine is still shifting fine!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Robert, great post!!

    Your unfortunate story reinforces the need for routine maintenance. Industry statistics clearly show a correlation between the level of maintence and the level of transmission problems. Yet, the vast majority of us will religiously change engine oil at 3000-5000 miles, yet completely forget about the transmission. In the vast majority of cases that I see or hear of, lack of routine maintenance is usually associated with transmission problems.

    As noted in many of my posts, poor fluid flow or loss of hyraulic pressure due to debris problems are predominate to many transmission issues. That's why I often list clogged cooling lines and the anti-drain back valve as a prime suspect on Mopars.

    The one thing I might suggest to reconsider is the permanent remove of the anti-drain back valve. This valve was added to later A998s, A999s, A500s, A518s and A618s for a reason. Torque converter syphoning can be a problem on these transmissions, especially if one lives in a climate where day-to-night temperatures range considerably. The anti-drain back valve prevents this. If the filter is replaced and the ATF is refreshed routinely, the likihood of having excessive dirt and debris in the ATF is very low. They can be replaced very easily and should be periodically as well.

    Chrysler has the anti-drain back valve built directly in to the transmission of the RFE series, and uses a Cooling Return Filter to ensure that the anti-drain back valve doesn't get clogged. However, the filter itself can become clogged and produce the same problem as a clogged anti-drain back valve.

    ATF does become oxidized, collects moisture and dissipates the friction component over time. Fluid condition is probably the single most important characteristic of an automatic transmission. This is especially true on Mopars since their ATF+ series is a very specific and unique recipe.

    Best regards,
  • Sorry for the delay in replying, It is a '96 1500 4x4 with the 318 engine and about 142,000 miles. It seems pretty solid, no slipping that I can tell. I can't find the transmission numbers although I'm told it is '96 only. It seems to pull better since the fluid change than before and will occasionally shift. At times, I think it is in 2nd when I take off because I don't feel it shift up, but it will downshift manually into 1st. I have only had the truck for a couple of months and was told the transmission was recently rebuilt. I could tell the pan was off recently and the flywheel looks new as well. I tried to get codes by turning the key on and off three times, but all it shows is 12 which, I'm told, means the codes have been erased. Any advice would be greatly appreciated because I am at a loss when it comes to transmissions. Thanks.
  • I also forgot to include that yes I do have reverse. Sorry about that.
  • murr1966murr1966 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the help,I got a used tranny for 1600 bucks. I;m gonna rebuild the broken one and have a spare. I do thank you, have a good day.
  • carmeng2carmeng2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 1500 ram 5.9 and in the past month the transmission has been slipping in second. When I take off from a stop the truck will shift into second gear and begins to studer and seems to have a hard time catching the gear and slips back into first. If i let off the throttle enough when it begins to slip, it will catch and stay in second gear then shift normally through the rest of the gears. This only happens from first to second gear and drives with no problem on the highway. The truck has 165000 miles on it and i've only had it for a year and am not sure if any major work done to the truck before i bought it. I have also never changed the trans filter on it. Any ideas if a simple filter change maybe the problem or is it something more serious than that?

  • allan18allan18 Posts: 2
    Thanks Dusty,

    I will get this fixed and let you know what the final resolve was.

    have a great day
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My first suspect would be the Throttle Valve Cable going from the throttle lingage at the engine throttlebody to the transmission is stuck in the full throttle position.

  • Thanks for the info, I'll check it and let you know what I find.
  • eteketek Posts: 5
    ramman9, I finally got a break from the rain and replaced the governor pressure solenoid and sensor. Got some ATF+4 and a new filter and went to work. I unhooked the return cooling line and filled the Pan with ATF+4, I started it up and put in neutral to pump any fluid out of the cooler and Torque converter. I wanted to flush all the other fluid I could out. Hooked cooler line back up and carefully worked my way to the proper fluid level after heating up. Truck has been fine for 2 days, nice to have shifting again.

    Just another note, before I got the level right I misread the stick(fluid smeared on stick instead of actual level) because I didn't think I had got all the fluid out and had added about 9 quarts and was worried about overfilling. Well it through 0740 code when I got on the highway the first day. I thought great now the TCC is shot but when I checked the fluid level after nice and hot and several dips to be sure I ended up a 1 1/2 qts low, got that straight and haven't seen that code in a day so got my fingers crossed.

    Not sure how long I have because I seen very fine shavings on magnet and glittery substance in bottom of pan and on filter and I've read anything from this is normal to you don't have too long left on your tranny.

    Any clue what the glittery substance is from, is that clutch material maybe or just metal particles.
  • WTF is wrong with my tranny that it slips out of gear on a left hand turn of any kind. 02 dodge 3500 4x4 diesel dually. It had a tranny job from the previous owner and I am not thinking that they did not do something correctly with the torque converter or something. I am about to change my tranny filter to see if this will remedy the issue. I have seen others with the same issue. Apparently there is no answer. I just need to know what I can do to remedy the issue.

  • trapassotrapasso Posts: 1
    i noticed the same pattern in my truck. dodge told me the same thing that it is normal. but i also noticed my gas mileage used to be between 19 and 20 plus mpg on highway then i noticed my milage dropped down to about 17-18 i felt the vehecile wasn't shifting right because in high gear i could always feel a slight vibration which i felt was the motor running in four cyclinders that went away with my gas milage ,after numerous complaintants to dodge finally my transmission kicked a transmission code they did a seal repair the gas mileage came back my little vibration came back and the repair was good for about thirty days and now back to the same problem . dodge is still telling me it is normal which i know it is not calling dodge today no resulsts i will call an attorney if you want to be involved let me know check your gas mileage let me know if you notice a difference
  • What is your milage in town? Mine has been runnign between 14.7 and 15.8. I never have gotten much more than 18 hwy with mine.
  • liny3liny3 Posts: 7
    i have a 03 qc 4.7 that has 85k on the clock. the truck runs great i only have it 5 months. the whole time i own it i have noticed a moaning in the rear. it only makes the sound when i make a hard turn or u turn at a slow speed. some times it will make a sound when i turn in reverse. do i need to take care of this before it gets worse or can it remain like this and still drive fine?? will changing the fluid help??

    also what do i need to do to get better mpg?? only avg.12.6 combined ???
  • Dusty, I still haven't had any luck with my shifting problems. Yesterday I took it to the shop to have it looked at. This guy is supposed to be pretty good so maybe I'll have something to tell you in a couple of days. He said he was thinking something like the speed sensor or governor or possibly trash in a valve. Anyway, when I find the problem I'll post it on here maybe it will help someone else out. Thanks again.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If the material has a slight golden appearance, it is usually from the planetary gears. However, you will usually find some small quantity in any automatic transmission. More than a teaspoon full might be cause for concern. Then again, I've seen some trannies thast had quite a bit of it and they still kept going.

    Changing transmission filter and fluid periodically will usually prevent serious problems.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Valve Body issues account for better than half of all transmission problems, so it wouldn't surprise me, especially on Mopars. Fords and GM probably have less valve body issues, but more problems with the hard parts.

    I hate to be a nag on this sublect, but change filters and fluid regularly and problems become far less likely.

    Please keep us posted. Best of luck

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Slipping on turns is a symptom of low fluid. Check the level with a fully warmed engine and preferably after driving for a distance. You could have a clogged filter and/or cooling lines causing poor flow and pressure loss.

    If it slips out of gear the gearshift cable could be out of adjustment. This is not uncommon with units that have been removed for service.

  • I just got a 1500 ram 4X4 started to notice that at high RPM trans shifts down and the backup and chatters truck is this normal I'm not able to find anywhere that some one has found a solution for it but lots of people have this problem

    PS it's 2002
  • slemayslemay Posts: 3
    I traded in a 2004 Ram 1500 Quad Cab on a 2009 Ram 1500 Crew Cab. Love the truck. Drives like a cadillac, getting better mileage, more room for the rear passengers. So far, I have had the truck for 600 miles. The temp sensor does not work. It has already been replaced once. The second problem is I have a shudder. This occurs at 30mph and above. It has been back to the dealers twice for this problem. So far no fix, or answers. They did tell me that they had several other trucks on the lot that were doing the same thing. So far, of all the Dodge trucks I have owned, this has given the promise of being one to keep, but only if Dodge fixes the transmission and sensor problem.
  • slemayslemay Posts: 3
    I have an 09 Ram that the transmission shudders at 30 mph and above. The problem you are having is like mine, not normal.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    After giving this some thought, by any chance does this vehicle have limited slip differential?

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