Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems & Overview

Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems & Overview

For many years there is an eternal struggle between Dodge with Ford and General Motors.  Both of them are fighting for the full-size truck market. The concept of a ‘big rig’ body style has appeared in the 90s. The fourth generation of Dodge cars since 2009 remains possessing power and efficiency of Hemi and Non-Hemi engines with 4, 5, 6-speed automatic transmissions.

Nothing is perfect, 1500, as well as others, has its failures and this article will help you to get to know about most common troubles of your car and give you a piece of advice how to avoid and solve problems. Be patient and attentive, now will turn your car back on the road.

Here is the statistics made by the, you see that the period from 2012 to 2014 was quite problematic for the Dodge. This statistics reflects mainly the experience of the 4th generation and we shouldn’t forget that Dodge Ram 1500 starts since the 2nd generation or 1994. Only 1500 Ram is produced till our days, all his brothers actually died in 2008. Information about previous generations is provided by the


2003 Vehicle Speed Control (NHTSA reference #03V03300)

In this line, several pickup cars with diesel engines and manual transmissions may stay on the elevated idle speed after continuous cruise control use. Such thing could reduce the braking effectiveness and increase the chance to commit a road accident.

Dealers reprogramed the engine controller for in order to fix the car. However, if you have missed that period now you will have to pay for such procedure. Get more information from Fiat-Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

2004 RAM 1500 – Lose Fasteners on Transfer Case (recall number #03V503000)

It is likely that there was a kind of a glitch on the assembly line that caused a trouble with attaching fasteners, they were not tightened good enough. That is why the leaking between the transmission and four-wheel transfer case has become a serious problem for that Dodge 4×4 line.

If such problem occurs, the propeller shaft could be separated and it may bring crucial damage to the fuel system. In such a way, the fluid is leaking and if there is a source of fire your car may be torched. Leaking may damage the transfer and transmission systems, four-wheel drive system, and a big red spot on your driveway.

To solve the problem the Dodge Company and in early 2003 the Fiat-Chrysler Company has given the appropriate torque specs how to tighten the transfer case to the transmission fasteners. The recall for this issue was held in December 2003, owners could call the Fiat-Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997, or try to get the information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (recall number #03V503000).

2014 RAM 1500 – Improperly Machined Transmission Case (# 14V161000)

For happy owners of 125 vehicles produced from January 24 and February 5 in 2014, there is bad news. There is a manufacturing defect that didn’t allow the transmission to enter the Park shift, such fault can easily cause a road accident.

The recall info says that a handful eight-speed transfer cases were not properly machined, which didn’t allow the Park mode to be fully engaged. That is why there were occasions when the car could slip out of the Park and damage both people and property.

This time the recall was announced in May 2014 and dealers had to change the transmission. The algorithm is the same if you want to solve the problem, contact Fiat-Chrysler or visit the NHTSA (recall number #14V161000).

RAM 1500 Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 247853

Some Dodge trucks of 2008 were provided with defective shift cables, that made the shifting for a driver on low power very problematic.

TSB 224763

The 2007 1500 Dodges had another problem with computers, errors with the transmission control software lead to harsh shifting. The trouble was eliminated by updating the software and reprogramming the Totally Integrated Power Module.

TSB 138954

The Power Control Module on the 2003 models was damaged and its software problems made impossible for the module to detect problems with pressure sensors. The solution was simple, owners had to update the PCM.

There is the list of transmissions, there you can find out what types you might have.

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


Some models of 1500 may include the RFE – the automatic transmission family from the Chrysler Company. The name went after its Rear wheel drive and Full Electronic control system. So if we get the first letters we will see the “RFE”. There are only 3 models:

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

If you need a full list of recall programs and want to get more information about most common problems of 1500 you may search on the Internet or ask for help on forums.

The algorithm of searching and detecting a problem is simple and consists of several steps:

  • Get to know your model and type
  • Find out the year and the line of your car
  • Find the trouble with your car
  • Call dealership for the opportunity to use the recall
  • You may also visit a dodge problems web-site, there you will find an informative answer to your questions on-line.