Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems (Experts Solution With Pro Tips)

The Dodge Ram 1500 has some of the most potent truck and SUV models in the automotive market. It is popular for its safety and reliability, and high-octane performance.

But like other powerful vehicles, there is always something to worry about. For the issues with Dodge Ram 1500 transmission are a cause for worry. A user’s problems range from lack of acceleration to poor downshifting and jerking movements to faulty interlocking design.

In the USA currently, Dodge ram 1500 truck mainly uses four types of automatic transmission system such as, 4-speed automatic transmission, 5-speed auto transmission, 6-speed auto transmission and 8- speed auto transmission.

Nonetheless, it is essential to note that some of these Dodge ram 1500 transmission problems are unique to specific models. This is why you should keep reading to find out more.

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What Are The Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Models?

Some of the problems relating to transmission are only experienced with some Dodge models. These are some precise problematic years that the vehicle has experienced.

Keep in mind, however, that these issues were related to transmission alone, as the vehicle may have had other issues

2014 Ram 1500

Many users agree this year has to be the worst for transmission issues. This 2014 model is notorious for plaguing users with transmission bumps when accelerating or when the brake is released.

Most drivers usually experience this under 14,000 miles, making them replace the driveshaft or update the software too quickly.

2015 Ram 1500

This Ram model didn’t give users as many transmission problems as previous years’ models.

Nonetheless, they still had to deal with a few, with the most prominent being the hard shifting that commonly occurs around 27,000 miles. Moreover, downshifting from 2nd to 1st gears was such a task too.

2012 Ram 1500

Compared to 2014 and 2015, the 2012 model of Ram 1500 has fewer issues. However, problems like jerking transmission were the most prevalent with this model, commonly occurring around 8,000 miles.

Common Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems

01. Interlock faulty design

The 2018 model especially has problems to contend with. The vehicle’s transmission has a faulty interlock.

Also. the implication of this is that the vehicle is constantly shifting out of the park position. Previous models experience similar problems too. Users have reported the tendency of the vehicle to move out of the position where it’s parked and roll into a distance.

Solution: Use parking brakes

The vehicle manufacturer advises users to consistently apply their parking brake to cope with this transmission problem. This is your best shot at keeping your truck from rolling off when parked.

02. Hard Shifting problems

For many drivers of the 2015 Ram 1500, hard shifting seems to be a major transmission problem they’re faced with. There are also a lot of the issues related to it.

This transmission issue typically happens after about 25 000 miles have been covered. The problem has been reported in several ways. A lot of users have reported the transmission move from one vehicle gear to another.

This scenario leads to the vehicle jerking in some cases. At other times, it makes a loud sound. Some users have complained about this to technicians at dealerships, but they’ve stated it’s not something within their power to fix.

Solution: Diagnose the problem and see a mechanic

Hard Shifting can be caused by an unpredictable number of reasons, which is why the first step to fixing it is diagnosing the problem.

The reason for hard shifting could be the transmission fluid itself. If the fluid has a usual red-like coloration or a strange odor, it may be a pointer that needs to be changed.

It could also be the shift of solenoids. A faulty solenoid could cause a lag in the engagement of the gear. If this seems to be the problem, you need to consult a technician.

03. Vehicle lacking acceleration

The Dodge Ram 2014 model struggles with this problem a whole lot. Users often complain that the vehicle calls for more repairs, even when it’s just 15,000 miles.

They also often complain of the engine making attempts at revving but without any noticeable acceleration while the vehicle is being driven.

As a result of this problem, highway drivers cannot hit the right speed. The check engine light comes on at other times, pointing to a problem.

In all cases, the vehicle fails to accelerate, hence calling for the replacement of the transmission. This happens most of the time, at surprisingly low mileage.

Solution: Carry out transmission relearn

Fortunately, the new dodge transmissions work electronically. This means that shifting problems are monitored and, when it happens, are adjusted by the ECU.

When shift values get out of normal range, you need to carry out a transmission relearn to fix the complex shifting problem.

You’ll need a scan tool that can scan the transmission module and indicate bidirectional communication.

04. Weak downshifting

For the 2014 and 2015 Ram models, downshifting seems to be a common problem. In these vehicles, the reported cases are the gear refusing to shift from gear 2 to gear 1.

It takes an unusual amount of energy to get this to work. In some cases, this transmission problem comes with jerking.

Solution: Check your downshift solenoid

If you notice such difficulty as resistance when shifting from one gear to another, downshift solenoids, which are important transmission components, may be the reason for that. Take it to professionals to inspect and have it fixed.

What Are The Dodge Ram Bad Transmission Symptoms?

Symptoms Traceable reasons
Delayed gear engagement

Loose OEM transmission cooler, allowing transmission fluid to drain from the torque converter.


Rattling noises during a drive

1. The torque converter needle may have worn out or damaged as a result of not being maintained properly

2. Transmission fluid may need change.

Drive and reverse difficulties

1. Wrong underdrive clutch position

2. Reverse solenoid system may be worn out and may fail permanently if unchecked.

Unresponsive gear shifts

1. If gears 1-3 are affected, it is likely the vehicle’s pressure solenoid. When the solenoid is worn out, proper operation is resisted.

2. If the overdrive gear( 4th gear) is affected, the overdrive solenoid may be the culprit. The overdrive solenoid serves to accumulate pressure to stimulate the overdrive. Over time, it degrades and has a hard time creating reliable oil pressure.

3. Transmission fluid level may be low.

Torque converter clutch problems

1. Cover plate responsible for holding the pressure boost valve on the bottom side of the valve is wrongly designed.

2. Input or output sensor is bad

3. Issues with governor pressure solenoid.


The smell of burning fluid Transmission fluid has gone bad

1. Transmission fluid leak

2. Fluid level is low

3. Fluid may be old or dirty

What are the 2019 Ram 1500 transmission problems?

01. Gear resistance

This seems to be the most pressing problem users of the 2019 Ram 1500 face. Your truck will often refuse to shift from the first gear to the second.

This often creates driving problems and puts the driver’s safety at risk, as they can be easily hit by another vehicle. If your truck is stuck in one gear, it indicates that your transmission fluid is either bad or leaking out.

If your transmission fluid is old, it will affect the functioning of your solenoids, causing them to be stuck. Carrying out a transmission flush may be the solution to this problem.

02. Hard shifting

Hard Shifting is another problem you need to look for if you’re driving a 2019 Ram 1500. Generally, this issue seems particularly peculiar to the newer pickup trucks of the Ram 1500.

If your 2019 Ram 1500 is experiencing problems shifting than it normally does, it could result from a faulty transmission replacement sensor.

You could also blame it on your transmission fluid, which may be old. You need to have your dealer or technician examine it and fix the problem.

What are the 2020 Ram 1500 transmission problems?

01. The faulty transmission control module

The function of the transmission control module is to collect data from the transmission in it and use the data collected to regulate the truck shifting.

If it becomes faulty, it could greatly affect your 2020 Ram 1500 and cause it to start having transmission problems.

This very problem is even more concerning because it tends to affect other components or trigger more serious transmission issues.

Moreover, this problem makes driving the vehicle more difficult than ever.

Most users who have experienced this problem have confirmed it occasionally led to data bus failure, causing them to lose power steering and other control parts like brakes.

The solution to a failing transmission control module is to have it replaced as soon as you start noticing signs it is faulty.

If this problem sets in on your new truck, your warranty may cover its replacement, and if not, you’ll have to spend about $900 replacing it.

02. Transmission Relay Wire is Bad

If you’ve examined the transmission sensors, fluid, and filters, and they all seem to be working fine, the problem could be from the relay wire.

If you’re transmission relay wire is terrible, you’ll encounter issues such as the gear shifting from the first to the third one or skipping altogether.

Transmission problems like this are commonly caused by loose wire or relay. Before this issue can be resolved, you need to, first of all, examine the voltage flowing from the transmission terminals.

You can do this using a voltmeter. If you find normal reading, check the electrical wire. Damage may be the cause of why they’re not working correctly.

If the wire seems to be the reason, you can have them replaced by a technician. It is recommended you don’t carry out the process yourself, as the truck’s electrical system is delicate and may be damaged if handled by unprofessional hands.

03. Hard start

This is an incredibly frustrating problem that most users of the 2020 Ram 1500 have to deal with – the truck having difficulty starting.

The problem gets even worse as time passes. One of the major reasons users of this model commonly experiences this problem is degraded electrical contacts.

Moreover, the starter wearing out causes Lee’s power to be fed to the motor. This makes it difficult for the truck to come on. To solve this problem, you need to get a new starter.

Another reason why you could experience a hard start in the 2020 Ram 1500 model is a failing battery. Worn-out batteries produce very little power. This makes the speed of the spin slower.

How much is a transmission for a Dodge 1500?

Finding aftermarket or OEM transmission products is not that difficult. Nonetheless, some brands could be really expensive.

That depends on what is being offered. So, depending on the vehicle model’s year, you could find transmissions ranging from $100 to $4000. However, transmissions like fluid changes or a transmission fluid flush are less expensive.

People Also Ask

How can I change my transmission fluid myself?

With these DIY steps, changing your transmission fluid is not a difficult task at all. All you need are the right tools and the willingness to get your hands dirty. These are the what you need to carry this procedure out:

  • A drain funnel to hold any lift drain.
  • Disposable nitrile gloves.

Now follow the following steps:

Step-01: Crawl under the vehicle. If you’re going to use floor jacks, read the manual carefully to find a suitable lifting point for the truck. Get the floor jack beneath the vehicle, and a jack stand too.

step-02: Locate the transmission drain and place the container under it. When you’ve done this, remove the bolts while holding the transmission drain with one hand.

Step-03: Clean the filter. If you see a metal inside the filter, it means the transmission is bad on inspection. Now clean all the residue and put everything back on.

How long does a Dodge Ram transmission work?

It’s hard to say at what point the transmission could start failing. A lot of things have to be considered, such as maintenance. With a regular maintenance plan, the truck still stays in good shape.

What Transmission does my Ram 1500 have?

If you’re willing to learn about your Ram 1500 model transmission, you need to read the manufacturer’s manual, as all information regarding the vehicle is there.


As you can see, transmission problems are widespread with Dodge Ram 1500. To solve most of these transmission problems., you need to diagnose the problem and turn to a technician if need be.

If you have a serious transmission problem, you’ll have to change the transmission system altogether. This may cost you a lot, but it’s worth your truck’s stress-free state after repair.