Transmission Problems Dodge Ram 1500 (Helpful Guide)

transmission problems dodge ram 1500

The Dodge Ram 1500 is a renowned vehicle known for its power, reliability, and safety features. However, like any other vehicle, it is not immune to issues, particularly when it comes to the transmission.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various transmission problems that have been reported with the Dodge Ram 1500.

By understanding these issues, potential buyers and current owners can make informed decisions and take appropriate measures to address any concerns.

A Brief Overview of Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Models

Before we delve into the specific transmission problems, let’s take a moment to understand the different transmission models used in the Dodge Ram 1500 over the years.

The Dodge Ram 1500 has been equipped with various transmission models, including the A518 (46RE), 545RFE, 65RFE, and others. Each of these models has its own set of characteristics and potential issues.

It is important to identify the specific transmission model in your vehicle to better understand any potential problems that may arise.

Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Models:

  • 42RLE
  • A518 (46RE)
  • 545RFE
  • 47RE
  • 65RFE
  • 8HP70

Recalls and Known Problems

Recall: High Risk of Rolling Away

One significant recall that Dodge Ram 1500 owners should be aware of is related to the risk of the vehicle shifting out of the park position unexpectedly.

This recall affected Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles manufactured between 2009 and 2017, specifically those with a column shifter.

The issue arose when the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock pin became stuck in the open position, allowing the transmission to shift out of park without the brake pedal being pressed or the key in the ignition.

Chrysler addressed this problem by updating the software and inspecting/replacing the brake transmission shift interlock pin if necessary.

Recall: Interlock Faulty Design

Another recall related to the transmission was issued for the 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 heavy-duty model. In this vehicle, there was a faulty interlock located in the transmission, similar to the previous recall.

The faulty design allowed the vehicle to shift out of the park position, potentially leading to unintended movement.

The manufacturer advised owners to always use their parking brake and made necessary repairs to the faulty interlock system.

Read also >> Automatic Transmission Problems Shifting Gears (Solved!)

Common Transmission Problems

Jerking Movements

One common issue reported by Dodge Ram 1500 owners is jerking movements of the vehicle while in operation.

This problem has been particularly prevalent in the 2012 model year, although similar complaints have been made about other model years as well.

Drivers have experienced jerking or shuddering of the transmission, which can increase the risk of sudden lurching forward.

The jerking can occur at both low and high speeds, such as in parking lots or while driving on the highway.

Hard Shifting While Driving

Hard shifting is another concern that has been reported by owners, especially in the 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 model.

Although there have been relatively few complaints specifically related to the transmission, some owners have noticed the transmission shifting forcefully from one gear to another while driving.

This can result in jerking movements or loud noises. Unfortunately, many technicians have struggled to replicate the problem, making it challenging to find a solution.

Lack of Acceleration

Owners of the 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 have reported a lack of acceleration as one of the transmission problems they have encountered.

Some drivers have noticed that the transmission requires more repairs than expected, even at relatively low mileage (around 15,000 miles). They have experienced situations where the engine revs and the RPMs climb, but the vehicle does not accelerate as expected.

This issue can pose a significant problem, especially when trying to reach the appropriate speed on highways.

Poor Downshifting

Downshifting issues have been reported by owners of the 2014 and 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 models. These owners have noted difficulty in shifting from 2nd gear to 1st gear, requiring excessive force to make the shift possible.

In some instances, this problem has resulted in significant jerking of the transmission. While dealerships have had difficulty replicating the issue, there have been incidents where this problem has led to rear-end collisions.

Transmission Replacement Cost

In the unfortunate event that a Dodge Ram 1500 transmission needs to be replaced, it is important to consider the associated costs.

The actual cost can vary depending on the specific model year and transmission type. For example, a replacement transmission for a 2009 Ram 1500 with the A518 (46RE) transmission may cost around $2,900, while a replacement transmission for a 2020 Ram 1500 with the 545RFE transmission may cost up to $3,200.

It is advisable to contact a local mechanic for an accurate quote based on your specific vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the Dodge Ram 1500 still have transmission problems?

In recent years, the Dodge Ram 1500 has seen improvements in its transmission reliability.

While earlier models, particularly those with certain engine and transmission combinations, experienced more frequent transmission issues, newer models have shown fewer problems.

It is important to note that occasional issues may still arise, but overall, the reliability has improved.

2. What year did the Dodge Ram 1500 have transmission problems?

Transmission problems have been reported in various model years of the Dodge Ram 1500. Some notable years include 2009, 2012, and 2014-2015. However, it is crucial to understand that not all vehicles in these model years are affected, and transmission issues can vary from vehicle to vehicle within the same model year.

3. How long can a Dodge Ram 1500 transmission last?

The lifespan of a Dodge Ram 1500 transmission can vary depending on factors such as driving habits, maintenance, and operating conditions.

In ideal conditions and with proper maintenance, a transmission in a Ram 1500 can last around 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

However, regular maintenance and prompt repairs are essential to ensure the longevity of the transmission.

4. Which model year of the Ram 1500 is the most reliable?

While some model years of the Dodge Ram 1500 have experienced more transmission problems than others, it is important to consider that each individual vehicle’s reliability can vary.

That being said, the 2017, 2018, 2020, and newer models have generally shown improved reliability and received positive customer ratings.

It is recommended to research specific model years and consult with trusted sources to determine the most reliable options.

5. Are there any additional recalls or known problems with the Dodge Ram 1500?

Apart from the transmission-related recalls and problems discussed earlier, it is advisable to stay informed about any additional recalls or known problems specific to the Dodge Ram 1500.

Regularly checking for updates from the manufacturer or consulting reputable sources can help you stay informed about any emerging concerns related to your vehicle.

RAM 1500 8 Speed ZF Transmission NEVER Has To Serviced?? >> Check out the video below:


The Dodge Ram 1500 is a powerful and reliable vehicle, but it is not without its transmission problems. From recalls related to the risk of rolling away to issues with jerking movements, hard shifting, lack of acceleration, and poor downshifting, it is crucial for potential buyers and current owners to be aware of these concerns.

By understanding these transmission problems, individuals can make informed decisions and take appropriate actions to address any issues that may arise.

Regular maintenance and prompt repairs are essential to ensure the longevity and reliability of the Dodge Ram 1500 transmission.

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!