5 Common Dodge RAM 1500 Transmission Problems In 2023 (+How to Fix Them)

Is your truck getting hot and squealing? If so, you are experiencing some of the most common Dodge Ram transmission problems. 

We know how annoying it is to deal with transmission problems. Sometimes you’re going down the road and of all a sudden, the truck loses power.

But forget about that! In this guide, we will help you solve five of the most common transmission problems that you might experience with your truck.

So, if you want to fix the truck, keep reading until the very bottom to find out more.

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How Much Does it Cost to Fix Transmission Problems?

Prices are subject to change depending on where you live and where you get whatever parts for the car you need.

However, we’ll be taking a look at the average price that you should expect to pay. This way, you will have a better understanding of what you should pay.

If you’re lucky enough, you might not need to spend thousands of dollars on a replacement for the transmission. Sometimes the problem can be easily fixed by replacing a cheap part of the car.

Let’s take a look to find more.

01. Transmission replacement

Now, this might not be the case for you, but if the transmission is entirely damage—you need to replace it for a new one.

To replace a transmission, you should expect to pay all the way from $3,800 to $8.100.

On the other hand, to repair a damaged transmission: it will cost about $1,800.

But if you need to rebuild the current transmission, you will have to pay about $3.100.

02. Spark plugs

If you have a transmission problem, sometimes it can be as simple as replacing the spark plugs. If you do it yourself, you will only have to spend $85 for the spark plugs.

03. Heater core

Sometimes you might need to replace the heater core if there is no heat in the system.

A heater core replacement costs about $130. If you go to the dealer, they will charge you about $460 plus the heater core replacement.

04. Shifting Problem Price

We’ll go more in-depth down below. It’s tough to tell what could be causing a shifting problem on the truck. So, it’s hard to estimate how much money you will have to spend to fix it.

However, here is a list of the possible causes for dodge ram 3500 transmission shifting problems as well as their prices:

  • If you’re having shifting problems, consider changing the transmission pan and the transmission fluid. A transmission pan costs about $99, and the transmission fluid is priced at $75
  • Another culprit that causes hard shifting is a faulty transmission sensor. If you need to replace the sensor, you should expect to pay $100 for the transmission sensor.

05. Worn out starter

If your truck is having a hard time starting up, there is a good chance that you have a faulty starter. Replacing one costs about $280 for the Dodge Ram 1500.

If you go to the local mechanic, they will charge you about $80 for it. But if you did it yourself, you would only have to get the replacement.

06. Contaminated Transmission Fluid

One of the easiest and less time-consuming methods to stop a transmission problem is to change the transmission fluid.

Contaminated transmission fluid is a very inexpensive problem as you only need to spend $75 for the new transmission fluid.

But if you have somebody change the transmission fluid, it will cost roughly $165 plus the new part.

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Common Issues For Dodge Ram 1500

Every car has its own problems. So, it does not mean that the dodge ram 1500 is a lousy vehicle. It just means you should be aware of any possible issue you might run into; in the future.

Here is a comprehensive guide on problems you might experience with the dodge ram 1500:

01. No heat

One of the leading causes for Dodge Ram transmission problems can be a heat a problem. But why is it? If the coolant has some dirt residue—all the dirt will eventually stop the flow of the coolant.

Here is a great way to solve the no heat issue:

  • Take the hoses off and get a garden hose
  • Now try to get rid of the dirt using the garden hose

While this is not a permanent fix, this will allow you to drive for quite some time. If you want to permanently fix this issue—you will have to replace the heater core.

02. Misfiring

Is your dodge ram 1500 losing power randomly? Chances are you have a cylinder misfire problem going on. Misfiring is a dominant problem truck owners come across after some time.

Another way to tell if you have a cylinder misfire problem is when the truck begins to run roughly. Also, the check engine lights start to flash repeatedly.

But a misfire problem is not t. at big of a deal if you spot it early on. To prevent a misfire, here is what you need to look out for:

  • To combat a misfire: always check for the spark plugs. If they are not in great shape—consider replacing them
  • If there is carbon buildup inside the engine—you need to decarbonize it. By doing this, the water will get inside the intake, which will break up all the carbon deposits inside the engine
  • Another great way to get rid of a misfire is to clean the injectors regularly. This way, you won’t run into a misfire problem

Again, there is no need to lose your mind over a misfire. If you proceed to take care of it now, the engine will not experience any further damage.

If you need help decarbonizing, here is a great video that teaches you how to do so:

03. Shifting issue

An annoying yet common problem is the RPMs going high before shifting. Dodge Ram 1500 owners have reported this issue several times, and most of the time, they have low miles on the truck.

But why am I experiencing Dodge Ram 2500 transmission shifting problems? It’s hard to pinpoint what the culprit could be right away.

Here is a small list of things that could be causing the shifting issue:

  • If you’re having trouble shifting the truck, chances are it could be the transmission sensor. If the sensor is not getting the right signals—you will have a hard time shifting the truck
  • Another major event that could cause this problem is the transmission filter. We recommend changing both the transmission fluid and the transmission pan to fix the shifting issue

If you fix those two issues, you will get that shifting problem to go away right away.

04. Rattling noise

Do you hear a noise as soon as you start up the truck? Then chances are the transmission fluid is running low.

You might hear a rattling noise while the engine is running. If that is the case, then it’s safe to assume the transmission fluid is too low.

We recommend looking into this as soon as possible. You do not want to be driving and run out of fluid. If that were to happen, the engine could overheat. And you will have to spend a lot of money to get it fixed.

Another thing you might want to look into is changing the transmission fluid. If you do not change it regularly, the fluid will get contaminated over time.

So, we suggest changing the transmission fluid to prevent any damage that could take place.

05. Hard start

It is incredibly disappointing when you get into your truck just to find out that it has a hard time running. And as time goes by, it gets even worse.

But why am I experiencing Dodge Ram 1500 4×4 transmission problems? A common reason why you’re having a hard time running the truck is due to worn out electrical contacts.

As the starter wears out over time—it will begin to send less power to the motor. And this will cause the truck to have a hard time running.

And in this case, you need to need to get a new starter to solve this problem.

Another common thing that can cause a rough start is the battery. A damaged and worn-out battery will produce less power, which causes the spin to run slower.

DIY Guide: How to Change the Fluid to Fix a Transmission Shifting Problem

Now we know how much money you should expect to spend on most of these common issues. It is time to get our hands dirty and fix this issue.

01. What you will need

Chancing the fluid change is super easy to do, and anybody can do it as long as they put in some time! While this is an easy job, you still need a few tools to get things done.

So, here is what you need to change the fluid change on the truck:

  • A transmission drain funnel—you will need a container to catch any lift drain. Otherwise, the drain will make a mess
  • Nitrile disposable gloves—always wear gloves when dealing with cars. You don’t want to get your hands greasy as it takes a while to come off

And that’s all you need to perform a fluid change on the vehicle.

02. Crawl under the car

Getting under the car might not seem like a hard thing to do, and while you’re right—you must be careful when doing so.

To craw safely under a car, here is what you have to do:

  • Make sure to park on a hard surface. You do not have to get under the vehicle on an uneven surface
  • If you are going to use floor jacks, make sure to read the manual to find good lifting points on the vehicle
  • Once again, if you need a floor jack to crawl under the car, you also need jack stands

03. Take the bolts off

Now you are under the car. So, what is next? The next step is to find the transmission drain and then remove the bolts.

To do this, here is what you need to do:

  • Get to the transmission drain
  • Here is the crucial part: you must place the container under the transmission drain. This way, all the drain will get into the container
  • Now take a few bolts off. The reason you want to remove only a few is so the whole liquid will not splash everywhere
  • Now use one hand to hold the transmission drain as you use the other to remove the bolts
  • You do not want to rush this process as you will cause a mess
  • Once you have removed the bolts, slightly tilt the transmission drain. This way, all the drain will get into the container
  • Now all you need to do is remove the filter

04. Clean the filter

When you first remove the filter, you will notice there is a lot of liquid everywhere. Now here is the good news: if you don’t see any metal, then you’re good to go.

However, if you see metal inside the filter, then it means there is something wrong with the transmission.

Now, here is what you need to do to clean all the residue:

  • Put on your gloves before doing anything
  • Get a rag and rub it back and forth on the surface
  • Once you have cleaned, put everything back on

And that is all you need to do to fix a transmission shifting problem.

If you need help doing this process, here an excellent video you can watch:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here you can find the most common questions about common issues for the dodge ram 1500.

01.     Do Dodge Ram 1500 have transmission problems?

Yes, Dodge Ram 1500 trucks experience transmission problems from time to time. Depending on how demanding the issue is, things could get pretty messy.

02.     What transmission does my Ram 1500 have?

If you want to find the transmission for the ram 1500, you have to read the owner manual.

03.     How long do Dodge Ram transmissions last?

It’s hard to tell when the transmission begins to fail. There are many things you must take into account, such as frequent maintenance.

But for the most part, we keep a regular maintenance schedule and have 250.000 miles on the truck, and the Dodge Ram is still in great shape.


As you can see, dodge ram transmission problems are pretty common. And sometimes, all you need to do is clean the filter to stop the fluid liquid.

Sometimes, you have to replace the current transmission system and get a new one, which can be pretty expensive if you’re on a budget.

As always, we suggest keeping a tight maintenance schedule. This way, the truck will be in great shape, and you will prevent any damage that could experience the vehicle in the future.

So, next time you have a transmission problem, you will be able to spot right away.

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13 thoughts on “5 Common Dodge RAM 1500 Transmission Problems In 2023 (+How to Fix Them)”

  1. I have a 2004 dodge ram 1500 hemi 5.7 liter engine and while driving I made a right turn and the truck just went into nutraland gas pedal went to floor took foot of pedal and just coasted to side of road stuck in a neutral pos.truck won’t engage into gear now but I can move the hand shifter handle through all gears but nothing happens. Could this mean my transmission shift solenoid went bad?

    • I’ve got the same exact problem I can put it in all gears transmission does not Respond whatsoever happened out of nowhere driving on the highway I was going to replace the cellunoid in the transmission I did a transmission flush changed new filters gaskets etc 4 months previous Strange thing with mine is it recognizes park reverse neutral drive 2nd( but not 1st )or 4 wheel drive low All wheel drive and 4 wheel drive high engages no problem But that being said none of them work starts up purrs like a kitten the entire truck functions perfectly But drives nowhere has no response to the transmission at all . I can’t get a straight answer out of anybody if there is A TCM computer for the transmission for this year making model .
      Would be happy for any advice possible for anybody
      Brian 7192295006 text I have robo block on my phone unknown numbers usually don’t come through how however you might be able to leave a voice message text messaging I will definitely get. Please and thank you

  2. My 06 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport is sluggish on the downshift, engine light flashes but no codes. Changed fluid and filter. No change. When it attempts to downshift, the motor runs bad. Most aggravating part is no engine codes.

  3. I have a 2014 ram 1500 with the 5.7 in it. It recently has been downshifting at unusual times speeding up or slowing down causing jerking. slowing down it will down shift enough to act like a jake brake and speeding up or maintaining a current or slow acceleration it will decided to down shift at least 2 gears and jump to 4000 rpms. owned this truck for 2 years and this started week ago. I am thinking the throttle position sensor or something related to the breaks and rotors tripping up the abs since the front drivers side decided to come lose and almost fell off a month ago and haven’t gotten around to swapping the front brakes and rotors since. hoping the transmission isn’t going bad and it’s the throttle position sensor or would some how be and abs thing from the rotors but unsure what it could be.

    • I have the same problem with my 2014 Dodge Ram 1500. How did this end up for you? I’m considering trading it, I hate the way it drives and down shifts acting like it has an engine break.

  4. We have 40k miles on our 2016 Ram truck. My husband drove to pick up a pizza, and on the way back home, it was a winking blinking alarming mess. Disconnected and reconnected the battery, hoping to reboot the control module. Next morning the truck would not leave first gear. We towed it to tbe dealership. Now getting a quote for a $5000 part! We babied this truck. Low mileage, not abused…and get THIS!
    Thouroughly pissed right now. Just out of warranty last year…5 years

  5. We have 40k miles on our 2016 Ram truck. My husband drove to pick up a pizza, and on the way back home, it was a winking blinking alarming mess. Disconnected and reconnected the battery, hoping to reboot the control module. Next morning the truck would not leave first gear. We towed it to tbe dealership. Now getting a quote for a $5000 part! We babied this truck. Low mileage, not abused…and get THIS!
    Thouroughly pissed right now. Just out of warranty last year…5 years

  6. Only noticing the jake brake issue on my 2017 ram 5.7
    Just bought it second hand. I’ve just had the transmission fluid and filter changed hoping this will deal with the issue.
    Also going to disconnect battery to hopefully reset things

  7. Hi I have a 2009 dodge ram 1500 4X4 with the hemi motor 5.7and my transmission is giving me a problem. i just had the spark plug change and transmission fluid sensor replace. and when, I shift from park to D and it changes to gear #4and i cannot change it to D any other gear like a3or 2 it stays on 4. what step to a take to get it fix.

  8. My 2000 dodge ram has a shifting problem first thing in the morning. Or when sitting for a few days.When put into gear, nothing goes. After sitting for 30 seconds, the tranny will slowly engage and all is well. The torque convertor has been gone thru. Check valve replaced. Now i was told it may be in tranny. By a dealer. I am $4 grand down and no solution. One mechanic said it probably won’t be a problem!

  9. My 2010 Dodge ram 1500 3.7 v6 is having shifting problems. It will go into drive. But will not go past first gear. will drive until you get about 13 mpr and then it will just start reviving up when you step on the gas. And it will go into reverse. But it does not go. it just revves up the engine. i have replaced the transmission filter and fluid, to hopefully fix the problem, but nothing. any ideas on what other part i should try and replace to make it run again?


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