Dodge Ram 2500 Transmission Problems: Get Help With Lemon Law

Apr 30, 2024

Are you a proud owner of a late-model Dodge Ram 2500? If so, then you know that the Ram 2500 can be a reliable companion for navigating rough terrains, hauling heavy loads, and cruising down the highway. However, Dodge Ram transmissions have a bit of a spotty history.

During the late 2000s and early 2010s, Dodge Ram 1500 transmissions were notorious for giving their owners headaches. Unfortunately, Dodge transmission problems seem to be present in the 2500 series.

If you own one of these trucks, you must know the most common Dodge Ram 2500 transmission problems. Here are a few things that can (and sometimes do) go wrong with Ram 2500 transmissions. Understanding the potential causes of these issues will help you determine what you can do about them.


Common Dodge Ram 2500 Transmission Problems

Like many vehicles, Dodge transmissions have complex components. As such, Dodge transmission issues can manifest in many different ways, ranging from a minor annoyance to a complete failure that leaves you stranded on the side of the road. Some of the most common Ram transmission problems include:

Erratic Shifting

Erratic shifting is what it sounds like. Instead of smoothly transitioning to the next gear as you accelerate, some Dodge Ram 2500 transmissions jump into gear early or hesitate and shift late. Either way, it can be a sign of a big problem.

There are many potential culprits, including issues with your control module or faulty solenoids. If you encounter this Dodge Ram transmission problem, don’t ignore it, hoping that it will go away. Take it to a licensed mechanic immediately and let them diagnose the problem.

Lack of Acceleration

Ever hop on the highway and hit the gas pedal, only to feel a slow, clunky acceleration? In most instances, this lag in acceleration is just frustrating. But in some cases, it can be dangerous, such as when overtaking another vehicle or merging onto a busy highway.

Many factors can contribute to the lack of acceleration, such as a problem with the clutch or torque converter. There could also be a miscommunication between the engine, transmission, and vehicle control systems.

Troubleshooting any Dodge Ram 2500 transmission problems can be challenging, but uncovering the root cause of acceleration issues is particularly tricky. That is because so many other systems contribute to your truck’s ability to accelerate.

Hard Shifts Between Gears

Hard shifting and erratic shifting are similar but distinct problems. Erratic shifting is wildly unpredictable and can occur when downshifting or upshifting. Hard shifting can occur during either cycle, too, but it is more common during upshifting.

Typically, hard shifting creates an audible clunking sound. Your vehicle may lurch forward when it finally slips into the right gear. In many cases, your truck will only shift hard between a specific set of gears. For instance, you may experience a hard shift between the third and fourth gears.

The good news is that hard shifting is often an easy fix. Check your transmission fluid levels and make sure that there is an adequate amount of fluid present. If not, top it off, and you should be good to go.

Another concern is dirty or diluted fluid. The manufacturer recommends flushing the transmission and changing the fluid approximately every 30,000 miles. That helps keep the transmission in good working order and prevent hard shifts.

Transmission Jerking or Shaking

Jerking or shaking is one of the most obvious Dodge Ram 2500 transmission problems. It can occur suddenly and involves severe shaking or jerking. The experience can be unsettling and can cause your entire truck to shake.

Severe jerking or shaking may indicate that some internal transmission components are worn out. Alternatively, you could be experiencing an issue with your fuel intake system or your truck’s internal computer system.

Leaking Transmission Fluid

Losing transmission fluid can lead to other, more severe Ram 2500 transmission problems, like shaking, hard shifting, or even a total failure. Every time you walk out to your truck, check for signs of fluid leaking. Pay attention to the size of the puddle and what color it is.

If you notice a pool of reddish fluid underneath your truck, you have a transmission fluid leak. Fast leaks can deplete your fluid reservoir in minutes, whereas slow leaks might take days or weeks to drain completely. Either way, address the issue immediately.

Leaking transmission fluid can be due to a myriad of reasons, including:

  • Cracked fluid lines
  • Damaged seals
  • Punctured pan
  • Improperly secured bolts and plugs

If you notice a leak and it’s safe to do so, take a look underneath your truck to see if you can find where the fluid is coming from. Pinpointing the general area of the leak can help the technician find the root cause and make necessary repairs.


Causes of Dodge Ram 2500 Transmission Problems

Determining the cause of Dodge Ram 2500 transmission problems can be a bit tricky. That is because one transmission issue can cause different types of visible signs. Likewise, one problem could be attributed to one or more underlying causes.

However, there are a few common transmission woes that are most likely to blame. These problems include the following:

Bad Transmission Sensor

The transmission sensor, also known as the transmission speed sensor, helps monitor and control the speed and spinning of your vehicle’s gears. While the sensor itself is quite small, it can cause some major headaches if it starts sending incorrect signals. This miscommunication can lead to erratic shifts or may even have you stuck in one gear.

If your Ram 2500 is unexpectedly shifting gears or displaying incorrect speedometer readings, you might be dealing with a faulty sensor. A bad transmission sensor can also cause your check engine light to come on. However, a mechanic must check the error code using the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system.

Contaminated Transmission Fluid

Think of transmission fluid as the lifeblood of your transmission system. Just as the engine oil lubricates and cools the engine components, transmission fluid keeps everything running smoothly inside your transmission. Also, like your engine oil, it gets contaminated over time by water intrusion, dirt, and sludge. That’s why you need to change your transmission fluid every 30,000 miles or so.

The good news is that checking for contaminated transmission fluid is pretty easy, and so is fixing the problem. Pop the hood and check your transmission fluid. If it has lost its reddish hue and smells burnt, it is probably contaminated. To fix the issue, take your truck to the dealer and have them perform a transmission flush and fluid replacement.

Loose Wire

Your Ram 2500 has a complex network of wiring that runs from the front bumper to the tail lights. There are also numerous wires running to various parts of your transmission. If one of these wires gets damaged or jarred loose, it can disrupt signals to your transmission and cause unpredictable behavior.

If your Ram 2500 sporadically starts limping along the highway (where it sticks in second or third gear), examine the wiring. There is a good chance that something is out of place. If you are lucky, the wires will be loose but intact. In these instances, just plug them back in.

However, if a wire is frayed or completely severed, you must head to a licensed mechanic. In most cases, they will have to order replacement parts to fix the problem, as splicing together damaged wires would only be a temporary fix.

Faulty Electrical Relay

Electrical relays are the gatekeepers of the electrical current. They ensure that each part of your truck gets the right amount of power at the right time. A malfunctioning relay can starve your transmission of the necessary power or flood it with too much current.

Faulty electrical relays can cause a delay in gear shifts or prevent your transmission from shifting at all. Fortunately, electrical relays are pretty inexpensive, especially compared to other transmission components like the clutch and flywheel.

Gear Clutch Failure

The gear clutch is responsible for locking and unlocking gears, ensuring that power from that big Ram 2500 engine is efficiently transferred to your wheels. When it fails, your truck might struggle to shift or stay in gear.

Loud grinding or rumbling noises indicate a possible gear clutch failure. If your vehicle suddenly pops out of gear, that’s another big red flag. Often, gear clutches don’t fail suddenly. Instead, you’ll experience signs of wear and tear for a few days to a few months before the clutch goes out.


Dodge Ram 2500 Transmission Recall for Possible Fire Hazard

Dodge Ram 2500 transmission problems are usually just annoying. But they can also be incredibly dangerous. Dodge has issued several recalls of 2020-2023 Ram 2500s and 3500s due to faulty components that are possible fire hazards.

In mid-2023, the manufacturers recalled 1,902 2021-2022 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks due to issues with the air heater intake. According to the recall, the relay for the air heater could experience a short when the ignition is off or on, resulting in an engine compartment fire.

About one month later, they recalled 1,361 more Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks. The second recall affected model years 2020-2023 due to a manufacturing defect in the transmission. This defect could lead to pressure buildup and generate excess heat, ultimately causing a leak. The manufacturer also reported that the leak and heat could lead to a vehicle fire.


Get Help With Dodge Ram 2500 Transmission Problems With Timothy Abeel

Are you facing Dodge Ram 2500 transmission problems? If so, you might be able to seek compensation under your state’s lemon laws. These laws are designed to protect consumers from flawed vehicles and give you three options when your car is a dud. You can get a replacement, a refund, or obtain cash in hand.

Do you think you might be eligible to file a lemon law claim? Timothy Abeel & Associates is here to help. We deal with lemon law claims, dealer fraud, and breach of your vehicle’s warranty. We represent clients in Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

To learn more, check out our free resource: How Does Lemon Law Work?You can also contact our team and book a case evaluation.

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