pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
104,450 miles
Total Complaints:
30 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. having a new transmission put in it (14 reports)
  2. not sure (7 reports)
  3. rebuild (7 reports)
  4. replace the transmission (1 reports)
  5. torque converter electronics damaged, had the unit rebuilt (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Dodge dealer.

problem #30

Sep 072015

Ram 1500 Sport 5.2L 318 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

First off, with any vehicle, if you treat it right, it'll take care of you. Now that that's said, on to the problem. Dodge transmissions from 94-01 on 1/2 tons are famous for failure. But when your V8 is pushing 300 ft. lbs of torque from the factory(more than other 1/2 ton trucks of the era) you're gonna have problems. With great power comes great responsibility, remember?

The most common AUTOMATIC TRANNY failures are on the RH line and the RE line (hydraulic & electronic). I have the 42re in my 1/2 ton 4x4.To no surprise, the governor pressure switch & solenoid went. BUT, WHEN I FIXED IT, I USED QUALITY PARTS. BORG WARNER IS A DODGE TRANNY'S BEST FRIEND. They make heavy duty parts that are proven to last. DO NOT BUY RED EAGLE!! The parts wear faster, and also the choice of most repair shops if they don't go with the local parts store's cheap parts. ALSO, USE THE RIGHT FLUID!!! DODGE TRANSMISSIONS RUN ON ATF 4, NOT ATF 3. Check with your mechanic before he does a fluid change. Most shops will put in ATF 3 and it WILL KILL YOUR TRANNY. Because of this, I lost the forward band also. I will be using the BORG WARNER kickdown band for this repair. From what I see, Castrol makes ATF 4 tranny fluid. Personally, I go to the dealership & ask for the MOPAR ATF 4 fluid. ATF 4 is comprised of more "vitamins & minerals" to keep your Dodge tranny healthy than ATF 3. Mopar themselves recommend ATF 4 for ALL AUTOMATIC DODGE TRUCKS. Whether you go Castrol or Mopar for your fluid, as long as its ATF 4, you'll be fine there. Also, change the fluid regularly. This is sorely forgotten. Change every 25,000-30,000 miles. Filter too.

Also famous for failing is the reverse & the torque converter. The reverse problem is more common in plow trucks (obviously) & happens to all trucks eventually. The torque converter is just a cheap part from the factory. It likes to freeze up in the winter up here, but once warm works fine. USE QUALITY PARTS & IT WON"T FAIL. Borg Warner, again. ATF 4, again. The 94-01 2nd gen Rams are a kick-ass truck, and if you take care of it, it'll take care of you.

Update from May 3, 2016: A few updates to my post. I have the 46re transmission in my 4x4. The 6 represents the strength of the transmission. so naturally, the 42re/rh will be more fragile, most often found in 2wd 1/2 ton trucks and most Ram vans. Second, ALL DODGES REQUIRE ATF 4 FLUID UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. Third, if you drop the oil pan, which should be done every 25000-30000 miles, and you see the magnet will metal shavings, THIS IS NORMAL. If you see snap rings, springs, and actual tranny parts in the pan, yeah, you got a problem. Definite rebuild. Also, if your tranny is just starting to slip, take it to a shop ASAP. Ask them to adjust the bands. Hopefully its just that. This needs to be done with EVERY fluid change. I say rebuild AND I recommend better parts while doing so. A little something I live by is this: Factory parts have factory problems. Dodge trannys will go through factory bands and governor solenoids in about 75,000-100,000 miles, depending on use. USE BETTER PARTS. Borg Warner HD parts are king in my book. A close second I've come to like is Raybestos, especially their Kevlar and Carbon Fiber bands. Kolene steels are perfect for any overhaul. Premium snap rings will prevent your reverse from going out (again). If you need to do a complete overhaul, its best you fix ALL the problems while you're in there. What I did ( cause I put 1200 miles on a broken transmission) is order from both Ebay and Cascade transmission parts. Here's my list: Kolene Steels, premium/high torque clutch plates, Raybestos Kevlar kickdown and reverse bands, premium band struts, all Borg Warner HD solenoids and sensors, Superior shift kit (watch the year when buying), I ran an upgraded Mopar lockup torque converter (not factory) and Felpro gaskets all the way around. Also used Mopar ATF 4 (cheaper version is Castrol ATF 4 or equivalent). But that's my case. Hopefully yours isn't as bad. But now that I've got a premium tranny, it hauls and races better than new. Good luck fellow Dodge men & women

- mechanic mark, Alpena, MI, USA

problem #29

Dec 282013

Ram 1500 Sports 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

purchased this banana pepper 99 ram 1500 with only 69k miles in october 2011. and since then as of today it has 103k miles and had to replace transmission 3 times already. And now 4x4 dont wanna work again. so fedup with this pieces of sh*t DODGE truck that even if i ever get a free dodge ram offer i will say NO THANKS and will purchase me a chevy or toyota.

An advise to all when u out there to buy a truck spend your $$$ wisely. Give a favor to yourself by not buying a DODGE. You have better options than the freakin dodge.

- Aftab B., Agawam, MA, US

problem #28

Aug 152012

Ram 1500 5.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Transmission was replaced with a rebuilt. Costs $3000 plus the inconvenience. It's been a year and so far the new (rebuilt) is fine. It has been the most expensive part to replace yet.

- lfrye, Mount Airy, MD, US

problem #27

Oct 022012

Ram 1500 Laramie SLT 5.9L Magnum V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 215,000 miles

Okay. Looks like my truck made it further than most of the other Dodge Rams being cited in this forum: nearly 215,000 miles, in fact. However, the sudden failure of the transmission is no less inconvenient. Many of the symptoms mentioned by the other reviewers here ring loud bells for me, right down the inexplicable sudden cracking out of the dashboard. I think I swatted at a mosquito and made that huge hole over the radio, lol....

Anyway, on with the complaining. My sons used my truck last week to run an errand here in Texarkana. On the way home, at a light, the transmission suddenly just stopped operating. Good thing they were rolling already, and managed to make it into a dollar store parking lot. They called me, I recommended a quick short-term fix. They did what I said (bought a pint of rubbing alcohol and poured it into the transmission), and they got home. Well, the truck was doing so good that we used it for another week, but this morning, on my way to work, it did to me what it had done to them, and this time, it did it permanently. A few whines, and kah-PUTT, no transmission except in reverse. Reverse sounds not so good, but it's still pulling.

My oldest son hopped in the family Grown Man's Chevy (2004 GMC Yukon). He came and pulled me home. Truck is in the driveway. I decided to google and found this forum. Now that I've read all these other complaints relating to Dodge Ram transmissions, I think I'll pull the tranny out of the old van in the backyard and make it work in my truck, or replace the whole drivetrain with un-computered Chevy stuff out of my junk collection. The Ram has been a good truck. I've been to Carolina and California in it, not to mention Minnesota, Houston, and most points in between. Bought it used in 2006 with a lot less miles on it. Hmmm. This isn't much of a complaint, I guess; but it really would have been nice if the transmission had lost reverse first like any respectable GM product would do..., lol....

I suppose I'll keep the truck. It kinda fits me. But I definitely will not go out and buy any more Dodges, unless they can start making some transmissions wear out multiple vehicles (as opposed to the other way around).

- Joseph B., Texarkana, TX, USA

problem #26

Oct 192011

Ram 1500 5.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

I've always been and still am a ford man my 2005 fx4 was stolen .i had to get truck found a 1999 dodge ram very clean truck it had 104k on it drove it for 1000 miles and the tranny goes .And i was warned buy so many not to buy a dodge lmao .DODGE JUST MAKES A SUCK ASS TRUCK THEY DON'T STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT CAN'T BLAME THEM WHAT JUNK !!!! I'M GOING BACK TO MY FORDS HELL WITH DODGE

- robertde, Dover, DE, USA

problem #25

Dec 292010

Ram 1500 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

Tranny failed in my 1999 Ram 1500. 123,000 miles on the truck. Always serviced. Cost $2200 to get a new one put in. Will get it fixed, drive it for the rest of the winter, and then trade it in for whatever I can get. Bought the truck in 2007 with 68,000 miles on it. Had several issues.

Will never buy a dodge again, and would never recommend it to anybody else. I am going to have to buy a Tundra. I would like to be able to trust the domestic manufacturers, but I have heard that Fords are comparable to Dodge, and tha Chevy and GMC are kind of a hit or miss. It is a shame because the American manufacturers seem to have got it figured out on how to make a truck with significant power, they just need to figure out everything else.

- John S., Spokane, WA, USA

problem #24

Jan 062011

Ram 1500 SLT 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

Transmission went out at 165K; needed a new torque converter. Always did scrupulous maintenance on the entire vehicle which otherwise runs perfectly. At 177K the trans went out again, put on another torque converter.

Last week while driving down the road, would not shift from 1st to 2nd; limped to repair shop to have it fixed. Not sure what the damage will be because the diagnostics indicate an internal repair is necessary (nothing simple like a sensor unfortunately).

There is a prevailing attitude that after 150K miles you are lucky your (American made) car is still on the road. Given that cars cost as much as small houses, this is a ridiculous excuse for US auto manufacturers to produce sub-standard products.

In the past I have bought Mazdas and Toyotas on which I routinely got over 200K miles without doing more than changing the oil and fluids per the owners manual. Will go back to Mazda or Toyota.

- Al L., Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #23

Feb 122010

Ram 1500 SLT 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

The same problem only this time the transmission would not shift out of second gear.

- mitchell.johnnie52, Summerton, SC, USA

problem #22

Oct 151999

Ram 1500 SLT 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,200 miles

The transmission went out as we were traveling to Virginia. The darn thing did not give any warning. I have no intention of buying another Dodge.

- mitchell.johnnie52, Summerton, SC, USA

problem #21

Feb 012010

Ram 1500 SL 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have 2 1999 Dodge Ram 1500,s one of them runs and the transmission works ok but the dash has cracked and fell in, but the other one the transmission has went out and the dash has cracked and fell in it is a shame that Dodge cant be made fix these problems because it is with every ram owner you talk to.

- Danny B., Ashland, KY, USA

problem #20

Oct 272009

Ram 1500 Sport 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

99 quad cab sport 360 auto bought new. Tranny rebuilt in 2005 at 34,000 miles ($1,750.00) now needs another rebuild at 63,000 (2009). I baby this thing and perform maintenance sooner than required. On the first tranny rebuild, the service tech said the unit looked brand new on the inside but it still failed. I will never buy another Dodge/Chrysler product again. I've had numerous other problems including A/C, Brakes, ignition and suspension issues that I've spent thousands on. I haven't been able to properly use the quad doors for years as the drivers side bottom won't latch and the passenger side bottom won't release. DON'T take it to a dealer for service, they charge $175.00 an hour to work on it!

- wulfhound, Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #19

Feb 042009

Ram 1500 Sport 5.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Tranny went out at 104K, so got it rebuilt, still shifts rough and has been around 7 months and 5,000 miles, cant figure it out. Fuckn thing.

- fishnick, Cassville, WI, USA

problem #18

Dec 052008

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

My ram piece of crap was purchased used with LOW miles and not a crack on it. 2 months later the damn dash started to crack and fell in! NOW, the damn transmission is completely gone. I've not even had this truck a year and dodge won't do a damn thing about it. I've always wanted a ram..now I think I'll go for the 4 legged kind! I owe over $10,000 on this piece of sh*t so the finance company can be the proud new owners as far as I'm concerned! If you've always wanted a dodge ram..go ahead and take a photo, it'll cost you less in the long run!! Dodge needs to take care of their customers!

- jamiesc, Varnville, SC, USA

problem #17

Jun 232008

Ram 1500 SLT 5.2L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Where do I start? I purchased the unit used in 2004 with ~44k mi. Thankfully i purchased an extended warranty!!! At 50k mi the block had to be replaced. The explanation i was given was a very good and reasonable one. Apparently something had stopped up an oil line causing 2 main bearings to spin and mess up the block. Shortly after, at about 52k mi, i found myself having my truck towed in for its first tranny replacement. Two weeks later i got it back, good as new. To make this story much shorter, since that first replacement, the transmission has been replaced another 2 times, and been worked on twice that it was not replaced. all of the work on the motor and transmissions were done by a dodge dealership under warranty. back around christmas my warranty ran out. wouldn't ya know it that about 3 months ago my tranny started slipping again!!! i had it looked at at my local transmission shop and they told me its about to go out again, its only a matter of time. i have been babying it for the past few months, but as it continues to get worse, i know i am soon to be faced with a replace/rebuild, only this time at my expense!!! i wont discuss the horribly cracked dash, nor the defective brake rotor which separated and caused me to have a minor accident. i am just so discussed with this truck. i love dodge, but i feel like i have been done an injustice....it makes me sick to think of all the trouble i have had from it!

- clloyd6617, Abingdon, VA, USA

problem #16

May 192008

Ram 1500 1500 Slt 4x4 5.9L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Just made some adjustments yesterday and it drove fine. Went out to go to work, pull up to a stop and that was the end. No drive, reverse and grinds when i put in park. The damn thing didn't even make a noise, it just went. Now it's on the side of the road!!! My Dodge was good to me until now. Maybe i should have the damn thing melted down. Ram tough my ass. I guess it's back to Chevy's for me.

- terrys, Bumpass, VA, USA

problem #15

Apr 092008

Ram 1500 1500 Slt 4x4 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,568 miles

I bought this truck on March 29 2008. It is a used truck When I test drove it it ran and shifted great. 2 weeks later I was coming home from work when I tryed to pass a slower car the trans just whined like a little BITCH. I went to the nearest gas station and checked trans fluid. It was only a qt low so I added a qt. Got it home. the next day I got in it and the only thing it would do is whine. Went down the road but never shifted out of first. Right now it is at the dealer. I will let you know what they say when I find out. the bitch about it is I owe 7500 buck on it. If it cost to much to fix the finance company will get it back.

- rjcooper1999, Morristown, IN, USA

problem #14

Dec 142001

Ram 1500 5.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

see previous complaint about this with interior complaints

- Debbie B., Gates, NC, USA

problem #13

May 192007

Ram 1500 Laremie 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

My truck started slipping and eventually lost all gears. I decided to rebuild the trans. A couple of months later it started making a clunk when shifting, then locked up. I tore out the trans agine and replaced all hard parts and seals, new shift kit,torque conv, and trans cooler. After reinstalling I only had first and reverse. My first thought was that the governor sil had got junk in it, so i replaced it. that didn't work so we checked the band, that was good, I have run hydrolic pressure test, pulled valve body 3 times and cleaned and inspected, replaced the governor transducer and internal wiring harness, and also replaced the main computer. We have checked all fuses and gone whrew wireing harness. I still only have first and reverse. Has any body else run into problems like this? I am at a total loss. I have spent thousands trying to fix this prob. Can somebody please help me???

- Jon M., Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #12

Jan 022008

Ram 1500 Extended Cab 5.9L V8 4x4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

after reading about the transmission problems i have realize that my is about to give out. For no reason at all my transmission has started to failed. coming back from work, it started slipping with out a warning exiting from the highway. i have never towed anything with it although it has the towing package, the previous owner had it in outstanding condition. now the transmission is making noises like if something is about to brake apart!!! its sitting on my drive way now and still have a loan of over 6k to finish paying for it. after reading all this complaints, i will never buy another Dodge again.

- Juan E., Reston, VA, USA

problem #11

Jan 032008

Ram 1500 SLT 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,526 miles

If you get stuck in mud or snow with a 1999 dodge ram 1500 DO NOT rock the truck back and forth to free your self as this will inevitably cause the low reverse band to fail. This is the third time in 2 years that I have had to rebuild the transmission. The guy at the local tranny shop changed the low/reverse band to a diesel unit the last time hoping that that would solve the problem......it did not! He also put a pump kit in it which ensures that the tranny fluid flows all the time. All these extra parts and still FAILURE>

- Michael B., Lutes Mountain, NB, Canada

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