Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Automatic Transmission

Selection Of Lubricant

It is important to use the proper transmission fluid to ensure optimum transmission performance and life. Use only the manufacturer's specified transmission fluid.

Refer to "Fluids, Lubricants, and Genuine Parts" in this section for fluid specifications. It is important to maintain the transmission fluid at the correct level using the recommended fluid. No chemical flushes should be used in any transmission; only the approved lubricant should be used.

CAUTION! Using a transmission fluid other than the manufacturer's recommended fluid may cause deterioration in transmission shift quality and/or torque converter shudder, and will require more frequent fluid and filter changes. Refer to "Fluids, Lubricants, and Genuine Parts" in this section for fluid specifications.

Special Additives

The manufacturer strongly recommends against using any special additives in the transmission. Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is an engineered product and its performance may be impaired by supplemental additives.

Therefore, do not add any fluid additives to the transmission. The only exception to this policy is the use of special dyes for diagnosing fluid leaks. Avoid using transmission sealers as they may adversely affect seals.

CAUTION! Do not use chemical flushes in your transmission as the chemicals can damage your transmission components.

Such damage is not covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

Fluid Level Check - Eight-Speed Transmission

The fluid level is preset at the factory and does not require adjustment under normal operating conditions.

Routine fluid level checks are not required, therefore the transmission has no dipstick. Your authorized dealer can check your transmission fluid level using special service tools.

If you notice fluid leakage or transmission malfunction, visit your authorized dealer immediately to have the transmission fluid level checked. Operating the vehicle with an improper fluid level can cause severe transmission damage.

CAUTION! If a transmission fluid leak occurs, visit your authorized dealer immediately. Severe transmission damage may occur. Your authorized dealer has the proper tools to adjust the fluid level accurately.

Fluid Level Check - Six-Speed Transmission

It is best to check the fluid level when the transmission is at normal operating temperature (170-180ºF / 77-82ºC).

This normally occurs after at least 15 miles (25 km) of driving. At normal operating temperature the fluid cannot be held comfortably between the fingertips. You can read the transmission sump temperature in the EVIC display (refer to "Electronic Vehicle Information Center [EVIC]" for further information).

Use the following procedure to check the transmission fluid level properly:

1. Monitor the transmission temperature using the EVIC display, and operate the vehicle as required to reach the normal operating temperature.

2. Park the vehicle on level ground.

3. Run the engine at normal idle speed for at least 60 seconds, and leave the engine running for the rest of this procedure.

4. Fully apply the parking brake and press the brake pedal.

5. Place the shift lever momentarily into each gear position (allowing time for the transmission to fully engage in each position), ending with the transmission in PARK.

6. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert it until seated.

7. Remove the dipstick again and note the fluid level on both sides. The fluid level reading is only valid if there is a solid coating of oil on both sides of the dipstick.

Note that the holes in the dipstick will be full of fluid if the actual level is at or above the hole. The fluid level should be between the "HOT" (upper) reference holes on the dipstick at normal operating temperature. If the fluid level is low, add fluid through the dipstick tube to bring it to the proper level. Do not overfill. Use ONLY the recommended fluid (see Fluids, Lubricants, and Genuine Parts for fluid specifications).

After adding any quantity of oil through the dipstick tube, wait a minimum of two minutes for the oil to fully drain into the transmission before rechecking the fluid level.

NOTE: If it is necessary to check the transmission below the operating temperature, the fluid level should be between the two "COLD" (lower) holes on the dipstick with the fluid at 60-70ºF / 16-21ºC. Only use the COLD region of the dipstick as a rough reference when setting the fluid level after a transmission service or fluid change. Re-check the fluid level, and adjust as required, once the transmission reaches normal operating temperature.

CAUTION! If the fluid temperature is below 50ºF (10ºC) it may not register on the dipstick. Do not add fluid until the temperature is elevated enough to produce an accurate reading. Run the engine at idle, in PARK, to warm the fluid.

8. Check for leaks. Release the parking brake.

NOTE: To prevent dirt and water from entering the transmission after checking or replenishing fluid, make sure that the dipstick cap is properly reseated. It is normal for the dipstick cap to spring back slightly from its fully seated position, as long as its seal remains engaged in the dipstick tube.

Fluid And Filter Changes - Eight-Speed Transmission

Under normal operating conditions, the fluid installed at the factory will provide satisfactory lubrication for the life of the vehicle.

Routine fluid and filter changes are not required. However change the fluid and filter if the fluid becomes contaminated (with water, etc.), or if the transmission is disassembled for any reason.

Fluid And Filter Changes - Six-Speed Transmission

Refer to the "Maintenance Schedule" for the proper maintenance intervals.

In addition, change the fluid and filter(s) if the fluid becomes contaminated (with water, etc.), or if the transmission is disassembled for any reason.

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