Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Electronically Shifted Transfer Case (Five-Position Switch) (2) - If Equipped

Ram Truck 1500 2500 3500 (2009 - 2018) Owner's Manual / Starting And Operating / Four-Wheel Drive Operation - If Equipped / Electronically Shifted Transfer Case (Five-Position Switch) (2) - If Equipped

This is an electronic shift transfer case and is operated by the 4WD Control Switch (Transfer Case Switch), which is located on the instrument panel.

Four-Wheel Drive Operation - If Equipped
Transfer Case Switch (Five-Position)

This electronically shifted transfer case provides five mode positions:

  • Two-wheel drive high range (2WD)
  • Four-wheel drive automatic range (4WD AUTO)
  • Four-wheel drive lock range (4WD LOCK)
  • Four-wheel drive low range (4WD LOW)
  • Neutral (NEUTRAL)

This electronically shifted transfer case is designed to be driven in the two-wheel drive position (2WD) or fourwheel drive position (4WD AUTO) for normal street and highway conditions on dry hard surfaced roads). Driving the vehicle in 2WD will have greater fuel economy benefits as the front axle is not engaged in 2WD.

For variable driving conditions, the 4WD AUTO mode can be used. In this mode, the front axle is engaged, but the vehicle's power is sent to the rear wheels. Four-wheel drive will be automatically engaged when the vehicle senses a loss of traction. Because the front axle is engaged, this mode will result in lower fuel economy than the 2WD mode.

When additional traction is required, the transfer case 4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW positions can be used to maximize torque to the front driveshaft, forcing the front and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. This is accomplished by rotating the 4WD Control Switch to the desired position. Refer to "Shifting Procedure" for specific shifting instructions. The 4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW positions are designed for loose, slippery road surfaces only. Driving in the 4WD LOCK and 4WD LOW positions on dry hard surfaced roads may cause increased tire wear and damage to the driveline components.

NOTE: The transfer case NEUTRAL position is selected by depressing the recessed button (with a ballpoint pen or similar object) located in the center of the 4WD Control Switch. The transfer case NEUTRAL position is to be used for recreational towing only. Refer to "Recreational Towing" in "Starting and Operating" for further information.

Transfer Case Position Indicator Lights

The Transfer Case Position Indicator Lights (4WD, 4LOW, and 4WD AUTO) are located in the instrument cluster and indicate the current and desired transfer case selection. When you select a different transfer case position, the indicator lights will do the following:

If All Shift Conditions Are Met:

1. The current position indicator light will turn OFF.

2. The selected position indicator light will flash until the transfer case completes the shift.

3. When the shift is complete, the indicator light for the selected position will stop flashing and remain ON.

If One Or More Shift Conditions Are Not Met:

1. The indicator light for the current position will remain ON.

2. The newly selected position indicator light will continue to flash.

3. The transfer case will not shift.

NOTE: Before retrying a selection, make certain that all the necessary requirements for selecting a new transfer case position have been met. To retry the selection, turn the control knob back to the current position, wait five seconds, and retry selection. To find the shift requirements, refer to the Shifting Procedure for your transfer case, located in this section.

The "SVC 4WD Warning Light" monitors the electronic shift four-wheel drive system. If this light remains on after engine start up or illuminates during driving, it means that the four-wheel drive system is not functioning properly and that service is required.

WARNING! Always engage the parking brake when powering down the vehicle if the "SVC 4WDWarning Light" is illuminated. Not engaging the parking brake may allow the vehicle to roll which may cause personal injury or death.

NOTE: Do not attempt to make a shift while only the front or rear wheels are spinning. This could cause damage to driveline components.

When operating your vehicle in 4WD LOW, the engine speed is approximately three times that of the 2WD, 4WD AUTO or 4WD LOCK positions at a given road speed.

Take care not to overspeed the engine and do not exceed 25 mph (40 km/h).

Proper operation of four-wheel drive vehicles depends on tires of equal size, type and circumference on each wheel. Any difference in tire size can cause damage to the drivetrain.

Because four-wheel drive provides improved traction, there is a tendency to exceed safe turning and stopping speeds. Do not go faster than road conditions permit.

WARNING! You or others could be injured or killed if you leave the vehicle unattended with the transfer case in the NEUTRAL position without first fully engaging the parking brake. The transfer case NEUTRAL position disengages both the front and rear drive shafts from the powertrain and will allow the vehicle to move regardless of the transmission position. The parking brake should always be applied when the driver is not in the vehicle.

For additional information on the appropriate use of each transfer case mode position, see the information below:

2WD

Rear-Wheel Drive High Range - This range is for normal street and highway driving on dry hard surfaced roads.

4WD AUTO

Four-Wheel Drive Auto Range - This range sends power to the rear wheels. The four-wheel drive system will be automatically engaged when the vehicle senses a loss of traction. Additional traction for varying road conditions.

4WD LOCK

Four-Wheel Drive Lock Range - This range maximizes torque to the front driveshaft, forcing the front and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. Additional traction for loose, slippery road surfaces only.

4WD LOW

Four-Wheel Drive Low Range - This range provides low speed four-wheel drive. It maximizes torque to the front driveshaft , forcing the front and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed. This range provides additional traction and maximum pulling power for loose, slippery road surfaces only. Do not exceed 25 mph (40 km/h).

NEUTRAL (N)

Neutral - This range disengages both the front and rear driveshafts from the powertrain. To be used for flat towing behind another vehicle. Refer to "Recreational Towing" in "Starting and Operating" for further information.

Shifting Procedure

NOTE:

  • If any of the requirements to select a new transfer case position have not been met, the transfer case will not shift. The position indicator light for the previous position will remain ON and the newly selected position indicator light will continue to flash until all the requirements for the selected position have been met.
  • If all the requirements to select a new transfer case position have been met, the current position indicator light will turn OFF, the selected position indicator light will flash until the transfer case completes the shift.

    When the shift is complete, the position indicator light for the selected position will stop flashing and remain ON.

2WD To 4WD AUTO Or 4WD LOCK

Press the desired position on the 4WD Control Switch to shift the transfer case. Shifts between 2WD and 4WD AUTO and 4WD LOCK can be done with the vehicle stopped or in motion. With the vehicle in motion, the transfer case will engage/disengage faster if you momentarily release the accelerator pedal after turning the control switch. If the vehicle is stopped, the ignition switch must be in the ON position with the engine either running or OFF. This shift cannot be completed if the ignition switch is in the ACC position.

2WD Or 4WD AUTO Or 4WD LOCK To 4WD LOW

NOTE: When shifting into or out of 4WD LOW some gear noise may be heard. This noise is normal and is not detrimental to the vehicle or occupants.

Shifting can be performed with the vehicle rolling 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h) or completely stopped. Use either of the following procedures:

Preferred Procedure

1. With the engine running, slow the vehicle to 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h).

2. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.

3. While still rolling, press the desired position on the transfer case control switch.

4. After the desired position indicator light is ON (not flashing), shift the transmission back into gear.

Alternate Procedure

1. Bring the vehicle to complete stop.

2. With the ignition switch in the ON position and the engine running, shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.

3. Press the desired position on the transfer case control switch.

4. After the desired position indicator light is ON (not flashing), shift the transmission back into gear.

NOTE:

  • If Steps 1 or 2 of either the Preferred or Alternate Procedure are not satisfied prior to attempting the shift or if they no longer are being met while the shift attempt is in process, the desired position indicator light will flash continuously while the original position indicator light is ON, until all requirements have been met.
  • The ignition switch must be in the ON position for a shift to take place and for the position indicator lights to be operable. If the ignition switch is not in the ON position, then the shift will not take place and no position indicator lights will be on or flashing.

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