Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Freeing A Stuck Vehicle

If your vehicle becomes stuck in mud, sand, or snow, it can often be moved using a rocking motion. Turn the steering wheel right and left to clear the area around the front wheels. Then shift back and forth between DRIVE and REVERSE (with automatic transmission) or 2nd gear and REVERSE (with manual transmission), while gently pressing the accelerator. Use the least amount of accelerator pedal pressure that will maintain the rocking motion, without spinning the wheels or racing the engine.

NOTE: For trucks equipped with 8-speed automatic transmission: Shifts between DRIVE and REVERSE can only be achieved at wheel speeds of 5 mph (8 km/h) or less. Whenever the transmission remains in NEUTRAL for more than two seconds, you must press the brake pedal to engage DRIVE or REVERSE.

CAUTION! Racing the engine or spinning the wheels may lead to transmission overheating and failure. Allow the engine to idle with the transmission in NEUTRAL for at least one minute after every five rocking-motion cycles. This will minimize overheating and reduce the risk of transmission failure during prolonged efforts to free a stuck vehicle.

NOTE: Press the ESC Off switch, to place the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system in Partial Off mode, before rocking the vehicle. Refer to "Electronic Brake Control" in "Starting And Operating" for further information.

Once the vehicle has been freed, press the ESC Off switch again to restore ESC On mode.

CAUTION!

  • When "rocking" a stuck vehicle by shifting between DRIVE/2nd gear and REVERSE, do not spin the wheels faster than 15 mph (24 km/h), or drivetrain damage may result.
  • Revving the engine or spinning the wheels too fast may lead to transmission overheating and failure.

    It can also damage the tires. Do not spin the wheels above 30 mph (48 km/h) while in gear (no transmission shifting occurring).

WARNING! Fast spinning tires can be dangerous. Forces generated by excessive wheel speeds may cause damage, or even failure, of the axle and tires. A tire could explode and injure someone. Do not spin your vehicle's wheels faster than 30 mph (48 km/h) or for longer than 30 seconds continuously without stopping when you are stuck and do not let anyone near a spinning wheel, no matter what the speed.

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