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Dodge Ram Shifting Problems

Q. Hey Vince, I need your help. My wife left this morning with our 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 for work. It's a 5.9 liter automatic with tow package. It has 133,000 miles on it. A lot with towing our fifth wheel travel trailer. The engine has already been replaced with a factory replacement. The wife called and said the truck wouldn't shift past second gear. I went and swapped vehicles with her and took off down the road.

Dodge Ram Shifting Problems

Indeed, the engine revved up pretty high to shift to second, then I had to overrev to force a shift to 3/4 gears. When I got home I found a DTC stating there was a shift solenoid trouble. I looked in the fuse and relay compartment and saw that all the relays had the same part number and lead assignments.

So I swapped the relay for the fog lights for the transmission relay. Took off down the road and all seemed to be well. About an hour later, I started off down the road again, and when the transmission tried to shift past second, it seemed to shift to "nowhere" that is to say the engine revved and the transmission slipped. I put the relays back as they were, but the state of the transmission has been the same.

If I shut the truck off and restart, it will roll in low, then second, then shift to nowhere, then no downshift. If I shut the truck off and repeat, I can go again to second. This all happened abruptly, yesterday the vehicle was fine. Can you Help?


A. I would need the DTC to be able to identify exactly which shift solenoid is the problem. There is a possibility that the governor pressure sensor or solenoid is sticking of not working. Since all these sensors and solenoids are inside the transmission, I would suggest doing a transmission filter and fluid change (not a flush) before going crazy looking for something else. At the very least we will KNOW it is not a clogged filter.

I would also highly recommend you go to the Chrysler Dealer and get ATF+4(R) - Type 9602. It does make a big difference in transmission operation.

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