How to Change Automatic Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Ram

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Frequently changing the transmission fluid in your Dodge Ram will increase the life of your transmission and ensure a smoother running vehicle. How often you change the fluid will depend on how you use your car. Check your owner's manual for a maintenance schedule.

Things You'll Need

  • Ramps or a floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket wrench
  • Rubber hammer
  • Torx screwdriver or regular screwdriver
  • New filter assembly
  • Solvent
  • Scraping tool
  • Lint free cloth
  • Gasket for the transmission pan
  • Adhesive sealant
  • Torque wrench
  • Funnel
  • New transmission fluid

Remove the Transmission Fluid and Replace the Filter

  • Drive the truck for 15 to 20 minutes to bring the engine and transmission to normal operating temperature. Raise the front of the truck with ramps or a floor jack. Support it securely with jack stands.

  • Loosen (but don't remove) the transmission pan retaining bolts with a socket wrench. Remove the bolts, except for one in each corner of the pan. Fluid should drain out around the seal. If it doesn't, tap the seal gently with a rubber hammer.

  • Support the pan with one hand and remove the two bolts on one side. This will tilt the pan to tilt and fluid will pour out from one side. When it stops, remove the remaining bolts and remove the pan from the transmission.

  • Remove the screws that attach the filter to the transmission. These may be Torx style, so have both a Torx screwdriver and a regular screwdriver handy. Remove the old filter and replace it. You probably will have to replace a seal or gasket, too.

  • Clean the transmission pan and magnet with solvent. Clear the transmission pan and transmission gasket mating surfaces of all old gasket material with a scraping tool. Wipe the area with a lint-free cloth moistened with solvent. Return the magnets to the pan, rinse the pan and allow it to air dry.

  • Align the new gasket on the transmission pan. Remove the gasket, place a few drops of adhesive on the pan flange and replace the gasket. Check the pan flange and gasket for proper alignment before the adhesive dries. Reinstall the pan and retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts in a crisscross to 150-inch pounds with a torque wrench.

Replace the New Transmission Fluid

  • Remove the jack stands and return the truck to the ground. Raise the hood, remove the dipstick and replace it with a funnel.

  • Refill the transmission with new fluid through the funnel. Do this slowly, while checking the level often. Stop when the fluid level reaches the proper level for cold fluid.

  • Start the engine and shift the transmission through each gear. Stop when you reach "Park." Recheck the fluid level and add fluid if needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only check the transmission fluid level when the truck is on level ground, so that you can read the level accurately.

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