How to Change the Transmission Fluid on a 1996 Dodge RAM

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The 1996 Dodge RAM requires an oil change every 30,000 miles or two years. If the RAM is being used for towing or driven frequently in stop-and-go traffic, it requires a change every 20,000 miles. Changing the transmission fluid also involves changing the transmission filter to keep the fluid cycling cleanly through the transmission. The fluid keeps the gears shifting smoothly and prevents overheating. This regularly scheduled maintenance requires about an hour of time and a few basic tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Front jacks
  • 1/2-inch socket wrench
  • 5-qt. pan
  • New transmission filter
  • Funnel
  • 4 qts. ATF+4 transmission fluid
  • Raise the front of the vehicle up on a pair of jacks to access the underside of the engine. Slide underneath the center of the engine and locate the transmission drain pan, which is a large metal box surrounded by bolts. Place a 5-qt. (minimum) pan underneath the drain pan.

  • Remove all but one bolt from around the drain pan with the 1/2-inch socket wrench. Wait 10 to 15 minutes for the liquid to stop pouring from the sides of the drain pan. Place a hand firmly on the drain pan and remove the final bolt. Tip the drain pan down slowly to remove the remainder of the fluid. Wash out the drain pan.

  • Remove the transmission filter with the 1/2-inch socket wrench and replace it with the new one. Reattach the drain pan and lower the car from the jacks.

  • Pop open the hood of the Dodge RAM and keep it up with the tension bar. Locate the transmission dipstick above the drain pan. Pull it out and put the funnel into the tube it was resting in. Pour 4 qts. of ATF+4 transmission fluid into the transmission. Replace the dipstick and close the hood of the vehicle.

References

  • "1995 Dodge Ram Van Factory Service Manual (B1500 B2500 B3500)"; Chrysler Corporation; 1994
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