2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Trans Service Questions

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ctwalton15

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7l SLT 4x4 Crew Cab

Alrighty, now everyone around me are giving me mixed answers about weather I should or should not service my transmission. I've had the truck since 130k and now has 160k. My step dad owned it before me and rarely drove it, they wanted a Jeep Wrangler so either it was going to be traded in or I could take over payments on it, and so I did. Anyways, I believe its been in our possession since 122k . I've been wanting to do a trans service for quite awhile now but I get one answer saying to don't do it since I have no clue when the last time it was done and it isn't good to do it on high mileage transmissions if it hasn't been done in recent time since it will "burn up" the trans since I would be getting rid of all the old fluid. Yet the other half is telling me to go ahead and do it. What I mean by trans service is to pull the pan, change out both filters in the pans, change the pan gasket and refill with fluid, not flushing (just drain and refill). I haven't checked the fluid in roughly 6-8 months which I probably should, but the fluid wasn't bad. Still decently red in color and maybe had a hint of a burning smell, ever so slightly. Much better then the 4l60E I used to have on a couple of different vehicles.

My standpoint is, We've had the truck since 122k miles and it probably needs the filters changed and new gasket and new fluid couldn't hurt either, at least in my eyes. I'm trying to make this last as long as possible and the body is really clean for the age and given that its been in the south for the for 85% of its life and the past 3 going on 4 years here in Kansas.

So my question is, what can anyone recommend with those who have been in the same situation or is there something you guys know that I don't. I don't mess with transmissions. I'm decent with decent with the 2 engines I've torn down and the extensive mechanics work I've done but I don't mess with transmissions. That being said, any info would be helpful.
 

Daw14

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Do the service , if it dies afterwards it did not have much life left anyway. I would change it rather then driving it around with potentially clogged filters , which can starve it of fluid .
 
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ctwalton15

ctwalton15

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Do the service , if it dies afterwards it did not have much life left anyway. I would change it rather then driving it around with potentially clogged filters , which can starve it of fluid .
Yes, that's pretty much the argument I've been making but some I ask swear by not doing it with higher mileage. The trans still acts normal and feels pretty strong so I definitely want to prolong its life as much as possible.
 

Socalramfan

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Definitely do the service. I did mine at 70k miles, and now at 122k with zero issues.

How you use the vehicle certainly will have a factor as well. I tow about 2-3 times a year, which isn’t much at all. Not the cheapest thing to do, but then a tranny issue isn’t either.

Ive always been on the side of ‘Preventative maintenance’ :waytogo:
 

Bigskyroadglide

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You might consider the metal filter insert and redline fluid. I believe it's c+

Both would be to address potential weak spots in the transmission

Or not.

My 11 went 150k, with no issues and multiple fluid changes after 100k. Guy I sold to still driving it today.
 

Wahrsuul

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Got my '09 4x2 with 118K unknown miles on it. At 120k or so, I did a fluid/filter change and now I'm at 167K and still running great.

Fluid that came out looked decent, so I'm guessing someone did it at least a few times before I got it.

If it was mine, I'd do it.
 

skbball06

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7l SLT 4x4 Crew Cab

Alrighty, now everyone around me are giving me mixed answers about weather I should or should not service my transmission. I've had the truck since 130k and now has 160k. My step dad owned it before me and rarely drove it, they wanted a Jeep Wrangler so either it was going to be traded in or I could take over payments on it, and so I did. Anyways, I believe its been in our possession since 122k . I've been wanting to do a trans service for quite awhile now but I get one answer saying to don't do it since I have no clue when the last time it was done and it isn't good to do it on high mileage transmissions if it hasn't been done in recent time since it will "burn up" the trans since I would be getting rid of all the old fluid. Yet the other half is telling me to go ahead and do it. What I mean by trans service is to pull the pan, change out both filters in the pans, change the pan gasket and refill with fluid, not flushing (just drain and refill). I haven't checked the fluid in roughly 6-8 months which I probably should, but the fluid wasn't bad. Still decently red in color and maybe had a hint of a burning smell, ever so slightly. Much better then the 4l60E I used to have on a couple of different vehicles.

My standpoint is, We've had the truck since 122k miles and it probably needs the filters changed and new gasket and new fluid couldn't hurt either, at least in my eyes. I'm trying to make this last as long as possible and the body is really clean for the age and given that its been in the south for the for 85% of its life and the past 3 going on 4 years here in Kansas.

So my question is, what can anyone recommend with those who have been in the same situation or is there something you guys know that I don't. I don't mess with transmissions. I'm decent with decent with the 2 engines I've torn down and the extensive mechanics work I've done but I don't mess with transmissions. That being said, any info would be helpful.
Are you experiencing any driveability issues that could be trans related?

If you dont suspect an issue already with the trans definitely get the old fluid out - doing a drain and fill isnt going to get all that much of the old stuff out but it will help - add a trans conditioner with the new fluid to help treat the remaining old fluid in there and not contaminate the new fluid all together. The argument against changing the fluid on higher mileage vehicles not knowing when the last one or if it has been done at all is that the old fluid may be holding a broken compenent together and draining that fluid out could expose it. If that is the case the fluid has already failed causing mechanical failure and your on borrowed time as it is. If you see metal shavings when you drop the pan well your probably to late but it doesnt sound like the case from your description.
 
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ctwalton15

ctwalton15

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Are you experiencing any driveability issues that could be trans related?

If you dont suspect an issue already with the trans definitely get the old fluid out - doing a drain and fill isnt going to get all that much of the old stuff out but it will help - add a trans conditioner with the new fluid to help treat the remaining old fluid in there and not contaminate the new fluid all together. The argument against changing the fluid on higher mileage vehicles not knowing when the last one or if it has been done at all is that the old fluid may be holding a broken compenent together and draining that fluid out could expose it. If that is the case the fluid has already failed causing mechanical failure and your on borrowed time as it is. If you see metal shavings when you drop the pan well your probably to late but it doesnt sound like the case from your description.

I don't experience any drivability problems that I know of. I've had once maybe 8 months ago where I could feel the tranny slip then checked and it was over a quart low, went straight to the auto parts store to get a couple quarts of atf. But yea the fluid is pretty clean from what I remember. Just my thing is, I'm Trying to prolong the trans life as much as possible cause that is one thing I hate is trannys (lol). They're expensive and hard to work on internals unlike an engine where they are pretty simple.

I think i've decided from all the input i've read on here is probably best to do the trans service. I do all the work myself so it ain't going to the dealer or a shop cause I don't trust them nor do I want to pay someone for something I can do myself and luckily We've got a 4 post lift here at work so that might be the weekend work. May as well do the diff fluids as well whiles on there cause I know those haven't been changed in awhile and I have an axle seal leaking on the front diff.
 

Jeepwalker

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I would change it. Continuing to run the tranny with fluid which has suspended micro-particles, isn't going to do it much good. I personally would go with Mopar fluid. Why throw in a variable like mixing or introducing a different fluid made from slightly different base stocks, with "potentially" different source or amt of friction modifiers? I would use all Mopar products and do a complete exchange (run a hose into a bucket and flush out the torque converter).

Call your small-town Chrysler dealer and see if they'll sell ATF +4 out of their bulk barrels (many do ..by the gallon & half gallon) ..and if so, how much? Not a medium or large dealer group dealership...a small family dealer. The one I go to has a stack of clean milk cartons stacked in the corners...for people. LOL. Cheaper than other places. Or Amazon used to have good prices.

Or you may ask Chrysler if they have any tranny fluid flush specials going on this spring too. Sometimes they have a special deal which can be a strong statement to let them do it. I changed mine at 162k ...

If you haven't done them, ..two other maintenance items you might do after the tranny fluid exchange:
1) Power Steering fluid replacement (with new Mopar)
2) Brake Fluid Exchange .. with new
 
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Sherman Bird

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2009 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7l SLT 4x4 Crew Cab

Alrighty, now everyone around me are giving me mixed answers about weather I should or should not service my transmission. I've had the truck since 130k and now has 160k. My step dad owned it before me and rarely drove it, they wanted a Jeep Wrangler so either it was going to be traded in or I could take over payments on it, and so I did. Anyways, I believe its been in our possession since 122k . I've been wanting to do a trans service for quite awhile now but I get one answer saying to don't do it since I have no clue when the last time it was done and it isn't good to do it on high mileage transmissions if it hasn't been done in recent time since it will "burn up" the trans since I would be getting rid of all the old fluid. Yet the other half is telling me to go ahead and do it. What I mean by trans service is to pull the pan, change out both filters in the pans, change the pan gasket and refill with fluid, not flushing (just drain and refill). I haven't checked the fluid in roughly 6-8 months which I probably should, but the fluid wasn't bad. Still decently red in color and maybe had a hint of a burning smell, ever so slightly. Much better then the 4l60E I used to have on a couple of different vehicles.

My standpoint is, We've had the truck since 122k miles and it probably needs the filters changed and new gasket and new fluid couldn't hurt either, at least in my eyes. I'm trying to make this last as long as possible and the body is really clean for the age and given that its been in the south for the for 85% of its life and the past 3 going on 4 years here in Kansas.

So my question is, what can anyone recommend with those who have been in the same situation or is there something you guys know that I don't. I don't mess with transmissions. I'm decent with decent with the 2 engines I've torn down and the extensive mechanics work I've done but I don't mess with transmissions. That being said, any info would be helpful.
47 years. That's how long I've been in the professional automotive repair business. I have NEVER NEVER NEVER seen merely replacing fluid in an automatic transmission cause it to "go out" NEVER. 27 of those years, I was an automatic transmission specialist for GM and Ford.

The Horse manure advice you have received and which permeates urban myth is borne of the oversight of a simple fact: When someone replaces transmission fluid AFTER the transmission begins slipping, shifting funky, and so forth, and the transmission fails right afterwards, their flawed thinking is akin to believing that firetrucks cause house fire.... after all, there's always a firetruck at the fire.

Go ahead and change the fluid and the filter. If the transmission fails right afterward, then it was about to fail anyway, and you changing the fluid had NOTHING to do with it.
 

Burla

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The two known sources of potential fail after a trans service on the rfe comes from the plastic filter thread and the sump filter gasket. Make sure you use a metal thread upgrade and make sure you do the sump filter correctly so only one correct gasket is installed. Why these fail, if done incorrectly they cause leaks which kill rfe's. The other source of potential leaks is the valve body, at least put a gasket back in it if you are doing all this? Get the correct metal thread, some are loose, this one is tight. He sells different lot sizes, fins one you want, if you get extra ram forum will likely buy them. Thanks to kyle aka u&a for knowing about this tight fitting option.
 

Burla

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Mag HyTec pan
Redline C+ or AMSOIL
New Wix Filter kit
I dont have the info to why, but on the oem there is something on the filter that the wix doesnt have, so I usually say get the oem sump filter, you can see the two. I don't know if that is a safty valve or useless piece of plastic, but why put it there if it has no reason? First pic oem, 2nd is wix.

70ac-5179267ac5010884aa-011-2_600.jpg?v=1505288243.jpg

wix-58843_xl.jpg
 

DILLIGAF

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Its Dodge so im willing to bet its useless... lol...

I do my trans oil change every 2 years and I used that wix kit the last 4 times.
 

Socalramfan

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Hmmm, yaa…… I’d still change it.

Granted, most Fords and GM’s engines never make it very long…. I can understand why you might not have seen ‘trannys’ failure. Rest of the vehicle never make it that far :favorites37:


If anything, by inspecting the filter you’d get a good indication of any metals/ particles being collected which would be an indication of impending failure. :waytogo:
 
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