2018 Ram 3500 Transmission Issues

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Tropical Guy

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Just had a transmission related issue with my 2018 3500 Laramie Longhorn diesel that I thought I would post as an FYI for anyone else that is having similar issues. The truck was having an issue where it seemed to fall out of drive to neutral resulting in loss of power and a revving of the engine while my foot was on the gas. The drive indicators on console would also light up in yellow. With some experimentation I realized that I could shift into park and then put it back into drive which would work for a while but the duration of shift worked for less and less time the more times I shifted until I was only able to drive a few feet at a time. Also through all of this reverse seemed to work fine. The shop I took it to scanned for codes to indicate what was causing the problem but none were given by the truck. The fix was replacing a switch on the transmission column in the cab. This could have been a very expensive fix as one company I contacted suggested a full trans rebuild was required to fix the issue which would have been about $5000 instead of the $1000 I ended up paying.
 
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jejb

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Thanks for the heads up, but I must say your thread title is a bit misleading, since this was not actually a transmission issue.
 

Daw14

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What is a transmission column ?
 

Racer9

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Give the guy a break! One of his first posts, trying to help others. So he doesn't quite have all the terminology right, it could easily help you or someone else.
If you can't figure out that he meant "steering column"........
 

jejb

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Give the guy a break! One of his first posts, trying to help others. So he doesn't quite have all the terminology right, it could easily help you or someone else.
If you can't figure out that he meant "steering column"........
Feedback is a good way to learn. Not like we attacked the guy.
 

Jeepwalker

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My suggestion would be to first "call" or stop by another chrysler dealership. Find out from the part's department who their best transmission guys is, or who their "Master Tech" is. Then walk over too the service dept & make an appointment that ensures THAT guy looks at your truck. Not another 'average or new' tech. And on the day you drop it off, or that the work is to commence, ensure that guy is going to be looking at it ...in case he's sick/kid sick/in training, etc. You might have to play tiger-mom on your truck repair here to ensure you get the best eyes on it.

Every dealership has a couple "ace mechanics" and then a few average guys, and then some low-knowledge guys (young techs or duds). Get the 'good guy' who knows his stuff, on your Ram.

Ensure they are only to do a diagnosis and not do any repairs w/o contacting your with the problem. Keep your phone open and don't miss the call. Or if they are working on it, hang around the dealership for 'the workd'. If the diagnosis is "you need a new transmission" then the question should be "What is the root issue?". You need a detailed response. The response could be, "You need a new shift solenoid" (lot cheaper) ..or "switch". Or maybe it's just low on fluid? Maybe there's another sensor causing problems. If the reply is a blanket "you need a new transmission", I'd probably have the dealer roll it back outside and politely tell them you're going to think about it or get a second opinion. Then have the truck towed to a reputable transmission shop and get a second opinion.

I had a particular strange transmission problem with an old Jeep of mine yrs ago. It was super-cold in the winter, and I was too busy at work around xmas to do any DIY. I was afraid the dealer would try to give me the ole, "you need a new one". To their credit they gave me a straight and detailed outline what the fix would be (need shift solenoid #3) and it would be $320 to repair. That's kind of what I thought the issue 'might' be based on internet searches, but who knows?? I gave them the thumbs up and it still works great to this day (kid's car). Anything on your trans will probably be more $$ than that, but the dealer was fair and honest on the work.

:happy160:
 
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Jeepwalker

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A transmission is an assembly of hundreds of components. But there are some common fail points that are not really part of the hard-parts of the transmission like shift solenoids, sticky valve body valves, Internal leaks (cracked o-rings, etc), bad sensor, bad wire connector, etc. A good diagnosis should include using scan software to actuate the actuators (watch the results with a trained eye), run it through detailed tests, perform hydraulic pressure tests. Those take time to do and time is $$. But it's important to spend that time to get a proper diagnosis on the transmission. There's a thick volume of pages in the service manual how to properly diagnose a troubled transmission. The dealer has the most information and the best diagnostic tools for your Ram. That is ...if the tech follows the troubleshooting procedures w/o making rash judgements. Master Techs enjoy a good challenge, and they know the most and are the most thorough and methodical. That's why I would start there.

Transmission shops also do ...if you can find one which will give you straight information.
 

MarkMac77

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Quality techs are getting really scarce. I’ve stopped going to mechanics, with the exception of specialty shops for differential work, etc, or trusted referrals.

In fact, employees of any sort have become morons since the invention of the smartphone.

Today the dealer where I bought a new tractor forgot to deliver it, for the second time. The sales guy didn’t know who I was. If it wasn’t a brick & mortar store I’s suspect a scam. Unfortunately it’s just wall-to-wall morons out there.

Do you mind sharing whether this is the 68RFE or the Aisin transmission?
 
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