Transmission failing?

Asked by Aug 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM about the 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 4 Dr SLT Plus Quad Cab 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2001 Dodge Ram 2500
I back into my garage port because there is a grassy slope to the road
I gradually noticed after the truck has set for 24 hrs or more that it was taking more rpm/gas to start rolling or break inertia from a dead stop.

The dramatic evidence of a problem follows

After 2+ hrs of driving to a cabin site where I need 4x4 to climb a steep muddy grade, it pouring out I pull off the tarmac and hit the pedal. I go about 75 feet, and can't go any further up. I roll back down and try again, topping 2500 rpm I can't make it. I back down to the tarmac and put it in D. It moves but at as I said take more pedal THAN, putting it in reverse. I turn around and back all the way up the 1/4 mile to my cabin twist and turns and all. Next day I head down to the tarmac to deliver some torn off corrugated tin roofing from a previous storm to a old couple for a chicken coop. I turn around and no problem I head right up the hill in D/drive.

I suspect something to do with the heat of the transmission fluid is maybe a factor.

During the hill side episode I didn't think to put it in D2 or D1. Testing latter on a flat surface breaking inertia is better, maybe normal in D1 and maybe so in D2.

The truck shifts normally. It goes right along at hwy speed. Lugging along at 60 sucking 20 mpg.

I've scheduled to have the transmission flushed which will replace the filter at the same time.

BUT is that going to fix my problem and is it worth the $400+

4 Answers

87,045

How long has it been between services? The screen could be plugged so a service would be a good idea, but I am not convinced that flush will do you any good, sometimes that will break away varnish buildup that winds up blocking port and solenoids causing a bigger problem. If the service seems to help this what I would do, put on a heavy duty transmission cooler, totally bypassing the radiator cooler. I agree with your heat theory, I have notice some of the tranny rebuilders are starting to require putting coolers on and bypass the ones in the radiator, or they won't warranty the unit, that tells me the fluid is not getting the cooling it needs so the tranny is running to hot. HTH

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Well I bought it 3 yrs ago. It's never had the trans serviced since I owned it.? I didn't know it required periodic servicing. I just check it to make sure it's topped off. Actually that photo showing the dip stick. The cold level of the fluid was a hair above the s curve in the stick which indicates too full? I've never added any fluid since owning it. It looks pink, yes? Guess I need to compare it to new fluid. A heavy duty cooler you say? Do you have a mfg for this part? Does it require a high tech service man to install? They are few and far between here in Panama. Ultimately would you say the transmission is kaput or about to? thanks for your feed back

87,045

Your right the fluid still has good color, but as you bought it used there is kind of an unwritten rule that you should change all fluids, check all belts,hoses, vacuum lines and replace if needed, replace air and fuel filters. now this is subject to change but the fluids I always do that way you know every fluid level is right and new. As far as a cooler, try looking at Hayden coolers they have a lot of coolers for different loads. As you are in Panama I would look at ones with an electric fan. Even E-bay has some.

87,045

Couldn't say about the tranny being kaput or not.

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