2016 RAM 1500 Transmission Problems

In this article, you will learn about the transmission problems that have been reported in the 2016 RAM 1500. We will discuss the common issues that owners have experienced and provide possible solutions or recommendations. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the transmission problems in the 2016 RAM 1500 and what actions you can take if you encounter any issues with your vehicle.

Common transmission problems in the 2016 RAM 1500

The 2016 RAM 1500 is a popular pick-up truck with a powerful engine and impressive towing capabilities. However, like any vehicle, it is not immune to transmission problems. Understanding these common issues can help you identify and resolve them quickly, ensuring the longevity of your vehicle. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common transmission problems you may encounter with your 2016 RAM 1500.

Slipping gears

One of the most noticeable signs of a transmission problem is when your vehicle slips out of gear while driving. This is known as slipping gears, and it can be quite dangerous, especially at high speeds. When your RAM 1500 slips gears, you may notice a sudden loss of power and a revving or whining noise coming from the engine. If this issue persists, it is crucial to get your transmission checked by a professional to prevent further damage.

Delayed shifting

Another common transmission problem in the 2016 RAM 1500 is delayed shifting. This occurs when there is a noticeable delay between shifting gears. For example, when you press the accelerator, your vehicle may hesitate before smoothly transitioning to the next gear. Delayed shifting can lead to a jerky and uncomfortable driving experience, and it may also cause damage to your transmission if left unresolved.

Erratic shifting

Erratic shifting is yet another transmission problem that plagues the 2016 RAM 1500. This issue manifests as abrupt and unpredictable gear changes, even under normal driving conditions. You may notice your vehicle hesitating or lurching forward unexpectedly while shifting gears. Erratic shifting can indicate a larger problem within the transmission system and should be addressed promptly to avoid further complications.

Transmission overheating

Transmissions generate a significant amount of heat during operation. However, when the transmission overheats, it can lead to severe damage and potential failure. In the 2016 RAM 1500, transmission overheating can occur due to various reasons such as towing heavy loads, driving in extreme temperatures, or a malfunctioning cooling system. It is vital to monitor the temperature gauge on your dashboard and address any signs of overheating promptly.

Causes of transmission problems

Understanding the common causes of transmission problems in the 2016 RAM 1500 can help you take proactive measures to prevent them. Here are some of the primary causes:

Worn out transmission fluid

Transmission fluid plays a crucial role in lubricating and cooling the various components of your transmission. Over time, transmission fluid can become contaminated and lose its effectiveness due to normal wear and tear. When the fluid becomes worn out, it can lead to problems such as slipping gears and delayed shifting. Regularly checking and changing the transmission fluid can help prevent these issues.

Faulty transmission control module

The transmission control module (TCM) is responsible for controlling and coordinating the shifting of gears in your RAM 1500. If the TCM becomes faulty, it can cause various transmission problems, including erratic shifting and delayed shifting. A professional diagnostic scan can help identify any issues with the TCM and ensure proper functioning.

Defective solenoids

Solenoids are small components within the transmission that control the flow of transmission fluid, allowing for smooth gear changes. When solenoids become defective or worn out, they can disrupt the transmission’s operation, leading to slipping gears, delayed shifting, or erratic shifting. Replacing worn-out solenoids can help restore the proper functioning of your transmission.

Torque converter issues

The torque converter is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the transmission. If the torque converter becomes damaged or faulty, it can result in transmission problems such as slipping gears or overheating. A malfunctioning torque converter may require repair or replacement to ensure the smooth operation of your RAM 1500’s transmission.

2016 RAM 1500 Transmission Problems

Symptoms of transmission problems

Recognizing the symptoms of transmission problems in your 2016 RAM 1500 is crucial to avoid further damage and costly repairs. Here are some common signs you may experience:

Engine revs without acceleration

If you notice that your engine revs without a corresponding increase in speed or acceleration, it may indicate a slipping gear or transmission problem. This symptom is often accompanied by a noticeable lack of power and an increase in engine noise.

Whining or humming sounds

Unusual sounds, such as whining or humming, coming from your transmission can be indicative of a problem. These noises can be a sign of low or worn-out transmission fluid, faulty solenoids, or other internal issues within the transmission system.

Burning smell

A burning smell, especially one that resembles the scent of burnt toast, can indicate transmission overheating. This smell can occur due to the friction generated by worn-out components or insufficient fluid to cool the transmission. If you detect a burning smell, it is important to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage.

Transmission fluid leaks

Leaking transmission fluid is a clear sign that there is a problem with your transmission. Transmission fluid is essential for the proper functioning of the transmission, and any leaks can lead to a loss of fluid pressure, causing slipping gears and delayed shifting. If you notice red or brown fluid pooling under your vehicle, it is crucial to have it inspected and repaired immediately.

Effect of transmission problems on vehicle performance

Transmission problems can have a significant impact on your 2016 RAM 1500’s overall performance and drivability. Here are some effects you may experience:

Reduced fuel efficiency

Transmission issues, such as slipping gears or delayed shifting, can cause your vehicle’s engine to work harder, leading to decreased fuel efficiency. Not only does this result in more frequent trips to the gas station, but it also puts unnecessary strain on other engine components.

Sluggish acceleration

A malfunctioning transmission can result in poor acceleration, making it difficult for your RAM 1500 to reach desired speeds quickly. This can be a safety concern, especially when merging onto highways or overtaking other vehicles.

Inability to properly shift gears

When your transmission is not functioning optimally, you may experience difficulty shifting gears smoothly. This can make driving uncomfortable and put additional stress on your engine and transmission.

Vehicle stalling

In severe cases, transmission problems can cause your RAM 1500 to stall completely. This is especially dangerous when driving at high speeds or in heavy traffic. Stalling can be a result of slipping gears, overheating, or other critical issues with the transmission.

2016 RAM 1500 Transmission Problems

How to diagnose transmission problems

If you suspect that your 2016 RAM 1500 is experiencing transmission problems, it is important to diagnose the issue accurately before attempting any repairs. Here are some diagnostic steps you can take:

Check for error codes using an OBD-II scanner

Modern vehicles, including the 2016 RAM 1500, are equipped with an onboard diagnostic (OBD-II) system that can detect and store error codes related to various components, including the transmission. Using an OBD-II scanner, you can retrieve these codes and gain insight into the specific problem affecting your transmission.

Inspect transmission fluid level and condition

Checking the transmission fluid level and condition is a simple yet essential step in diagnosing transmission problems. Low or contaminated transmission fluid can cause a wide range of issues, including slipping gears and delayed shifting. Ensure that the fluid level is within the recommended range and that it appears clean and free from debris.

Test the transmission control module

The transmission control module (TCM) is responsible for regulating the shifting of gears in your RAM 1500. If you suspect a problem with the TCM, a professional diagnostic scan can help identify any faults or errors. Testing the TCM can help pinpoint the root cause of transmission issues and guide effective repairs.

Examine solenoids and torque converter

The solenoids and torque converter are critical components within the transmission system. Inspecting these parts can help identify any defects or malfunctions that may be contributing to transmission problems. A professional inspection can determine if solenoids need replacement or if the torque converter requires repair or replacement.

Tips for preventing transmission problems

Prevention is always the best approach when it comes to transmission problems. Here are some tips to help you maintain the health of your 2016 RAM 1500’s transmission:

Regularly check and change transmission fluid

Transmission fluid should be checked regularly to ensure it is at the correct level and in good condition. Consult your owner’s manual for guidelines on how often to change the transmission fluid. Regular fluid changes help maintain proper lubrication and cooling, reducing the likelihood of transmission problems.

Avoid towing beyond the recommended limit

The 2016 RAM 1500 is known for its towing capabilities, but it is essential to stay within the recommended towing limits specified by the manufacturer. Overloading your vehicle can put excessive strain on the transmission, leading to overheating and other issues.

Don’t overload the vehicle

Similarly, avoid overloading your RAM 1500 beyond its maximum payload capacity. Excessive weight can place unnecessary stress on the transmission and other critical components, increasing the risk of mechanical failures.

Get regular maintenance checks

Routine maintenance is crucial to the overall health of your RAM 1500’s transmission. Regular inspections by a qualified mechanic can help identify potential issues before they escalate into major problems. Additionally, adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule ensures that all components are functioning optimally.

2016 RAM 1500 Transmission Problems

Dealing with transmission problems

If you encounter transmission problems with your 2016 RAM 1500, it is important to address them promptly to avoid further damage and minimize repair costs. Here are some steps you can take:

Visit a qualified mechanic or dealership

Transmission problems are best left in the hands of professionals who have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and repair issues accurately. Visiting a qualified mechanic or dealership ensures that your RAM 1500 receives proper care and attention.

Consider warranty coverage

If your RAM 1500 is still under warranty, transmission repairs may be covered by the manufacturer. Review your warranty documentation and consult with a dealership to understand the extent of your coverage and the procedures for making a claim.

Discuss possible repairs or replacements

Upon diagnosing the transmission problem, discuss the recommended repairs or replacements with your mechanic or dealership. They will provide you with details about the necessary parts and labor involved to resolve the issue.

Get a written cost estimate

Before authorizing any repairs, ask for a written cost estimate that includes parts, labor, and any additional fees or charges. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure transparency throughout the repair process.

Cost of repairing transmission problems

The cost of repairing transmission problems in a 2016 RAM 1500 can vary depending on the specific issue and the extent of the damage. Here are some factors to consider:

Varies depending on the issue

The cost of repair can range from relatively inexpensive fixes, such as replacing a solenoid, to more significant repairs like rebuilding or replacing the entire transmission. The exact cost depends on the specific problem and the labor involved.

Average costs for common repairs

On average, common repairs for transmission problems in the RAM 1500 can range from $500 to $2,500. However, more complex issues or complete transmission replacements can cost upwards of $4,000 or more.

Additional costs to consider

In addition to the cost of parts and labor, there may be additional expenses such as diagnostic fees, fluid replacement, and any necessary adjustments or recalibrations.

Factors affecting repair expenses

The overall cost of repairing transmission problems can be influenced by various factors, including the location of the repair shop, the availability and cost of necessary parts, and the level of experience and expertise of the mechanic.

2016 RAM 1500 Transmission Problems

When to consider replacing the transmission

In some cases, repairing the transmission may not be the most cost-effective solution. Here are some circumstances when replacing the transmission should be considered:

Extensive damage or wear

If the transmission has sustained extensive damage or wear, it may be more practical and cost-effective to opt for a replacement rather than attempting repairs. Extensive damage can include issues such as cracked housing, severe slipping, or a damaged torque converter.

High repair costs

When the cost of repairing the transmission exceeds the value of the vehicle or significantly surpasses the cost of a replacement, it may be more financially prudent to invest in a new transmission.

Lack of warranty coverage

If your RAM 1500 is no longer under warranty or if the warranty does not cover the specific repairs necessary, replacing the transmission may be the most viable option.

Unavailability of necessary parts

In some cases, transmission repairs may require specific parts that are difficult to source or are no longer available. If obtaining the necessary parts becomes a challenge, it may be more feasible to replace the transmission entirely.


Becoming aware of the common transmission problems in the 2016 RAM 1500 is the first step in ensuring the longevity and performance of your vehicle. By taking proactive measures to prevent transmission problems and promptly addressing any issues that arise, you can enjoy a smooth and trouble-free driving experience. Remember to seek professional help for diagnosis and repairs, and consider replacement when necessary. By taking these steps, you can optimize the performance of your RAM 1500 and avoid costly repair bills in the long run.

2016 RAM 1500 Transmission Problems

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