Driving in your Dodge Ram has been a hassle as of late as the vehicle doesn’t want to get out of fourth gear. Now you’re wondering what you can do to fix this issue. We researched this concern for you and here’s what we found.
Dodge Ram being stuck in fourth gear is typically the result of improper gear shift handling. Your first step, however, is to troubleshoot to diagnose the exact cause.
Consult certified mechanics for diagnosis and repair/replacement if you have any uncertainty. Potential causes might include:
- Powertrain Control Management (PCM) Errors
- Unbalanced Gear Shift Ratio
- Malfunctioning Solenoid
- Need to Reset the Transmission Control Module (TCM)
Keep in mind that the error that is a Ram truck that won’t get out of fourth gear often comes from different sources. Continue reading as we talk about these possible causes. We’ll also tackle some possible solutions based on these suspects.
Why Won’t My Dodge Ram Come Out Of Fourth Gear?
Take note that a Dodge Ram that won’t come out of fourth gear usually happens because of improper gear shift handling. The relatively unhinged motions brought upon the shifter lever may cause the transmission to malfunction.
Eliminating this issue often demands that you find its source. Some assemblies or parts that might deteriorate or malfunction from being mistreated are:
Powertrain Control Management (PCM)
Also called the powertrain control module, the PCM is like the Dodge Ram’s brain. It functions by managing the truck's driveline systems, which typically include the transmission and different sensors.
Misusing the transmission on the Dodge Ram may result in the vehicle's PCM encountering errors. These glitches might then cause the truck to stay in fourth gear, despite your efforts in moving the shifter lever to different positions.
Gear Shift System
Going through muddy, rocky, and/or uneven terrain frequently with little to no regard for the gear shift system could cause the framework to become stuck. Take note that the gear shift needs to have the correct ratio to function properly.
Improper usage of the gear shift as you go through these relatively unclean terrains may cause this ratio to become unbalanced. The result is the Ram remaining in fourth gear.
Also, continuous driving with this issue present can cause unwanted friction to the gear operating system. With the debris present, it may lead to irreparable damage to different components like levers and valves.
A Dodge Ram’s solenoid is a vital component that’s responsible for allowing your battery to interact with the starter motor. It also works with the transmission system.
So if an error from the Ram’s transmission appears, it may also affect the solenoid and its ability to turn. With the solenoid stuck, it might also lead to the truck persisting in the fourth gear.
How To Fix A Dodge Ram That’s Stuck In Fourth Gear?
After finding the cause of your Dodge Ram remaining stuck in fourth gear, follow the guides in this section. But take note that the following DIY instructions don’t guarantee a full resolution.
If you believe that you don’t have the confidence to continue, it might still be best to leave the repairs to certified and trustworthy automotive technicians.
Replace The PCM
Substituting the bad Dodge Ram PCM with a new model may restore the vehicle’s transmission to its normal or even optimal efficiency. The following steps may also help solve other issues, such as removing the “No Bus” error message and the check engine LED.
What You’ll Need
- Socket wrench
- Flathead screwdriver
- Philips screwdriver
- Replacement PCM
Step #1: Preparation
Park the Dodge Ram in a safe spot. The location should also have a reasonably flat surface so you can work with the necessary assemblies and components without putting significant strain on your body.
Turn off the engine afterward. Next, allow Ram’s engine to cool before opening the hood.
Find the location of the PCM that should be under the vehicle’s hood. Check your owner’s manual or consult the carmaker if you need help with this step.
Step #2: Gain Access To The PCM
Once you find the PCM, remove the screws from the adjacent air box with the flathead screwdriver. Lift and remove the air box afterward.
Step #3: Disconnect The Battery
Avoid accidental short circuits by using a wrench to disconnect the wires from the Dodge Ram’s battery terminals. Next, take out the battery from its housing and set it aside temporarily.
Step #4: Expose The PCM
Go back to the PCM housing’s location and disconnect its wiring carefully. Then, use the Philips screwdriver to remove the screws fastening the PCM. Don’t forget to set the screws aside in a safe space to avoid losing them.
Step #5: Replace The PCM
Remove the old PCM and replace it with the new model. Connect the wires to their appropriate terminals and secure the assembly to its bracket.
Then, return the battery to its mount and reconnect its wires. Turn on the Dodge Ram’s engine and check if the problem persists. Close the hood if you can now change gears freely.
Check out this replacement PCM for the 2000 Dodge Ram on Amazon.
You can also watch the video below for a visual guide of the steps mentioned above:
Replace The Solenoid
It might be a better option to replace the Dodge Ram’s solenoid as opposed to repairing it. That way, you can experience longer-term results rather than short-term fixes.
Continue this operation by following these steps:
What You’ll Need
- Replacement solenoid block
- Socket wrench
- Remove the transmission oil drain pan and filter from the vehicle’s chassis.
- Unscrew the bolts surrounding the solenoid block.
- Take out the old solenoid block.
- Install the new solenoid assembly and secure it into place.
- Reinstall the transmission oil drain pan and its filter.
- Turn on the Ram’s engine and check if the problem persists.
Check out this replacement Dodge Ram solenoid block on Amazon.
Watch the video below to gain additional insight into this procedure:
How Do You Reset The TCM On A Dodge Ram?
Resetting the transmission control module (TCM) on a Dodge Ram may also free its transmission from being stuck in fourth gear. Here are the steps for this process:
- Ignite the engine.
- Put the shifter lever in “Park.”
- Set the throttle angle to less than 3 degrees.
- Press the gas pedal until the engine speed reaches over 500 RPMs.
- Disengage the engine.
- Wait for at least 1 minute before turning on the engine again.
If this operation doesn’t give you the results you need, you may have to replace the TCM. If so, prepare to spend approximately $500 to $1,000 for professional automotive services and the materials used.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Transmission In A Dodge Ram?
The average transmission repair cost for a Dodge Ram is about $2,000. The expenses can also increase as the truck accumulates additional mileage. Also, the calculations for the repairs often depend on the types of services rendered.
Some examples are:
- Transmission leak repair
- Transmission solenoid replacement
- Re-secure transmission lines
- Transmission fluid flush and refill
Find the reasons why your Dodge Ram won't get out of fourth gear. Remember, this problem might come from various sources, including the truck's solenoid and its control board. Once you fix this issue, prevent it from reoccurring by avoiding any misuse of the vehicle's transmission system.
If you liked this post, here are other great truck-related reads you can check out:
Dodge Ram Keeps Locking And Unlocking – Why And What To Do?