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1995 Dodge Ram:
Delayed Transmission Engagement

Alex Steele
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seen in Truck Trend



I have written two auto columnists since 1995 and received "No Comment" about my question. I hope you will address it. Also two dealerships have replied "No Problem".


I have a 1995 Dodge Ram 2500 V 10 pickup. When it is parked undriven for three or more days the problem is noticed. When the transmission is engaged there is a long pause before movement occurs. However, this does not happen when driven daily. The oil level is OK. It may be draining down causing the delay.


My question, will this damage anything over a period of time? Thanks for any information.




Write down this number, 21-05-95. That's the Dodge Technical Service Bulletin the dealership's service department should have come up with the first time you were in with the complaint. It supplies part numbers for a new transmission cooler line with a built-in check valve. This will prevent the fluid from "draining down" and causing a delayed transmission engagement.


When your truck sits for an extended period of time, the transmission fluid drains out of the torque converter and down into the transmission pan through the cooler lines. When you finally put it in drive, it takes a while longer to get all that fluid pumped back up to where it belongs. Once there, the transmission is re-energized and off you go.


Remember, an automatic transmission is a "hydraulic" devise and without the fluid (hydra) you're out of commission.


Once you've had the one-way check valve installed this will prevent the fluid from draining back and keep the transmission primed. And don't worry, there shouldn't be any residual damage caused by the drain-back in the past.


This engineering defect was corrected by the engineers in Detroit when they designed the check valve assembly and published the appropriate service bulletin. Somehow, the idea never made it to your local Dodge dealer.

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04 Aug 2012, 19:10
That's probably not related to the TSB noted in this article. If it was, there would be no problem driving once the transmission engages.

You may have a slipping 1st gear, starting off in 2nd gear, or a torque converter problem.

jim donahue
02 Aug 2012, 14:46
I have the same problem except, after the pressure comes back It doesn't have power till the truck is moving and the rpms r up. when I'm driving and I kick it down it goes like a rocket as usual just no power at take off like the e brake is on. won't even climb a curb. Help is appreciated... Thx
02 Mar 2011, 14:30
That happened on my 1995 and they replaced the tranny since it was under warranty. They felt kinda silly when it was taking up a lot of room in their shop and said, ya know it won't back up.... I said really, did ya read the trouble ticket?
22 Oct 2010, 06:29
Be sure there's not a shifter linkage problem preventing the trans from going into reverse.

Other than that, chances are it will require a complete rebuilt or used unit.

It's not practical to do a single internal repair on an older, high-mileage transmission.
21 Oct 2010, 13:33
My 01 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 has no reverse, Drives forward OK. Is there anything, short of rebuilding the transmission, that can be done to fix this?


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