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Dodge 45RFE and 545 RFE Transmission information
Chrysler introduced the 45RFE transmission in model year 1999
Jeep Grand Cherokees with the 4.7 engine only and then in model year 2000 for the
Dodge Ram trucks and
Dodge Dakota trucks.
The 45RFE transmission
is a five speed automatic
transmission however when you
drive the vehicle you will actually have
4 gears and lock up. the "5th gear" is
only a different ratio achieved during a
kick down shift to 2nd gear which is
called 2nd prime. "Limp" mode will
always be 2nd gear. the 45RFE
was used into model year 2002 at which
time they came out with the 545RFE transmission.
The 545RFE transmission
was simply the same basic
transmission as the 45RFE
except they added a 2nd
overdrive gear, (5th gear) to the
equation. In 2007 they introduced the
68RFE for Dodge diesel
applications but was replaced with the
Aisin AS68RC transmission.
2012 has brought us the 65RFE
and 68RFE which are 6
speed versions of the same design
Manually Retrieving trouble codes from Dodge/Jeep vehicles with
Dodge and Jeep vehicles have built in diagnostics and they are very easy
to access and read stored trouble codes without the use of any scan-tool.
For trucks with digital odometers (up to 2005 model years) Click key on and off and 3rd time leave key on, will then display
codes in 4 digit manner in odometer readout area such as 1763 which would mean
P1763 for governor. will go thru all one by one. if none are present will not
display anything and or say "done".
This will not retrieve all transmission codes but will give you a P0700 which
means you have transmission codes. then you may need scanner anyways to retrieve
those codes. Trucks after 2006 this feature has been eliminated and you will
need a scanner.
Complaint: Ringing noise or ping during park engagements
or coming out of park coming from rear housing area, Dodge trucks.
Cause: Likely the spline on the park gear and or output shaft is worn and
causing a noise going into park or out. You can take a center punch and peen the
shaft splines in several areas so it will hold the park gear tighter.
Complaint: Dodge truck P1776 trouble code: solenoid
switch latched in low reverse posistion.
Cause: This can be several issues, one simply being the switch is stuck, meaning
you need to replace the solenoid assembly.(most common especially early model
years 2000-2004) can be the switch valve in the valve body is stuck in the low
reverse position, or the range sensor is malfunctioning, check shifter cable
adjustment as manual valve out of alignment can create this code as well. Lastly
it can be a shorted wire from transmission to ECM, will have codes P1784
and or P0841 for wiring.
Complaint: Dodge 45RFE transmission slipping badly,
limp, poss. No 3rd and 4th gears.
Cause: Common issue here is the accumulator cover on the valve body has come
loose and broken causing pistons to come out too far and no 3rd or 4th. remove
pan and you can see long steel cover with #25 Torx screws. there's several
aftermarket fixes for this problem with an updated plate and screws.
Accumulator and plate ID
Complaint: Dodge 45RFE transmission Bind up on 3-4 or
Cause: The number 2 check ball has shrunk or come apart causing underdrive
clutches to apply on 3-4 and or 4-5 up-shifts. remove valve body and check #2
check ball and replace as necc.
(check ball ID)
Complaint: Delay into drive, reverse cold or hot Dodge
45RFE transmissions, P0944 Loss of prime.
Cause: May be the sump filter is cracked on the seam or the neck seal is loose
or missing. allot of filters are splitting down the side of the seams. may or
may not have trouble codes P0868, main pressure. P0868, loss of prime, P0731
ratio in 1st. P0736 ratio in rev. and other codes. may be only cold first time
engagement issues, depends on severity of crack and seal issues etc. If filter
was just changed check the seal and possibly new filter is cracked as well.
(check your cooler spin on filter if you have the split sump filter if pt #
4799662AB this can be why your sump filter is split, During converter drain back
you can get air in the system and when engine is restarted this filter has check
valve issue that allows air to blow open the sump filter, replace spin on
filter) Another possibility is the cooler filter (screw on cartridge type in
pan) has the holes restricted by the seal. use Chrysler filter 04799662AC is
best bet. check holes are not restricted if using aftermarket filters.
Complaint: Dodge truck engine stalls when put in drive.
Cause: The number 4 check ball may be missing or deteriorated, leaking causing
tcc valve stroke thru O/D and L/R ckts. check for
and replace as necc.
Complaint: Late or no shifts, limp mode with input or
output speed sensor codes.
Cause: Very common to have failed speed sensor(s) replace both if one goes so
you dont have to go back next week! You can have failed output and no upshift
and no codes. If your speed sensor bolt breaks off in the case you can fashion a
retainer from some scrap metal bracket etc and bolt onto case ear or bracket
area so you don't need to try and get a small drill between the floor and case.
Complaint: 45RFE/545RFE pan gasket leaking. 45RFE Fluid.
Cause: First thing: if your unit has a pan gasket on it take it off and use the
proper high temp silicone sealant. this transmission does not take a pan gasket
and was never meant to have one. Like the Chrysler 413, 670, 604 transaxles its
a structural part of the transmission to have pan sealed to case and with a
gasket it will always chaff and always leak! We don't know why some fools ever
came up with the idea of a gasket for these transmissions! If you get one with
the filter do the world a favor and throw it away! or it will be back! Watch for
Rust "Zits" on pan in rust belt states and replace before it rots thru and leaks
like the engine oil pan does. Always use ATF+4. don not use regular Dexron or
anything else as you will end up with problems.
Complaint: 2007 and up 68RFE no forward. Good reverse
Cause: There has been a problem with the underdrive molded pistons ripping
apart. this may be related to an assembly issue and or drum surface condition.
sometimes seen with very few miles on truck. Be sure to inspect the drum for
wear or damage where piston seal surfaces meet and replace as necc.
Complaint: Truck wont move or very slow converter charge
after rebuild or pump replacement/repairs.
Cause: When disassembling the pump pay attention to the two #25 Torx screws that
hold the wear plate to the pump body. these must be installed and torque to 40
inch lbs or will create a suction side leak in the pump and no or very
slow converter charge condition which will create no movement conditions.
Complaint: 45RFE relearn after transmission
Whenever you change out transmission, rebuild /exchange etc you must do quick
learn with scanner to reset shift adapts in the TCM or you can have hard or soft
slippy shifts. Most scanners are capable of this function..