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ridetheworld 10-22-2010 09:35 AM

2010 Ram - 3000 miles in 5 days review.
I recently drove across the country WA-NC in my new Ram 1500 Bighorn Edition. The only thing I have done to the truck is to add weathertechs in the front and rear, a Class IV hitch, ITBC, and a Line-X liner. It had about 1700 miles on it before I drove 3000 miles in 5 days last week. I will be making the same 3000 mile trip next week. Here is my review on the truck.

1. Engine - 10/10: The engine is very powerful and smooth, great power delivery across all RPM bands. I drove through the Mountains and rolling hills of Northern Idaho, Western Montana and South Dakota. I was hauling about 1500 lbs in gear and never felt that my 5500lb truck was underpowered. Mileage was less than expected at 16mpg, but that is most likely due to me cruising at 75-80mph often into headwinds.

2. Transmission - 3/10: The transmission in this truck is horrid. I was extremely dissapointed from the transmission on the trip. It is very, very clunky, often fails to downshift until you really press the pedal down, and when it does jolts the entire truck forward. There is a significant pause as the truck downshifts and when power is delivered, it comes in a very scary and jerky way. I also had several issues trying to control the transmission manually. I attempted to change into the proper gear before a hill. The "manual mode" would only respond around one time out of every three pushes. I would often find myself at the hill before it finally kicked in, which would result in an unsettling downshift. I had issues with this the entire way across the mountains. I also had issues engaging the manual mode in the first place. I am still having issues with downshifting, especially when going up hills. I have a pause and then a very unsettling power delivery. Pretty dissapointed in this transmission overall. I am glad that I didn't haul the 5k lb trailer that I had planned on. I think the tranny would have fallen out somewhere in SD.

3. Comfort and conveniences - 9/10: The seats were very comfortable, I have the standard seats. My truck is a Big Horn Edition. The heated mirrors came in handy as well as the lights on the outside and in the bed. Everything is easily within reach and well placed. Having Sirius was awesome. I didn't touch the FM button the entire way. The standard lights are pretty poor, I was keeping a good eye out for deer in Iowa and other areas. I didn't feel that they provided adequate lighting. I was however impressed with the brightness of the fog lights.

Overall I am pretty impressed with this truck. If this is just the way the transmission is I may just learn to live with it. If anyone thinks my transmission has issues or I am using it wrong then feel free to share that as well.


BlackCattle 10-22-2010 09:48 AM

Great Post. Very useful information...

Rattlecan 10-22-2010 09:49 AM

I'd be dropping that truck off at the dealers today! I was thinking how much of an improvement this transmission was over the Chevy's I've owned.

RamTech 10-22-2010 09:52 AM

I think your transmission complaints are more from the programming (thank you CARB, EPA, government in general) to squeeze out every last MPG from the truck. Investing in a tuner such as a Predator or Superchips may cure your woes, but bear in mind it can effect your powertrain warranty coverage.

AKFossil 10-22-2010 10:43 AM

I read somewhere that the computer makes adjustments for driving styles. In the Jeep Commander the Transmission "learned" the driving style and adjusted shift points accordingly. At least that was what I was told. Could this be the same issue? I drive through hills all the time and don't have this issue with the transmission like he does.

Turbovsix 10-22-2010 11:51 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the trans in the Ram has that adaptive learning feature, right? Had that in my 300M and the trans logic seemed to degrade over time (like it started to confuse itself) so I'd end up pulling the fuse and resetting the memory on it....

Yeah, I'm not thrilled with how the shift points are programmed either - just to echo your sentiments above.

RamTech 10-22-2010 11:55 AM

I'm not sure if the 545RFE part of the PCM will do it or not.

rainhater1 10-22-2010 12:13 PM

I don't have that many miles but go from 1K to 7K and don't have the problems you had? Might wan't to have it checked out

SvB4EvA 10-22-2010 12:23 PM

I agree with the transmission. Everything you said. It is a piece of crap, whether its programing or not. Half the time I put the pedal to the floor it wont even down shift, it just slowly lugs up to higher RPMs.

The manual shifting is a joke, takes over a full second and a half to actually shift. Way to long IMO. I thought the manual shifting in my Cadillac was slow, my Ram is horrible.

AKFossil 10-22-2010 01:03 PM

I am not saying this transmission has a adaptive feature. All I am saying is that I read somewhere about the truck adapting to driving styles, but don't recall what I was reading about. Heck it could of been oil change frequency for all I know.

But so far if I punch it it goes, now if traction control is on and you punch it and the truck senses slip it will not take off like a bat out of hell but accelerate at a controlled speed. Could this possibly be the issue?

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