Common Problems with the 68RFE Transmission and How to Prevent Them
Picture this: You're cruising down the highway, enjoying the smooth ride of your heavy-duty truck, when suddenly, you feel a jolt and hear a strange noise coming from under the hood. As you pull over to the side of the road, you realize that something is wrong with your 68RFE transmission. The transmission is a vital component of any vehicle, but when it comes to heavy-duty trucks, it's even more critical. The 68RFE transmission is a powerful and durable transmission that is commonly used in heavy-duty trucks, but like any complex piece of machinery, it's not immune to problems. We'll explore the common problems associated with the 68RFE transmission and share tips on how to prevent these issues from happening. So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee, and let's dive into the world of the 68RFE transmission. If you have any questions or want to get your own performance 68RFE transmission build or service started, contact us or call Tier One directly at 602-399-5484!

What Vehicles Use the 68RFE Section

The 68RFE transmission is a heavy-duty automatic transmission that is primarily used in pickup trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. This transmission was first introduced by Chrysler in 2007 and has since become a popular choice for drivers who require the power and durability of a heavy-duty transmission.

The 68RFE transmission is primarily used in Dodge Ram trucks, including the 2500 and 3500 series. These trucks are designed for heavy-duty applications, such as towing and hauling, and require a transmission that can handle the strain. The 68RFE transmission is well-suited for these applications, thanks to its robust design and torque capacity.

In addition to the Dodge Ram trucks, the 68RFE transmission is also used in other heavy-duty vehicles. However, it's important to note that the 68RFE is primarily associated with the Dodge Ram brand and is often referred to as the "Ram transmission."

What's Inside the 68RFE

The 68RFE transmission is an intricate component of your vehicle that contains a variety of components designed to work together to provide smooth and reliable power delivery. Understanding the inner workings of the 68RFE transmission can help you better understand the common problems associated with it and how to prevent them.

The 68RFE transmission is a six-speed automatic transmission that includes a torque converter, planetary gear sets, and multiple clutch packs. The torque converter is a fluid coupling that transmits power from the engine to the transmission. It is designed to multiply torque at low speeds, allowing for smooth acceleration and reduced strain on the engine. The torque converter contains a pump, a turbine, and a stator, all of which work together to create the fluid coupling.

The planetary gear sets are responsible for shifting gears and transmitting power from the engine to the wheels. The gear sets consist of a sun gear, planet gears, and a ring gear, all of which are held in place by a carrier. By selectively engaging and disengaging the various gears, the transmission can shift smoothly between gears and provide the appropriate amount of torque for the driving conditions.

The clutch packs are the heart of the 68RFE transmission and are responsible for engaging and disengaging the various gear sets. The clutch packs consist of a series of friction plates and steel plates that are stacked together and held in place by a pressure plate. By applying pressure to the clutch packs, the transmission can engage the appropriate gear set and transmit power to the wheels.

In addition to these main components, the 68RFE transmission also includes a variety of valves, sensors, and solenoids that work together to control the transmission's operation. These components are responsible for regulating fluid pressure, controlling the engagement and disengagement of the clutch packs, and monitoring various aspects of the transmission's operation.

Most Common Problems

Despite its strength and durability, the 68RFE transmission is not immune to problems. One of the most common issues that can occur with the 68RFE is overheating. Overheating can be caused by a variety of factors, including towing heavy loads, driving in extreme heat, and improper maintenance. Overheating can cause a number of different issues, including slipping gears, a burning smell, and even complete transmission failure.

Another common problem that can occur with the 68RFE transmission is torque converter shudder. Torque converter shudder is often caused by a failing torque converter clutch. The torque converter is designed to transfer power from the engine to the transmission and can create a shaking or vibration when it's not working properly. This can also cause damage to other components within the transmission, such as the planetary gearsets.

Clutch failures are also a common issue with the 68RFE transmission. Clutches are designed to wear over time, but premature failure can occur due to a variety of factors, including overheating, contamination, and poor driving habits. When clutches fail, it can cause slipping gears, delayed engagement, and even transmission failure.

How to Prevent 68RFE Issues

Preventing issues with your 68RFE transmission starts with regular maintenance and proper use of your vehicle. By taking a few simple steps, you can help extend the life of your transmission and avoid costly repairs.

One of the most important things you can do to prevent 68RFE issues is to follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule. This schedule will typically include regular fluid changes, filter replacements, and inspections of various components. By keeping up with these recommended services, you can help prevent the buildup of debris and contaminants that can cause damage to your transmission over time.

It's also important to use the right type of fluid in your 68RFE transmission. Using the wrong type of fluid can cause damage to the transmission, and may even void your vehicle's warranty. Be sure to use the fluid recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, and avoid using additives or other products that claim to improve transmission performance.

Proper use of your vehicle can also help prevent 68RFE issues. Heavy-duty trucks are designed to handle heavy loads, but exceeding the weight or towing capacity of your vehicle can cause strain on the transmission and other components. Be sure to check your owner's manual or consult with a professional mechanic to determine the appropriate weight and towing limits for your vehicle.

In addition, avoid excessive idling or aggressive driving, as these habits can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your transmission. Be sure to come to a complete stop before shifting gears, and avoid shifting into gear when the vehicle is in motion.

If you do experience issues with your 68RFE transmission, it's important to address them as soon as possible. Ignoring problems can cause further damage to the transmission and may even result in complete transmission failure. Be sure to consult with a professional mechanic who is experienced in working with heavy-duty transmissions, and have any issues diagnosed and repaired promptly.

Take Action with Upgrades

In addition to regular maintenance and safe driving practices, upgrading certain components can also help prevent 68RFE issues. For example, installing an aftermarket transmission cooler can help prevent overheating by providing additional cooling capacity. Upgrading the torque converter can also help prevent torque converter shudder, which is a common issue with the 68RFE. Upgrading to a stronger, more durable torque converter can help prevent premature failure and extend the life of the transmission.

When choosing a transmission shop, it's important to choose one that is reputable and experienced. Look no further than Tier One Transmissions, the premier choice for performance diesel and gas transmissions. 68RFE transmissions are a specialty of Tier One Transmissions as we always use high quality parts and rigorous testing to ensure that our transmissions are best in class. 

Tier One offers a variety of fully built 68RFE transmissions for a wide range, whether you have a stock truck or need something capable of over 1000 horsepower. Tier One also has a selection of transmission upgrades available like our in-house 68RFE High Presssure Billet Valve Body, 68RFE Billet Triple Disc Converter, and more!

If you're looking for a complete, built 68RFE transmission that's both more reliable than stock and can handle more power, check out Tier One's built 68RFE transmissions below:

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