Dodge Ram 3500 Fluid Type and Capacity—Let’s Know 

If you have a Dodge Ram 3500 and want to ensure optimal performance of your transmission, it is important that you know the transmission fluid type and capacity it requires. 

Capacity can vary depending on various factors. So, to clear all your doubts, we’ll break down the Dodge Ram 3500 fluid type and capacity in detail.

 Also, Sometimes, there can be an alternative to traditional gearbox oil. If you don’t know which alternative fluid to add, find out the answer below.

What Type of Transmission Fluid Does the Dodge Ram 3500 Take?

Dodge Ram 3500 mainly requires Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)+4. And some models use a synthetic version of the ATF plus 4. This type of fluid lubricates the moving parts of the gearbox to keep the truck functioning. 

If the model has a manual transmission or gearbox, it’ll also take ATF +4 because it’s the latest model of Dodge Ram. And the recent Dodge Ram 3500 manual doesn’t use manual fluid. Instead, it requires the automatic fluid +4 type. 

ATF+4 synthetic type is ideal for heavy-duty performance, as it works in high or low temperatures and reduces oxidation. But how to choose between traditional and synthetic ATF? 

Well, it depends on the owner’s manual recommendation.  Follow the specification-based transmission fluid type suggested by the manufacturers. 

Here is a table for model-based dodge ram 3500 transmission fluid type

Dodge Ram 3500 ModelTransmission TypeFluid Type
DT Tradesman8-Speed AutomaticATF+4
DT Big Horn8-Speed AutomaticATF+4
DT Longhorn6-Speed Automatic8-Speed AutomaticTraditional or synthetic ATF+4
DS/DJ/D2 Limited6-Speed AutomaticATF+4
DS/DJ/D2 Outdoorsman6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Traditional and synthetic ATF+4

Read Also: Turbo 350 Transmission Fluid Type and Capacity: What You Must Know

Dodge Ram 3500 Transmission Fluid Capacity

Manufacturers keep on updating the cylinders and engine oil type with each new series. 

As a result, you need to add different transmission fluid levels in them, as listed below. Generally, the capacity ranges from 9 to 17 quarts, irrespective of the fluid type. 

Based on the engine, transmission type, and other specifications, the Dodge Ram 3500 series has different gearbox capacities for the transmission fluid. In order to clear any doubts, here is a chart that you can take a look at:

ModelTransmission TypeEngine TypeCapacity
2018 Ram 3500Automatic6 cyl, L ETK Diesel Turbo13.7 quarts
2018 Ram 3500Automatic8 cyl, T, EZC12 quarts
2019 Ram 3500Manual8 cyl, J ESA9.9 quarts
2019 Ram 3500Automatic6 cyl, L ETL Diesel Turbo12 quarts
2020 Ram 3500Automatic6 cyl, L ETL Diesel Turbo17.5 quarts
2021 Ram 3500Automatic6 cyl, L ETM, Diesel Turbo13.7 quarts
2022 Ram 3500Automatic6 cyl, L ETL Diesel Turbo17.5 quarts

Read Also: Mazda 3 Transmission Fluid Type and Capacity [2003-2023 Mazda 3]

Is There Any Alternative to Transmission Fluid on the Dodge Ram 3500?

Usually, the manufacturers don’t recommend using anything rather than the traditional and synthetic ATF+4. Because the wrong choice of fluid can void your Dodge warranty. 

However, many Dodge Ram 3500 owners have used Amsoil fuel-efficient fluid and claimed to face no damage in their vehicles. Also, licensed ATF fluid instead of the plus 4 variation is also in use. 

So, if you’re thinking of changing the fluid type with Amsoil or others, contact the fluid manufacturers. 

You may also read this Dark Side Of Amsoil.

They can guide you on what Dodge 3500 Ram specs require and what type of alternative fluid is instead of the usual fluid recommended by the car manufacturers. 

Here, you can get better insights into the Amsoil:

Read Also: C6 Transmission Fluid Type

How to Check Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Ram 3500?

Checking the transmission fluid level or condition does not require making an appointment for service. You can take up the DIY process with the steps below. But be very careful while following these –

Step 1: Park and Warm Up

Park the car at the ground or even level, and apply the parking brake. Then, let the engine idle for a few minutes to warm it up. 

You can change the gear in drive and reverse for 2 seconds respectively. While doing so, ensure the engine is at idle speed. 

Step 2: Check the Fluid Conditions

Open the hood and locate the dipstick handle as per instructions in the manual. Pull it out. 

Wear gloves and insert your thumb or an inflammable stick to contact the fluid. If it’s at a lower level that you can barely touch, you need to add fluid. 

Ensure that the transmission fluid has a pinkish hue, indicating that it isn’t burnt. However, if there is a smell or red hue, book a fluid-changing service immediately.  

Set up the scan or diagnostic tool and go to the sensors. It will show the transmission fluid temperature. If the reading aligns with the temperature in the Fluid Transmission chart, you don’t need to change or flush the fluid.

Step 3: Cover the Transmission Pan

Using a clean and dry cloth, wipe off the dipstick handle to remove any debris or dirt. Place it back in its place and make sure there is no leakage around the transmission pan.  

Read Also: 700R4 Transmission Fluid Type

Symptoms of Dirty Transmission Fluid on a Dodge Ram 3500

Clean transmission fluid works as a lubricator to keep the attached units to the gearbox active and rust-free. If the fluid is dirty, it’ll surely affect the driving experience and vehicle parts and show the symptoms described below:


The dirt in the fluid doesn’t let the solution coat the attached parts properly. As a result, rust tends to build up, which leads to wear and tear. So, the fluid leaks through the tear and holes across the transmission pan. 

Debris can eventually block the fluid filter, thus preventing the smooth flow of the liquid. As a result, the fluid overflows. Due to leaks, you will notice red or pinkish oil or liquid under the front unit of the car once you park it.

Burning Smell and Noise

Once you try to shift gears and start the engine, you’re likely to smell a foul or burnt smell. This is because the debris can increase the fluid temperature, and the liquid is prone to burn. 

Neutral gear doesn’t make any noise unless the transmission fluid is dirty. So, if you hear an unusual noise frequently during the neutral controls, rest assured that the liquid and its pipe are clogged with dirt.

Unusual Gear Shifts

 While shifting the gears, the manual transmission attached parts will grind. And you’ll be able to feel the force while changing gear positions. 

It mainly happens as the dirty fluid can’t lubricate the parts that help to shift gears smoothly. Sometimes, the units may make a rattle. 

Read Also: Caterpillar Transmission Fluid Type

What kind of transmission fluid does a 2017 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins take?

The 2017 Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins takes ATF+4® transmission fluid. This is a full synthetic transmission fluid that is specifically designed for use in Chrysler and DaimlerChrysler vehicles with automatic transmissions. It is important to use the correct type of transmission fluid in your vehicle, as using the wrong type of fluid can damage your transmission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, your doubt and query about dodge ram 3500 transmission fluid type and capacity has disappeared. Still, you might have some questions. This FAQ section probably has answers for those questions.

Is it safe to add manual fluid type in Dodge Ram 3500?

No, you should restrain from adding manual fuel to the Dodge Ram 3500. This type of liquid can damage the gearbox and void the warranty. The worst is that it can cause explosions. 

Do all Dodge Ram 3500 have automatic transmissions?

The recent series of the Ram 3500 configures mainly automatic transmission pan. However, the DJ and 2019 models have manual gearboxes. Since their features are primarily similar to automatic transmissions, they don’t use manual fluid but rather ATF+4.

Do all Dodge Ram 3500 have the same fluid capacity?

No, as per the engine specifications, the fluid capacity of the gearboxes keeps changing. The new engine models allow the pan to hold more liquid, around 15 to 17 quarts. And older ones can hold up to 13.7 quarts. 

Can you add fluid on your own to the Dodge Ram 3500?

Yes, if you know the technical know-how of car lifting and transmission pan, you can take up the project. With the assistance of a thin funnel or tube, you can pour liquid into the pan. However, for sealed transmission, contact a technician.

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