Dodge Ram Gear Selector Problems – How To Prevent Them

The Dodge Ram is a popular and reliable truck known for its ruggedness and performance. However, like any mechanical system, it can experience issues over time.

When this mechanism malfunctions, it can cause a range of frustrating problems, from being stuck in one gear to difficulty shifting or inaccurate display.

This guide will explore common Dodge Ram gear selector problems, potential causes, and possible solutions.

By understanding these issues, you can better identify and address gear selector problems in your Dodge Ram.

What Are Dodge Ram Gear Selector Problems?

dodge ram gear selector problems

A faulty selector can cause many inconvenient problems.

They include difficulty in controlling shift levers, being stuck in Park mode, inaccurate gear indicators, loose components, and delayed engagement.

Let’s keep reading for more details!

Difficulty Shifting Gears

One of the most prevalent problems is difficulty shifting gears. The gear selector may feel stiff or may not engage smoothly when attempting to change from one gear to another.

This can make it challenging to select the desired gear, resulting in a jerky or unresponsive driving experience.

Stuck In Park

Another common issue of Ram rotary shifter problems is the selector becoming stuck in the Park or Neutral position.

This can occur due to a malfunctioning shift interlock mechanism, faulty Park/Neutral Safety Switch, or problems with the transmission control module.

In this situation, my car could not be moved or get jerked while changing to D mode, hindering normal operation.

Gear Indicator Not Accurate

Dodge Ram owners may encounter problems with the shift indicator display on the dashboard.

The display may show the wrong gear, such as indicating “Drive” when the vehicle is in Neutral or Park.

This can confuse and make it challenging to determine the actual gear the vehicle is in.

Loose Gear Selector

Gear slippage can take place when the transmission fails to hold the selected gear properly. This can lead to unexpected shifts or a loss of power while driving.

The vehicle may be briefly disengaging from the current gear or shifting back and forth between gears without driver input.

Delayed Engagement

Delayed engagement refers to a delay or hesitation when shifting into gear, particularly from Park to Drive or Reverse.

The gear selector may require more time or effort to engage the desired gear, causing a lag in the vehicle’s response.

What Are The Cause Of Dodge Ram Gear Selector Problems

rotary gear shift problems

Worn Or Damaged Shift Cable

The gear selector is connected to the transmission through a shift cable or linkage system.

Over time, this component can experience wear and tear due to regular use.

If the shift cable becomes stretched, loose, or broken, it can result in difficulty shifting gears or improper gear engagement.

Faulty Transmission Control Module

The Transmission Control Module (TCM) is an electronic control unit responsible for managing and regulating the operation of the transmission system, including the gear-shifting process.

A faulty TCM may send incorrect signals or commands to the transmission, followed by erratic shifting behavior.

The gear selector may experience delayed or abrupt shifts, hesitation between gears, or inconsistent gear engagement.

Faulty Brake Switch

Why is my Dodge ram gear selector + – not working?

The brake light switch is another safety mechanism that works in conjunction with the shift interlock solenoid. It ensures that the brake pedal is pressed before shifting out of Park.

In case of a faulty brake light switch, it may not send the proper signal to release the shift interlock solenoid. This triggers gear selector issues.

Faulty Shift Interlock Solenoid

The shift interlock solenoid is a component in the gear selector mechanism of a Dodge Ram.

It’s responsible for ensuring that the component can only be shifted out of the Park position when the brake pedal is pressed.

When the shift interlock solenoid malfunctions, several gear selector problems will arise in a Dodge Ram.

Worn Or Damaged Gear Shift Linkage

The automatic or manual transmission shift linkage is the mechanical linkage system that connects the gear selector lever in the vehicle’s cabin to the transmission.

If the shift linkage is misaligned or damaged, it can affect the accuracy of gear engagement.

The linkage may not properly align the gear selector lever with the corresponding gear positions in the transmission. This leads to inaccurate gear selection.

For example, attempting to shift into Drive may force the vehicle to be Neutral or in a different gear.

Faulty Park/Neutral Safety Switch

A faulty Park/Neutral Safety Switch, is also known as the Transmission Range Sensor or Neutral Safety Switch.

This switch prevents the engine from starting unless the vehicle is in Park or Neutral. It also allows the gear selector to shift out of Park and into the desired gear.

A brokenPark/Neutral Safety Switch may block the gear selector from shifting out of the Park position.

If the switch fails to send the proper signal, it can hinder the release of the shift interlock solenoid.

How To Prevent Problems Of Dodge Ram Gear Selector On Steering Wheel

2014 ram 1500 shifter problems

To prevent Dodge Ram gear selector problems and ensure the smooth operation of your vehicle’s gear selector mechanism, you can follow:

  • Regular maintenance: Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your Dodge Ram.

Regularly servicing your vehicle can keep potential issues from developing.

  • Use the parking brake: Engage the parking brake whenever you park your Dodge Ram, especially on inclines. This alleviates the strain on the gear selector mechanism and helps prevent it from getting stuck in Park.
  • Handle the gear selector with care: Avoid applying excessive force or being rough with the gear selector when shifting gears.

Use a gentle, deliberate motion to select the desired gear, and avoid forcefully jamming it into position.

  • Maintain a healthy battery: A weak or dying battery can trigger electrical issues, which may take a toll on the gear selector system. Regularly inspect your battery, clean the terminals, and replace it when necessary.
  • Watch for warning signs: Pay attention to any warning signs of gear selector problems. They can be difficulty shifting gears, sticking in one gear, or an inaccurate gear display on the dashboard.

If you notice any unusual symptoms, have it inspected and repaired promptly.

  • Address fluid leaks: Leaking transmission fluid can cause gear selector problems.

Regularly check for any fluid leaks under your vehicle and address them promptly by fixing the source of the leak and replenishing any lost fluid.

  • Avoid overloading: Be mindful of your vehicle’s maximum towing and payload capacity. Overloading your Dodge Ram can excessively strain the transmission and gear selector mechanism.


In conclusion, Dodge Ram gear selector problems can present significant challenges and inconvenience for vehicle owners.

These issues can disrupt the normal operation of the vehicle and impact its drivability.

When encountering gear selector problems in a Dodge Ram, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from a qualified mechanic or a Dodge dealership.

Their expertise and diagnostic tools will help pinpoint the root cause of the issue and ensure accurate repairs.

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