Everyone hates the feeling of being stranded because your truck won’t start. The stress and inconvenience can be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. If you know what to look for and how to avoid common transmission problems, your chances of seeing the red light go on are greatly improved. 68RFE Failures can be prevented, read on.
If you own a Dodge Cummins equipped with the 68RFE automatic transmission, there’s something you need to know. A fair number of these trucks have been plagued by the early failure of their transmission due to a design flaw that causes the torque converter lock-up clutch (TCC lockup) to fail at an accelerated rate. This article explains why this is so, how it affects your truck, and what you can do about it.
What is the 68RFE transmission and why is it so prone to failure?
The 68RFE transmission is a 6-speed automatic transmission developed jointly by Ford and General Motors for use in their heavy duty trucks, vans, and SUVs. In addition to the Fords and GMs, it was also used in Ram trucks for several years. Ford used the 68RFE in its Super Duty and Super Truck lines from 2005 to 2017.
In that time, it was involved in a number of transmission problems that are currently the subject of a class action lawsuit. Because the 68RFE transmission uses a clutch-type torque converter, it is especially vulnerable to damage from contaminated fluid. Ford made provisions in later years to clean the transmission fluid more thoroughly but, unfortunately, the damage had already been done.
A great many of these transmissions succumbed to internal failure early in their lives and have been a source of frustration ever since.
3 Common Symptoms of a Failing TCC Lock-Up Clutch
– Hard Shifts – Soft Shifts – Transmission Slipping
How to Detect a 68RFE Transmission Failure Before it Shuts Down
The transmission warning light will come on and stay on as the transmission fails. It will start to flash at some point as the transmission nears its shut down. You’ll know it’s time to get it fixed. For those who rely on their gauges to tell them what’s going on inside their transmission, the TCC lock-up clutch failure will result in two things – a drop in transmission temperature and a rise in transmission oil temperature. The drop in transmission temperature can be attributed to the fact that the TCC lock-up clutch is no longer aiding in the cooling of the transmission.
The rise in transmission oil temperature can be attributed to the fact that there is less oil flow due to the same problem.
What you can do to prevent transmission failure
All transmissions, regardless of make or model, will eventually fail due to wear and tear. There’s no way to avoid that. Preventing premature transmission failure, though, is something that can be done. The following steps can help keep your transmission in top condition.
- Keep It Clean – Transmission fluid is designed to attract and hold dirt. If it’s allowed to become contaminated, that dirt can end up inside the transmission where it will do some serious damage. Cleaning your transmission every 25,000 miles is a good idea.
- Change the Transmission Fluid – Once you’ve cleaned the transmission, change the fluid as well. This will help keep the dirt out of the transmission and help extend its life.
- Make Sure the Right Oil is Being Used – Using the wrong type of oil in your transmission can cause premature failure just as easily as dirt can. Make sure you are using the recommended type and quantity of fluid in your transmission.
The 68RFE transmission is a 6-speed automatic transmission developed jointly by Ford and General Motors for use in their heavy-duty trucks, vans, and SUVs.
In addition to the Fords and GMs, the 68RFE was also used in Ram trucks for several years. Ford used the 68RFE in its Super Duty and Super Truck lines from 2005 to 2017. At that time, it was involved in a number of transmission problems that are currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit. Because the 68RFE transmission uses a clutch-type torque converter, it is especially vulnerable to damage from contaminated fluid, particularly in the first 100,000 miles.
Available for the Dodge 2007.5 and up
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