I have a 1997 dodge ram 1500 with the 5.9 engine with an automatic transmission.

When driving I have to go to the gear below the one I want then go up to the one I want.

For example for drive I would have to shift to second gear then go up one into drive or for reverse I gotta go into neutral then reverse.

Do I need to start planning a transmission rebuild or could it be something easier and more simple than that? If I do need to plan for a transmission rebuild would that be something I could do in my garage or suck it up and take it to a shop?

  • Have you checked the transmission fluid? Is it up to level when hot? What does it look/smell like? Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


I would check the linkages - adjusted properly and the oil - has is been replaced lately / ever, also the filter? If not, my experience with auto boxes is that you are probably best getting a professional rebuild.

  • It sounds like you have linkage issues. I'm not an expert on auto trannys, but you can raise the vehicle safely and look a the shifter linkage to verify. Have an assistant move the shifter while you observe. My guess is that bushings are damaged or gone or perhaps bent shift rods. None of which should be expensive to fix. Have you been off road or driven over anything big lately?
    – Tim Nevins
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 19:20
  • @TimNevins This should be posted as another answer rather than a comment on Solar Mike’s answer. ;) Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 5:23

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