My Dodge Ram Won't Shift Into Overdrive

by Erin MartiseUpdated August 07, 2023
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Dodge Ram trucks come stock with an overdrive, or O/D, function that enables them to switch between three and four gears. When the overdrive is off, the truck operates on three gears, allowing it to pull more weight and giving it more power. When the overdrive is on, the truck operates on four gears, using less power and less gas. It is uncommon for the overdrive to fail, but if your Dodge Ram does fail to shift into overdrive there are a few causes you can investigate before taking it into a repair shop.

1. Turn the overdrive function on by pressing the overdrive button

Turn the overdrive function on by pressing the overdrive button. The overdrive button is located below the headlight knob and next to the power mirror knob. A light should come on your dashboard informing you that it is on. Having the light come on does not necessarily indicate whether the overdrive is indeed functioning as it should, but it is a good first step. You may try turning the overdrive function on and off to try and get the light to function properly.

2. Put the Dodge Ram into drive and drive forward slowly at first, accelerating as you move

Put the Dodge Ram into drive and drive forward slowly at first, accelerating as you move. If the RPMs reach 4,000 to 5,000 without dropping, this could indicate that the truck is not shifting into overdrive. When the overdrive function is activated, the truck should shift at around 3,000 to 4,000 RPMs.

3. Turn the engine off and let it cool

Turn the engine off and let it cool. Then turn the truck back on and initiate the same steps again. If the truck fails to shift into overdrive, there may be an issue with the sensor connecting the overdrive to the steering wheel panel. If you have installed any after-market additions to the truck, such as an alarm upgrade, this may cause problems with the relay. It is best to take the truck into a repair shop and have them examine it.

Tips and Warnings

It is best to do the overdrive test drive in a parking lot or in a place where your speed will be controlled.

Never drive on the highway with the overdrive off, as this could cause serious engine damage.

Video: 2007 Dodge Ram Overdrive not working. Fixed

Helpful comments on this video:

  • This is awesome I was having the same issue with my Chrysler aspen with the 5.7 hemi and the same code came up. I traded it and when they brought it into the shop they said the transmission needed to be rebuilt. If this fixes the problem im gonna lose it.
  • Your 2007 Ram has the 545RFE which is a 5 speed automatic correct? I am about to buy a 2005 Ram single cab 2wd with the 4.7L Magnum and it lost overdrive on the current owner. He said it is throwing the check engine light, but doesn't know the code. I wonder if this is the same issue as yours with the CPS?

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