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Dodge Ram Automatic Transmission Range Selector Knob

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  • Dodge Ram Automatic Transmission Range Selector Knob

    If you find yourself driving a Dodge Ram with one of these:

    Click image for larger version

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    . . . here's a fun thing to know:

    On most cars, if you're driving along and put your car in Neutral, it will coast, then if you put it back in Drive, it will figure out what gear to be in and engage. So one day I was driving one of EHI's Ram 1500's through Tennessee and tried this.

    One click to the left and I'm in Neutral. One click to the ri . . . wait a minute . . . WTH . . . it won't go back into drive!

    That's stupid. Limitation of the ZF-designed transmission? Maybe a speed restriction (I was doing about 65MPH at this point)? Maybe I'm missing something? Maybe I broke it? Maybe someone else before me broke it mostly and I finished it off?

    Then I thought about it another few seconds. It must be able to, otherwise some other idiot besides me would have tried it and died somehow, and their family would have sued etc. The computer probably thinks of it the same way whether I'm at 0MPH or some other amount of MPH.

    What if I touch the brake pedal just a bit, enough to allow me to shift the same car into Drive in a Walmart parking lot?


    So, if you ever find yourself in this situation, now you'll know what to do.

    Not sure if this is still the case on the newer ones, I haven't tried this on them for a few years. Also not sure if this is the same on other knob-selector cars from FCA or otherwise.

  • #2
    I'll stick with my shift lever and steel cable thank you very much. Too much to go wrong with all this electronic shit. How do you shift out of park if your battery is dead?
    2002 Chevrolet S-10 350 V8


    • #3
      There's a bypass. I can't remember where it is but I read about it in the manual.

      During the original design phases I don't think it was a big worry for ZF. They originally put this transmission (minus some minor changes FCA did to it for their version of mass production) in Rolls Royces, Bentleys, etc. When the battery goes dead on those all an owner has to do is say "Jeeves, no lights come on and my eyes are leaking water. Please see to fixing it." and then it is fixed. No worries about how to get it out of Park.


      • #4
        Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say that with no worries!

        Of course, if I had the dollars, cars wouldn't really be at the top of my list...

        Singer Castle, on an island on the St Lawrence river, I'm not sure if its on the Canada side, or the NY side. We visited it a couple years ago. Beautiful island and the castle tour was just as awesome.
        2002 Chevrolet S-10 350 V8


        • #5
          That sounds nice. If I had Rolls Royce money I'd have a nice shop to put my various cars in, then enjoy the cars and travel (sometimes in and with the cars) all over.