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Dodge Charger Transmission: Overview, Problems, Fluids

The Dodge Charger is a car that has been around for a long time and therefore has used a wide variety of transmissions. In this blog, we’ll talk about all transmissions from all seven generations. However, we’ll take a deep dive into the transmissions manufactured for the sixth and seventh generation. Let’s start with a quick answer:

The sixth generation of the Dodge Charger manufactured from 2006 – 2010 has a 4-speed 42RLE or 5-speed W5A580 automatic for both the 2.7L and 3.5L V6. The 5.7L or 6.1L HEMI V8 makes use of the W5A580 5-speed automatic. The seventh-generation manufactured from 2011 – Present-day has a 5-speed W5A580 or an 8-speed 8HP70 automatic for the 3.6L engines. All 5.7, 6.1, and 6.4L engines of this generation have an 8-speed 8HP70. The 6.2 V8 Hellcat has an 8HP90 transmission.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll first give an overview of what specific transmissions have been used in each generation. After that, we’ll discuss how long the transmissions of the sixth and seventh generation will last and their particular problems. Finally, we’ll discuss specifications for the transmissions in all generations and advise about transmission fluids for the sixth and seventh generation. Read on!

Also read: The Expected Mileage Of A Dodge Charger

Transmissions Per Generation

First Generation

  • A230 3-speed manual
  • A833 4-speed manual
  • TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic

Second Generation

  • A904 3-speed automatic
  • A727 3-speed automatic
  • A230 3-speed manual
  • A833 4-speed manual

Third Generation

  • A727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic
  • 3-speed manual
  • 4-speed manual

Fourth Generation

  • A727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic
  • 3-speed manual
  • 4-speed manual

Fifth Generation

  • 4-speed Volkswagen manual
  • 5-speed A525 manual
  • 3-speed A413 automatic

Sixth Generation

  • 4-speed 42RLE automatic
  • 5-speed W5A580 automatic

Seventh Generation

  • 5-speed W5A580 automatic (2011–14 V6 and V8) (2011-present Charger Pursuit)
  • 8-speed 845RE automatic (optional, 2012–2014 V6s. standard as of 2015)
  • 8-speed 8HP70 automatic (2015-present, non-Hellcat V8s)
  • 8-speed 8HP90 automatic (2015-present, Hellcat only)

Also read: Trim Levels Of A Charger And Challenger Explained

How Long Does a Dodge Charger Transmission Last?

Most transmission of Dodge Chargers that were produced after 2006 are reliable. The 845RE, 8HP70, and 8HP90 transmissions should last between 180.000 – 250.000 miles depending on the use of the car. The 42RLE and W5A580 are also capable of reaching these benchmarks. However, they have shown to be less reliable and may need replacement after 80.000 miles.

Also read: What Gas Does A Dodge Charger Take? (Explained)

How Much Does a Dodge Charger Transmission Cost?

If your American-Canadian Charger is making strange noises, leaving irregular spots where you parked the car, or you’re having trouble with the gears. It’s probably time to change your car transmission. Transmission expenditures depend on many factors, including your car model. You also have the option of rebuilding the transmission instead of replacing it. However, if the transmission is damaged too much, you’ll have to spend on replacing it. Here prices of different transmissions are mentioned to get an estimate of how much you’ll be spending.

  • 42RLE transmissions costs around $1.750 to $2.500
  • W5A580 transmissions costs around $2.540.
  • 845RE transmissions range from $2.800 – $3.300
  • 8HP70 transmissions range from $1.800 – $2.400
  • 8HP90 transmissions range from $4.000 – $5.000

Common Dodge Charger Transmission Problems

For this article, we will discuss the problems of transmission that are in the sixth and seventh generation of the Dodge Charger. Other transmissions are less relevant due to their age.

42RLE

The 42RLE is a problematic transmission because the design of the unit is not that good. Below we’ve outlined the major problems and the most likely causes:

  • Poor shifting due to the use of Dexron or Mercon transmission fluid. The 42RLE should only use ATF+4 Synthetic Type 9602 automatic transmission fluid.
  • Limp home mode being activated for no apparent reason. This means the transmission is stuck in first and second gear and can’t move further. Most likely caused by a defective sensor that makes the transmission think it’s in danger when it’s not.
  • Poor shifting not caused by the transmission fluid is most likely caused by a solenoid or valve stuck in the valve body, a computer malfunction, or a pump failure.
  • Random transmission downshifts caused by a defective lower or upper speed sensor.
  • Rough 1-2 shifts which normally can be solved by changing for the proper transmission fluid. Also make sure to change the filter to ensure all old fluid is out of the system.
  • Rough shifts and slipping of the transmission with the following ECU codes stored: P0750, P0755, P0760, P0765, P0846, P0871, P0841. Caused by corrosion in the 10 pin solenoid harness connector or a wiring issure between the transmission control module and the engine control unit. Changing the solenoid and/or rewiring is the way to fix this.

W5A580

  • Water entering the transmission via the dipstick tube which causes shuddering of the transmisson in 3rd, 4th and 5th gear. This problem is caused by a defective o-ring and replacing it will fix the issue.
  • Poor shifting due to the use of Dexron or Mercon transmission fluid. The W5A580 should only use ATF+4 Synthetic Type 9602 automatic transmission fluid.
  • Poor shifting or harsh engagement of the Drive or Reverse options. This is caused by design flaws of the engine and a mechanic will need to figure out the exact problem.
  • The torque converter gives out prematurely. This is caused by a faulty solenoid or clutch, or fluid contamination. Replacing the torque converter is the only option.

845RE / 8HP70 / 8HP90

The 845RE, 8HP70, and 8HP90 transmissions installed in the Dodge Charger are excellent transmissions with very few reported problems.

Also read: 19 Common Problems Of A Dodge Charger

Difference between Transmissions of Dodge Charger

  • The A230 is a 3-speed manual transmission that works on an all-synchromesh basis.
  • The 1964 – 1974 A833 is a 4 speed manual transmission manufactured by New Process Gear whereas the 1976 – 1988 A833 is a 4-speed manual overdrive.
  • The A904 is a 3-speed automatic transmission introduced in 1960 under the TorqueFlite name. Later is was renamed as the 30RH. It was designed for standard application is smaller vehicles with a V6 or small-block V8 engine.
  • The A727 (later renamed the 36RH/37RH) is a TorqueFlite transmission was introduced in 1962 as the replacement of the A466 as it was 60 lbs. lighter.
  • The A525 is a 5-speed manual transaxle.
  • The A413 is a front wheel drive transaxle derivative of the A904 that was used with Chrysler 2.2 and 2.5L K-engines.
  • The 42RLE was introduced in 2003 and a modification of the original 42LE which is part of the Ultradrive series. The 42RLE is a 4-speed longitudinal rear-wheel drive automatic.
  • The W5A580 is a 5-speed automatic. This was a Chrysler adaptation of the ZF 5HP30 assembly, which was first labelled as the NAG1.
  • The 845RE is Chryslers version of the original 8HP45 and was introduced in 2013.
  • The 8HP70 is and 8-speed longitudinal automatic transmission that has a torque handling limit of 700 newton-metres (516 lbf⋅ft), and weighs 87 kilograms (192 lb).
  • The 8HP90 is and 8-speed longitudinal automatic transmission that has a maximum input torque up to 900 Nm, or 664 lb-ft.

Also read: Dodge Charger Towing Capacity: Can It Tow A Trailer, Boat Or Jet Ski?

Transmission Fluids and the Dodge Charger

The heat produced in the transmissions causes transmission fluid to break down. It means the time to change the fluid has arrived. Changing transmission fluid after covering certain miles becomes an important task to keep your transmission working. You would want to keep your transmission working smoothly if you want your car to stay with you forever.

It is recommended to change the transmission fluid of the Dodge Charger every 30,000 miles. If your transmission is automatic and you take care of it with passion, you will probably be able to go a few miles more with the fluid.

  • The 42RLE and W5A580 use ATF+4 Synthetic Type 9602.
  • The 845RE, 8HP70 and 8HP90 use QuantumBlue and they are not compabile with ATF+4.

Sources