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2002-2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 Truck Routine Maintenance FAQ

2002-2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Truck

Modern trucks need much less maintenance than the vehicles of 25 years ago, but they still need fluid changes, inspections, and adjustments. You no longer need to do a tune-up every six months or change the oil every three months, but regular service and check-ups are still essential to your vehicle’s longevity. What follows is our quick reference guide for the third modern generation Dodge Ram pickup truck the 2002-2008 Ram 1500. 2003-2008 Ram 2500 and 3500 models are also includes, but their introduction lagged a year behind, so little information on the previous generation 2002 3/4 and 1-ton trucks is here. This guide will cover two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, gas V6, V8 and V10 engines, as well as the Cummins turbo-diesel.

Most of these recommended routine maintenance tasks you can do yourself at home for practically no money, as long as you have a few simple tools and the time to invest. If you need more guidance, or even step by step instructions and a video demonstration, check out our OnDemand video tutorials, or get the online manual, or our traditional printed manual.

Oil Change

Engine Oil Type                                           5W-30 (3.7L V6, 4.7L V8, 2002-2004 5.7L V8)
                                                                     5W-20 (2005-2008 5.7L V8)
                                                                     10W-30 (5.9L V8, 8.0L V10)
                                                                     15W-40 or synthetic 5W-40 CI-4/SL (Cummins diesel)
Engine Oil Capacity                                    5.0 quarts (3.7L V6, 5.9L V8)
                                                                     6.0 quarts (4.7L V8)
                                                                     7.0 quarts (5.7L V8, 8.0L V10)
                                                                     11 quarts (5.9L Cummins diesel)
                                                                     11.4 quarts (6.7L Cummins diesel)
Oil Drain Plug Torque                                 25 ft-lbs(gasoline engines)
                                                                     25 ft-lbs (2002-2003 diesel engines)
                                                                     37 ft-lbs (2004-2008 diesel engines)

Transmission Fluid Change

Transmission Fluid Type                            Mopar ATF+4 (all automatics)
                                                                     Mopar Manual Trans Lube (NV3500/NV5600 manual)
                                                                     Mopar Synthetic 75W-85 Trans Lube (NV4500 manual)
                                                                     Mopar ATF+4 (G238/G56 manual)
Transmission Fluid Capacity                     5.5 quarts (2WD 45RFE/545RFE/68RFE auto) 
(with filter/fluid change)                                6.5 quarts (4WD 45RFE/545RFE/68RFE auto)
                                                                     4 quarts (46RE/47RE/48RE auto)
                                                                     2.1/2.4 quarts (NV3500 2WD/4WD manual)
                                                                     4 quarts (NV4500 manual)
                                                                     4.8 quarts (NV5600 manual)
                                                                     6 quarts (G56 manual)
Transmission Fluid Capacity                     14.5-16.5 quarts (2WD 45RFE/545RFE/68RFE auto)
(total including converter)                             15.5-17 quarts (4WD 45RFE/545RFE/68RFE auto)
                                                                     9-10 quarts (46RE auto)
                                                                     14.5-16.5 quarts (47RE/48RE auto)
Transmission Drain Plug Torque               14-20 ft-lbs (NV3500 manual)
                                                                     25-25 ft-lbs (NV4500 manual)
                                                                     22 ft-lbs (NV5600 manual)
                                                                     42 ft-lbs (G56 manual)
Transmission Pan Bolts Torque                105 in-lbs (45RFE/545RFE/68RFE)
                                                                     125 in-lbs (46RE/47RE/48RE)

Transfer Case Fluid Change

Transfer Case Fluid Type                           Mopar ATF+4
                                                           
Transfer Case Capacity                             2.3 quarts (NV241)
                                                                     3.25 quarts (NV241 HD)
                                                                     1.7 quarts (NV241 GENII/NV243 GENII/NV244 GENII)
                                                                     2 quarts (NV271/NV273)
Transfer Case Drain Plug Torque             15-25 ft-lbs

Differential Oil Change

Differential Oil Type                                    75W-90 GL-5 gear oil (all front 4WD)
                                                                     75W-90 GL-5 gear oil (rear 2002 Ram 1500/2500/3500)
                                                                      -plus 5/6 oz Mopar lsd additive (Model 60 axle 2WD/4WD)
                                                                      -plus 7/8 oz Mopar lsd additive (Model 70 axle 2WD/4WD)
                                                                      -plus 7/10 oz Mopar lsd additive (Model 80 axle 2WD/4WD)
                                                                     75W-140 Synthetic GL-5 lube (rear 2003-2008 Ram 1500)
                                                                      -plus 4 oz Mopar limited slip additive (Ram 1500 with LSD)
                                                                     75W-90 Synthetic GL-5 lube (rear 2003-2008 Ram 2500/3500)
Differential Oil Capacity                             1.75 quarts (front 2002-2008 Ram 1500)
                                                                      2.37 quarts (front 2003-2008 Ram 2500/3500)
                                                                      2.45 quarts (rear 2002-2008 Ram 1500)
                                                                      2.65 quarts (rear Ram 2500/3500 10.5" axle)
                                                                      3.81 quarts (rear Ram 2500/3500 11.5" axle)
Differential Cover Bolts Torque                 32 ft-lbs
                                                                     

Cooling System Flush and Fill

Coolant Type                                               Mopar 5yr/100k mile Formula coolant with H.O.A.T.
                                                                      (Hybrid Organic Additive Tech) mixed 50/50 with water           
Cooling System Capacity                          16.2-17 quarts (3.7L V6, 4.7L V8)
                                                                      16.3-18.7 quarts (5.9L V8)
                                                                      24.2-26 quarts (8.0L V10)
                                                                      24-28 quarts (5.9L diesel)
                                                                      22.6 quarts (6.7L diesel)                                                        

Other Miscellaneous Fluid Types

Power Steering Fluid                                  Mopar ATF+4
Brake Fluid                                                  DOT 3 brake fluid

Other Miscellaneous Torque Specs

Wheel Lug Nuts                                          135 ft-lbs (2002-2004 Ram 1500/2500)
                                                                     145 ft-lbs (2002-2004 Ram 3500)
                                                                     95 ft-lbs (2005-2008 Ram 1500)
                                                                     145 ft-lbs (2005-2008 Ram 2500)
                                                                     155 ft-lbs (2005-2008 Ram 3500)
Brake Caliper Bolts                                    24 ft-lbs (front Ram 1500/2500/3500)
                                                                     132 in-lbs (rear 2002-2004 Ram 1500, 2003-2004 Ram 2500/3500)
                                                                     22 ft-lbs (rear 2005-2008 Ram 1500/2500/3500)
Caliper Bracket Bolts                                 130 ft-lbs (front 2002-2008 Ram 1500)
(front)                                                            210 ft-lbs (front 2002-2004 Ram 2500/3500)
                                                                     250 ft-lbs (front 2005-2008 Ram 2500/3500)
(rear)                                                             100 ft-lbs (rear 2002-2008 Ram 1500)
                                                                     145 ft-lbs (rear 2002-2008 Ram 2500/3500)

Ram 1500 Tear Down

Maintenance Schedule

The following intervals are based on the assumption that you will be doing the service work yourself, as opposed to paying to have the work done. These are our recommended minimum maintenance intervals for vehicles that are driven daily, and in many cases are shorter than the factory’s recommendations. Because frequent maintenance enhances the efficiency, performance and resale value of your car, we encourage you to follow our schedule. If you drive in dusty areas, tow a trailer, idle or drive at low speeds for extended periods, or drive for short periods (less than four miles at a time) in below freezing temperatures, even smaller intervals are recommended. Diesel engines last longer and burn less fuel per mile, but do require more and different maintenance than a gasoline engine.

When the vehicle is new, follow the maintenance schedule to the letter, record it in your owner’s manual and keep all receipts to protect the warranty and resale value. In many cases the initial maintenance check is done by the dealer at no cost (check with the service department when you buy the truck for more information).

Every fuel stop or weekly (diesel engine only)

  • Check and drain water from fuel filter
  • Check air filter restriction gauge

Every 250 miles or weekly

  • Check the engine oil level
  • Check the coolant level
  • Check power steering fluid level
  • Check transmission fluid level
  • Check the brake and clutch fluid levels
  • Check the tires and tire pressures
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level
  • Check all lights and horn function

Every 3,000 miles or 3 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Change engine oil and filter
  • Check manual transmission fluid (first 3,000 miles, then every 15,000 miles afterwards)

Every 6,000 miles or 6 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Rotate the tires
  • Inspect/replace the windshield wiper blades
  • Check exhaust system and hangers
  • Check cooling system and hoses
  • Check brake and vacuum hoses
  • Check and service the battery and cables
  • Check suspension, steering and drive axle boots
  • Check the seat belts

Every 12,000 miles

  • Change differential fluid (3500 diesel model or sever conditions)*

Every 15,000 miles or 12 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Replace fuel filter (diesel engine)
  • Check the water pump (diesel engine)
  • Check brake system and pad wear*
  • Check engine accessory drive belt
  • Check fuel system for leaks and condition of hoses
  • Check the differential oil level in the front (4x4) and rear
  • Check the transfer case oil level (4x4)
  • Check manual transmission fluid level

Every 30,000 miles or 24 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Replace air filter element
  • Replace spark plugs
  • Change brake fluid
  • Check condition of cooling fan hub (diesel engine)
  • Check condition of vibration damper (diesel engine)
  • Check condition of front wheel bearings
  • Check ignition coils
  • Inspect evaporative emissions control system

Every 60,000 miles or 48 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Check/replace the PCV valve
  • Replace the spark plug wires (5.9L V8 only)
  • Replace crankcase breather filter (2007 and later)

Every 72,000 miles or 60 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Drain, flush and refill cooling system
  • Change manual transmission lubricant
  • Change transfer case lubricant
  • Change differential lubricant*

Every 90,000 miles or 72 months
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Drain, flush and refill power steering system

Every 100,000 miles
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Change automatic transmission fluid and filter**
  • Adjust automatic transmission bands (46RE, 47RE and 48RE transmission)

Every 150,000 miles
...all items listed above, as well as

  • Check and adjust valve clearances (diesel engine)

Note: Checking and adjusting the valve clearance on diesel engines is not a common routine maintenance item. However, it must be checked and adjusted if it has been removed and reinstalled. It might be necessary to check and adjust it when troubleshooting a performance, emissions or noise problem.

* If operated in "severe conditions", check brakes for wear and condition every 3 months or 3,000 miles, and change the differential fluid every 12,000 miles 

** If the vehicle is frequently used for towing, operated in continuous stop-and-go traffic, high heat, sub-zero, or mountainous areas, change automatic transmission fluid at 30,000 miles, as well as following other "severe condition" recommendations.