Most Common 48RE Transmission Problems & Solutions

If you drive a vehicle with a 48RE transmission, then you obviously enjoy a vehicle with an immense amount of torque. Driving a vehicle like a Dodge Cummins that has a great deal of torque can be fun, even if you’re not racing or speeding. Despite the fact that your truck can be fun to drive, there are some common problems with this particular transmission. Here is an overview of some of the most common problems as well as some possible solutions. 

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Throttle Valve Actuator

The throttle valve, also known as a throttle body, works with a fully computerized actuator to control the amount of air that flows into the engine upon the driver pressing down on the accelerator pedal. Through the regulation of airflow, you’re able to control the acceleration. 

There are some common throttle valve actuator problems that frequently occur in the 48RE transmission, and here is an overview of five of the most common problems:

  • Throttle position sensor issues – when this sensor malfunctions, it prevents the butterfly valve from opening properly or even opening at all. The easiest way to rectify this problem is to simply replace it. 
  • Buildup of grime and dirt – the buildup of dirt and grime can lead to your butterfly valve being impacted, as the buildup can totally block this essential valve. In order to reverse this problem, you should use an appropriate cleaner to clean the grime, either with the throttle body remaining in place or removing it and then cleaning it before returning it to the vehicle. 
  • Throttle body mechanism failure – the mechanism is sometimes damaged when the butterfly valve is repeatedly forced open. The mechanism can fail or get stuck. The only way to fix this problem is to replace the entire throttle body.
  • Vacuum leaks – broken air tubes, hoses, gaskets, seals, and even a loose clamp can cause too much air to be released when the accelerator is pressed, causing air to mix with fuel if this continues to happen. In order to fix the problem, all that’s necessary is to perform a thorough investigation in order to determine which hose, air tube, or other part needs attention, then simply replace it. If a clamp is loose, then tightening it can fix the leak.
  • Electric connection issues – electric connection problems can occur as a result of corrosion, a buildup of filth, or even a loose connection. It’s often possible to fix the problem by tightening the connections, cleaning the filth, and replacing broken wires. However, it is sometimes necessary to replace the entire connectors. 

Transmission Cooler Problems

The transmission cooler helps your truck to maintain a steady temperature when driving under normal conditions. Unfortunately, like other parts, the transmission cooler sometimes fails, and here are a couple of reasons why, as well as ways to fix the problems. 

  • A leak in the transmission line – if you notice that transmission fluid has been leaking on the ground, then you likely have a leak in the transmission line. You may notice some rust on the transmission cooler, especially if the car is older.
  • A clogged line – clogging inside one or more of the many hoses can cause the line to become clogged. Failure to service your transmission cooler will result in the eventual failure of the transmission itself, so you will want to address the issue as soon as possible, if possible.

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Replacing your transmission cooler

Regardless of the reason why your transmission cooler is malfunctioning, the only way to fix the problem is to replace the transmission cooler. This can cost as little as $50 or as much as $500, depending on whether you buy the part yourself and perform the labor, or if you opt to have your transmission cooler replaced at a local mechanic’s shop.

As you can see, despite the fun involved in driving a truck with a 48RE transmission, your vehicle will have significantly increased torque. However, if you fail to properly maintain your vehicle, it will eventually break down for any number of reasons. So, the best thing to do is to pay attention when driving your vehicle, so you can enjoy it for as long as possible without experiencing mechanical failure. Reputable remanufactured 48RE transmission retailers like can provide you with more information the transmission.


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