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2002-2008 Dodge Ram Full Sized Truck Routine Maintenance Reference Guide

(Covering 2002-08 Ram 1500 and 2003-08 Ram 2500/3500 with V6, V8 and V10 engines, two- and four-wheel drive, gas and Cummins diesel engines. Excluding SRT-10 models.)

Dodge Ram Cover 20405Modern cars and trucks do not need as much maintenance as the vehicles of 30 years ago, but they still need periodic checks and inspections. You don’t necessarily have to tune-up and adjust the engine every six months, or change the oil every three months/3,000 miles (though it is still recommended for some vehicles), but to protect your investment and ensure years of service, regular fluid changes and tire rotations are essential. Catching a problem before it happens, through regular inspections, will save you hundreds of dollars and countless time.

This quick reference guide answers many questions that occur during routine maintenance tasks. With this chart and a set of common tools, you can perform the majority of regular service yourself at home. This generation of Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck ran from 2002-2008, but the Ram 2500 and 3500 model introduction lagged a year behind, so little information on the 3/4 and 1-ton trucks from 2002 is here. For more information and step by step instruction, refer to the relevant section of Chilton manual 20405.

Engine 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)
(when changing filter) 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 (front – all with 4WD)
75W-90 GL-5 gear oil (rear – 2002 Ram 1500/2500/3500)
* plus 25ml Mopar lsd additive (Model 60 axle 2WD/4WD)
* plus 26ml Mopar lsd additive (Model 70 axle 2WD/4WD)
* plus 21ml oz Mopar lsd additive (Model 80 axle 2WD/4WD)
75W-140 Synthetic GL-5 lube (rear 2003-2008 Ram 1500)
* plus 118ml Mopar limited slip additive (Ram 1500 with LSD)
75W-90 Synthetic GL-5 lube (rear 2003-2008 Ram 2500/3500)
Differential Oil Capacity 1.7 liters (front 2002-2008 Ram 1500)
2.24 liters (front 2003-2008 Ram 2500/3500)
2.32 liters (rear 2002-2008 Ram 1500)
2.51 liters (rear Ram 2500/3500 10.5″ axle)
3.61 liters (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)


Dodge Ram 1500 MexicoWhat follows is our recommended minimum maintenance intervals for daily driven vehicles, based on our years of experience and the factory schedule. We encourage you to use our schedule and perform the maintenance yourself, to save money and needless trips to the dealer. In many cases, our intervals are shorter than the factory’s recommendations, but frequent maintenance will improve the service life of your vehicle, as well as enhance the efficiency, and improve the resale value. If your vehicle is frequently driven in dusty areas, driven at low speeds for extended periods, allowed to idle at length, used to tow a trailer, or used often for short trips (less than four miles at a time) in below freezing temperatures, even smaller intervals are recommended.

When you purchase the vehicle, follow this maintenance schedule and keep a written record and receipts to protect the warranty and resale value. If you buy the vehicle new, an initial maintenance check is often included at no cost (check with the service department 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 (4×4) and rear
  • Check the transfer case oil level (4×4)
  • 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, they must be checked and adjusted if they have been removed and reinstalled. It might be necessary to check and adjust 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.

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2 Responses

  1. sergio says:

    may want to have someone read what is being written as the message about something as OIL seems somewhat confusing.

    “You no longer have to tune and adjust the engine every six months or change the oil every three months/3,000 miles, …”

    as I read a bit further down..

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

    Change engine oil and filter”

    Ive often used Chilton Manuals to help guide my work but this is concerning, and I definitely question the accuracy of other details as well now, unfortunately.

    • Bryan Wood says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. That is a standard introductory paragraph that we reuse from other routine maintenance guide pages. In this case it is inaccurate, as you pointed out, because we do recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles.

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