A Comprehensive Guide for 68RFE Transmission Owners

Congratulations on owning a vehicle equipped with the robust and versatile 68RFE transmission system! Whether you’re driving a heavy-duty truck or a commercial vehicle, understanding the nuances of your transmission is essential for maximizing performance, longevity, and reliability. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the 68RFE transmission, providing valuable insights, maintenance tips, and troubleshooting advice to help you get the most out of your ride.

Understanding the 68RFE Transmission System:

The 68RFE transmission is a six-speed automatic transmission developed by Chrysler for use in heavy-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Renowned for its durability and towing capabilities, the 68RFE transmission features robust construction, advanced electronic controls, and adaptive shifting algorithms to deliver smooth, responsive performance across a wide range of driving conditions.

Key Components and Operation:

At the heart of the 68RFE transmission lies a complex network of gears, clutches, solenoids, and hydraulic circuits that work in harmony to facilitate gear shifts and power delivery. Understanding the function of key components such as the torque converter, valve body, and clutch packs is essential for maintaining and troubleshooting your transmission.

Maintenance Best Practices:

Proper maintenance is crucial for ensuring the longevity and reliability of your 68RFE transmission. Here are some essential maintenance tasks to keep your transmission in top condition:

  1. Regular Fluid Checks and Changes: Transmission fluid serves as the lifeblood of your transmission, lubricating moving parts, dissipating heat, and facilitating smooth gear shifts. Check your transmission fluid level regularly and adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended fluid change intervals.
  2. Filter Replacement: The transmission filter helps remove contaminants and debris from the fluid to prevent premature wear and damage to internal components. Replace the filter according to the recommended service intervals to maintain optimal transmission performance.
  3. Cooling System Inspection: Adequate transmission fluid cooling is essential, especially when towing heavy loads or operating in hot climates. Inspect the transmission cooler and lines for leaks, damage, or blockages, and ensure proper airflow to the cooling system.
  4. Software Updates: Keep your vehicle’s transmission control module (TCM) software up to date to ensure optimal performance and compatibility with the latest engine and transmission technologies.

Troubleshooting Common Issues:

Despite its robust design, the 68RFE transmission may encounter occasional issues that require attention. Here are some common problems and troubleshooting tips:

  1. Harsh Shifting: If you experience harsh or delayed shifts, it could indicate low fluid level, a faulty solenoid, or a worn clutch pack. Check the transmission fluid level and condition, and consider consulting a qualified technician for further diagnosis.
  2. Transmission Overheating: Overheating can lead to fluid breakdown, component damage, and transmission failure. Check for signs of overheating, such as burning smells or fluid discoloration, and inspect the cooling system for leaks or restrictions.
  3. Erratic Behavior: Erratic shifting, slipping, or hesitation may be caused by electrical issues, sensor malfunctions, or internal component wear. Have the vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system scanned for fault codes, and address any underlying issues promptly.


Owning a vehicle equipped with a 68RFE transmission offers unmatched durability, towing capacity, and performance. By understanding the intricacies of your transmission system and adhering to proper maintenance practices, you can enjoy years of reliable service and worry-free driving. Remember to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual and seek professional assistance when necessary to ensure the continued health and longevity of your 68RFE transmission.

Advanced Maintenance and Performance Optimization:

Beyond basic maintenance, there are several advanced strategies and modifications you can implement to further enhance the performance and longevity of your 68RFE transmission:

  1. Performance Tuning: Consider investing in performance tuning software or modules specifically designed for the 68RFE transmission. These aftermarket solutions allow you to adjust shift points, line pressure, and torque converter lock-up strategies to suit your driving preferences and performance goals.
  2. Upgraded Transmission Cooler: If you frequently tow heavy loads or operate in extreme conditions, upgrading to a larger or more efficient transmission cooler can help maintain optimal fluid temperatures and prevent overheating. High-performance transmission coolers with increased capacity and improved thermal efficiency are available from various aftermarket manufacturers.
  3. Auxiliary Transmission Filter: Install an auxiliary transmission filter in addition to the factory filter to provide an extra layer of protection against contaminants and debris. These aftermarket filters typically feature higher filtration efficiency and larger surface area, helping to prolong the life of internal transmission components.
  4. Shift Kit Installation: A shift kit can improve shift firmness, reduce clutch slippage, and enhance overall transmission performance. Available in various configurations, shift kits typically include upgraded valve body components, springs, and seals designed to optimize hydraulic pressure control and shift timing.
  5. Billet Torque Converter: Upgrading to a billet torque converter can significantly enhance durability and performance, especially in high-horsepower or heavy-duty applications. Billet converters feature stronger construction, improved lock-up mechanisms, and higher stall speeds compared to factory units, providing improved torque transfer and drivability. You can also consider buying 48re transmission.
  6. Transmission Pan Upgrade: Consider replacing the factory transmission pan with a larger capacity, aluminum or steel aftermarket pan equipped with cooling fins and additional fluid capacity. These upgraded pans help dissipate heat more effectively and reduce fluid temperature fluctuations, improving overall transmission performance and longevity.
  7. Transmission Fluid Additives: Certain aftermarket transmission fluid additives can improve lubrication, reduce friction, and extend the life of internal transmission components. Consult with a reputable automotive technician or transmission specialist to determine the most suitable additives for your specific application and driving conditions.


Maximizing the performance, durability, and reliability of your 68RFE transmission requires a combination of proper maintenance, proactive troubleshooting, and strategic upgrades. By implementing advanced maintenance practices and performance enhancements, you can optimize your transmission system for peak performance and longevity, ensuring years of trouble-free driving enjoyment. Remember to consult with experienced professionals and reputable aftermarket suppliers to select the most suitable upgrades and modifications for your specific vehicle and driving requirements.

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