Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Change BW44 Fluid

This blog article will provide the necessary steps and information on how to change the transfer case fluid on 2011 - 2022 Ram 1500 models with the BorgWarner 44 or 48 type transfer cases. We also briefly discuss the correct type of Ram 1500 transfer case fluid specifications, fill capacities, change intervals, and why changing your Ram 1500 transfer case fluid is so important.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Change Info

This DIY information applies to the following Ram 1500 models:

  • 2011-2022 Ram 1500 transfer fluid change for 4WD models with BorgWarner BW44 or BW48 transfer case.
  • 2021-2022 Ram 1500 transfer fluid change for TRX 4WD models.

Important fitment notes for 2011 - 2012 Ram 1500 owners. 2011 - 2012 models had a mix of different transfer case model numbers. Models in this year span could have either a BorgWarner BW44, an NV24 (NV241 / NV243 / NV244 / NV271 / NV273), or an NV246 type transfer case. These three transfer case types use three different transfer case fluids. The contents of this article apply ONLY to the BW44 type (or BW48) transfer case. 2011 - 2012 Ram 1500 owners should confirm which transfer case they have before buying the corresponding transfer case fluid. This will ensure you use the correct transfer case fluid type during your fluid change. 2013 onward Ram 1500 owners do not need to confirm transfer case types.

Important fitment notes for 2012 - 2022 Ram 2500 and 3500 transfer case fluid changes. Although this transfer case fluid change procedure is demonstrated on a 2019 Ram 1500 transfer case, the procedures will also apply to Ram trucks 2500 or 3500 that used the BorgWarner 44 type transfer cases. 2012 - 2022 Ram 2500 and 3500 models came equipped with a similar BorgWarner BW44 type transfer case. Some mild visual differences will be seen but the general transfer case fluid filling and leveling procedures will still apply.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Change Interval

While it's always best to follow the manufacturers' recommendations, changing the Ram 1500 transfer case fluid around 80,000 miles to 90,000 miles should be acceptable under normal driving conditions. However, depending on your driving style the transfer case fluid could be changed more often. For example, if the vehicle sees aggressive driving, high horsepower applications (TRX models), full-time consistent 4WD engagement, off-roading, and frequent trailer pulling you should service the Ram 1500 transfer case fluid more often and as early as every 30,000 miles to 40,000 miles. Also, if you are using a cheaper non-synthetic name brand of fluid, you should change it more often. Abiding by recommended transfer case fluid change intervals and recommendations noted here can eliminate and minimize transfer case mechanical issues and costly repairs.

Why Should Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Be Changed?

The Ram 1500 transfer case has a considerable number of internal parts turning at high speeds. This includes bearings, sprockets, gears, gear pulleys, clutch materials, and chains. These internal parts rely solely on the transfer case fluids lubrication film strength for protection and longevity. Through use the center transfer case fluid experiences excessive shear loads and excessive heat cycles. In time these heat cycles and excessive loads can degrade and deplete the lubricating properties and film strength of the fluid found in the center transfer case. Continued use of old transfer case fluid over an extended period will result in excessive transfer case bearing, bearings, sprockets, gear pulleys, chain wear, and eventual part failure. Therefore, performing regular transfer case fluid changes is important. Changing the Ram 1500 transfer case fluid as routine maintenance will greatly extend the life of the transfer case, minimize driveline noises, poor 4WD engagement, chatter, and vibrations due to wear, and ensure the transfer case unit receives reliable clean lubrication.

Ravenol Transfer Case Fluid BW44 Fully Synthetic 1L
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Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Type Specifications

  • 2011 - 2022 Ram 1500 classic 4th generation models with all BW44 transfer case type use 68049954AC, 68049954AA, and 68089195AA transfer case fluid part numbers.
  • 2019 - 2022 Ram 1500 new 5th generation models with all BW48  transfer case type use 68049954AC, 68049954AA, and 68089195AA transfer case fluid part numbers.
  • RAVENOL BW44 transfer case fluid meets or exceeds original Ram 1500 part numbers 68049954AC, 68049954AA, and 68089195AA used in BorgWarner BW44 and BW48 type transfer cases (aka BorgWarner 44-40, 44-44, 44-45, 44-46, 44-47, 44-48, 48-11, 48-12 transfer cases).

Important fitment notes for 2011 - 2012 Ram 1500 owners. 2011 - 2012 models had a mix of different transfer case model numbers. Models in this year span could have either a BorgWarner BW44, a NV24 (NV241 / NV243 / NV244 / NV271 / NV273), or a NV246 type transfer case. These three transfer case types use three different transfer case fluids. 2011 - 2012 Ram 1500 owners should confirm which transfer case they have before buying the corresponding transfer case fluid. This will ensure you use the correct transfer case fluid type during your fluid change. 2013 onward Ram 1500 owners do not need to confirm transfer case types.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Capacity

  • 2011 - 2018 Ram 1500 transfer case fluid kill capacity is 1.4 liters (1.47 quarts).
  • 2019 - 2022 Ram 1500 classic transfer case fluid kill capacity is 1.4 liters (1.47 quarts).
  • 2019 - 2022 Ram 1500 transfer case fluid fill capacity is 1.3 liters (1.8 quarts) for BorgWarner 48-11 or 48-12 transfer case.
  • 2021 - 2022 Ram 1500 TRX transfer case fluid fill capacity is 1.8 liters (1.9 quarts) for BorgWarner 48-13 transfer case.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Change Tools Needed

  • 3/8 square bit or 3/8 drive ratchet
  • 3/8 drive torque wrench
  • 3/8 drive 3-inch extension
  • Waste oil drain pan container
  • High temp RTV or thread sealant (the drain and fill plugs do not have sealing washers or O-rings and rely on clean threads and sealant to seal)
  • Protective rubber gloves

Disclaimer: Blauparts recommends having a factory-trained A.S.E. certified Ram mechanic perform vehicle maintenance. Always refer to the owner's manual and factory service manual for Ram transfer case fluid changing procedures. Always wear protective gloves and safety glasses when handling fluids and oils.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Change Video Guide

Step-by-Step Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Change Instructions

How To Step 1

Since the Ram 1500 transfer case fluid is thicker, it is best to get the fluid warm before draining it. This can be done by taking your Ram for a quick 10-15 minute drive. This will allow the transfer case fluid viscosity to get thinner and flow more easily from the transfer case when drained.

How To Step 2

Most Ram 1500 transfer case fluid changes can be done on a flat level surface without lifting the vehicle. Before beginning the fluid change, ensure that the vehicle is in a level position. If the vehicle is not level this can cause the transfer case fluid level to be incorrect and could cause transfer case damage.

Important Note: The Ram 1500 should have enough ground clearance to access the center transfer case area without needing to lift it. If deciding to lift the vehicle for the service, confirm you're lifting the vehicle using an approved automotive hoist, floor jack, or set of jack stands, and reference the factory owner’s manual for the proper vehicle lift point locations and safety procedures.

How To Step 3

Locate and remove the Ram 1500 transfer case fill plug found on the rear side of the transfer case closest to the driveshaft. Loosen and remove the fill plug in a counterclockwise direction using a 3/8 square bit or ratchet. It is always best to confirm that the fill plug can be removed before draining the transfer case fluid. This will confirm you will have a way to refill the transfer case with fluid in case the fill plug is seized or can’t be removed.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Fill Plug Removal

How To Step 4

Locate the transfer case fluid drain plug on the lower left section of the transfer case. Loosen and remove the drain plug in a counterclockwise direction using a 3/8 square bit or rachet and allow the old Ram 1500 transfer case fluid to thoroughly drain into a suitable waste oil drain pan.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Drain Plug RemovalOld Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Being Drained

How To Step 5

Use a clean rag and wire brush to clean the drain and fill plugs of any excess fluid, corrosion, contaminants, and debris. Then apply a small amount of automotive grade thread sealant or high temp RTV on the drain and fill plug threads to ensure a quality seal with no leaks.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Drain and Fill Plugs With Sealant

How To Step 6

Once the old Ram 1500 transfer case fluid has been drained, use a clean rag to clean any excess fluid from around the drain plug area and then reinstall the drain plug, threading it in a clockwise direction. Using a 3/8 square bit and torque wrench, tighten the drain plug to the recommended 15 ft-lb torque specification.

How To Step 7

Using the correct type of Ram 1500 BorgWarner 44 and 48 transfer case fluid, begin filling the transfer case through the fill port. Fill the Ram transfer case with fluid until you see the fluid begin overflowing from the fill port. Make sure you have your waste oil drain pan container handy to catch the flow of fluid. Once you see the fluid flow in a heavy stream from the fill port the transfer case fluid level is correct—this is between 1.4 and 1.8 liters depending on the exact year of the Ram.

This step should always be done with the vehicle and transfer case in a 100% level condition to confirm the proper fluid level. This step should never be done with the vehicle not level.

Once the Ram 1500 fluid level has been confirmed I like to wait around 5 minutes to allow any air pockets to leave the transfer case. Many times, this will allow one or two more pumps (small amount) of transfer case fluid to still be added. To confirm your transfer case fluid capacity, see the above-listed capacities.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fluid Replacement and Overfill

How To Step 8

Once the Ram 1500 transfer case fluid level has been confirmed you can re-install the transfer case fluid fill plug and using a 3/8 square bit and torque wrench, tighten the fill plug to the recommended 15 ft-lb torque specification.

Note: As previously mentioned, using a small amount of high temp RTV or thread sealant on the drain plug and fill plug is highly recommended to confirm a reliable seal with no slow leaks.

Ram 1500 Transfer Case Fill Plug Reinstallation

How To Step 9

Using a rag, clean and remove all excess drained and overflowed Ram 1500 transfer case fluid from the transfer case drain and fill plug locations. The transfer case should be completely cleaned of all fluid residue. This will later help you to inspect and confirm that the center transfer case does not have any leaks.

How To Step 10

If you chose to lift the vehicle with an approved automotive hoist, floor jack, or jack stands, you can lower the vehicle as highlighted and referenced in your factory owner’s manual. Confirm the correct vehicle lift point locations and procedures are followed as instructed in your factory owner's manual.

How To Step 11

Once you have the vehicle on the ground you can take the car for a simple 5 to 10-minute test drive and then examine the Ram 1500 transfer case and confirm you do not have any leaks coming from the transfer case drain plug.

How to Step 12

Dispose of your old transfer case fluid responsibly by taking it to a certified recycling collection center.

Recycle All Oils & Fluids

Note: It is good to note in your records the current mileage at the time of your transfer case fluid change, as well as when you might want to change it next. We also recommend keeping detailed service records to keep track of your vehicle's true condition. Keeping good vehicle maintenance records can help improve your vehicle resale value.


See our Disclaimer on the right-hand side of this page. Always consult your service manual and confirm the specific fluid and oil requirements for your application. Always follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended oil change intervals. Blauparts and Ravenol are not affiliated with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V (FCA), FCA US LLC, FCA Group Marketing S.p.A, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Mopar, ZF, BorgWarner, New Venture Gear, its affiliated companies, subsidiaries, its licensors, any other vehicle, or vehicle part manufacturer. All trademarks and OE specification part numbers referenced in this product listing are displayed for identification purposes only and are in no way intended to denote any affiliation with their corresponding owners.

This article was produced and written by the BLAU® Technical Team - Copyright © Blau®, Blauparts® LLC. All rights reserved.

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