Like the outgoing light-duty RAM pickup truck, the all-new, 2019 RAM 1500 employs a smart strategy for bringing the engine oil and transmission fluid up to operating temperature more quickly after a cold start. The RAM’s thermal management system circulates coolant that’s been heated by the engine around the two fluids, facilitating the transfer of some thermal energy from the warm engine coolant to the cold motor oil and trans fluid.
The system has been expanded upon for 2019, however, and now boasts an industry-first feature that allows the same heated engine coolant to warm the rear axle oil in 4×2 trucks. A three-way valve in the cooling system manages flow between the engine, cabin, and rear axle, giving priority to warming the cabin depending on the user’s HVAC settings. Once the cabin is suitably toasty, that same heated coolant is diverted to a cavity in the double-layer rear axle case to bring that lubricant up to temp quickly.
According to Fiat Chrysler, this approach leads to improved efficiency for the new, 2019 RAM 1500; as the lubricants are heated, they spend more time at optimal viscosity. Just as important, this thermal management approach allows the engine coolant to remove heat from the transmission fluid and rear axle lubricant in demanding situations, helping prevent overheating while hauling or towing – especially when ambient temperatures are high.
The 2019 RAM 1500 will ship exclusively with an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, and with upgraded axles on both 2WD and 4WD trucks offering improved performance, efficiency, and durability. They now feature a 6-bolt lug pattern front and rear, an electronic parking brake, and new-for-2019, 4WD trucks offer an optional eletronically-locking rear differential.