Ram 1500 V6 3.7 2008 low power acceleration at 40 mph on hills

On easy uphill grades, while slowly accelerating from lower speeds to highway speeds, while slowly pressing the accelerator pedal to give more gas, my 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab 3.7L V6 ceases to continue accelerating at about 40 mpg, until I give it some heavy accelerator pushing and the truck downshifts into lower gear, and higher, louder revs. In other words, acceleration to highways speeds of 55+ mpg is not continuous, but acceleration stops at about 40 mpg until I really push it…

I just purchased this used 2008 from a Dodge dealer. It immediately had severe engine shimmying / power issues, accompanied with the engine light flashing and pinging. My independent mechanic told me the truck “has a bad ignition coil.” The Dodge dealer replaced the spark plugs, explaining that during power washing under the hood, water gets into places it shouldn’t… The terrible shimmying and engine light issues disappeared after the plugs were changed.

Is my independent mechanic likely correct that I have a bad ignition coil? Would a bad ignition coil cause power and acceleration issues at highway speeds?

This is a 2008 crew cab. 2008 Ram 1500 SXT small 3.7L V6 engine. 2WD.

Could be that you are too slow and light on the gas pedal in this case. It sounds like you are letting the transmission get into overdrive bechase it “thinks” your are cruising(which happens at about 40 mph in this vehicle). Once there, there is not enough engine torque at the lower rpm to continue acceleration up hill until you get it out of overdrive (push the gas pedal down to force a downshift). One test would be to disable the overdrive (you should have a button on the dash for this) and see if the “problem” still exists.


I took notice of the “take out of overdrive mode” button and tried it this AM. Haven’t gathered enough data yet to see whether this makes a difference.

BTW… there are “take out of overdrive” and “i am towing” modes.