Dodge Ram

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A multitude of problems
Posted by on
JORDAN, MINNESOTA -- I purchased a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 with the Hemi, new, back in 2003. It has disappointed me time and time again. First, it was the overhead clearance lights. They were leaking and whenever it rained, especially overnight, water would pour onto my lap from the headliner. Specifically from the edge of the trip computer mounted above me. I took it to the dealer who claimed that they caulked them up, only for it to happen again and again. (That can't be good to have water pooling up in the roof somewhere.)

Then, while still under warranty, my check engine light would come on and the truck would run extremely rough, as though there were water in the fuel, anytime that I would let my truck idle to warm up in cold weather. (I live in Minnesota) The dealer told me that the throttle body intake was made of metal. In freezing temps, upon warming up the vehicle, that metal would produce condensation, therefore throwing sensors out of whack. There was a plan in the works to supposedly put out a recall on this problem and replace the intake with a plastic one. I haven't seen anything yet. That was 3 years ago. I still can't warm the truck up when it's below zero outside.

Then the multi-function turn signal switch acted up. I would signal left, my turn signals would flash right. And vice-versa. That turn signal arm also controls my wipers. They also acted strange. They would not go intermittent, they would stop on their own, they did whatever they felt like doing. I had it replaced while still under warranty 3 years ago. It started doing it again the other day.

While the truck was in for the turn signal arm, I asked them to look at the cruise control switch. I damn near break my thumb I have to push it so hard to get it to work. Sometimes it won't come on at all. According to the work order, they replaced that switch. Three years later and I still don't see a change. It still acts the same.

My biggest issue is that I don't have any floor heat. The air only flows for defrost and dash vents. That started 4-6 months after my warranty expired. As I stated before, I live in Minnesota. Winters can be pretty brutal around here. My feet freeze all winter long when I'm in my truck. In fact, my floor mats stay frozen pretty much all winter. I had a buddy of mine take his truck in for the same exact problem. He has the same exact truck, only still under warranty. I took him to the dealer the day he picked up his truck after the repairs. I told them I had the same problem and that my warranty was expired. How much is a repair like that? They told me it would cost me $1800 to get my floor heat back. That was 2 years ago. My feet are still cold!

Last issue. In Minnesota we drive on the lakes in winter. They are covered with snow and ice. Last winter I was driving through fairly deep snow on a lake and put the truck in 4-wheel drive. (I rarely use 4WD) The wheels were not giving me the traction I expected nor needed. I heard a lot of "clicking" going on under the truck. Not sure if it was the transfer-case or the rear end. That made me real happy!

In closing, I would like to stress that I take extremely good care of my truck. I perform ALL services by the book and on time. Aside from all these problems, the truck is in new condition.

(We also own a 1999 Dodge Intrepid. The air only comes out of the dash vents on that one too. No defrost. No floor.)

This is my 3rd Dodge Ram since 1996. The transmission went out on the previous 2 trucks.


I found this site looking for a way to tell the company that.
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calamity on 12/24/2007:
Duuuuude, buy a Ford! More truck, better engine, not as many problems. Last time my dad bought a Dodge, he bought the extended warranty and used it at least every other month. Tranny went first, transfer case next, electronics after that, and paint that flew off as he drove down the road. I used to love Dodges, but they are crap now. When my Ford truck started having paint issues, I contacted Ford and they repainted it for me, and in the color I wanted, not the color it uses to be. Good luck!
Anonymous on 12/24/2007:
That's why they are called "Dodge". After the sale, they try to dodge when they see you coming.
DebtorBasher on 12/24/2007:
I thought a Dodge was a Ford????????
MRM on 12/24/2007:
Sheriff, that was "okay" hilarious if not great hilarious.
old fart on 12/24/2007:
Yet another triumph of American inginuity and engineering..
RoadKingRider on 01/02/2008:
Well, another issue with the cold weather idle check engine light problem again today. It was about 7 degrees F today. I started my truck after work, let it idle for maybe 5 minutes, came out to see that the check engine light was on again. The truck was running rough but since I had been through this before, I revved the engine a little to help it run better. It did for about a 1/2 mile. The truck then decided to throw another warning light and not allow me to give it any more throttle. It would only go slightly over an idle. I was turning through a busy intersection at the time and had to get through it. It wouldn't move above a crawl. After getting through the intersection, I shut the truck off for a minute or two, restarted it. It ran fine and I drove home with the check engine light on.

In these weather conditions, it sure would be nice to have a remote starter so I could warm the truck up before driving! This continuing problem, however, won't allow it!
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Won't Stand By Product
Posted by on
After all the numerous recalls I've had to endure for my 2003 Ram 3500 diesel, the one major problem I really had wasn't covered. The original fuel pump system was such a terrible design, and the problem I had so common, that they don't even make a replacement part for it anymore. Instead, they sell you a kit which requires about 5-6 hours of labor to totally re-do the system (plus $500 parts). Customer service? Forget about it. If you finally get through to talking to your "case manager" all you'll hear is:
"It's no longer covered by the warranty"

Conclusion- as long as your crappy product limps through until after the warranty expires, then screw the customer (aka. sucker).

Did I mention that this problem manifested itself by my truck stalling out in the fast lane on the freeway during rush hour- not a lot of fun trying to steer/brake a 6000+ pound truck with no power steering or breaks! How could this not be a safety recall issue?

I am done with Dodge.
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Skye on 09/23/2010:
I can understand your frustration, but once a warranty ends, it's over. IF they allowed repairs past the warranty expiration date, they would have to do it for everyone. They may as well then have a forever warranty as long as you own your vehicle.
Starlord on 09/23/2010:
Skye is correct. The warranty on a 2003 truck is well past the expiration date. Just because you buy a vehicle does not mean they are going to fix anything that goes wrong in perpetuity. Manufacturers, at least now that eventually parts will wear out, so they have to limit their exposure . You really can't tell me that you expect Chrysler Corporation to repair a seven-year old fuel pump for free, can you? We have a 2006 Dakota, and if something breaks (notice correct word), we don't expect our local Dodge dealer to fix it for nothing.
ChuhBaca on 09/23/2010:
I agree, if the fuel pump goes out after warranty, you just have to deal with it. If, however, this is a safety issue, then you may want to check the NHTSA (I think that's right) website. If they see a common thread, they may look into it.

I do understand your frustration with Dodge. I bought a 2 year-old Dakota in early 2000. Went through 4 sets of brake pads, 2 sets of rotors, a set of drums, 2 complete sets of ball joints and a transfer case. Several warranty issues. I had to eat the cost of about half of those because the vehicle was out of warranty, including the cost of transfer case rebuild.

Eventually, Dodge admitted the safety issue on the ball joints (just do a search) and issued a recall, but I had already traded it in, and they didn't issue it for the '98 anyway. So, while they probably won't do anything for you, I understand your frustration with the company and I won't likely buy a Dodge again either.
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Cracking Dashboard
Posted by on
Dashboards are cracking on 2002 Dodge Rams. I have read that I am not the first to experience this problem.

Chrysler should do a recall on this problem since the American people were good enough to bail them out when they were having financial problems.
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trmn8r on 06/12/2011:
It is a 9 year old vehicle. I doubt they will do anything about this cosmetic issue.

The decision should be independent of any bailout "good will" IMO. Otherwise, every issue that comes down the pike will be "look how we bailed you out, you owe us". Car buyers demanding discounts. Where would it end?
MDSasquatch on 06/12/2011:
maybe the occasional application of Armor All would be a better idea; a dash exposed to direct sunlight for nine years is bound to break down.
Starlord on 07/03/2011:
We formerly lived in the southern Arizona desert, and while you don't state where you are, sunlight coming throuhe windshield causes a lot more than Dodge dashboards to crack.MDS is right, either apply some ArmorAll once in a while or get a dash cover, Nine years of sun through a windshield is not something that any manufacturer is going to cover.
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Defects That Should Have Been "Recalls" - And Now Chrysler Wants "Bailout"
Posted by on
TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI -- My 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 stopped blowing warm air around my cold feet several months after buying it off the showroom floor. The Dodge dealership quoted me $572 without asking questions or checking for the cause of the problem. They said they "knew" what the problem was.

I also had a problem with my 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 5-speed when a nut holding 5th gear in place "backed itself off" while driving down the highway a couple of years earlier. $1300 later a newly designed nut was installed. Service Mgr claimed his efforts to assist other customers in getting "recall assistance" from Chrysler had been futile.

And now Chrysler wants me to help pay for their bailout...?
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Anonymous on 12/24/2008:
That's why more people buy foreign brand vehicles. They tend to be more reliable. Why wasn't the heater problem on the 2006 Dodge not covered by warranty?
Mario The Great on 12/24/2008:
Technically, they don't have to ask you for anything. They've already been awarded a check by Mr. Bush himself. I have a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser that misfires. I took it in and they wanted $2500 to repair it. (It only has 32K on it so I asked why it wasn't covered by the bumper to bumper warranty.) Well, it's preventive maintenance that got it like this, so it's not covered. Anyway, I did a Google search and found out that this car misfires with the OEM wires and plugs. I bought them myself, replaced them and guess what? I saved $2400 bucks! My next car WILL BE A HYUNDAI or TOYOTA! By the way, ask your bank where the 350 billion went. If they answer "It's really none of your business", take your money out and tell them to suck eggs.
Anonymous on 12/24/2008:
Mario: The Associated Press did ask the banks about the money. How many responded? ZERO
MRM on 12/24/2008:
Mario, the internet is a great tool to research on the problem of your vehicle and how to fix the problem yourself. No need to depend on somebody else, which can charge you an arm and a leg, to the fix your car.
jktshff1 on 12/24/2008:
yoke on 12/24/2008:
passingby, we will never get an answer either. Congress forgot to have strings attached to the money and the banks are taking full advantage of it.
Anonymous on 12/24/2008:
I don't think they forgot. We the people too easily accept the notion that people in high office and high positions of power in big money are incompetent. Trust me, they aren't incompetent. These people know exactly what they are doing.
yoke on 12/24/2008:
At least Congress got "smart" and had strings attached to the auto bailout.
Anonymous on 12/24/2008:
Guess what!! I know what is wrong with your heat too and I didn't ask a question either. May I suggest if you want heat pay the $572, the job is a major pain in the azz.
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Dodge Ram Interior
Posted by on
CLINTON TWPS, MICHIGAN -- Unknown if anyone else has had problems, I have not contacted Chrysler yet to see what they can do. I have a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, it has light grey interior, anything that touches the seats stains them, when you clean the seats with water or a drop of water hits the seats, it stains them.

The interior runs the looks of the truck, seats always look dirty.
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Anonymous on 08/07/2008:
I had a light grey interior in a Pontiac GTO many years ago in my wild and crazy days. Same problem, 1/2 hour to wash the car and 1 hour to clean the interior. Think it's a problem with the light grey cloth interiors. I have a friend with light grey interior in his BMW and he wishes he would have never bought the car because of it.
Anonymous on 08/07/2008:
My last car had light gray interior and it was always dirty. My wonderful brother put his bike in my back seat once and the greasy black stains he left never came out. I tried cleaning it and made it worse. I spilled water on the passenger seat and it left a stain too.
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Why Can't I Get This Part?
Posted by on
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- I need a left front axle shaft for a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, this part is/has been on a national back order for 8 weeks and still can't get the part. Every time the mechanic checks on the part they push it back 2 more weeks. If this part was/is so bad and they're that far behind and getting them made (because everybody and their brother needs one!) why can't Dodge recall this part?

I have a Dodge vehicle that I can't drive-think I'll be buying another Dodge? :)
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Anonymous on 04/22/2008:
sounds like a bummer.I deal with backordered parts constantly,and always get different due dates.

Good Luck!
Anonymous on 04/22/2008:
It is also possible that the part so infrequently fails, that there was never much of an inventory for it. Perhaps, poster, you could go to a reputable salvage yard and get the part? It would be cheaper. I never put new parts (unless they are cheap or come with a GREAT warranty) into any of my vehicles that are over 10 years old. Just a (hopefully) helpful suggestion.
superduty on 06/05/2008:
I was looking for the same part for a long time myself. Check out this site.

got mine in a couple of days
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2003 Dodge Ram 1500
Posted by on
WYANDOTTE, MICHIGAN -- I have a Dodge Ram 1500 with the 360 Hemi engine that has 42,318 miles on it. While my wife was at the pharmacy, her friend who waited in the truck called her and said that the engine had started to shudder, make a loud noise, and then shut off. It turns out that the motor was seized due to a exhaust valve failure in the number 7 cylinder head (left side) which in turn threw a connecting rod. The warranty covers the parts that have failed and the repair expenses but won't cover the replacement of the same parts that have proved to fail in the right side. Now I am left with a motor that has been rebuilt with new parts on the left side and the old parts on the right side. I believe that Dodge should stand behind their product and replace these parts knowing that these same parts have failed and at such a low mileage under no stress.

I also believe that the warranty should be extended to accommodate the possible failure of the right side for another 35,000 miles. I bought this truck expecting to get at least 150,000 miles out of $20,000 truck and at this point I will be lucky to get 70 to 80 thousand out of it.
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Anonymous on 09/25/2007:
Not to rub salt in your wounds, but I got 238,000 miles from my Toyota Tacoma, which was running like a top when I traded it in, and I didn't pay 20k for it new.
Sparticus on 09/25/2007:
My guess is you had a 36k warranty on the drivetrain right? So next time it breaks... they most likely won't fix it.

I steered clear of Chrysler products for this reason... they are known to have quality issues...

My Toyota 4Runner is 8 years old (140K miles) and never had a problem (knock on wood!) I'm hoping to get 250k out of it... if not more!

GWbiker on 09/25/2007:
Something doesn't quite make sense here. When a connecting rod fails in a motor, there always will be internal damage to the engine block. Debris from the broken parts in the oil can't help but circulate thruout the oiling system and damage all bearing material. The remedy is a new or rebuilt "short block". I would suggest you contact Chrysler customer care to investigate this repair.
Dcushman on 09/26/2007:
I have called and they tell me that they will not extend my warranty but it will be covered by the dealership for one year 12,000 miles. There was damage to the lower block which they replaced. My concern is that the same clip that failed on the number seven piston spring was used on the other seven cylinders but they did not replace or even offer to replace those. Thank you to those foreign car purchasers for the salt as I would also expect to get 150,000 miles plus out of a truck these days. Sounds like I will have to replace the engine twice though to get that out of this truck! The dealer did tell me to change the oil after 1500 miles but some freainds of mine have told me to do it twice after 1000 miles each time. Also not to tow anything until after 1,000 miles. Thank you all for your comments.
GWbiker on 09/27/2007:
Your story still is not clear. First you said an exhaust valve failed (broke) which would destroy the piston, the cylinder head and cause the motor to seize. Then a connecting rod broke, according to you. Now you mention a piston spring (clip). The block was replaced, according to you. Was a factory short block installed or was the motor totally rebuilt with new parts by the dealer? Did you actually ask the service writer or technican what repairs were done and what parts were replaced, or are you simply guessing?
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Poorly made truck
Posted by on
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I have had my Dodge Ram for 5 years now. In that time I have had a faulty spare tire wench (jammed and was unusable), faulty power steering hoses (leaked), faulty air conditioning unit (broke internally twice), faulty door seal (leaks when it rains), faulty grab handle on the drivers side door pillar(it came off in my hand), and faulty sunglass holder latch (fell off). I will NEVER buy another Dodge product as long as I live. The blend door on my ac unit literally fell apart. After spending $1000 to repair it, the recirculation door has fallen apart. Now they want me to pay $800 for them to fix their own cheap workmanship. Dodge the Dodge!
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adzidek on 05/15/2007:
If you can't Dodge it, Ram it (through the showroom window).

Pomona Guy on 05/15/2007:
Did you buy it new?
runaway on 05/15/2007:
I agree, did you buy this truck new or used? My '97 Dodge diesel is the best truck I've ever owned!
WWJ on 05/15/2007:
I bought it new, and it was great for about six months. I love the truck when it's not falling apart. I really don't like the look of the other brand trucks, but I'm afraid to buy another Dodge.
Pomona Guy on 05/15/2007:
You can try the new Ford F150, but last I heard their spark plugs could blow out since they used 4 threads instead of the standard 6 threads! A guy can't win. I fear the American car makers may lose another customer to Toyota trucks.

My wife drives Toyota and I drive Chevy. She keeps telling me I will buy myself a Toyota in the future and that freaks me out. I love Chevy!
Anonymous on 05/15/2007:
You will buy a Toyota!..eventually.
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Why I won't buy another Dodge truck
Posted by on
WALLIS, TEXAS -- I have a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. My condenser fan went out. Instead of being able to replace the fan motor part for $25, I have to buy a fan motor, fan blades, fan housing, and an upgraded cable harness like the newer trucks use for a whopping $250 in parts. Dodge should make available parts for older model trucks instead of forcing their customers to upgrade to parts the newer models use. This had to be a company policy decision.

No more Dodge trucks for me or the rest of my family.

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Anonymous on 09/04/2007:
We've had a number of Dodge AC complaints over the years and yours seems like a legitimate one for a change.
Anonymous on 09/04/2007:
popopo I appreciate you merely posted the relevant facts and didn't whine ad nauseum for years about it. Good review. I rated this little ditty 'Very Helpful'!
MRM on 09/04/2007:
May I suggest to purchase a Jeep model next time. But hey, different strokes for different folks. I'm planing to purchase a 2007 Jeep Patriot this December.
ThinLazyAmerican on 09/04/2007:
MRM, Jeeps are for lesbians. But hey, different strokes for different folks!
Anonymous on 09/04/2007:
ThinLazyAmerican, we don't bash gays, lesbians, homo's or Stew around here.
Anonymous on 09/04/2007:
Well, yes we do bash Stew! Watch...

Stew, you sux!
Anonymous on 09/04/2007:
ThinLazyAmerican - You are not allowed to be disrespectful or disagree with a two star'ed member especially one of such high esteem and status as MRM. You'd be wise to retract your previous statement.
ThinLazyAmerican on 09/04/2007:
I guess I'll have to tell my friend who happens to be a lesbian that she is wrong, but I'm afraid to, she might beat me up.
ChuhBaca on 09/04/2007:
Geez, when I read the title I thought maybe you had a complaint about the Dakota/Durango ball joints that cause the wheels to fall off at highways speeds! I have to say, $250 in parts isn't bad for a 2003. Although, I probably wouldn't buy a Dodge either.
Anonymous on 09/04/2007:
Just roll the window down.
Anonymous on 09/04/2007:
Nobody likes these complaints or the whiners who write them.
Slimjim on 09/04/2007:
What!? You posted FIRST stating the complaint was legit. You know what else no one likes, troll?
karotladee on 09/15/2007:
We won't buy another Dodge either. We bought our 1st 1500 in 1996 because the Chevy/Ford trucks were too expensive. We had expensive engine work done around 50,000 miles after the warranty ran out. We bought a second 1500 in 2001 (now made w/ a different engine)& had the computer go up @ 48,000 miles. Another expensive repair. Yeah, you can complain & cry to the dealer & over time they may help you out but I need the truck NOW. We learned our lesson that the $5000 price difference between Ford/Chevy/Dodge is paid eventually.
We're going back to Chevy this fall.
karotladee on 09/15/2007:
Roll the window down? Fedup most not be in Texas
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