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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 5
Average Mileage:
11,580 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Dodge Ram 1500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #18

Sep 152003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,600 miles


98 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab - the bearings in the rear end axle assemblies of these trucks fail prematurely. I have found many inquiries over the internet about this problem. All of the vehicles have low mileage (less than 100000 miles) and the bearings have worn out. There is a loud whining noise from the rear end assembly.

- Eatonton, GA, USA

problem #17

May 252003

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,200 miles
Have experienced failure in passenger side rear axle 1998 Dodge Ram. Going to open rear end on 5/26/03 for inspection. Have approx. 1/4 in horizontal movement in axle. From checking site conclude that this may not be isolated failure as first suspected but may be failure in heat treat of axle or bearing not set correctly. Vehicle has 68,200 miles.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #16

Oct 192001

Ram 1500 4WD

  • 41,642 miles
The rear axle bearings and seal had to be completely replaced. The problem was detected from hearing some rear axle noise. Ph **dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12/12/02 cut over to artemis**753546

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #15

Sep 192002

Ram 1500

  • miles


Rear right axle seal has failed for the second time in less than 2 years. Rear right brake is rendered useless hence was a factor in an accident the 1st time the seals failed. Corporate rejects the claim as well as the dealership which "repaired" the seals last time. Customer is left to eat the cost. Nlm

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #14

Jul 202002

(reported on)

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Gear selector shaft broke inside steering column housing, 3 dealers could not fix the problem because the entire steering column has to be replaced.. zlso, steering column/track bar for front axle, and catalytic converter malfunctioned.

- Pell City, AL, USA

problem #13

Jan 012002

Ram 1500

  • miles
During normal operation of the vehicle at any speed, there is a loud "humming noise" coming from rear of truck. An independent mechanic diagnosed that bearings and gears for the rear axle have to be replaced. Please provide any additional information / documentation.

- Fillmore, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 012001

Ram 1500 4WD Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Consumers vehicle ran into a trailer on his property and ABS was defective, also brake drums were rusted, dealership was aware of problem. Consumer stated that headache bar and fuel tank, tires, fuel filter, steering stabilizer, front shocks, rear shocks, air filter, rear axle seal and fluid, rear transfer case seal and U-joints in rear drive shaft failed and replaced.

- Tower Hill, IL, USA

problem #11

Sep 012001

Ram 1500

  • miles
Horn will sound intermittently during the night when engine is not running. Dealership has not examined vehicle, but informed consumer that vehicle was not affected by recall 01V153000. Please provide any additional information / attachments.

- Waterford, CT, USA

problem #10

Oct 201998

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I really enjoy this Dodge ram1500, but I feel that since it is out of warranty it will not hold up to my expectations. No safety defect listed in summary.

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #9

Sep 181999

Ram 1500 4WD

  • miles
As I was turning the corner the right rear tire which was fully inflated came off the truck & I went around the corner on 3 wheels. I had it towed to ralley Dodge & they said that my extended warrenty wouldn't cover the damage.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #8

Dec 201999

Ram 1500

  • miles


No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #7

Nov 191999

Ram 1500 4WD

  • miles
Origanal tires from factory (Goodyear Wrangler rts 265/75R16) have been replaced by Goodyear 3 times in 16 months due to defects in material and workmanship. Vehicle had a major vibration at speeds of 45 and 65 mph.( dot number: Tire size: 265/75R16 )

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #6

Mar 211999

Ram 1500

  • miles
Tire seperated from truck, causing loss of control, rolled ? times, everyone was ejected and killed except for 1. I do not want my information released to the manufacturer, pending legal matters.

- Oklahoma, OK, USA

problem #5

May 041999

Ram 1500

  • miles
Driver proceeding along interstate at 60 mph with cruise engaged when felt a jolt in rear end and truck started fishtailing. Truck struck side barrier, spun, crossed 3 traffic lanes and came to stop. Right rear wheel assembly was detatched and had come to rest along shoulder. Subsequent department mechanic inspection revealed what appears to be shearing of axle, with center of axle appearing porous.

- Jeffe City, MO, USA

problem #4

Mar 281999

Ram 1500

  • miles
Previously reported by the owner. I am a metallurgical engineer investigating the failed components. Both rear wheels came off of the truck while driving on a 2 lane road at an estimated speed of 70 mph. No other vehicle involved. Did not hit a pot hole or any object in the road. Axle appears to be 1050 steel normalized and induction hardened to a depth of about 7/32 inch. Possible fatigue. Part id, drivers side, mfg. Mw, code Y19 metal stamped 23133, passenger side, mfg. Mw, code Y70, metal stamped 21142. Obtaining information on a similar accident with another Dodge Ram 1500 made in 1998.

- Lufkin, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 281999

Ram 1500

  • miles
Rear wheels popped off axle while traveling at 60 mph.

- Nacogdoches, TX, USA

problem #2

Jun 161998

Ram 1500

  • miles
Consumer complaining of driving vehicle on the street at 40 mph, on normal road conditions, when consumer went to apply the brakes, the brake pedal went all the way to the floor. Dealer notified, but still wants consumer to pay even with warranty. Proportioning valve was replaced. Consumer states there is a snapping noise in the steering column, dealer replaced front axle track. Steering wheel was off center. Lower radiator hose was rubbing the frame and was worn, dealer replaced.

- Easton, MA, USA

problem #1

Oct 021998

Ram 1500 4WD

  • miles
Rea raxle failed, causing the tire wheel and hub to seperate from the axlle. Also, the anti-lock brakes failed, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in a collision. Upon impact, neither driver's or passenger's airbags deployed, even after vehicle rolled over four times.

- Lebanon Ju, KY, USA

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