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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,567 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 steering problems

steering problem

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1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #16

Jun 012015

Ram 1500

  • 140,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

There was a loud clunking noise in the front over bumps. I had it inspected and was told the sway bar where it mounts to the frame horn on the passenger side was rusted through. Also, the idler arm bracket is in danger of falling off because of the severe rust problem. The drivers side frame horn where the gearbox mounts has a large rust hole also. I had the complete frame inspected for rust. There are rust holes in the frame where the transmission support is mounted to the frame on left and right sides. Is this truck even safe to drive in this rusty condition? it has 146,000 miles on it.. I believe there are many other Dodge veichles out there with the same issues. A class action lawsuit is in order.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #15

Oct 142013

Ram 1500

  • 100,000 miles
The pivot point in the steering system allows the wheels if not in perfect condition, the opportunity to turn inwards. This inward motion the front wheels perform at 40 mph-50mph is unacceptable. Also the dashboard cracks like peanut brittle, allowing pieces of sharp hard plastic to fly into the windshield, which as per standard no. 219 is not meeting regulations. In the event of a crash, metal is now exposed to the passengers due to this cracking and breaking apart. Do something before people get seriously injured because Chrysler wants to make money. Help us. This is a lemon 2nd generation Ram model and no one is taking responsibility.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #14

Jul 262013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph in reverse, he noticed that the steering wheel had become abnormally loose. The contact attempted to drive forward but he turned the wheel right and the vehicle went left. The contact then exited the vehicle and noticed that the sub frame was rusted. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 130,000. Updated 11-04-13 updated 11/8/2013

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #13

May 152004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Steering problems wondering needed new steering box rod and pin and tie rods on front also paint is all coming off.

- Grant, MI, USA

problem #12

Mar 082005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
My girlfriend's son was driving our 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 going about 35 or 40 miles per hour (he and his girlfriend were taking a ride waiting for a pizza) so just mosing along thank god. He rounded a curve and lost steering he tried to jerk it back and said it made a cracking noise and he had no steering ability. He ran off the road striking trees, knocked himself out by hitting his head on the drivers side window. When he came to, his girlfriend was knocked out. He got her alert and called 911. She was life flighted, 5 broken ribs, major concussion and he had cuts and scratches and a concussion. He was treated and released. I asked the insurance adjuster to check it but he looked at it (never tore the steering column apart) and said it looked ok. They moved it to a salvage yard. Since the accident 3 people have told me they had the same problem with their Ram 1500. Now her son is being fined for driving too fast around the curve..guess it is always a fine never a true accident anymore, but I am just thankful that the kids are both alive as the truck was totaled from the trees and stumps they hit. Her son feels he may have leaned on the gas pedal when he was knocked out but knows he was only going 40 mph tops prior to the steering failing.

- Punxsutawney, PA, USA

problem #11

Mar 212003

Ram 1500

  • miles
From the day I saw that 96 Dodge truck rolling down the street I fell in love. I saved every way possible to purchase the big bad 1500 4X4 5.9(98)with every option avail. Had everything and from week 1 had problems. Front windshield cracked while driving "due to frame stress" it about 2 weeks into it. Brake failure cause serious assault on guard rail, and Dodge said I must have been driving to fast (@ 30 mph). They refused any warranty because "nothing can touch the wheel" and since the incident occurred after 93 days lemon laws did not apply so after (2) $900 brake jobs two weeks apart everything was fine. Not to mention damage to body I paid for out of pocket. Now I just go through an entire set of brakes every 6 months. But I stop until then.. I replaced the transmission at 38 K miles, note the warranty on that is 36 K miles. I have had steering linkage become so loose instantaneously (or 3 separate occasions) that it felt like I was running over my own axle, which is another $1000 each time. For the past three emissions inspections the on board computer fails so I have to take it to the dealer while they charge $200 to fix it, but will not give straight answer to what is problem. And to night as I type, I spread the grime of engine crud across my keyboard as I try to figure out why the fuel filter suddenly stopped. Amazingly I have had this truck for 5 years because it has kept me too broke to buy something else. Any "legal" suggestions on what can be done would be appreciated. I recognize I have spent more than $15,000 trying to keep this thing running right, and that is too much for a "late model" truck. I would love to blame a dealer but I have been to just about all of them around here and with the smiles on there faces I hear "that will be another $950 sir".. good grief.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #10

Jun 262002

Ram 1500

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Hearing noises in steering column can result in a vehicle crash. Cause unknown. Dealer notified.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #9

May 062002

(reported on)

Ram 1500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72 miles
When the temperature was cold outside it was difficult to steer the vehicle. The problem continued until the outside temperature warmed up. The dealership replaced the parts 3 times but the problem still occurred.

- Lagrange, OH, USA

problem #8

Oct 152000

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Fuel sending unit went out. This indicated that tank was empty. Took vehicle to dealer. Dlr put in a fuel pump, .but pump was defective, and dealer sent part back. Consumer has been out of a car 2 weeks. Fuel sensor failed and later on the fuel pump failed too.

- Washington, IA, USA

problem #7

Sep 192000

Ram 1500

  • miles
While driving 45mph, hit another vehicle unexpectedly at a frontal impact which caused steering to lock up, and brakes to fail. Upon impact, driver and passenger airbags did not deploy, which did not protect the occupants. No prior problems with the airbag system.

- Yulee, FL, USA

problem #6

Jul 021998

Ram 1500

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driver lost control and slid cross ways, across the highway, and busted the rear axel. Truck flipped over, and front bumper went into front tire, and the airbags did not deploy. Truck was totalled.

- Corning, IA, USA

problem #5

Jun 281999

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Sudden loss of steering control arms caused the vehicle to run into a ditch resultling in majior damage for the vehicle.

- Fulton, TX, USA

problem #4

Jun 281999

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Sudden loss of steering control arms caused the vehicle to run into a ditch resultling in majior damage for the vehicle.

- Fulton, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 181998

(reported on)

Ram 1500

  • miles
Problematic steering and braking systems.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #2

Feb 181999

Ram 1500

  • miles
Since we purchased the van the dealer said we had a bad tire both times we picked it up, but it still drifts and has spungy streeing. I.e. it goes were it want to and when you turn the wheel to correct it the streering takes it time to go the other way. My other problem is the right rear frame leaks water bad, at first the dealers body shop said the weld had broke at the seam were it was put together and that they had 3 of them in the last 6 weeks. We have had the van in the shop many times to get this fixed. It still leaks!!!!

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #1

Oct 271998

(reported on)

Ram 1500 Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Steering centering valve continually pulls to the left causing steering problems at high speeds, unable to correct design defect.

- Port Arans, TX, USA

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