Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2002 has the well-known and documented problem with their dashboards falling to pieces, but it also has engine failure from oil sludge. That's a doube shot of awful in your morning coffee.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,976 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (10 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. replace motor (6 reports)
  4. replace engine heads (1 reports)
  5. replace upper engine parts (1 reports)
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Sep 302009

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Yall pretty much explained it... my boyfriend has had similar problems where his engine seized and since he didn't have the money at the time to fix it, he just parked it for several months now and settled with driving an old ford to get him to work. Now we're wanting to fix it, but unsure of the best/cheapest method to fix this darn thing! Dodge should really own up to their mistakes, but since they wont, we'll just have to fix it ourselves. Any advice for fixing this problem??? We're leaning toward motor replacement, but any little advice would surely help.

- , Welsh, LA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012002

Ram 1500 STL 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

i bought this truck bran new an a year later the motor blew up i had also bought the extended warrant which would not cover it. i was very upset if i had been making payments or if i was a man it would have been covered. but dodge dealer i bought it from wouldnt even hear me out. now its 2010 and i have another blown motor same thing happened. i wouldnt buy another dodge if i had to i think ill walk.

- , Labadie, MO, USA

problem #4

Sep 042009

Ram 1500 XLT 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

I was reading some of the other complaints about engine sludge/over heating with my motor. My started early last summer, and only acted up on long highway drives. The first time it ever showed any sign of trouble was after going over a small bump in the sand driving on the beach. Yeah i drove over it faster than I should have, but not like a teenager driving a car they weren't paying for. But when I came to a stop 5-10 seconds later, massive amounts of fluids were draining under the motor. We sat there a while, fished and forgot about it. Then when it came time to leave, after a few minutes driving in the sand, I noticed the temp gauge getting really high. I eased off my pace and turned the heat on full blast. It maintained that temp until i was able to get it to a station a mile or so a way. I let it cool off and refilled the radiator, no problems for another couple months. So this truck isnt my daily driver. I only drive it when I need to carry a bunch of stuff, in the snow, or to the beach to fish. It did fine every time I took it to the lake (1 hour drive) all summer, but every time I put her on the highway to go to Nags Head, she'd start acting silly.

Had local shop go over it a couple of times, thoroughly explained the problem. Replaced thermostat at least once. Thought I might have a leak, so based on auto part store's advice, added a bottle of "Stop leak", seemed to work...Local shop found out about that next time they saw her, when the radiator BURST. Split bad down the side. They said "stop leak" was a terrible idea, never use the stuff. (30year mechanic uncle swears by it). So they replaced the radiator, this time, they made sure to say, you may have other problems...

On the way to Myrtle beach last Labor day, got about a 100miles, til she starting getting hot and bothered again. This time a hose split, but i didnt know it until too late. Tried to refill radiator and get her to a shop. She died a couple miles down the highway. Same shop (nationwide chain) looked at it, viewed records, said "Yep, she's cashed, you need a new block"

After reading about the problems with all these other 4.7L V8 blocks, im reluctant to put a used block only to have this same problem again. The thing is, I can get one of them installed for $2000 less than a Jasper. Gonna have to keep her for at least a year...ugh, what to do???

- , Sandston, VA, USA

problem #3

Feb 012010

Ram 1500 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles


Will never buy another Dodge. The only thing nice about it at the time, was the way it looked. Cracked dash, two separate trans.problems,rear end, heads replace, now looking at replacing engine. Bought this new as a birthday gift for husband,and am dis-appointed for him. Dodge dealership blows us off with no compensation; have read everyone elses complaints and it seems this engine should have been on recall. This truck was babied, preventive maintenance, and not used in heavy duty work and it still crapped out on us. At the time didn't feel warranties would be needed but now I understand why they push them, THEY KNOW that there product isn't worth the tin they use to put them together. Truck started running real rough, ran the codes, indicated #1 cylinder misfire, changed coil pack, no better, changed plugs, no better, ran codes again; finally decided to take it to dealership and learned #5 & #6 misfiring, but they still don't know why. Husband said he saw brown coloration on oil spout, I told him, that it sounded like a cracked block, but, he says no leaking water anywhere.... can only guess at the real problem except tear down and then replace. Have been told problems with finding motors to replace ..... not a happy camper here.

Update from Feb 17, 2010: learned two valves stuck open threw rods, ($500.00) to repair, still have brown sticky build up on oil entrance, definitely feel unsure about that problem after reading other comments on this sight. but, no longer trust the reliability of the engine.

- , Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #2

Aug 222009

Ram 1500 Quad Cab Slt 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

STAY AWAY FROM DODGE SMALLER V8, 4.7 - my dodge has always been super reliable, I've never had any engine issues before. only other continual problem I've had has been the airconditioning. anyway, I'm going up a hill on the highway. i was not accelerating hard at all. i just went slightly faster to get up the hill. all of a sudden, my rpm went really high and made that noise as though you were pressing on your gas really hard as though to rev your engine hard. as soon as the rpm went high, my oil pressure completely dropped. my check gauge light came on immediately. within 20 seconds, i lost all power to my engine, lost power steering, and i drifted to the side of the hwy. THERE WAS NO NOISE. no clanging, no rattling, no knocking. one second I'm driving, the next all power is gone. the truck would not turn over nor did it try. my interior and exterior lights still worked. had to tow to the closest shop 30 miles. i was in the middle of no where in northern Arizona. they tested the alternator, fine. starter was fine. however, the battery while in my truck was dead and wouldn't register on their testing equipment. when they took the battery out, it tested fine. they put a new battery in, and again, it didn't register on their equipment. this stumped all the mechanics. someone suggested maybe the oil pump went out, dropping my oil pressure, then triggering an automatic shutoff of the engine. someone suggested a computer failure. they also suggested my bearings went out. they couldn't understand why that would be especially with zero noise when my engine shut off on the hwy. had to tow it 115 miles home. took it to a friend who's been a mechanic 30 years. a rod blew for no reason, and i need an entire engine. not only that, it damaged my engine so badly, that i can't use it as a core. EVERY mechanic and engine shop i called for either a rebuilt / re manufactured / or used engine, said dodge never should've put this smaller v 8 in. every one of them said they're junk. they are also super expensive to replace and even every shop i called was shocked at the price. an engine for the larger v8 5.9 is half the cost. the smaller v 8's are in high demand and that's why they are expensive. they don't sit on the shelf long because people are replacing them. i found a used engine with 58,000 miles on it, with a year warranty and tax for $2400. my friend is installing it on the super cheap side for an additional $400. however, shopping around for rebuilts or remanufactured, every quote but one with them installing it was atleast $4000. i decided to go with the used engine with 58,000 miles. i paid extra for all parts & labor warranty thru a very reputable company with my mechanic friend installing it for a total of $2800. all the mechanics i spoke to said all the rebuilts they've dealt with are garbage and even though engine shops who sell them are giving warranties, they aren't honoring them. they all recommended a used engine with lower mileage if you can find it. i found a network of 10 or so recycle yards in the phx area, and they are on the up and up and they list all their inventory & pricing on-line. i'm having my engine installed tomorrow. again, BEWARE the small v 8. everyone agreed it's a nightmare and junk. go with the bigger v 8 . much more reliable and less then half the cost if anything major goes bad.

- , Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jan 012009

Ram 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

This truck really sucks. Glad to find out I wasn't the only one who had this much problem with this junk. I've had problems with this truck since I bought it in 2002. Two week after driving it off the lot the was a family death in Chicago started on the trip a little over half way up all gauges went down I mean everything. Dodge dealership told me to drive it the rest of the way to their shop there. Left me stuck up there an extra week while they tried to figure it out. They gave it back to me and the next day on my way out of town it did it again, they finally replaced all censors and wiring. Since then dodge has had to replace the parts again . All my fans have had to be replaced with their wiring, brake lights and wiring have had to be replaced they kept shorting out and melting the plastic. The big one is the constant over heating problem. Dodge mechanics told us that is was a partially clogged radiator. Replaced that and go figure they didn't know what they were talking about. Had to have they heads replaced about a hear and a half ago and surprise the truck is acting up again. Dode wouldn't help fix any thing and actually tried to make me repay a deductible on parts they already had to replace once. The engine trouble started right after my warranty was up. Needless to day I now drive a Nissan. My husband still drives the dodge but at least Im not being constantly stranded with our kids anymore.Dodge is just to cocky they need to have their asses sued off. And their doors closed for having no standard on their trucks.

- , Lake Charels, LA, USA

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